| CHARACTER BACKSTORY:|
| SEASON 1: || |
- Abby's main quirk in season one is that she is a Goth with extreme tastes in music. Her scientific mind and personality are strong and she is an independent and capable thinker. Her relationship with Gibbs is flirtatious, allowing fans to wonder whether they might ever pair up romantically or, with Abby, at least sexually. They do not have a father-daughter relationship. Abby is defiant and needles Gibbs at times. She is more co-conspirator when they sign to each other. The dynamic is more of equals in this early season.
| SEASON 2: || |
- The writers seem to realize that the better role for Abby is as a clever scientific woman with vulnerabilities. She becomes less flirtatious with Gibbs but more emotionally attached to him. As Gibbs has more than past lovers, the writers settle on making Abby Gibbs' surrogate daughter and hints of Gibbs' life ( the existence of a dead wife and daughter) start stacking up. Ari's arc is set up. Gibbs failed to protect the women he loves (Shannon and Kelly) and is open to psychological attack if the women he cares for (Kate and Abby) are exposed to danger.
- The actress Pauley Perrette is much older than the character she plays, but we are never quite sure of how old Abby is. She has the longest working relationship with Gibbs in the NCIS Navy Yard HQ, besides Ducky. Jen hasn't worked with Gibbs in the US or, the Navy Yard office. All references to past work between Jen, Gibbs, and Ducky refer to their time in France. Abby has never failed Gibbs professionally. This keeps their working relationship balanced, as he is clueless in her fields of expertise. Their respect for each other is based on professional ability and reliability, as well as personal affection. Kate's death deeply affects Abby. She gives herself emotionally to those around her and was close to Kate. They tried to reform the boys' eating habits, with no luck. They organise bets with the boys and they split the profits when they win. Kate got a tattoo because of Abby's influence. Abby and Kate share a Catholic background but approach life in very different ways. Kate absorbed prudishness and guilt, and Abby developed a love of ritual, pageantry, coupled with an ability to be comfortable with people who wear strange clothes everyday.
- Abby's need for physical affection is a recurrent theme, but she can become annoyed with others. Turning her back, is a sign to others. Being terse in her speech is a big warning signal. Gibbs is more impervious to her manipulation than Abby thinks and is willing to set her up to make false assumptions. He allows himself to be manipulated by her.
| SEASON 3: || |
- Abby as a target. Abby as a vulnerable woman in need of protection from the bad guys with guns. She works out her own way of dealing with risk and, while quirky, it is effective. Ari kills Kate and then pursues anyone else to whom Gibbs is close. Abby, as his surrogate daughter, is next in line after Kate. When shot at by Ari, through her lab window, Abby's reaction is to check out Tony's butt when he drags her out of range of the window. She distracts herself as a defense.
- In Bloodbath, Abby is under attack from a crazed boyfriend whose activities mask the work of a hired gunman. She thinks about the places where fewest people die in USA and decides that the lift (elevator) will be her hideout. Gibbs sees nothing wrong with this and allows her to set up her work desk in the lift, which she rides for the next six hours. Whilst the boys in the team go into an inefficient "guard Abby" mode, which makes her look dependent, it is notable that three women (and Ducky) arm Abby with what she needs to look after herself: and in the end, Abby defeats her attacker by fighting him off and even being able to demand that he not look up her skirt when he is on the ground after being shocked with her tazer. Abby's weapons are a tazer (from Ziva), pepper spray from Cynthia, brass knuckles from the Director and a whistle alarm from Ducky. How the whistle can shatter her attacker's eardrums, but not her own when she employs it to attract attention is unexplained.
- At the end of season 3, Gibbs, in disgust at the duplicity of his own side in the war on terror, resigns from NCIS. His farewell to Abby is public, in the squadroom. Abby looks on in shock and utters only a strangled "Gibbs..." before he silences her with a finger against her lips and a kiss on the cheek. As betrayals of trust go, it is serious, but he cannot stay and be true to himself. Gibbs knows what his departure means to Abby. He can't defend it so he says nothing. Abby later creates a Gibbs shrine by putting his picture on each of her computers, so he is 'with her' all the time. She talks to 'him' when things go badly in his absence. We learn of this coping strategy at the beginning of the 4th season when circumstances force Gibbs' return.
| SEASON 4: || |
- The beginning of the season is interesting, with Gibbs' departure Abby has transferred her hero-worship of her leader to Tony. She treats him as she once treated Gibbs, until Gibbs actually returns. Abby's desire for order and hierarchy is strange when one considers how comfortable she is in the hierarchical world of the church, despite being independent of belief (she plays with voodoo dolls and parties in cemeteries).
- Abby has a role as relationship maintainer in her 'family'. When Gibbs is angry at the Director for sending Tony "home" (he is on undercover work, but Jen doesn't admit this), it is Abby who points out to them that "the kids don't like it when Mommy and Daddy fight," which shuts up both of the seniors, who look abashed.
- Jen cares for Abby, who confides in her about her love for her 'short and sweet' man. Abby has also sought advice from Jen about whether she can wear biker boots to court. Abby is able to get on with anyone, but has more trouble reading Jen and Ziva than reading the men of NCIS. Girl talks were more common in series 2 or were implied to occur more frequently.
- With the loss of Kate as confidante, Abby turns more to Gibbs, with hilarious results when he turns out to be the most inappropriate person, such as when she seeks advice on which tattoo to get next. She insists she needs his guidance until he queries where she is putting the tattoo. She realizes that he is right, Gibbs is not the person to ask. These are some of the very few times when Gibbs is allowed to look uncomfortable.
- Abby's main quirk in this series is to be able to live in a dual reality of scientific rationalism and ethereal suspension of disbelief. In the episode, Cover Story, she takes McGee's book characters to heart in much the same way as the criminally insane man who attacked her and she tells McGee that Amy (Abby's character in the book) cannot marry McGee's character. She is distressed over the book's plot rather than her near-miss with a deranged killer. McGee is confused as he had had to make up the ending to the book during the showdown, so that the deranged killer would see Abby as a good guy, not a criminal. He announced that his character had realised that he loved Amy (Abby) and wanted to marry her. This declaration of love persuades the villain not to kill Abby, yet it is the declaration of love that distresses Abby. The audience is left to wonder if Abby is using the book as code for a warning McGee about their real-life on-off relationship, or whether she truly believes in the fantasy world of McGee's book in the same way that the villain did. This situation has Gibbs, who has turned his back to give Abby and McGee some privacy, wincing.
- The charm of Abby is that we are wincing too, but we remain uncertain as to what we are wincing at. This creates more story arc potential for series 5. McGee is sweet and Abby, despite being cute, is not.
| SEASON 5: || |
- In episode 1, Abby's role is confined to forensics work, being the person with an unshakable belief that Tony cannot be dead, no matter the evidence, unless Ducky declares otherwise. Gibbs is her source of comfort and he remains willing to give her the physical affection that she needs and the professional affirmation that feed her motivation.
- Abby's work ethic is irreproachable. She sleeps on the floor of her lab whilst waiting for her computers to process test results. McGee works all night upstairs with Gibbs. The Director sleeps in her office chair and Ziva, who has worried all night about Tony, turns up to work at 7am on her day off. Abby is clearly of a work-family with a shared belief system in the primacy of work. They do not do their work under duress. Abby assures the Director that she doesn't mind being in the lab all night to do a private job for the Director.
- Abby will not keep a secret from Gibbs. She is allowed to tell him anything, including that the Director told her not to tell him (whatever it is). Trust, not love, is at the root of the relationship. The daughter/father metaphor is apt. The love is additional.
- For all that Abby is a professional, she 'bonds' with those around her and finds it difficult to handle things related to their demise. The blood caked clothes of Director Shepard stop her in her tracks in the finale (Judgement Day) and she takes comfort in Gibbs. She decides to compliment people while she has the chance. She manages to say nice things about everyone's clothes, until McGee walks in. Abby hugs him and he is unaware that he just failed a sartorial compliments test. She remains humorous, even when she is being serious.
- Abby tells McGee that she loves him and that "...that should be enough."
| SEASON 6: || |
- Last Man Standing - Abby deeply misses the former team when they are reassigned. She creates a wall with their pictures on it and even counts the days they have been gone. Though it is said that she still sees McGee on a regular basis, she misses the dynamic. She demands that Gibbs get them all back within two weeks, and to stop taking the stairs just because the elevator reminds him of the team.
- Capitol Offense - Abby is still quite the kid at heart. She launches an investigation into "Who stole my Cupcake?", complete with the taping off of her fridge, fingerprinting of the team, and creation of a suspect photo wall. The hilarity comes from the fact she approaches it as though it were an actual case. She eventually discovers it was McGee, and he makes her drool with his description of the treat.
- Cloak - Abby knows when to keep her mouth shut. She willingly allows herself to be implicated as the traitor at NCIS to help Vance and Gibbs rope in Lee. The team reads her easier than she expects, though, and she makes completely see through excuse.
- Dagger - Abby isn't always nice and sweet. Despite knowing that Lee's "daughter" is in danger, she gives Lee the cold shoulder and even dismisses her right to her face.
- Aliyah - Abby shows that over the years she has gotten to like Ziva and deeply cares for her as a friend.
| SEASON 7: || |
- Abby heads to LA to help the OSP team after a Chief Petty Officer was killed the Phantom, a serial killer Abby calls and been blogging about because he leaves no forensic evidence. The OSP team is reluctant at first but decided to follow along. Later, abby heads out to a bar she mentions on her blog with Eric. While Checking the hot rods in the back parking lot, The phantom attacks abby with a chemical restraint and drags her into his van and drives away. he keeps Abby is kept in a makeshift dungeon made with a bed, table for two, a video camera to keep an eye on her and a booby trapped door. She pretends to have an itch on her nose and makes the phantom, who is the concierge at a law firm, to show himself to scratch it away and bites him on the finger. The phantom is about to axe her when Callen comes down from the skylight and kills the phanttom and saves her from being a Phantom victim.
- Abby is smitten by Alejandro Rivera's charm, which appears to make McGee jealous.
- Abby was requested to go to Mexico to teach a class on cold cases. McGee was sent with her as her bodyguard. Abby decided to take her class on a field trip for a 20 year old case of Pedro Hernández, who was killed by a gunshot to the head. The truck Pedro was driving at the time he was shot/killed, was still in the same location so Abby realized based upon the evidence presented, it was a sniper shot, not point-blank range, as indicated in the police file. Paloma Reynosa, Pedro Hernández's daughter showed up at the crime scene and gave Abby the casing left from the shot that killed her father.
- Abby continued to pursue the case of Pedro Hernandez's death and she matched the slug in Pedro Hernández's head to Gibbs' M40 sniper rifle from 20 years prior.
- Locked the doors and confronted Gibbs because all the evidence pointed to Gibbs being Pedro Hernández's murderer. Gibbs tells her to do her job and send the report.
| SEASON 8: || |