Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara in NCIS: Hawai'i
Credit: Getty Images

It’s safe to say that fans were saddened when Lucy departed NCIS: Hawaiʻi in early season 2. Then, after a much-anticipated comeback in season 2, episode 15, Lucy seems to be gone (yet) again. We’re sharing if Lucy is leaving NCIS: Hawaiʻi again, the details around her return and what the future may look like for the junior agent.

NCIS: Hawaiʻi is the CBS crime drama — and the fourth spin-off in the NCIS franchise — that follows Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) and her team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Hawaiʻi. The team is responsible for investigating incidents relating to military and national security. NCIS: Hawaiʻi premiered in September 2021 and is currently in its second season. In February 2023, CBS announced that NCIS: Hawaiʻi was renewed for a third season for 2023-2024, according to our sister publication, Deadline.

Yasmine Al-Bustami has acted on the show since the season 1 premiere episode and portrays agent Lucy Tara. Tara is also the girlfriend of FBI Agent Kate Whistler, played by Tori Anderson. Al-Bustami told Showbiz Cheat Sheet in May 2022 that her involvement began with an audition that led to a “handful of meetings” before she got the role of Agent Lucy Tara. “A big factor for me with any project is the people behind it, and the creators have been so kind since before I even got the role, which is one aspect that really drew me in, along with the story they were setting out to tell,” she explained to the outlet. The show also stars Alex Tarrant, Noah Mills, Jason Antoon and Kian Talan.

Keep reading to discover if Lucy is leaving NCIS: Hawaiʻi again, how the actress returned to reprise her role and why fans think she could be gone for a second time.

Is Lucy leaving NCIS: Hawaiʻi?

Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara and Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant in NCIS: Hawai'i

Is Lucy leaving NCIS: Hawaiʻi? In season 2, episode 7, when she and Kate were broken up, Lucy applied to be an afloat NCIS agent. If she accepted, the position would require her character to be away on assignment for four months. She ultimately decided to take the afloat position because it would be beneficial for her career, and was temporarily separated from her girlfriend.

In real life, Yasmine Al-Bustami revealed that she shortly left the show to spend time on the mainland to see friends and family, travel and work on ongoing projects, including The Chosen — the Christian TV series about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. In an interview with our sister site TV Line in February 2023, Al-Bustami said that she was busy with “life” during her break.

“I was able to get back to the mainland, which was really nice for me, just to spend some time with my friends and my family and do some travels, and to fulfill some work obligations,” she told the site. When asked if she shot any episodes for The Chosen while she was gone, she said that she did. “Yes. I’m happy that I was able to get some time to work with those guys also, because I love those guys,” she added. “Any time that it works out, I jump on it, for sure.”

When did Lucy return to NCIS: Hawaiʻi?

Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara and Tara Anderson as Kate Whistler sitting on the beach in in NCIS: Hawai'i

When did Lucy return to NCIS: Hawaiʻi? Lucy’s hiatus thankfully didn’t last too long (although for fans, it felt like ages). We heard our first update about Lucy’s status in mid-December, thanks to an interview with costar Vanessa Lachey and TV Line. “She still here and she’s still around, but we try to honor what [acting commitments Yasmine] has back on the mainland and maximize the time when she is here,” Lachey told the site. “She’s here right now, and we just wrapped two massive water days where all of us were getting soaking wet.” Before the show returned with new episodes in January 2023, showrunner Christopher Silber also teased Lucy’s return to TV Line. “WHEN Lucy is back, there will be a good deal of action for her. We can’t wait,” he said.

Fans caught a glimpse of Lucy in the second episode of the NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: Hawai’i crossover episode in January 2023, but she made her official return to NCIS: Hawai’i shortly after in season 2, episode 15. In the episode, she surprised the team by returning to the island from her agent afloat job early. “It looked like everybody was happy to see me, so I would say that it went splendidly,” Al-Bustami added in her TV Line interview. “And I hope people are excited to see the episode; we were excited to do it.”

But fans rightfully got worried, again, when Lucy was not present in season 2, episode 17. We were told that she had gone off to a “tactical training” program, but could her absence be an ongoing pattern with Yasmine Al-Bustami on NCIS: Hawai’i moving forward? As of now, Al-Bustami remains a series regular and there hasn’t been any news released about her status. This could change as the series is renewed for season 3. We’ll keep you updated as we find out more.

As for whether Lucy returns again to NCIS: Hawai’i season 2, we’re going to have to wait until Monday, April 10, when episode 18 is released, to learn what happens.

NCIS: Hawai’i airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS.

For more on primetime shows, check out our photo gallery on the best nighttime soaps ranked