Monday's episode marked the bittersweet goodbye of "NCIS"'s eccentric chief medical examiner Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, who became famous in 2003. 

 Scottish actor of 1960s NBC series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," who became famous on CBS procedural, died Sept. 25 at 90. 

 After the Hollywood strikes caused production delays, Brian Dietzen, who played Ducky's protege Dr. Jimmy Palmer for two decades, co-wrote a tribute for the final original "NCIS" cast member.s. 

 "We wanted to honor a life well-lived, 60 years in business and 20 on our show," Dietzen tells USA TODAY. 

 "This lets fans grieve alongside us. All of us have lost." 

 Dietzen spoke at McCallum's January memorial service in New York City and keeps in touch with his 56-year-old wife, Katherine Carpenter. 

 "Both his TV family and his real family are feeling pain and grief right now," he adds.  

 "We can take consolation in the fact that David was 90 and had so many wonderful lives. He grabbed every available breath." 

 The Paramount+-streaming "NCIS" episode "The Stories We Leave Behind" is explained here 

 Ducky dies in the episode, but the committed medical examiner needed one more NCIS win. 

 The best way of honoring Ducky was to have him solve one last case with the team," he adds.  

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