Joining the NCIS team (or, at the very least marrying one of its members) is tantamount to joining a ready-made family. A functioning though highly dysfunctional family. But like any clan is loath to do, the NCISers frequently say goodbye to their loved (and barely tolerated) ones.
NCIS Characters We Miss Most
What follows are remembrances of the seven most missed characters who once filled out the NCIS ensemble. Included are contentious spouses, loyal teammates, and efficient bosses.
They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… and boy did Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Tobias Fornell feel the burn courtesy of their mutual ex-wife Diane Sterling. Not only did she love them and leave them, but she also drained their bank accounts.
And yet, every time this flame-haired siren came a calling, both men stood to attention. Sterling possessed a special brand of pop and sizzle and she was never bereft of caustic ridicule: “What kind of a man are you? Here you have a depressed, miserable co-worker standing here right in front of you, and you can’t even give her a simple hug? Your parents failed.”
Sterling’s death at the hands of a sniper robbed the show of a fascinating recurring antagonist who shared a plethora of history with two of the series’ leading men.
Luckily, thanks to NCIS’s obsession with using previously assassinated characters as spectral guides (see the later entry on Mike Franks), the possibility always exists for Sterling to put in encore appearances. Heck, she’s already paid Gibbs one post-burial visit.
Todd spent her two years as a Special Agent with the NCIS team, serving as the audience surrogate as she learned about her new team and their eccentricities and foibles, so too did the viewing public.
Her sexually-charged sparring with partner Anthony DiNozzo led many to believe that a true coupling was possible… which made her death at the hands of a rogue Mossad agent all the more tragic. Todd’s murder devastated the ones who she left behind and despite the passage of time, she is still frequently mentioned and held in the highest regard by those who knew her.
Mossad Liaison Officer David had a lot to prove to her new superiors at NCIS, particularly her loyalty and fidelity to the team since it had been her brother who fired the bullet that had killed Todd.
But prove herself she did. Not only did she go on to form an almost familial bond with Gibbs, but David also entered into a touching and tragic love affair with DiNozzo which produced a daughter — and much heartache. Luckily, the two were able to eventually reunite and establish a life together, albeit off-screen.
Shepard was a woman who knew how to keep a secret… and that’s what ultimately lead to her death at the hands of a terrorist whom she was supposed to have disposed of decades earlier.
Had she completed the mission, things might have turned out so differently for her and Gibbs. The two had matured from passionate lovers to good friends and Shepard ultimately became his superior in her role as Director of NCIS.
But a confession just prior to taking what would become a fatal bullet wound suggested that, if given half a chance, she would have happily picked up where their romance left off. If only there were the possibility that Shepard had survived her brush with death and entered Witness Protection… fans can dream, can’t they?
Franks, the former head of the NCIS Major Case Response Team, taught Gibbs everything he knows. So, Gibbs’ subordinates have Franks to thank – or to blame – for their boss slapping them upside the noggin!
Franks spent five (onscreen) years helping – and only occasional hindering – Gibbs and his crime-solving endeavors. And though he feared that the lung cancer he was diagnosed with would kill him, Franks wound up being felled by a blade wielded by a serial slayer dubbed the Port-to-Port Killer.
But even death couldn’t dampen Franks’ persnickety spirit. He’s made frequent appearances as Gibbs’ guardian angel and given the show’s reliance on the hard-worn trope, it’s quite possible that we’ll be seeing Franks again sooner rather than later.
Sciuto was NCIS’s forensic specialist excellent bar none! She was also Gibbs’ surrogate daughter and the living embodiment of eccentricity. Luckily, unlike many on this list, Sciuto left the team of her own accord, with her health and happiness intact – so a return home remains a distinct possibility though considering actress Pauley Perrette’s contentious exit, it’s doubtful.
NCIS Very Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo
DiNozzo: cinephile, juvenile humorist, prankster extortioner, and an unapologetic chauvinist. His immature exterior belied the sensitive, insightful gentleman that existed within. Like Sciuto and David – whom he currently resides with – DiNozzo is primed and ready for a return trip to Washington, D.C. — should actor Michael Weatherly get a break from his CBS hit show, Bull.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. NCIS will return to CBS’s Tuesday night lineup on November 17. Check your local listings for airtimes.