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Jane Tenannt's 12 Best Moments From NCIS: Hawaii

Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) has a lot on her shoulders. As the first female Special Agent in Charge at NCIS Pearl Harbor, she has to deal with the implications of her unprecedented position and the fact that some people think she hasn't earned the title. She's also a mom of two kids, and has to juggle family life – including her relationship with her ex-husband — along with leading her team. It's a lot for one person to handle, but Jane Tennant is no ordinary woman. A former spy and a veritable super-mom, she's in a lane of her own.

Tennant's steady leadership is what makes "NCIS: Hawaii" the show it is. Her team knows they can always rely on her and come to her with any problems they might have, and they trust her abilities completely. She's a skilled fighter and can take down just about any combatant that comes her way, but she also has a way with words and a penchant for giving sound advice. Whether you need a fierce protector or a shoulder to cry on, Tennant's your woman.

Though Tennant does have moments of doubt and occasionally falters, she always comes out on top in the end. She's an easy person to cheer for, which is why we thought it would be fun to look back at some of her best moments on the show. Keep reading to discover all the reasons why Jane Tennant is a boss like no other.

Soccer mom Jane leaves for work (Season 1, Episode 1)

From the moment we first meet Jane Tennant, we know she's something special. Every great character needs a great introduction, and the pilot episode of "NCIS: Hawaii" gives us just that. When we first see Jane, she is wearing a pink camo shirt and is coaching her daughter Julie's soccer game. All of sudden, their game is interrupted when Navy personnel run onto the field. A helicopter arrives shortly thereafter and touches down directly in the middle of the soccer pitch. Jane — who must quickly switch from soccer mom to Special Agent — gets on the helicopter as it whisks her away to a top-secret crime scene. Her kids, along with the rest of the soccer players, watch her as she goes.

As far as character introductions go, it's a pretty great one. We immediately see the two sides of Jane; the doting mother and the dedicated agent. And yes, she can do both. As "NCIS: Hawaii" co-creator Jan Nash told Looper, when they wrote the scene, they never imagined it would actually make it to the screen. Nash was thrilled to see it come to fruition, as are we. Though we learn much more about Jane as the season progresses, this initial sequence is the perfect debut of our fearless leader.

I'm the first call (Season 1, Episode 1)

Jane Tennant is a great leader. She may be tough and expect nothing but the best from her agents, but she's also fair and willing to protect her people no matter what. Jesse (Noah Mills), Lucy (Yasmine Al-Bustami), and Ernie (Jason Antoon) know this, but the new guy Kai (Alex Tarrant) still has a lot to learn at the beginning of the series. In the pilot episode, Kai has only been on the job for two weeks. One day, while hanging out at a restaurant, he sees two cops harassing a couple of local patrons, so he intervenes. He doesn't use his badge, and winds up in jail. Tennant picks him up from the police station after one of the officers calls her.

You'd expect any boss to be upset if one of their employees wound up in jail the second week on the job. Jane is upset with Kai — but not for the reasons you might think. He explains the situation and that he felt he had an obligation to intervene, especially as a local. Jane listens to his explanation, but doesn't hesitate to lay down the law — her law, that is. "When anyone on my team gets in trouble, I'm the first call," she tells him. "I can't help if I don't know. You can't live with that? This isn't gonna work." Tennant's tough love during this scene perfectly encapsulates her philosophy. She will always protect her team, but they all need to trust one another for it to work.

Jane uses her fists and her words (Season 1, Episode 3)

Jane is a skilled fighter, but she's also an extremely effective negotiator. Both of these skills are put to the test when she confronts a mother and son in the episode "Recruiter." Jane finds out that the mother of a teenage boy named Brad has killed a Petty Officer in order to prevent her son from joining the Navy. Brad's father is the leader of a gang, and the Petty Officer had been trying to show Brad a better future for himself.

Brad's mother realizes Jane has discovered the truth, so she comes at Tennant with a gun, and later, a kitchen knife. Tennant successfully fights her off with a few moves of her own, but then Brad comes into the kitchen and picks up the gun. He initially points the gun at Tennant, but then he aims it at his mother, who has taken away his chance at a better life. Tennant successfully talks him down by reminding him that his mentor in the Navy believed in him and that a better future is still possible.

The scene is an excellent illustration of what makes Jane such a great agent. She's physically capable, but she also has a lot of empathy and her ability to connect with both victims and suspects is one of her most useful skills. When she hugs Brad close to her at the end of the scene, it's clear that her speech wasn't an act — she does truly care about what happens to him.

Cowgirl Jane (Season 1, Episode 4)

As a former spy, there is plenty about Jane that we and her team still don't know. Some of it is for security reasons, and some of it is just the air of mystery she has about her. In the fourth episode of Season 1, the team is sent to investigate when a Hawaiian cowboy is shot while riding his horse. They attempt to infiltrate the Paniolo community in order to catch the assailant, and in order to do so, they must ride horses themselves. City boy Jesse struggles to even mount his horse, while Jane races by like an expert. Jesse had no idea she could ride horses, and she tells him she learned while her dad was stationed in Japan.

In the most badass moment in the episode, Jane sends the rest of the riding group away and dismounts her own horse when a gang of men on ATVs begin to approach. They repeatedly circle her while she stands in the middle, unfazed. As she is surrounded by men aiming machine guns at her, she calmly talks to the group's leader, who thinks he has the upper hand. He tells her it's six against one, but she disagrees — she can tell his men aren't too keen on killing a federal agent. Unbeknownst to them, Jesse is hiding nearby and a helicopter is en route. You don't want to mess with Jane Tennant, whether she's on or off a horse.

Jane asks Captain Milius out on a date (Season 1, Episode 8)

Jane is a divorced mother of two, and she also has a high-stress, time-consuming job, so it's no surprise she doesn't have a lot of time to date. In the pilot episode, Jane meets Captain Joe Milius (Enver Gjokaj), and they initially have a mildly testy relationship as they try to work a case together. Eventually, Captain Milius comes to respect Jane and they develop a healthy working relationship. Captain Milius also suggests he wants a relationship with Jane outside of work, and he asks her to dinner one evening after they solve a case. Jane turns him down, explaining that the optics wouldn't look good if they were to be in a relationship together.

Several episodes later, Jane learns that Captain Milius is being transferred to the Pentagon. She decides to take matters into her own hands and asks Joe out on a date herself. He's surprised, of course, but doesn't hesitate to say yes. While there was always going to be an expiration date on their relationship due to Joe's new job, we're happy that Jane finally got to have something (or someone, as it were) for herself. We loved Jane's confidence in turning Joe down the first time, but it was even more exciting to see her give in to what she really wanted. If Joe is able to be the supportive partner that Jane deserves, then we're all in.

Jane finally talks to her kids about race (Season 1, Episode 9)

In "Imposter," the team investigates a puzzling cold case involving Japanese soldiers in WWII. It also happens to be the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombings, and Jane's daughter Julie (Mahina Napoleon) is doing a project on the attack at school. One day, she asks Jane if anyone has ever asked her if she's really an American. Jane says no and immediately shuts down the conversation, chastising her teenage son Alex (Kian Talan) for discussing racial discrimination with her. It's one of the few times that we begin to question Jane's choices as a parent.

They eventually solve the case, and it clearly brings up a lot of memories for Jane. She realizes Alex was right to want Julie to know how the world really works, so she sits down with them before they head out to the Pearl Harbor ceremony. She explains to Julie and Alex that when she was sixteen, her father was stationed somewhere where she didn't look like everyone else. She says that people would ask where she was "really" from, and that many didn't accept that she was different. Eventually, she started to believe that her difference was something to be ashamed of, and she hid parts of herself.

When Alex asks if it makes her angry, she replies that the thing that makes her angry is thinking that something like that might happen to her children. What we love about this moment is how Jane is able to own up to her mistakes and model healthy vulnerability for her kids.

Jane does the right thing, even though it's hard (Season 1, Episode 10)

Jane is constantly faced with tough decisions, both as a Special Agent and as a mother. In the tenth episode of Season 1, Jane's duties as an agent and her obligations as a mother collide. Alex comes to Jane with a problem: his best friend hasn't been around lately, and he's worried about him. Jane takes Alex's concerns seriously and goes to check on Alex's friend. When he arrives at the house, it's in disarray, and he can tell there hasn't been an adult around for some time.

Jane, being the agent that she is, begins an investigation into the matter. She finds that the boy's father was fired from his job several months ago after drugs went missing. She confronts his father, reminding him that she's a mandatory reporter and she'll have to call social services if he doesn't get in contact with his ex-wife.

Alex is understandably upset with Jane at first, because this means his friend will likely have to move away. Jane is distressed that Alex is angry with her, but, as her ex-husband reminds her, she did the right thing, and Alex wouldn't have come to her if he didn't think she was the one who could solve the problem. Jane Tennant is a tough woman, but she's also secretly a softie and has a lot of empathy. Sometimes, doing the right thing doesn't always feel good in the moment, as Jane knows all too well.

Jane pours heartbroken Lucy a drink (Season 1, Episode 11)

The most dramatic relationship in Season 1 of "NCIS: Hawaii" was most definitely the relationship between Kate and Lucy. They were enjoying themselves and being secretive for a while, until Kate's (ex) girlfriend showed up and ruined everything in Episode 11. Lucy had just completed her first undercover assignment, and instead of celebrating its success, she was left heartbroken in the bullpen.

Jane, who is somehow always watching and thus knows everything, had been sitting in her office while Lucy and Kate had their devastating breakup. As Lucy quickly tries to wipe away her tears, Jane walks up behind her with two glasses and a bottle of something expensive. When Lucy asks if Jane saw any of what just happened, Jane replies, "All I see is an agent whose first undercover mission was a success."

Lucy — whose face is still tear-streaked — tells Jane she's not really in the mood to talk. But when has Jane ever misread a situation? "Who says anything about talking," Jane responds, handing Lucy a drink. It's a great example of how Jane seamlessly blends being a good leader with being a good friend. Sometimes, people need speeches and pep talks, and other times they just need a silent show of support. Jane might be the best person to protect you from the bad guys, but she's also there when you need a shoulder to cry on.

Jane lets Alex see her vulnerable side (Season 1, Episode 13)

By far the hardest thing that Jane goes through in the first season of "NCIS: Hawaii" is the aftermath of Maggie's (Julie White) betrayal. In a two-part episode, Jane begins to suspect that Maggie may be involved in a case they're working on. She learns that Maggie has secretly been in communication with her son, Bao, a Chinese national who has been working against the US government. In order to protect Bao, Maggie has been helping him with his operations, committing treason in the process.

Jane soldiers through the investigation and its aftermath the best she can, and everyone is amazed by her bravery and strength. But Jane's not superhuman, and she hurts just as much as anyone else. At the end of "Spies, Part 2," Alex finds Jane standing out on the deck, lost in thought. When Alex asks if everything's okay, she's unable to answer. She tells Alex that they won't be seeing his aunt Maggie anymore. When Alex asks if she's alright, she finally breaks down, telling him she's not alright, not at all. As she begins to cry, Alex leans in and gives her a hug, telling her everything will be okay — much like a parent would.

It's undoubtedly a sad moment, but we're glad Jane was able to be vulnerable with Alex and reveal how she really feels. Having to comfort your own parent can be a difficult thing, but Alex was raised by Jane, after all, so he knows just what to do.

Jane calms a group of worried parents (Season 1, Episode 15)

Jane Tennant has the uncanny ability to deal with all different types of people, no matter the situation. We see this skill exemplified in "Pirates," the episode where Jesse and his daughter get kidnapped on a sailboat. Jesse was on a sailing trip with his daughter, and the families of the rest of the kids who have been kidnapped have all descended upon the NCIS bullpen. While Whistler is very good at her job, she's not always great with people, and she is struggling to calm down the frantic parents, so Jane steps in.

Jane tells them she understands that they're terrified for their kids, but "the best way to help them is to help us." The parents immediately calm down, and Whistler and Jane walk away together. "That was impressive," Whistler comments. Jane explains that she understands their fear, which is why she approached them the way she did. This scene illustrates the fact that Jane being a mother is not a liability, it's actually an asset. It gives her the ability to empathize with people in ways her childless coworkers cannot, even if it makes her life a little more complicated.

Don't mess with a lioness (Season 1, Episode 19)

We love witnessing Jane being the kind, caring friend and mother that she is, but there's something extra special about seeing her CIA combat skills come into play. In "Nurture," the team investigates a case of missing exotic animals that pose a danger to native Hawaiian wildlife. They eventually discover the missing animals may be connected to a terrorist group planning an attack, and Jane and Jesse track the terrorists to a convention center.

Jane locates the suspect and finds herself engaging in hand-to-hand combat with him, showing off some pretty impressive moves. She puts him in a headlock and then takes him down by the leg, finishing him off with a brutal kick to the head. Jesse catches the anthrax detonator before the deadly substance can be dispersed into the crowd (who have been watching Jane fight), and they save the day once more.

After they apprehend the terrorist, he tries to claim that he can never be stopped, even though Jane literally just stopped him. "Don't mess with a lioness," chimes in the fish and wildlife agent who has been helping with the case. "Ain't that the truth," Jesse replies. The fish and wildlife agent is totally correct in his assessment of Jane — she's absolutely a lioness, and she's certainly not to be trifled with.

Jane Tennant, master negotiator (Season 1, Episode 21)

Though Jane Tennant may be skilled in combat, she tends to believe that diplomacy is the best option, whenever possible. Her diplomacy skills are put to the test in "Switchback," when she and Captain Milius are part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and the United States. The two sides appear to be on the same page over the agreement, but then the Russians start acting hostile. When Jane asks what's happened, she's learned they've been spooked after hearing about an explosion on the island, something they were warned would happen.

The Russians have their guns out, and now the Americans do too, as Jane stands in between the two sides with her arms out. She asks the two prisoners if they would like to go home, and they both respond that they would. She convinces both sides to put their guns down and let the exchange continue. All the men with guns listen to her, and the prisoners get to return to their home countries. After watching this scene, we're certain Jane would be the person we'd call if we were ever in a hostage situation and needed someone to come and save us. Who can say no to her? Not even men with guns, apparently.