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Kate Whistler's 12 Best Moments From NCIS: Hawaii

Kate Whistler (Tori Anderson) is the kind of character we like best. When we first meet her, she comes off as a closed-off, rather frosty individual. But as we get to know her better, we learn that there is more to her than meets the eye, and her work persona is in many ways a mask she wears in order to be taken seriously. Really, there's only one person who can tear down Whistler's walls, none other than Lucy Tara (Yasmine Al-Bustami), the scrappiest agent at NCIS. Lucy teaches Kate that there's more to life than advancing one's career — relationships and feelings matter, too.

Out of all the characters we've met on "NCIS: Hawaii" so far, Whistler has probably grown the most over the course of the series. She has switched jobs, learned how to open up to other people, and found herself in a healthy, committed relationship for the first time in her life. Sure, Kate's had her fair share of less-than-admirable moments — the way she handled the whole Cara debacle, for one — but we're here to celebrate Kate at her most loveable. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane and examine Kate Whistler's best moments on "NCIS: Hawaii" so far.

Whistler comes in hot (Season 1, Episode 1)

Whistler has changed a lot since the beginning of Season 1, and she's no longer the kind of person Jesse (Noah Mills) would describe as a "mean girl." Nonetheless, we still have a soft spot for mean girl Whistler, as there's nothing like a passionate woman who's determined to get the job done. We first get a dose of icy Whistler in the pilot episode. Lucy Tara, being the sneaky woman that she is, reads a classified report Whistler is holding upside-down, which causes Whistler to get in trouble with her bosses. Whistler, who was all about furthering her career at this point, is not happy about taking the heat for Lucy's actions.

Whistler makes her anger known, and as we hear heels clicking through the bullpen, Lucy mutters, "Oh, crap." But it's not Lucy that Whistler is here to see, and she motions at Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) instead. Once they get inside Tenannt's office, Whistler lays it on her. Whistler threatens to file a complaint against Lucy, at which point Tennant tries to de-escalate the situation. "No harm, no foul," Tennant says. "No," Whistler responds. "Harm. Foul."

Whistler eventually deflates in the end, but we can't blame her for coming in hot like this when she's clearly just been yelled at by her bosses for something she didn't do. Plus, there's also something seductive about Whistler's icy anger, and we're certain Lucy agrees if their kiss-and-make-up session later that evening is any indication.

Whistler saves the day (Season 1, Episode 6)

Whistler and Lucy have a tumultuous relationship for the first few episodes of the series, a large part of which is due to their communication issues. Whistler is upset with Lucy for ignoring protocol, and Lucy doesn't understand why it's such a big deal. Things change near the end of Episode 6 when Lucy finally realizes how hard it's all been for Whistler and how she really is trying to do the right thing.

Whistler spends much of the episode at odds with the team, and Tennant and Lucy are especially exasperated with the DIA trying to shut them down. But Whistler does genuinely want to help, so she comes up with a plan to assist their mission. While the NCIS team are off trying to track a group of Russian agents, Whistler sends in a bus full of FBI agents so none of them can get away. Her assistance ends up being the thing that saves the day, and Tennant smiles as she calls the reinforcement "a little gift from a friend."

What's most important about this moment is that it makes Lucy realize that Whistler really is on their side, even if they always make it difficult for her to do her job. "I guess you do work in the love department after all," Lucy tells her, referencing a conversation they had earlier that day. It's one of the most important episodes for Lucy and Whistler, and it's also our first glimpse into who Kate really is underneath all that armor.

Whistler returns Lucy's bracelet (Season 1, Episode 7)

Whistler might have a steely exterior, but it turns out she's a big softie underneath it all. We got hints of Kate's gooey insides throughout the first season, but the most explicit example we see of Kate's soft side comes in Episode 7. In the previous episode, Lucy asked Kate if she wanted to grab a beer, and Kate responded by kissing her in a dark parking lot. Presumably, they went home together after this.

Episode 7 begins the following morning, when a very smiley Whistler stops by the NCIS bullpen to see Lucy. She comes under the very flimsy pretense of needing Lucy to look over some documents, but her true intention is quickly revealed. Lucy opens the folder and finds her bracelet inside and grins up at Whistler. "Next time it will find its way to the lost and found," Whistler says. "Next time, huh?" Lucy responds with raised eyebrows.

Up until this point we've never seen Kate smile as much as she does here, and it's hard not to grin alongside the two lovebirds. It's especially adorable seeing the usually buttoned-up Whistler let her guard down for a moment, and in the middle of the bullpen of all places. Should somebody tell Whistler her romantic side is showing?

Kate tells Lucy she's ready to be seen in public together (Season 1, Episode 10)

It's clear from her initial interactions with Lucy that Kate isn't used to the kind of easy intimacy that Lucy has with her friends and co-workers. Whistler is used to maintaining a strict work/life separation and rarely letting anyone see the real her. But Lucy changes all that, and Whistler slowly begins to feel more comfortable opening up.

One of Whistler's biggest hang-ups is the potential work conflicts their relationship might cause, which is why she is often worried about them being seen together. Wanting to respect Whistler's desire for discretion, Lucy takes them to a secret, pop-up restaurant in Episode 10 for their first official date night in public. Kate is touched by the care Lucy took to find a place that would make her feel comfortable, so she tells Lucy she's ready to take the next step in their relationship.

"Maybe next time we could go to a regular restaurant," Kate suggests. "Where someone could see us?" Lucy responds, her mouth dropping open in shock. Kate responds in the affirmative, and Lucy's smile is so big it looks like it might break her face. Though things went downhill for them shortly after this, we were so proud of Kate in this moment for trying to face her fears and build something lasting and real with Lucy.

Kate gives Jane some advice (Season 1, Episode 14)

For most of the series thus far, Jane Tennant has been the one doling out advice to her family and friends. She seems to have an endless supply of wisdom and always knows exactly what to say (or what not to say) in any given situation. But she's only human, and she has her own moments of self-doubt. The most we've ever seen Jane struggle is when she finds out that her best friend Maggie (Julie White) has committed treason. It's extremely difficult for Jane to reckon with, and it's not made any easier by the fact that she's forced to sit through an inquiry about her potential complicity in Maggie's actions.

Everyone on the team does their best to support Jane, but, interestingly enough, the person who's really there for her is Whistler. Knowing she's on her way to the inquiry, Whistler brings Jane a cup of coffee and some well-timed advice. "Glenn Smith, who's in charge of the inquiry? Bulldog," Whistler tells Jane. "He'll try to make you doubt yourself. Don't let him. Don't forget who you really are," she says.

It's just what Jane needs to hear at this moment, and she holds herself together admirably during the inquiry. Later that evening, Kate comes over to Jane's house for a drink, and Jane welcomes the company. Kate might have struggled to develop her relationship with Lucy in an open and honest way, but her budding friendship with Jane proves that she's not as emotionally stunted as she thinks she is.

Whistler finally apologizes to Lucy (Season 1, Episode 17)

For several episodes after their breakup, Whistler is constantly trying to explain herself to Lucy and clear the air between them. But Lucy refuses to hear it, and the reasons why become clear in Episode 17. While working on a case together, Lucy tells Kate that part of the reason she's still so upset with her is because Whistler never actually apologized, she just tried to make excuses for her actions.

Whistler takes Lucy's comment to heart, and later that evening she finally tells Lucy what she deserves to hear. Lucy finally gives Whistler a chance to speak, and Whistler tells her "it's all my fault." She tells her that she was scared of her relationship with Lucy because "you're the most amazing woman I've ever met, and I am truly so sorry I hurt you." Lucy hugs Kate and tells her "thank you," before walking away.

It seems like all is well in the world, but, unfortunately, that isn't the case. Lucy still has to deal with her anger and fear, and Kate still needs to prove to Lucy that she's ready to fully commit. But the apology is an important step for them, and it clearly took a lot for Kate to be vulnerable with Lucy in that way.

Whistler role plays with Lucy in the interrogation room (Season 1, Episode 21)

It isn't until the penultimate episode of Season 1 that Kate really starts to try and win Lucy back. Feeling newly inspired after weeks of painful back and forth, Whistler decides to wear her heart on her sleeve. The team is having trouble cracking a pair of suspects, and Whistler suggests they try the "Say Anything" tactic. Grinning and turning toward Lucy, Whistler explains that the movie is "about the power of love," before awkwardly looking away. Not deterred by Lucy's nonplussed reaction, she asks if Lucy would like to do the interrogation with her, and Lucy begrudgingly agrees.

Lucy and Whistler team up to try to get the suspect to turn on his wife, and they find themselves in some murky personal territory. "You don't choose who you love," Lucy tells the suspect. "Or how they behave." A heartsick Whistler looks over at Lucy and chimes in "and sometimes people get in a tricky situation where one bad decision leads to a whole slew of them." It's clear that they're no longer just referring to the suspect and his wife at this point, and the interrogation seems to be getting to both of them.

Their interrogation tactic ends up working, but it doesn't necessarily leave their relationship status any clearer. Nonetheless, Whistler's willingness to put herself out there and finally try (albeit obliquely) to get through to Lucy is heartwarming to see.

Whistler gets real with a Russian spy (Season 1, Episode 22)

Season 1 of "NCIS: Hawaii" saw Kate Whistler gradually learning to take down her walls and let people in. She begins to do this with Lucy, but her eagerness to be open and vulnerable bleeds into her work life as well. In the season finale, the NCIS team are out in the field trying to stop a bomb from going off. Whistler is back at headquarters interrogating a Russian spy named Alina Nikitin (Izabella Miko) about the whereabouts of said bomb.

Whistler is terrified that something is going to happen to Lucy, and she decides to let Alina see her fear in order to connect with her. Whistler tells Alina that she's not trying to coerce her and that she instead wants to be honest with her. "Right now the person I care most about is heading into danger. Solid chance she won't survive. I won't let that happen."

Having done her research, Whistler knows that Alina's entire family has served in the military, something she can relate to. Referring to her brother, Noah, who died in Iraq, Whistler tells Alina that she knows what it's like to lose someone to war. She does her best to convince Alina that it's not worth losing any more loved ones to this fight, and Alina is finally convinced. Whistler shows a new type of strength here — not the strength of invulnerability, but the opposite. Being vulnerable with Alina ends up being what allows Whistler to save the day, and it also teaches her something about what it will take to win Lucy back.

Kate wins Lucy back with a song (Season 1, Episode 22)

Kate might not always be the most intuitive of individuals, but sometimes, that works in her favor. In the Season 1 finale, number one #Kacy supporter Ernie (Jason Antoon) tries to convince Kate that she still has a chance with Lucy. He tells her that she's broken things off with the woman she's been seeing, and he encourages her to make a "grand gesture," something like composing a symphony or performing a serenade. Being the earnest person she is, Kate takes Ernie's advice literally and decides to actually serenade Lucy with a song.

Kate shows up to Tennant's potluck that night, and instead of trying to talk to Lucy again, abruptly starts singing Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" in the middle of Tennant's backyard. Lucy does not look happy with this development and walks angrily toward her. "I love you," Kate tells Lucy after she cuts her off. "And I don't know how else to prove it and I can't go another day without you," she confesses.

Lucy looks up at Kate and it looks like she's about to get angry again until she tells Kate to "shut up already" before grabbing her face and kissing her. There are cheers from up above, but they hardly notice. It may not have been the most advisable plan, but we love Whistler for really putting herself out there and going totally out of her comfort zone. Plus, it worked in the end, so no one can really fault her for taking Ernie's advice a little too seriously.

Kate introduces Lucy to her boss (Season 2, Episode 2)

Serenading Lucy in front of their co-workers may have been the grandest gesture Kate has performed thus far, but that doesn't mean it was the last hurdle she has to overcome. Lucy clearly has more experience than Kate in the relationship department (though we haven't actually heard much about it), and in Season 2, Kate is still getting used to the idea of them being a public couple. In particular, Kate is extremely apprehensive about telling her boss about her relationship with Lucy and is worried they won't be able to work together anymore. Kate's worries are compounded by the fact that her boss assumed Lucy was a man and Kate never corrected him.

Lucy, being the supportive girlfriend that she is, tells Kate that it's fine that her boss assumed she was a man and that they can back out if she wants. Lucy asks Kate if she's ever introduced a girlfriend at work before, and it's clear from her reaction that Kate hasn't. "You make it look so easy," she tells Lucy.

Kate finally gets up the courage to go over and introduce Lucy as her girlfriend, and apart from a slight hesitation on her part, it all goes very smoothly. Lucy is clearly very proud of Whistler at this moment, and so were the fans. She's come a long way from all the sneaking around in Season 1, and we know what a huge deal this step was for her.

Whistler gets distracted while sparring with Lucy (Season 2, Episode 3)

Whistler is used to running around in pencil skirts and doing paperwork, so her new job at the FBI takes some getting used to. In the latter half of Season 1, Whistler gets pretty badly beaten up by a suspect after going out in the field, and it's clear that Lucy wants to make sure that doesn't happen again. The third episode of Season 2 begins with Lucy and Kate sparring at the gym together. Whistler is apprehensive to really come at Lucy because, as she puts it, "I'm like double your size."

But Lucy is having none of it, and she even uses Whistler's full name to get her attention. The other problem, we learn, is that Whistler is having trouble focusing on the task at hand. Lucy explains that she knows "all the tricks" for anyone she could encounter. "Taller opponents, armed opponents, multiple opponents," she lists. "Well now you're just trying to turn me on," Whistler responds, grinning. But Lucy is having none of it, and she claps in Kate's face in order to snap her out of her very PG-13 train of thought.

When Kate finally does tackle Lucy and pin her to the ground, it's Lucy's turn to be flustered as Kate sits on top of her, panting. Kate seems to be unaware of the effect she's having on Lucy, which is all the more endearing. Kacy fans on Twitter were quick to express their love of the scene, with user @_allthelilies writing "the sparring scene is gonna end us all."

Whistler puts her war cry to good use (Season 2, Episode 3)

Lucy's combat lessons came just in time, as Whistler was sent on her first undercover mission shortly after successfully taking Lucy down during their sparring session. The NCIS team suggests Kate go undercover as she bears a striking resemblance to their victim, and Kate reluctantly agrees. She's worried about the mission — she reads the entire FBI undercover manual in preparation — but she pulls it off when the time comes.

The only problem is, the plan goes awry when the woman Whistler is working for is double-crossed by her partners. Kate finds herself on a ship in the middle of the ocean with an armed woman who wants to kill her, and she puts what she's learned from Lucy to good use. An extremely worried Lucy eventually boards the ship in search of Whistler, and she locates Whistler when she hears a familiar sound.

Earlier, during their sparring session, Lucy told Kate she needs a "war cry" to truly get into the spirit of a fight. So when she hears that cry coming from the ship, she knows Whistler is nearby. Lucy finds her as she's repeatedly punching the woman in the face — perhaps going at her a little harder than she needs to be. But the mission ends up being a success thanks to Kate's good instincts and Lucy's training, even if she winds up with some pretty nasty bruises to show for it.