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NCIS Fans Have Strong Opinions On The Show's Decision To Kill Off Emily Fornell

An "NCIS" overarching theme has always been the love of family. It's no secret that the job involves considerable risk to those closest to NCIS Agents, as they often take on cases involving dangerous adversaries and even terrorists. One of the largest blows the team has ever suffered over the 20 seasons of "NCIS" thus far was the death of Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander). 

Either way, this certainly wasn't the end of the show's tragedies or the deaths that would befall the team. Director Jenny Shepard (Lauren Holly) was notably killed in action at the end of Season 5. While they had a romantic past, many believe that Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Shepard were the worst couple on "NCIS." Gibbs has notably suffered tragedy in his life, arguably more than many. However, it could be argued that his best friend, Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano), has suffered equally as much, or at least similarly. 

The death of his daughter Emily (Juliette Angelo) was brutal for many fans of the show, and some have pretty strong opinions about it to this day.

NCIS fans think Emily Fornell's death was completely unnecessary

According to a recent thread on Reddit, fans of "NCIS" believe there have been multiple unnecessary character deaths throughout the show. U/johnlusher initiated the conversation by explaining that the death of Tobias Fornell's daughter Emily didn't seem to serve the plot of the Season 18 episode, "Winter Chill." They said, "For me[,] it was Fornell's daughter. I get the [storyline] about the drug dealer, Fornell & Gibbs hunting them down, but she could have lived, and nothing in that story arc would have suffered." Other fans echoed in agreement, including u/EBJ1990, who asked, "Emily. I mean, why?" 

The plot of the episode does partially follow a separate case, with Emily relapsing on her addiction to opioids and being hospitalized. However, many fans also listed other memorable characters like Clayton Reeves (Duane Henry) and Jackie Vance (Paula Newsome) as having unnecessary deaths. Despite the dissatisfaction or sadness from moments like these, they often have to do with actors' decisions to move on to other projects. This was the case with Sasha Alexander after Season 2, and Cote de Pablo during Season 11 before returning later to close out her character's storyline.