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NCIS: Director Shepard's Death Hides An Easter Egg Only Some Fans Caught

"NCIS" fans have witnessed their fair share of characters getting killed off dramatically, including Jennifer Shepard (Lauren Holly). The NCIS director put up one heck of a fight against the ambush of assassins before her tour of duty fighting naval injustice was tragically cut short. Dedicated viewers probably remember the Season 5 finale for that harrowing and impactful ordeal, but even the savviest follower of the Navy crime-fighting show may have missed a particular Easter Egg found early in the episode.

In Season 5, Episode 18 ("Judgment Day"), at around 4 minutes and 50 seconds into the season finale, Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) hands Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) a sealed evidence folder from the FBI that was left for him by his good friend, Agent Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano). A few minutes later, Gibbs takes the folder out of the office to examine its contents, which include photos and intel relating to a case involving Director Jennifer Shepard. The Easter egg can be found at the 8:19 mark. Before he tears it open, the Bureau file number is shown at the bottom, reading "8675309." If that number rings a bell, it's because it is from the title of the pop-rock classic "867-5309/Jenny." The song performed by Tommy Tutone became very popular after its release in 1981, resulting in several listeners calling the number looking for Jenny.

While certain fans will be understandably shocked they didn't catch the "blink and you'll miss it" Easter egg before the demise of Holly's character, what some may find arguably even more surprising is how people feel about Shepard's death.

Not every fan feels the same about Lauren Holly's NCIS exit

It's safe to assume that most people probably have mixed feelings after so many years about the song "867-5309/Jenny,” and when it comes to Lauren Holly's run on "NCIS" as Director Jennifer Shepard, that also seems to be the case.

After Shepard's death, certain users on Reddit posted how glad they were that she was no longer part of the series, like u/whenindoubt10, who wrote, "Her whole character and backstory was ridiculous. I was very happy to move on," and u/ptazdba admitted to everyone that, "She never made much sense to me and always seemed to be on some kind of vendetta." 

While it's clear several individuals have made it known they don't miss the persona, the character does have some supporters that believe Shepherd's exit came too soon, like u/NCIS-Potter, who wrote, "I also wish Lauren Holly would have stayed longer because that cast together was amazing. Her character could have added great elements to those next few seasons." There were even those out there that didn't care for the "NCIS" personality but still would have liked to have seen her make an appearance here and there in subsequent episodes, including u/EBJ1990, who posted, "I didn't mind her, I wish she was still alive so she can pop in and out."

There is no denying the loss of Shepard on the CBS procedural series garnered a mixed reaction, but fortunately, those who enjoy the director's work can relive all of the episodes featuring Lauren Holly over and over again ... while probably keeping an eye out for any "NCIS" Easter eggs along the way.