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What Eagle-Eyed Fans Noticed About Ducky's Heart Attack On NCIS

In a series like "NCIS," the visceral plotting can often be enough to carry viewers from episode to episode. The stories that the show decides to tell on a week-to-week basis are thrilling criminal investigations, and that's often enough for fans. Sometimes, though, the series rewards viewers who decide to pay attention to the smaller details inside every frame. 

Those details could reveal crucial, otherwise unknown information about a character, or they could add additional layers of resonance to the story. Although they aren't always obvious, their inclusions suggest that even the smallest parts of this universe have been given careful thought and consideration by the show's creative team. Now that the show is almost two decades old, it's clear that the creators have been very thoughtful in creating a world that can stand up to scrutiny. The show rewards a re-watch from viewers who are eager to discover something new, and some fans have found just that after revisiting Ducky's (David McCallum) heart attack at the end of Season 9. 

There are symbols of death around Ducky

The Season 9 finale of "NCIS" is filled with action. A bomb goes off outside of NCIS headquarters, and Ducky hears about the explosion while taking a walk along the coastline. After he hears about the explosion, Ducky has a heart attack, and it's unclear whether he's going to survive until the next season. Ultimately, Ducky managed to return, but the cliffhanger left fans eager for Season 10 to arrive. 

Although Ducky's heart attack was certainly an exciting plot development, it was made even better by the subtle touch that the scene ends on. As he falls, we see a single crow behind him. According to Learn Religions, crows have come to represent bad luck if just one flies by, and good luck if there are two together. As this Reddit theory points out, though, crows can also symbolize death. The image of the crow is an ominous sign for Ducky, and for viewers who had to wait months to find out what his fate would be. 

Viewers who are re-watching the series now know that Ducky ultimately comes out okay in the end. At the time, though, the crow was just one more hint that things could go very badly for him. "NCIS" could have killed off a central character, even though they ultimately didn't.