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Why Gibbs And Shepard Were The Worst Couple On NCIS

"NCIS" has had its fair share of romantic couples over the series' run: Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) and Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) and Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherley) and Ziva David (Coté de Pablo) are easily the most famous examples, and are representative of the show's simmering "will-they/won't-they” subplots that keep fans hopeful. But sometimes, a character pairing just doesn't work out. Sometimes the passion is there but the chemistry isn't, and sometimes the characters are too different. A failed relationship can be proof of why two people may care a great deal about each other but not be right together.

In the case of Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Jenny Shepard (Lauren Holly), it's definitely a case of two people caring for each other, but not working as a couple due to a number of factors. While they were close in the end, a combination of their respective drives and secrets kept between them clearly illustrated they weren't right for each other. Here's why Gibbs and Shepard were the worst couple on "NCIS."

Two strong personalities bound to clash

Several years before the series began, Shepard and Gibbs had a relationship while they were stationed in Europe, but Shepard chose to break up with Gibbs and focus on her career. The pair would be reunited when Shepard was named director of NCIS after her predecessor chose to step down. Their close proximity to each other began to stir old feelings, and the pair started a playfully flirtatious relationship, though Jenny made it clear she preferred to keep it professional. Tensions would arise between them, however, as Gibbs' desire to focus on solving the case would clash with Shepard's desire as director to either protect the NCIS' public image or carry out orders from their superiors.

In Season 4, things would become even more strained, as Shepard kept Gibbs out of the loop as she investigated a man named René Benoit, an arms dealer she blamed for the death of her father. Gibbs was upset that Shepard didn't keep him updated, and grew concerned that she was allowing her personal feelings to cloud her judgment, putting herself and other agents at risk.

A relationship with a tragic end

In Season 5, Gibbs discovers that Benoit was murdered, with Shepard herself a prime suspect. While the investigation is closed, Gibbs isn't fully convinced that Shepard didn't have anything to do with it and that Shepard allowed her vendetta against her father's killer to jeopardize the very career she'd worked so hard to build. Season 5 culminates in Shepard's tragic death during a case, and Gibbs finding out that she did, in fact, murder Benoit. However, in light of Shepard's death and her efforts to atone for past mistakes, he elects to conceal the evidence of the murder to ensure her reputation isn't destroyed by her past actions.

Gibbs and Shepard's relationship is one of the tragedies of "NCIS." They're two people who were genuinely fond of each other, pulled in different directions by their strong personalities, their beliefs, and how they each interpreted their job. It's proof that some couples just don't get their chance, and sometimes the biggest obstacle keeping us from happiness is ourselves.