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The NCIS Scene That Went Too Far

Beloved CBS mainstay "NCIS" has been known for the twists the writer's room likes to spring on audiences, from Ziva David's return to the shocking death of Kate Todd. It can be good to keep viewers on their toes, even for a show just reaching its 19th season on-air.

But fans of the naval crime drama were nevertheless shocked by how awful things got for everyone in Season 18. Not only did Jimmy's wife, Breena Palmer (Michelle Pierce), die offscreen from COVID-19, but Jack Sloane (Maria Bello) left the show, ending her tension with Gibbs (Mark Harmon) as well. It simply felt like a lot of dramatic incidents and changes in a short amount of time.

So when this beloved recurring character also departed "NCIS" only a few episodes later, it may have effectively broken some fans still reeling from the chaos of the season. This is the NCIS scene and story twist that may have taken things too far.

Emily Fornell's death felt like too much for fans

The daughter of FBI agent Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano), Emily Fornell (Juliette Angelo), had been a recurring character since Season 4, and fans had become used to watching the character grow up and be part of storylines. So watching Emily die in the Season 18 episode "Winter Chill" after dealing with drug addiction for some time may have simply been too much for some viewers. It's especially rough because things seemed to be looking up both for Tobias and the show after so much darkness, only for the FBI agent to lose his daughter.

One viewer tweeted their unhappiness with the development, writing, "FIRST BREENA DIES AND NOW EMILY FORNELL!?!?" Another Twitter user agreed, observing that "NCIS" had seemingly been focusing on killing off female characters. Laura Hurley of CinemaBlend argued in more detail that "On the whole, however, this was just an emotional blow that NCIS didn't need to deliver at this point in Season 18." She also recommended that the series' writers could have "[added] one or two episodes before killing off Emily" to soften the blow.

Luckily for the ratings, the show still hasn't killed off Gibbs, which, based on fan response, would likely be what marks the end of "NCIS."