Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Most Surprising NCIS Death According To Fans

"NCIS" has seen many characters come and go throughout its run and many of them left the show in a body bag. That's not a total surprise considering the CBS series has featured plots involving dangerous international arms dealers and brutal serial killers. After all, in the world of network crime procedurals, you can't solve a case without killing off a few characters and they have solved quite a few cases on "NCIS."

When it comes to character deaths on the series, some of them were easy to predict long before they happened. When it was discovered that fan-favorite villain Michelle Lee (Liza Lapira) was working as a mole inside NCIS, her fate seemed inevitable. Other characters like Simon Cade (Matt Willig) suffered from Red Shirt Syndrome, a TV trope that sees shows introducing minor characters who are there to be killed off in order to raise the stakes of a situation.

Other character deaths, though, took viewers by complete surprise. In a recent Reddit thread, fans voted on which of these demises felt the most untimely. While characters like Jackie Vance (Paula Newsome) and "NCIS: New Orleans" crossover Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black) garnered some votes, there was one death that was hands-down the most surprising, according to fans. And if you watch the show, you likely already know exactly who we're talking about.

Kate Todd's death remains the most surprising

"NCIS" viewers first met Kate Todd (Sasha Alexander) in the series premiere episode "Yankee White" when she left her position as a secret service agent to join the NCIS team. Aside from Gibbs (Mark Harmon), she was arguably the most important character on the show in the early seasons and gave viewers a much-needed outsider perspective through which to take in the otherwise established dynamics. That's why when she was unexpectedly shot in the head by the villainous Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin) in the final moments of the Season 2 finale, it was a shock that has never been topped by the show since.

With 65% of the total vote in the Reddit "Most surprising death?" poll, Kate was the clear winner and in the comments, fans sounded off on why she takes the top spot.

"Kate, always," wrote u/sparkplug_23, who continued, "Going into season 2 NCIS was at peak primetime and had amazing following and reviews. For an actor to leave in season 2 would never have crossed my mind."

User u/MountainEuphoric8897 put it even more simply: "Kate's death was... literally outta nowhere. One moment she's there, and BANG! She's gone."

Kate's short tenure ended up being the result of Alexander requesting to be written off the show because she wasn't comfortable with the intense schedule that filming a 23 episode season procedural requires. In a follow-up comment, u/MountainEuphoric8897 explained why even with the outside factors, Kate's surprising death was a strong narrative move: "The writers sacrificed Kate in that way in exchange for character development of the others ... Her death made Ari a truly hate-able villain and the net effect was improvement. It was surprising, but effective."

Kate Todd may be long gone from "NCIS," but she is clearly not forgotten.