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The Most Pause-Worthy Caitlin Moment On NCIS

The hit CBS series "NCIS" has been renewed for a twentieth season. Since the police procedural drama's debut in September 2003, the cast has undergone several changes. Many fans are still reeling from the departure of NCIS Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), who will presumably not appear in Season 20.

However, the series has consistently shaken up its casting. An early fan-favorite character, NCIS Special Agent Caitlin "Kate" Todd (Sasha Alexander), only appeared in the show's first two seasons but remains an essential part of ongoing storylines. She joined the NCIS Major Case Response Team in the pilot episode after resigning from her job as a Secret Service agent.

Many fans fell for Kate and were rooting for the will-they-won't-they relationship she developed with her partner Special Agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly). However, the jaw-dropping Season 2 finale crushed fans' hopes for what could've been.

Let's revisit the most pause-worthy Agent Kate Todd moment in "NCIS."

The Season 2 finale blindsided fans

One of the most controversial "NCIS" scenes hails from the Season 2 finale, "Twilight." The episode follows the team as they investigate a terrorist attack that is more complicated than it initially appears to be. Gibbs' nemesis, rogue agent Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin), also returns.

In the final minutes of the episode, Kate dives in front of Gibbs to protect him from enemy fire. After shooting the attacker, Gibbs and DiNozzo confirm that she's okay. They joke about how she won't be able to make it to her pilates class tomorrow, with Gibbs complimenting her actions. Mid-sentence, Kate is suddenly shot in the head by an unseen shooter.

As if this wasn't pause-worthy enough, her final words were about how she thought she would die before receiving a compliment from Gibbs. Her colleagues are stunned and covered in blood. Gibbs immediately knows that she was assassinated by Haswari and begins to search for him.

Fans were outraged by the unexpected death of a main character so early into the series. However, Sasha Alexander chose to leave "NCIS" after realizing how intense the shooting schedule was. The actress told TV Guide Magazine that she doesn't regret the decision, admitting that not everyone understood how grueling it was.

"People don't realize that on a network show, you make 24 episode a year — that's 10 and a half months a year, 17 hours a day," she said. "It's hardcore."