NCIS Project Highlights Kate Todd’s Biggest Missed Opportunity 19 Years After Her Death

Cote de Pablo as Ziva, Michael Weatherly as DiNozzo, Mark Harmon as Gibbs and Sasha Alexander as Kate in NCIS


  • Revisiting Kate Todd’s character in NCIS brings to light missed opportunities for potential storylines and character dynamics.
  • Sasha Alexander’s chemistry with Michael Weatherly’s character was a highlight, but NCIS failed to capitalize on the potential between Kate and Ziva David’s team-up.
  • Kate’s departure from the series had a significant impact on the show’s direction, including the introduction of Ziva and subsequent plots involving her.

19 years after losing Kate Todd, a new NCIS project highlights the biggest missed opportunity for Sasha Alexander’s character in the series. While NCIS was born from JAG‘s success, its events didn’t really start until Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his team encountered Kate. By then, she was still working with the Secret Service, but a foiled assassination attempt on the president led to her losing her job — a case that was revisited in NCIS‘ 1000th episode. Developing a kinship with Gibbs, Kate joined the Major Case Response Team (MCRT), and it didn’t take her long to settle in.

Despite not appearing during the JAG backdoor pilot of the police procedural unlike the rest of the NCIS original cast, it became immediately clear that Alexander was the right actor for the role of Kate. She had a unique dynamic with all members of MCRT, but her banter with Michael Weatherly’s Anthony DiNozzo Jr. was extremely fun to watch. They were occasionally flirtatious, but their relationship was more reminiscent of siblings. So, when Kate was unexpectedly murdered in the NCIS season 2 finale by Ari Haswari, it was both unexpected and heartbreaking.

NCIS Rewatch Podcast Highlights The Potential Of Kate & Ziva’s Team-Up

Alexander & de Pablo Come Together In A New NCIS Rewatch Podcast

Sasha Alexander, Michael Weatherly, and Cote de Pablo in the NCIS rewatch podcast

Once Ari was reprimanded for his unspeakable crime, NCIS eventually moved on from the tragedy, although Kate was mentioned occasionally. Almost two decades later, however, a new endeavor emphasizes a missed opportunity when the character was killed off. In the inaugural show for Off Duty: An NCIS Rewatch podcast, Alexander joins host Weatherly and Cote de Pablo to discuss her time on the CBS series. Along the way, it becomes a reminder of the potential of a Kate and Ziva David team-up in NCIS that the show was never able to take advantage of.

While the pair never shared a screen as Kate and Ziva, the rewatch podcast highlighted their chemistry. They also shared that there was actually some kind of passing the baton behind the scenes between them, with Alexander giving de Pablo, who was very young when she joined NCIS, encouragement, as well as advice. Much has been said about the camaraderie in the police procedural, but one thing it hasn’t really fully on is female relationships, and it would have been great to see both Kate and Ziva work together, even for just a brief period.

How NCIS Would Have Changed If Kate Didn’t Die

It Was Alexander’s Choice To Leave NCIS

It’s difficult to predict what NCIS would look like if Kate didn’t die. For context, it was Alexander’s choice to leave the series because of the grueling hours of filming that the show demanded. There was no drama whatsoever about her exit. Just based on the biggest change that was brought by Kate’s death, however, this means that de Pablo wouldn’t have been brought in as Ziva. Even if she was recruited as part of the team to take down Ari, it was unlikely that she would have been a series regular since there wouldn’t be a vacant spot.

Perhaps the police procedural would have tried to establish a romance between Kate and DiNozzo, but something about that is off-putting looking back at everything that has transpired in the show.

From there, the changes would snowball. Not having Ziva meant that her and DiNozzo’s romance, which is the core of their upcoming spinoff, NCIS: Tony and Ziva, would not all happen. Perhaps the police procedural would have tried to establish a romance between Kate and DiNozzo, but something about that is off-putting looking back at everything that has transpired in the show. Ultimately, it’s impossible to tell if NCIS would be better if Kate stayed, but it’s undoubtedly going to be very different.

NCIS season 22 will return as part of CBS’ 2024-2025 programming schedule.


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