NCIS’ New Spinoff Wouldn’t Be Possible Without One Character Death 19 Years Ago

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The tragic death of one NCIS character 19 years ago paved the way for the franchise’s newest spinoff. The series will follow one of the most beloved NCIS characters of all time, but she never would have originated in the franchise had this character not taken a brutal fall first. The show features an ensemble cast of characters, which has been in constant rotation since the show’s earliest days. It all started with the death of this original NCIS character at the end of NCIS season 2.

The NCIS franchise has many spinoff shows, but lately, the franchise is steering away from the location-based spinoff trend to bring the focus back to the storylines of characters from the flagship NCIS series. The expansion series, therefore, have their roots in the thick foundation of the original NCIS. For instance, CBS has announced a spinoff that will explore the backstory of central NCIS character Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). The NCIS: Origins story will bring the focus back to core MCRT characters. The other upcoming series also has a tie to this long-gone character that’s impossible to ignore.

Tony & Ziva’s NCIS Spinoff Is Possible Thanks To Kate’s Death In Season 2

Ziva David Would Have Never Been Introduced To NCIS If Kate Stayed

Caitlin “Kate” Todd’s shock NCIS death carved a path for the new NCIS: Tony & Ziva spinoff to take form. Sasha Alexander’s character was killed at the end of NCIS season 2, and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) stepped in to assist the team as they came up against rogue Mossad agent Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin). Ziva was crucial to the beginning of the NCIS season 3 narrative because Ari was her half-brother. While she originally intended to help him, she experienced a change of heart that would see her ultimately join Gibbs’ MCRT.

Ultimately, Ziva becomes Kate’s replacement after she shoots Ari Haswari to protect Gibbs, effectively avenging Kate’s death and earning Gibbs’ trust and a spot on his team. If Kate had never experienced her tragic fate, the NCIS franchise would never have introduced Ziva David, and it’s hard to picture the shared NCIS universe without her now. de Pablo turned her character into a strong force of Israeli-Jewish representation. Her legacy, which originated at the apex of Kate’s death arc, set up her return in NCIS: Tony & Ziva.

Why Kate Was Killed In NCIS Season 2

Kate Was Killed By Rogue Mossad Agent Ari Haswari

Why Ari Haswari killed Kate Todd instead of Gibbs is one of the biggest mysteries in NCIS. In NCIS season 2, episode 23, “Twilight,” it looks like Kate is down after taking the fall for Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), but it’s revealed that a bullet-proof vest protected her. The setup made it all the more shocking when Kate took a bullet to the forehead in the final moment of NCIS season 2. Ari’s villain arc began when he was introduced in NCIS season 1, episode 16, “Bête Noire,” one of the best NCIS episodes from the show’s 21 seasons.

However, there was some sense to Kate’s murder. Sasha Alexander cited the real reason behind Kate’s NCIS departure in the Off Duty: An NCIS Rewatch podcast hosted by Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo. The actor cited a complete lack of work/life balance as the reason she had to leave the police procedural, remembering on the podcast that she was in almost every scene. Alexander went on to co-headline the police drama Rizzoli & Isles. She noted on the podcast that though she was one of two leads, she still had more free time than when on NCIS.

What To Expect From NCIS’ Tony & Ziva Spinoff

NCIS: Tony & Ziva Will Pick Up Where The NCIS Agents Left Off

Sasha Alexander’s NCIS departure paved the way for the greatest romance of the series to transpire. Over time, Tony and Ziva grew closer during their time on MCRT, and the ultimate will-they-won’t-they love story played out between the special agents. While the answer was ultimately “they will,” all the major milestones for their relationship happened off-screen after the actors had left the show. Viewers can expect the spinoff to address the biggest problem of Tony and Ziva’s NCIS romance, with potential flashbacks to significant moments for the couple, such as when Ziva reunited with Tony and Tali in Europe.

What’s known about NCIS: Tony & Ziva’s story is that the limited series will pick up a decade after both agents are featured on the show together. The show will focus on their lives together in Europe, raising their daughter Tali David-DiNozzo, introduced at the end of NCIS season 13, right before Tony departed the main series. Tony & Ziva will follow the parents as they navigate an attack on the security firm for which Tony works. Aside from the agents solving the current problems, the series will address longstanding gaps in Tony and Ziva’s shared storyline.

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