NCIS: What happened to Kate Todd in NCIS? Why did she leave?

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NCIS airs on CBS and the police procedural drama is still going strong after 18 years. The 19th season is due to air in September 2021 and in the meantime, fans are remembering some characters from the past. has all you need to know about what happened to Kate Todd (played by Sasha Alexander). 

What happened to Kate in NCIS?

Caitlin Todd, known as Kate by her colleagues, made her first appearance in the first-ever episode of NCIS, titled Yankee White. 

She went on to star in a total of 49 episodes, before making her departure in the season two finale. 

This was not the last fans saw of the character, as she appeared as a guest star in a couple of season three episodes. 

Kate has also been seen in flashbacks and archive footage in some of the more recent seasons. 

Her character was introduced to replace Vivian Blackadder (Robyn Lively) as a fiercer special agent. 

Kate sadly met her demise in the season two finale when she was assassinated after clearing a warehouse containing a known terrorist cell.

She was shot in the head by Mossad double-agent Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin) and it transpired he wanted her dead in order to punish Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon). 

Kate’s funeral was held in Indiana and she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Co-creator of the series, Donald P Bellisario, said actress Alexander left due to the gruelling filming schedule. 

He said it was the first time she had spent more than a year filming a TV show. 

Some of her co-stars had no idea she was being killed off until they saw the special effects team attaching a blood pack to her. 

The star said she made the right decision to leave the series but has not gone into too much detail about why she chose to quit. 

Actress Cote de Pablo was later cast as Ziva David to replace Alexander’s character.

Despite her departure, her character remained an integral part of the franchise and she would often come up in conversation. 

She had a strong relationship with Agent Gibbs, despite their initial differences, and he saw her true potential.

When Kate died, Gibbs could not help but feel a sense of guilt and he started having visions of her. 

Fans are still left feeling emotional after Kate’s death to this day and they took to the platform Reddit to discuss her exit. 

One said: “I’m rewatching the entire series and Kate’s death always gets to me. Does anyone know if the writers wrote her dying from the beginning?

“Or was there real life issues that made Sasha Alexander want to leave the show?”

Another responded: “The writers had the plan to develop a relationship between Kate and Tony over time, that’s why you can find a few hints to them becoming more than friends in season 2. 

“Couldn’t be realized because Sasha Alexander wanted an out, she said she underestimated the pressure to film 20+ episodes season for season.

“I always cry when I watch that episode, Kate is one of my favorite characters.” [Sic] 

A third added: “Kate’s death was shocking and unexpected for sure but Sasha Alexander wanted to leave the show. I liked her.”

A fourth concluded: “What always gets me is when she’s crying on Ducky’s shoulder because she was so afraid that Tony was going to die and it breaks my heart every time.

“I never saw that coming. I knew she would be upset but I wasn’t ready for that. I missed her always giving Tony hell at every opportunity. Nobody could do it like Kate. It was as if she was always waiting in attack mode.”

NCIS season 19 returns on September 20

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