‘NCIS’ Fans Are So Over the Show ‘Unnecessarily’ Killing Off Female Characters

NCIS has said goodbye to multiple agents and family members over the years. But in season 18, the constant gut punches have become almost too much to bear.

In just 11 episodes, fans have witnessed a major character exit, two character deaths, and a life-threatening injury to one of the team’s most beloved members.

The amount of loss has been bad enough. But some fans are noticing that the show is “unnecessarily” killing off female characters, and they are so over it.

'NCIS' stars Diane Sterling, Juliette Angelo and Joe Spano in 2013
Diane Sterling, Juliette Angelo and Joe Spano on the set of ‘NCIS’ | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

‘NCIS’ has lost a number of female characters

While the high number of casualties in season 18 has fans talking, this isn’t the first time NCIS has killed off female characters, Looper points out. Way back in the season 2 finale, the show killed off their first main female character with the devastating death of Sasha Alexander’s Caitlin Todd.

Since then, the show has killed off Lauren Holly’s character, Director Jenny Shepard. As well as Liza Lapira’s Special Agent Michelle Lee and Paula Newsome’s Jackie Vance.

It was once thought that Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David had also been killed off the show. But, it was later revealed that she was alive after all when she reappeared at the end of season 16.

Season 18 has seen the death of two recurring characters

In Season 18, Episode 7 “The First Day,” it was revealed that Dr. Jimmy Palmer’s (Brian Dietzen) wife Breena (Michelle Pierce) had died. It happened off-screen, and they didn’t reveal the cause of death. But, it was implied that it was the result of COVID-19.

Two episodes later, in Season 18, Episode 9 “Winter Chill,” recurring character Emily Fornell (Juliette Angelo) — who was first introduced in season 11 — was killed off. She died from a drug overdose after relapsing, in a moment that one Twitter user called “unexpected and uncalled for.”

‘NCIS’ fans are so over the show ‘unnecessarily’ killing off the females

With all of the loss in season 18, Redditor u/youngclarky made a post titled “Seriously?” and asked, “Is anyone else getting bored of NCIS doing the same thing, killing off women?” The poster eventually noted that men are still killed off the show, but “it’s just that most of the women’s deaths were unnecessary.”

RELATED: ‘NCIS’ Star’s Cryptic Post Has Fans Convinced David McCallum’s Ducky Will Not Survive Season 18

There were some who agreed, but there were differing fan opinions. One pointed out that the actors may have had a good reason to leave, or the writers had a reason for killing the character.

The writers killed off Breena Palmer for a great storyline

According to Dietzen, the writers did have a good reason to kill off his character’s wife. He told Entertainment Tonight that Breena’s death was designed to bring the NCIS team into the reality of the pandemic.

“The prospect of having Jimmy lose his wife, the most optimistic team member lose someone, came to the table and they thought it would be a great storytelling mechanic — albeit very, very sad. So they went ahead with it. I was notified ahead of time and prepared for it, I suppose, emotionally,” Dietzen explained.

1 ‘NCIS’ actor was ready to go, but not the other

While the writers may have had a good reason for Breena’s death, that’s not necessarily the case with Angelo’s Emily Fornell. Angelo had played the character since she was just 13, but she found out that Emily died via a text message.

“Lots of emotions about this. Just wanted to pop by in the midst of my social media break and say thanks for all the love these past years,” she posted on her Instagram Story.

It appears that Angelo wasn’t ready to exit NCIS, but Maria Bello was. After playing forensic psychologist Jack Sloane for three seasons, Bello chose to leave the series and pursue other projects. However, they didn’t kill Sloane off the show. Instead, they left her in Afghanistan.

NCIS airs Tuesday nights on CBS.