‘NCIS’ Fans Can’t Seem To Agree on This Character

by Liz Holland

A number of NCIS fans share differing opinions on character Jenny Shepard. And they aren’t afraid to voice their thoughts on it either.

In a recent Reddit thread, user Swift_Justice914 states, “Unpopular Opinion, but does anybody else really dislike the Director? I find her character to be incredibly annoying. Amongst a lot of other issues I have with her and her handling of things.”

Fellow NCIS Fans Weigh In

The fact that this debate even exists in present day truly shows fans’ devotion to the show. The character in question was only on the show from 2005 to 2008. The character Jenny Shepard was the first-ever female director of the NCIS agency. Shepard was killed in action by a gunshot wound in the show’s Season 5 finale. Comments on the post seemed to be pretty divided but sparked good conversations between fellow Reddit NCIS fans.

User ‘HelpImAwake’ wrote of Jenny Shepard,  “I didn’t mind her as a character, thought it was interesting the new director was A) a woman and B) had a past with Gibbs.

“What I didn’t like was they had so many scenes where she just seemed to flaunt […] authority and position with Gibbs and the rest of the team. It made her come off as smug and petty. The moment I find encapsulates that is when she tells him, ‘It’s need to know and you don’t.’ She almost always seemed to enjoy holding something over him, and it really annoyed me.

“It’s been ages since I watched her last arc. FWIR, she wasn’t as bad in season 5 as in 3 and 4. Her sendoff was good, but I question whether she […] earned/deserved that much sympathy with her behavior over the course of her run.”

Another user chimes in, claiming it’s not news that Shepard isn’t the most liked character. This Redditor writes, “It isn’t really an unpopular opinion.. Lots of people have a strong dislike bordering on downright loathing for Shepard.”

Loved by Some

On the contrary, however, some fans of the show loved Jenny. This is the case for user ‘HellaMoormann’ who writes,

“I personally love Jenny as a character and always think she’s overhated. She worked more closely with the team than Vance does, I often view her as part of it.

“Not only did she let the team have free rein mostly, she sometimes even helped them fight bureaucracy and politicians. You can see it in the more normal, standard, week to week episodes like the one in which Tony and Ziva were undercover. (Yes I know they had their issues, especially in the la grenouille time…But I don’t take that into consideration as it wasn’t the ordinary, normal way of things going.) It’s a shame that the la grenouille storyline took up so much of her time on the show because that’s what she’s remembered for these days, even though she was pretty great before and after.”

Although there’s no clear consensus among fans of the show on whether Jenny Shepard was a favorite of the show or not, the thoughtful discussion amongst online fans speaks volumes about the show’s impact as a whole. It’s no wonder the show continues to thrive after being on the air for so many years, as the series holds on to its viewer base via character development and parasocial relationships.