‘NCIS’: Emotional Episodes Sees Character Die in Shocking Turn of Events

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

NCIS was rocked Tuesday night by an emotional death of the daughter of a well-liked character.

The death came near the end of the episode about food trucks. Tobias Fornell (Joe Spanos), the FBI special agent, called to tell Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon), his NCIS counterpart, that his daughter, Emily, was rushed to the hospital. She’d suffered an overdose, Fornell told Gibbs. There were pills all over his daughter’s bedroom.

However, doctors couldn’t save Emily. She died. Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll), as a way to honor Fornell and his daughter, Emily, read a touching poem called Epitaph, written by Merrit Malloy.

A fan posted it on Twitter.

“When I die, give what’s left of me to children and old men that wait to die. And if you need to cry, cry for your brother, walking the street beside you. And when you need me, put your arms around anyone and give them what you need to give me

“I want to leave you something, something better than words or sound. Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved. And if you cannot give me away, at least let me live on in your eyes and not on your mind. You can love me most by letting hands touch hands by letting bodies touch bodies and by letting go. “

Joe Spano has appeared throughout the 18 seasons on NCIS as a recurring character. He was the FBI equivalent of Gibbs. NCIS writers included Spanos in Gibbs’ backstory. Spanos got married to Gibbs’ first ex-wife.

On NCIS, We’re Not Crying, You Are

It’s the second week in a row that NCIS has lost a character. Last week, the show drew 9.3 million viewers as the show said farewell to Jack Sloan, played by Maria Bello.

Bello has been a major part of NCIS for three seasons. She played a forensic psychologist. And, she went out with a significant case — the hijacking of a school bus and kidnapping of four girls in Afghanistan. Viewers already knew she was dropping hints about leaving NCIS.

Sloane said she’d made an offer on a house in Costa Rica. But at the end of the NCIS episode, she opted to stay in Afghanistan to continue the good work of a friend. She and Gibbs shared a touching, good-bye kiss.

Then earlier in the season, a character lost her life to COVID-19.

In addition to Emily’s passing, Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) lost his wife earlier in the season to the coronavirus. Palmer was the NCIS medical examiner. After bringing extra disinfectant wipes to his co-workers, he told them that his wife, Breena had died.

Dietzen talked about the NCIS loss with Entertainment Weekly.

“We can see within this week’s episode that Jimmy is trying to keep whatever happiness he can, trying to say, ‘Hey, my glass is half overflowing here. I’m doing really great,’ while we as the audience can see that that may not be the case. He’s doing whatever he can just keep his head above water. But there’s only so long that that can happen before there’s going to be a certain breaking point.”