‘NCIS’: Why Did Sasha Alexander’s Caitlin Todd Leave the Series?

by Megan Molseed

As the nineteenth season of NCIS is about to get underway, fans of the hit CBS series know that the show has been through a lot.

In fact, as of now, there are only two characters left from the show’s original cast; Leroy Jethro Gibbs, who is portrayed by Mark Harmon; and Ducky, who is played by David McCallum.

And, according to reports, both of these characters will only carry minimal roles in the upcoming season.

NCIS Has Welcomed A Lot Of New Faces; and Said Goodbye to Others

Sure, the fact that NCIS has been on-air for nineteen seasons plays a part in the turn-over the show has experienced over the years. Considering NCIS is one of television’s longest-running shows of all time, turnover can certainly be expected.

Many of the characters from NCIS’s original season saw their characters grow. And, as a result, they moved on to one new adventure after another over time.

However, one member of the show’s original cast exited the series fairly early on. Sasha Alexander’s Special Agent Caitlin Todd was only part of the NCIS team for forty-nine episodes; during the show’s first two seasons.

Caitlin (Kate) Todd was first introduced to NCIS fans in the series premiere. Her exit at the end of season two was shocking to many NCIS fans. But for Alexander, it was the move she wanted to make.

An Exhausting Schedule

“People don’t realize that on a network show, you make 24 episodes a year, ” Sasha Alexander explained in a 2012 TV Guide interview.

“That’s 10 and a half months a year, 17 hours a day,” the actress added of her NCIS schedule. “It’s hardcore.”

When Todd was first introduced in the first episode of the series, she was a member of the presidential Secret Service. When a Naval officer mysteriously dies on Air Force one while the president is aboard, the NCIS team suspects foul play.

Eventually, the members of NCIS team up with Caitlin Todd as they begin to uncover a plot to assassinate the president.

Todd impressed the head of NCIS, Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) so much that, before the episode’s end, Gibbs had offered Todd a position on the team.

Todd Was A Well-Liked Character

Caitlin Todd’s straight-laced demeanor often clashed with the more “laid back” mischievous demeanor portrayed by Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo. This, of course, led to quite a few of the show’s most comedic moments in the first two seasons; as the two characters would often go toe-to-toe during disagreements.

Caitlin Todd was assassinated by a rogue Mossad agent; the agent was a leader of an Al-Qaeda cell located in Washington D.C.

The season two death of Todd has been named one of the show’s most unexpected finale moments.

Alexander notes that after her exit from the NCIS, she was married; had children, and had the freedom to work on other projects when she has time.

“I really firmly believe in my heart that I would not be where I am today,” she said.