“NCIS” spends most of its time focused on weekly thrilling cases of the week and plenty of drama. But it also rewards viewers for rewatching the show and paying attention.
Take Ducky’s heart attack in the Season Nine finale for instance. For a time, fans thought they were going to lose the lovable character. Played to perfection by David McCallum, Donald “Ducky” Mallard had been a mainstay on the show. But “NCIS” hasn’t been afraid to kill off main characters before. And fans worried that Ducky might be on the chopping block.
But viewers might have noticed omens leading up to Ducky’s heart attack if they paid attention. A few eagle-eyed fans made a bombshell discovery about the events leading up to Ducky’s collapse. According to Looper, a crow flies behind Ducky during the scene of his collapse. In many cultures, a crow represents cosmic luck. For instance, a single crow means bad luck or death. Meanwhile, two crows actually represent good luck.
Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard on ‘NCIS’
Unfortunately, Ducky had only one crow flying when he had a heart attack. But “NCIS” decided to throw viewers one extra swerve. Ducky beat all the bad luck and lived to see another day when Season 10 aired. But it didn’t keep viewers from worrying for an entire off-season.
It was an easy visual cue to miss in the excitement of the Season Nine finale. That episode featured someone coming after the NCIS, detonating a bomb outside their headquarters. Fortunately, Ducky is away from the office, taking a walk. But the sound of the bomb going off shocks him so bad that he has a heart attack on the scene.
Instead, viewers said goodbye to the character in Season 16 on much better terms. The character had been on “NCIS” since the very beginning. Ducky first appeared on the backdoor pilot for “NCIS” during its parent series “JAG.” “JAG” ended up airing for 10 seasons itself. But its spin-off ended up having a longer life and even spawning some spin-offs itself.
Ducky played an important part in the show’s early success. But McCallum decided he wanted to move on from the show. In Season 16, they officially decided to retire the character from the show. But rather than meet a bloody end, Ducky got to retire peacefully to a life away from the NCIS as a Medical Examiner. Instead, he became the NCIS Historian. Ultimately, he chose not to stray too far from the organization. But that’s Ducky for you.