‘NCIS’: Fans Question Jenny Shepard’s Illness in Season 5 Finale

by Shelby Scott

“NCIS” characters go through a lot of serious, and very frequently real, problems and illnesses. One Reddit thread recently brought up the specifics concerning former director Jenny Shepard’s illness. Her illness, which she hid from colleagues, forefronted during the season 5 finale before her death.

While Gibbs’ associate Mike Franks accompanies the former director on a stakeout, he reveals he knows about the woman’s illness. He also admits that he knows it’s pretty serious. Being a good friend of Agent Gibbs’ he asks the director if her romantic partner knows. “Gibbs doesn’t know,” Shepard admits.

However, despite the relevance of the character’s illness on “NCIS,” she never directly states what she suffers from. So, one Redditor took to sharing their thoughts with other fans on the platform, searching for answers there. “Just before Jen was killed, Mike asked her, does Gibbs know that she is sick. I was wondering does anyone know what she was ill with?”

Reddit Gives Insight to Former Director Jenny Shepard’s Illness

Unfortunately for OP and the rest of “NCIS” fans, it seems the director’s illness will always remain partially a mystery. Commenters confirmed (for the most part) that the show made no mention specifically of her illness. However, as usual, there is always room for speculation. One fan responded, “I don’t think we had a name for it, but for some reason…my brain made a connection to something like MS.” While the Redditor couldn’t be sure, they reckoned it was something debilitating that would keep Shepard from fulfilling duties on the field, as well as director of “NCIS.”

Another helpful comment detailed Dr. Mallard’s involvement in discovering her illness following an autopsy after she died. “Ducky called it a debilitating illness when he talked about her death in the autopsy room,” they wrote. Additionally, we also learn that Ducky had initially done some testing for Shepard, which Gibbs eventually found out about.

So conclusively, Shepard has long been dead and “NCIS” provided very little information on the director’s illness. It appears likely we won’t ever get a finite answer as to what she was battling before she died.

‘NCIS’ Fans Were Not Fond of Gibbs’ and Jenny Shepard’s Relationship

There are a lot of mysteries that both Gibbs and Shepard kept from others and each other. However, “NCIS” fans made it no secret that they were no fans of the pair’s relationship.

According to another Reddit thread, fans didn’t so much dislike the pair’s relationship as they disliked the Jenny character overall. “It wasn’t so much the relationship fans had a problem with,” OP writes. “It was the character of Jenny and how she was written (or rather wasn’t).”

They explained that it felt as though show writers didn’t know what they wanted from the character. Further, they relied heavily on Paris flashbacks that provided little to the “NCIS” plot.

The same Reddit user also listed “Inconsistencies with how she was written,” as a major problem for fans. They claimed Shepard constantly flip-flopped during her time on “NCIS.” Redditors said she went between appearing as a “competent director and an incompetent one,” in addition to showing interest in Gibbs one minute and then uninterested the next.

Fans went on, venting and discussing their dislike of the former director. Click here to read more from the discussion.