List of NCIS characters
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This is an overview of the regular, recurring, and other characters of the TV series NCIS.
- 1 Cast and character summary
- 2 Main characters
- 3 Other characters
- 3.1 Recurring
- 3.2 Deceased
- 3.2.1 Ari Haswari
- 3.2.2 Paula Cassidy
- 3.2.3 René Benoit ("La Grenouille")
- 3.2.4 Brent Langer
- 3.2.5 Michelle Lee
- 3.2.6 Michael Rivkin
- 3.2.7 Lara Macy
- 3.2.8 Merton Bell
- 3.2.9 Paloma Reynosa
- 3.2.10 Mike Franks
- 3.2.11 Lt. Jonas Cobb ("The Port-to-Port Killer")
- 3.2.12 Simon Cade
- 3.2.13 Jonathan Cole
- 3.2.14 Harper Dearing
- 3.2.15 Eli David
- 3.2.16 Clayton Jarvis
- 3.2.17 Jackson Gibbs
- 3.2.18 Diane Sterling
- 3.3 Other
- 3.3.1 Vivian Blackadder
- 3.3.2 Thomas Morrow
- 3.3.3 Faith Coleman
- 3.3.4 Gerald Jackson
- 3.3.5 Stan Burley
- 3.3.6 Cassie Yates
- 3.3.7 Charles "Chip" Sterling
- 3.3.8 Hollis Mann
- 3.3.9 Jeanne Benoit
- 3.3.10 Stephanie Flynn
- 3.3.11 Dr. Jordan Hampton
- 3.3.12 Nikki Jardine
- 3.3.13 Chad Dunham
- 3.3.14 Margaret Allison Hart
- 3.3.15 Agah Bayar
- 3.3.16 Samantha Ryan
- 3.3.17 Jerome Craig
- 3.3.18 Richard Parsons
- 3.3.19 Rebecca Chase
- 4 References
Cast and character summary
|Name||Cast status||Character status|
|Gibbs, Leroy JethroLeroy Jethro Gibbs||Main cast||Current|
|DiNozzo, AnthonyAnthony DiNozzo||Main cast||Current|
|David, ZivaZiva David||Main cast||Former|
|Sciuto, AbbyAbby Sciuto||Main cast||Current|
|McGee, TimothyTimothy McGee||Main cast||Current|
|Vance, LeonLeon Vance||Main cast||Current|
|Mallard, Donald "Ducky"Donald "Ducky" Mallard||Main cast||Current|
|Todd, CaitlinCaitlin Todd||Main cast||Former|
|Shepard, JennyJenny Shepard||Main cast||Former|
|Palmer, JimmyJimmy Palmer||Main cast||Current|
|Bishop, Eleanor "Ellie"Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop||Main cast||Current|
|Fornell, TobiasTobias Fornell||Recurring||Current|
|Borin, AbigailAbigail Borin||Recurring||Current|
|Gibbs, JacksonJackson Gibbs||Recurring||Former|
|Franks, MikeMike Franks||Recurring||Former|
|Jardine, NikkiNikki Jardine||Other/minor||Former|
|Hampton, JordanJordan Hampton||Recurring||Former|
|Kort, TrentTrent Kort||Recurring||Former|
|Hart, Margaret AllisonMargaret Allison Hart||Recurring||Former|
|David, EliEli David||Recurring||Former|
|Haswari, AriAri Haswari||Recurring||Former|
|Langer, BrentBrent Langer||Recurring||Former|
|Lee, MichelleMichelle Lee||Recurring||Former|
|Cassidy, PaulaPaula Cassidy||Recurring||Former|
|Benoit, RenéRené Benoit||Recurring||Former|
|Grenouille, LaLa Grenouille||Recurring||Former|
|Reynosa, PalomaPaloma Reynosa||Recurring||Former|
|Rivkin, MichaelMichael Rivkin||Recurring||Former|
|Macy, LaraLara Macy||Recurring||Former|
|Bell, MertonMerton Bell||Recurring||Former|
|Yates, CassieCassie Yates||Other/minor||Former|
|Dunham, ChadChad Dunham||Other/minor||Former|
|Sterling, Charles "Chip"Charles "Chip" Sterling||Other/minor||Former|
|Coleman, FaithFaith Coleman||Other/minor||Former|
|Jackson, GeraldGerald Jackson||Other/minor||Former|
|Mann, HollisHollis Mann||Other/minor||Former|
|Benoit, JeanneJeanne Benoit||Other/minor||Former|
|Burley, StanStan Burley||Other/minor||Former|
|Blackadder, VivianVivian Blackadder||Other/minor||Former|
|Morrow, ThomasThomas Morrow||Other/minor||Former|
|Craig, JeromeJerome Craig||Other/minor||Former|
Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (portrayed by Mark Harmon) was born in Stillwater, Pennsylvania to Jackson Gibbs and Ann Gibbs. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1976, and became a Scout Sniper. After serving tours of duty in Panama and Iraq, he retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. He joined NIS, which later became NCIS, after his wife Shannon and only daughter Kelly were murdered in 1991. He later traveled to Mexico and murdered the drug dealer responsible, a crime he kept concealed for twenty years. Since then, he has been married and divorced three times, and is currently single, although he has had a number of romantic relationships since his last divorce.
Gibbs leads a Major Case Response Team (MCRT) consisting of field agents DiNozzo, McGee, and Bishop; supported by forensic scientist Sciuto and medical examiner Mallard and his assistant. In the episode "Bête Noire" Gibbs comes face to face with terrorist Ari Haswari and tries to kill him but failed. Finding Ari later becomes an obsession for Gibbs when Ari shoots and kills original team member Kate Todd in front of Gibbs and DiNozzo in the season two finale, "Twilight". He often shows frustration with his team (particularly DiNozzo for rambling or McGee for getting sucked into technical rambling) by slapping them over the back of the head, an action that is later shared between team members.
Gibbs is often shown in his basement building boats, at least one of which he named after his daughter; another was named after one of his ex-wives. In the episode "Blowback", when confronting "Goliath" on the plane about "ARES", Gibbs revealed he is a Virgo. He is an expert sniper, as evidenced in "Hiatus" with flashbacks of him hitting a long-distance head shot of his family's murderer, who was driving a moving vehicle, at 1200 yards, from a file read by Director Leon Vance in the episode "Deliverance"; And in "Jeopardy" he hits a kidnapper with a very swift killshot to the forehead– he takes this shot while kneeling inside a car trunk, with his left hand. In "Truth or Consequences", Gibbs saves his entire team by shooting the leader of a terrorist cell with a killshot after DiNozzo and McGee get captured looking for Ziva after she quits NCIS.
In the season nine finale, "Till Death Do Us Part", the bomb blast at NCIS headquarters occurs with Gibbs tackling Abby to the floor in her lab. He and Abby both survive. In the episode "Extreme Prejudice", he goes after Harper Dearing, cornering the terrorist in a home in West Virginia, and when the man is about to use his gun, Gibbs stabs him, killing him.
Gibbs is one of three characters to have appeared in every episode.
Caitlin "Kate" Todd
Caitlin "Kate" Todd (portrayed by Sasha Alexander) first appears in the episode "Yankee White". Todd is a former Secret Service agent, recruited by Gibbs after she successfully helped him solve a murder aboard Air Force One. She works well with everyone on the team, becoming particularly close with Ducky and Abby, who convinces her to get a tattoo.
Todd's relationship with Tony, however, is more adversarial and appears to be more like siblings than anything else. Tony frequently flirts with her and would sometimes go through her personal belongings, no matter how many times she points out that his behavior is grossly unprofessional. At the same time, Kate is willing to risk her life for DiNozzo and admits that life would be considerably less interesting without him around.
Following Sasha Alexander's decision to leave the show, Todd is killed in the line of duty (at the end of the episode "Twilight") by Ari Haswari, collateral damage in the terrorist's obsession with Gibbs. She dies after being shot in the head by a lone bullet that had been fired from a model of sniper rifle (Bravo 51) nicknamed "Kate", which had been manned by Ari himself. She is replaced at NCIS by Ziva David.
Anthony "Tony" D. DiNozzo
Senior Special Agent Anthony D. "Tony" DiNozzo, Jr. (portrayed by Michael Weatherly) is a former homicide detective for the Baltimore Police Department. Prior to Baltimore, he worked for Philadelphia PD and Peoria PD. Like Gibbs, has a limited patience for the scientific method and technical terms. DiNozzo is perhaps best known for his seemingly-endless film references; Ziva insists that his dying words will be "I've seen this film". He attended Ohio State University as a physical education major and was a member of the "Alpha Chi Delta" fraternity, class of 1989. DiNozzo is said to have played college basketball, "running the point for Ohio State" according to Abby Sciuto in a discussion with her assistant, Chip.
It is mentioned in the season three episode "Kill Ari (part 1)" that he comes from a wealthy family but has been cut off from the family money by his father, Anthony DiNozzo Sr, played by Robert Wagner who in turn was played by Weatherly in a TV movie. DiNozzo's mother was over-protective, and she "dressed him like a sailor until he was ten". ("Frame Up")
DiNozzo is a flirt, and has had his fair share of success in that department. He has a fondness for playing pranks on his co-workers and little respect for their boundaries. During the course of season four, he was on an undercover assignment that Director Jenny Shepard led, the key mission being to find arms dealer La Grenouille by posing as La Grenouille's daughter's boyfriend, but ended up falling in love with her. In the episode "Knockout", he revealed that he was not doing well with women and that he was still hurting from his relationship with Jeanne Benoit. There is a great deal of romantic tension between Tony and Ziva. Despite his playboy manner and lighthearted nature, DiNozzo is frequently shown to be very sharp; he is able to coax Mossad Director Eli David into admitting that he ordered Rivkin and Ziva to spy on NCIS.
He was reassigned as an Agent Afloat in the season five finale "Judgment Day", and transferred back to the Major Case Response Team in the episode "Agent Afloat" In the season nine finale, "Till Death Do Us Part", the bomb blast at NCIS headquarters occurs with Tony and Ziva in the elevator. Both are rescued from the elevator and have survived their ordeal.
DiNozzo is one of three characters to have appeared in every episode.
Ziva David (portrayed by Cote de Pablo) formerly held the post of Mossad Liaison Officer to NCIS, to which she was appointed following the murder of Special Agent Caitlin Todd by a rogue Mossad operative named Ari Haswari. She was Ari's control officer and half-sister. Despite initially believing that Ari was innocent, she fatally shot him when he attempted to kill Gibbs, earning the latter's trust. Later, she requested a liaison assignment to NCIS, where she subsequently joined Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs' team. At the end of season six, she falls under suspicion as a spy for the Mossad.
De Pablo describes the character as someone who is "completely different from anyone else on the show" and that because "she's been around men all her life; she's used to men in authority. She's not afraid of men." The season de Pablo was cast, series creator Don Bellisario stated, "When the Kate [Todd] character was killed [at the end of last season], I didn't want to bring in the same character I had in Kate, someone who was very Puritan, uptight and treated Tony like a big brother. I wanted to bring in a character that causes Tony to have to sit back and not quite be able to handle her. And I wanted someone who was more international."
David's specialty with the Mossad was espionage, assassination and counter-terrorism and she is highly trained in the martial arts. She speaks Hebrew, English, Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian and Turkish. Despite being fluent in English, she sometimes misinterprets idioms and phrases that have different meanings in other languages if translated directly; this is a running joke within the series. Throughout the series, she has been accused of driving too fast with passengers, leading to McGee and Tony always wanting to drive whenever they are partnered with her. She has been shown to frequently clash with Tony in good-natured arguments. She is very skilled with a knife and has been shown teaching her colleagues how to throw it properly. She is the one person Gibbs trusts with any type of firearm in difficult, potentially hazardous, situations. In her career, she has traveled extensively to countries including Egypt (where she met Jenny Shepard), Iraq, the United Kingdom and Morocco.
Following her captivity and torture in a terrorist camp in Somalia, an ordeal that lasted for several months, she resigned from Mossad. In the season seven episode "Good Cop, Bad Cop" she became a probationary NCIS Special Agent. Since then, Tony has referred to her (as with McGee) as "Probie". As of "Rule Fifty-One", she is a citizen of the United States and able to become a full agent which is made official in season nine's "Nature of the Beast".
David rarely speaks of her personal life. As of season ten, all of her immediate family is deceased. Her father Eli David was the director of Mossad until he was shot and killed in "Shabbat Shalom". The show rarely mentions her mother, Rivka, who taught her to drive; all that is known is that her mother is deceased and that she does not have the same mother as Ari. Her younger sister, Tali David, was killed in a Hamas terrorist attack against Israel at the age of sixteen. She also has an Aunt Nettie who likes to play mahjong. She is able to play the piano and has been shown to enjoy cooking and reading. She enjoys the fictional drink Berry Mango Madness. She drives a red Mini Cooper but at the end of season 10, she sells the Mini and replaces it with a bigger red car. David likes listening to the Israeli band Hadag Nachash and the Latin American band Kinky. She does not own a television but her favorite film is The Sound of Music.
Abigail "Abby" Sciuto (portrayed by Pauley Perrette) is a forensic specialist with NCIS. As indicated in the episode "Seadog", she is the adopted child of deaf parents. She later learns that she has a biological brother, who she reconnects with in season ten. She is known for her gothic style of dress and addiction to the fictional, high-caffeine beverage "Caf-Pow!" which according to former NCIS director Jenny Shepard earned her the nickname "Energizer Abby". Abby had a brief sexual relationship with Special Agent McGee, as seen in the episode "Reveille" in season one, which ended with the two remaining friends. She is the most active and affectionate person of the team, often hugging everyone and talking fast, though she can be easily distracted. She is one of the few who can talk to Gibbs freely, and he often buys her Caf-Pow. She and Gibbs are both fluent in sign language. She has a stuffed farting hippopotamus named Bert that often appears in the show and provides comic relief in otherwise tense situations.
Abby developed a fondness for a Navy sniffer dog in the fifth season episode "Dog Tags". Originally named "Butch", she renamed it "Jethro" (after Gibbs) for being "handsome and quiet". The dog was framed for the murder of a petty officer, but Abby proves Jethro's innocence. Afterwards, Abby forces McGee to adopt him, much to his dismay (as Jethro had attacked him earlier in the episode). Abby would have preferred to adopt Jethro herself, but was prohibited from doing so by her landlord.
Abby's hobbies include a bowling league with nuns, helping build homes for the needy, and playing computer games. She also sleeps in a coffin and is, according to DiNozzo, "the happiest goth you will ever meet".
In the season nine finale "Till Death Do Us Part", the bomb blast at NCIS headquarters occurs with Gibbs tackling Abby to the floor in her lab. In the episode "Extreme Prejudice", it is shown that she survives and is physically unharmed.
Timothy "Tim" McGee (portrayed by Sean Murray) first appears in the episode "Sub Rosa" as a case agent stationed at Norfolk, and is promoted to field agent and assigned to Agent Gibbs' team at the end of the season two premiere, "See No Evil". This episode also marks his becoming a regular character on the show, a Junior Special Agent with NCIS. He serves as a field computer consultant and occasionally assists Abby Sciuto in the lab.
McGee clashes with DiNozzo, though after the two became partners (following Ziva's departure from the team at the end of season six), they are frequently shown to form an effective team; however their relationship reverts to its original state upon Ziva's return. McGee's methods are often indecipherable to the other team members, which has earned him the pejorative nicknames "McGeek", "McGoo", and "Probie" from DiNozzo (along with other derisive nicknames, usually based on his surname); and "Elf Lord", used by multiple characters due to his elf character in an online role playing computer game. He was trained in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, and computer forensics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also graduated the top of his class at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
McGee is also a writer, writing mystery crime novels including a national bestseller, Deep Six: The Continuing Adventures of L.J. Tibbs, under the pseudonym Thom E. Gemcity (an anagram of his name), featuring characters based on his fellow co-workers and others from his everyday life. He also drives a silver Porsche Boxster as seen in the episode "Twisted Sister". He has Apple's iPhone smartphone, and frequently uses it during investigations. He owns a dog named Jethro. Jethro was in a prior episode where he had been falsely accused of killing his police handler. Abby proved his innocence, named him Jethro and had to convince McGee to take Jethro because her landlord wouldn't let her keep the dog ("Dog Tags"). McGee was transferred to Cybercrimes Division in season five ("Judgment Day") and back to the Major Case Response Team in season six ("Last Man Standing").
In the season nine finale, "Till Death Do Us Part", the bomb blast at NCIS headquarters occurs with McGee being thrown across the office with flying glass. He survives, but is impaled by a shard of glass, which requires a few stitches.
James "Jimmy" Palmer (portrayed by Brian Dietzen) first appears in the episode "Split Decision". After Gerald Jackson was incapacitated, Palmer became Mallard's medical assistant both in the field and in the morgue. In the episode "About Face", Jimmy became a central character of the episode who must recover his memory to find a suspect to the murder case and his attempted killer. He self-identifies as a sufferer of a "mild" case of diabetes mellitus in the episode "In The Dark". He often seems intimidated by Gibbs, especially when he goes into an explanation of something that was not requested. Part of the reason that Dr. Mallard and he are often not at the crime scene until well after Gibbs and his team arrive is related to Dr. Mallard's emphasis on Jimmy being a horrible driver and always getting lost, although Jimmy tries to defend himself by pointing out that Ducky is the one with the map. He was named after former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer, but does not like baseball. In the episode Pop Life, he appears to have a crush on Abby.
Like Ducky, Palmer speaks to the dead though he is far more irreverent, sometimes raising eyebrows in the process.
Some episodes depict an ongoing illicit office romance between Jimmy and Michelle Lee. They make excuses for working late and are seen entering and exiting the underside of the autopsy table. In the episode "Last Man Standing", Palmer admits to Gibbs and Vance that he and Agent Lee had been "doing it" for a while. In the episode "The Good Wives Club" it is revealed that Jimmy is claustrophobic; when he is entering the enclosed hallway he is seen sweating profusely and when he has to go get the body bag he gets freaked out about having to go back through it.
In the episode "About Face", as Jimmy was being hypnotized by Abby, it can be inferred that he has a foot/shoe fetish as he dreamily states in great detail about Ziva and Abby's footwear, instead of recalling information about the current case. The episode also leads us to believe that his mother's name is Eunice. In the episode "Bounce" it is shown that Palmer regularly helped Tony when he was in charge, despite the fact that Tony had frequently mocked Palmer in-person by calling him an "autopsy gremlin". Jimmy Palmer is also shown to have severe tinnitus.
Season seven reveals that Jimmy was in love with a girl named Breena Slater, who appears in the episode "Mother's Day". In the season eight finale, "Pyramid", NCIS special agent E. J. Barrett congratulates Jimmy with his engagement, and in the season nine premiere "Nature of the Beast" Ziva says that they are getting married in next spring. In the season nine episode "Newborn King", Palmer is accompanied to NCIS headquarters by his future father-in-law, Ed Slater. Slater alternates between grating on the nerves of the entire team and mocking Palmer's career choice. Most of the team either ignore Slater or quietly tolerate his rudeness out of respect for Palmer and his guest. Abby is the exception – when Slater makes a comment regarding the supposed promiscuity of tattooed women, she places Palmer and Slater in "time out" by locking them in her office. Palmer eventually tires of Slater's behavior, telling him to sit down and shut up. The end of the episode shows Slater accepting Palmer and expressing a desire for a grandchild. In "Till Death Do Us Part", prior to a bomb blast at the NCIS headquarters, Palmer and Breena decide to get married on the spot so he could assist the rest of the team in the Harper Dearing case. In episode "Damned If You Do", Jimmy tells Ducky that he and Breena are now on a waiting list for adoption, seeing as how there are so many children without parents.
In the season 11 episode, "The Admiral's Daughter" it is revealed to Jimmy through a word game that Breena is pregnant.
During his first few seasons, Jimmy was portrayed as a geek who had the tendency to ramble or speak out of turn, much to the irritation of Gibbs and even Ducky on occasions. When he first started, as with most newbies, he was subjected to some teasing by senior agent Tony DiNozzo. By Season 10, he is shown to more of a surrogate son to Ducky rather than simply his assistant. In "Extreme Prejudice", he insisted on remaining at Ducky's bedside until Ducky convinces him that NCIS needs him more.
Beginning with the season ten premiere, Brian Dietzen became a series regular and is credited in the opening sequences.
Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop
Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop (portrayed by Emily Wickersham) is an NSA analyst who was introduced in the season 11 episode "Gut Check". Bishop is a "country girl" from Oklahoma and has three older brothers. Described by her boss at the NSA as a "reclusive data freak", Bishop claims she "remembers almost everything she reads", and often thinks while sitting cross-legged on the floor. She applied at NCIS before taking the job with the NSA, and Gibbs has invited her to a "joint duty assignment". Gibbs later offers her a probationary position as a Special Agent in "Monsters and Men", affectionately referring to her as "probie" for the first time. Since then, DiNozzo and McGee have been seen pulling the seniority card by ordering her around to do more menial tasks such as evidence collection.
When first introduced, DiNozzo and McGee quickly noticed her wedding band but she remained coy when asked about her marital status. It is eventually revealed that she is married and her husband's name is Jake (Jamie Bamber), an attorney for the NSA. He is frequently mentioned and only introduced in the episode "Grounded". They met during their first week at NSA.
Jennifer "Jenny" Shepard (portrayed by Lauren Holly) first appears in the episode "Kill Ari (Part 1)". She replaces former NCIS director Thomas Morrow at the start of season three after Morrow takes a Deputy Director's position with the Department of Homeland Security. She is a military brat, as her father, Jasper Shepard, was a colonel in the United States Army. It is believed that this is one of the reasons why she joined a forces organization rather than working somewhere such as the FBI. She was Gibbs' former partner and former lover. While she and Gibbs were stationed in Europe, Gibbs was ordered back to the States and she was offered her own section in Europe. When Gibbs asked Jenny to go with him, she refused, as she wished to advance her career in order to exact revenge on the arms dealer who killed her father. Jenny and Gibbs were reunited in "Kill Ari (Part 1)", which stirred Gibbs' heart and opened a constant flirtation between her and Gibbs. Jenny was killed in the episode "Judgment Day (Part 1)". At the time of her death she was already dying from an unspecified terminal illness that only she, Ducky, and Mike Franks knew before her death. After her death, Ducky eventually reveals the news of her illness to Gibbs.
Shepard has a close relationship with Ziva David and occasionally provides her with key information on cases without going through regular channels or telling Gibbs, as in the season three episode "Head Case". They make it a point to keep these dealings confidential, arguing that "what Gibbs doesn't know can't hurt us." Later in the episode, though, Gibbs' remarks reveals that he already knew about her assistance. Shepard and Ziva had a working relationship prior to Shepard's being appointed Director of NCIS.
During season four, Director Shepard places Tony DiNozzo on an undercover assignment to get close to notorious international arms dealer René Benoit, otherwise known as La Grenouille. The sub-plot comes to a head late in the season when it is revealed that Jenny blames Benoit for her father's death and that Benoit is now central to a major CIA deep-cover operation. Gibbs confronts Jenny over the operation, suggesting that Shepard is letting her emotions dictate her actions and that she has knowingly placed DiNozzo in danger and jeopardized a major CIA operation for the purposes of getting revenge, while hiding behind her position as NCIS director to justify her actions. During the episode "Internal Affairs", it is strongly implied that Shepard was responsible for La Grenouille's murder; this is reiterated when Gibbs looks through the FBI's file on La Grenouille's death in "Judgment Day (Part 1)".
In several episodes during season five, before her death in the episode "Judgment Day (Part 1)", Jenny's failing health becomes a plot issue. For example, in "Stakeout", Ducky is shown ordering a test on a blood sample and tells Abby it is from a John Doe. However, when Abby talks to Jimmy Palmer, he says they have no John Does. Gibbs deduces, correctly, that the only person Ducky would "stick his neck out" for would be the Director. In the next episode, "Dog Tags", Gibbs questions Jenny about her illness and she lies to him, saying she is fine. Her exact illness is never revealed; however, in the "Stakeout" episode, Abby tells Ducky there is an elevated level of creatinine in the blood sample she ran, which is symptomatic of kidney disease.
Mike Franks also discovers her illness by going through her purse and finding her medication. In the episode "Judgment Day (Part 1)", Franks and Jenny are talking in an abandoned diner in the California desert when she indicates that she is dying and reveals that she regrets her decision to leave Gibbs in Paris and that she is still in love with him. It is revealed that she botched an operation ten years prior, when she and Gibbs had been ordered to assassinate Russian lovers who were crime lords. Gibbs shot the man, but Jenny faced down the woman, Natasha (AKA Svetlana), and let her live. As a result, Natasha sends assassins who kill Jenny in the diner, but only after Jenny manages to kill all of them. Franks, who had been outside at the time of the shooting, returns to Jenny's house where Natasha is trying to kill Gibbs, and Franks shoots her. Gibbs and Franks decide to cover Jenny's mistake and death by burning down her Georgetown mansion. Jenny's cause of death is reported as "death in home fire". Her loss breaks the crew's hearts. Abby regrets that she never told Jenny she was a snappy dresser, and says that would have made her smile.
After Director Shepard's death, she is replaced by Assistant Director Leon Vance.
Leon James Vance (portrayed by Rocky Carroll) first appears in the episode "Internal Affairs" as assistant director in season five. He is named director after the death of Jenny Shepard. It has been revealed in the episode "Knockout" that he was originally from Ohio, but grew up in Chicago where he trained to be a boxer. In this episode, his wife stated that Vance attended the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, but was forced to take a medical discharge before ever serving due to having undergone surgery to repair a detached retina suffered during his boxing career. However, at the end of the episode, Ducky reveals to Gibbs that Vance's close, childhood friend who had died just prior to the start of the episode also suffered a detached retina. In the course of this episode, Vance also revealed that it was this friend who decided that Vance should leave Chicago while the friend stayed behind. Vance said this despite his insistence to Gibbs that his friend was a Marine though there was no record of his friend's service in the military.
In 1991, just prior to joining NCIS, Vance was a student at the United States Naval War College in Rhode Island. His coursework at this time included Combat Philosophy and Advanced Cryptography. It was during his time at the War College that he began to take an interest in black operations and even imagined one himself: Operation Frankenstein, which would later play a big part in the season eight finale. To play the young Vance, Rocky Carroll underwent make-up procedures that he described as "a little instant facelift". Computer effects were used to turn back the clock 20 years. NIS took an interest in him and he was hired for an operation by Special Agent Whitney Sharp for an operation in Amsterdam codenamed Trident. Vance was trained by Sharp and left after a six-week training course for Amsterdam where he met his handler, Riley McAllister. McAllister told him that the target of the operation was a Russian intelligence operative who was known to Vance only as the Russian. NIS believed that he was bribing sailors in return for intelligence. Vance later met Eli David, a promising agent of the Mossad, who told him that he knew of the operation and that the Russian would kill him. Later, Eli betrayed Vance to the Russian but it was revealed that it was so that he would try to kill Vance sooner so that he could kill him himself. Eli also told Vance that he had been chosen because he was expendable and that he was not someone who would be missed. Eli and Vance kill the Russian's hit team but the Russian manages to escape and Eli is unable to find him or who he was for that matter. Vance was credited for the elimination of the hit team and he started to rise swiftly through the ranks at NCIS. He kept believing along with Eli, that Amsterdam was not what it had seemed and they came to the conclusion that there was a dirty agent in NCIS, the one who had really tipped off the Russian of Vance's mission. It was later revealed that McAllister had masterminded the entire operation: being an expert in Russia, he had seen that the Soviet Union's collapse had laid attention away from Russia and onto the Middle East. Knowing that new attention to a potential Russian threat would throw him in the spotlight for Director of NIS, he had planned to have Vance killed by a Russian operative so as to show that Russia still posed a threat and so that he could satisfy his ambitions.
Notably, Vance took over for Jenny Shepard during her leave of absence between "Internal Affairs" and "Judgment Day", establishing himself as a formidable presence with Gibbs and his team. He and Gibbs clash during this span, prompting a cold war between them which ends with a détente between the two of them in "Agent Afloat" at the start of season six; however, the two of them clash later on, as Gibbs feels he cannot fully trust Vance, though he cannot identify a specific reason why. Vance spearheads the investigation into Jenny Shepard's death, and is angered greatly when he is not kept in the loop by Gibbs and Mike Franks, who ultimately manipulate the situation to exonerate Shepard from her past failure, not what Vance had in mind. After Shepard's death, and possibly before, he lobbies the Secretary of the Navy hard to take over NCIS, as told in "Cloak", but in "Semper Fidelis" the Secretary of the Navy informs Gibbs of a major operation which will require Vance to serve as its head, and that NCIS and the Navy will need Gibbs and Vance to get along, to which Gibbs is not comfortable but appreciates the situation. Things come to a head in "Aliyah", when Gibbs accuses Vance of selling out his team to Mossad Director Eli David, to which Vance responds that Ziva was a plant, used to get Mossad a foothold in NCIS through Gibbs. Worse, Vance also reveals that he knew about the true story of the death of Ari Haswari. After this, the two of them realize that circumstances will prove one of them right.
At the start of season seven, Vance approves Ziva's transfer to NCIS, proving that Gibbs was right, and Ziva was loyal to NCIS. Despite his professional attitude towards Gibbs' team, he shows that he does care about them at least once when Alejandro Rivera threatens Abby in "Spider and The Fly". He tells Alejandro to leave before he gets hurt and when Alejandro asks by whom, he replies angrily: "By me."
Even after the events of "Aliyah", Vance has been shown to still be in official contact with Eli David in David's capacity as Director of Mossad. This is shown when he receives a text message on his phone from Eli which says only: "I found him". Vance also refuses to discuss a phone call from Eli with Gibbs, despite knowing how dangerous Eli is, and his precarious relationship with Gibbs and his team.
Upon being promoted to the director's position at the end of season five, Vance immediately goes to former Director Shepard's office, and is seen to shred a single mysterious document from his own personnel file. It is later revealed in season six ("Semper Fidelis") that the document was written by his supervising agent at the time. The Secretary of the Navy tells Gibbs that the file is a fabrication and that he thought all copies had been destroyed. It is further revealed in the season eight episode, "Enemies Domestic", that the head of the San Diego field office, when Vance was assigned there, had begun creating a legend for Vance that incorporated fictitious information about Vance in order to backstop a deep cover assignment, including the false information that Vance had been a pilot and director of a field office.
In the season nine finale, "Till Death Do Us Part", the bomb blast at NCIS headquarters occurs with Vance's whereabouts unknown. In the season 10 premiere, "Extreme Prejudice", it is revealed that he had survived, relatively unscathed along with Gibbs and Abby. In the season 10 episode "Shabbat Shalom", Vance becomes a widower when his wife Jackie is shot and dies in surgery. Eli David, the head of Mossad and Vance's good friend, also dies in the episode.
In the Season 11 episode "Homesick" Jackie's estranged biological father Lamar Addison shows up at the family home, much to Vance's displeasure. It is revealed that he had walked out on Jackie and her mother and brother when she was young and that he was never married to her mother.
Leon Vance had a wife, Jackie (Jacqueline, née Thomas), who was killed in the season ten episode Shabbat Shalom, and has two children; a daughter, Kayla, and a son, Jared. He met his wife while attending a University of Maryland basketball game while Len Bias was playing.
When he first took over as Director, Vance had a tense relationship with Gibbs and his team. He had scattered Tony, McGee and Ziva to various departments and assigned Gibbs a new team in the Season 6 premiere "Last Man Standing", but it is later revealed that he did to flush out a mole in the agency. By Season 10, he and Gibbs are on friendlier terms. Gibbs was particularly empathetic to Vance in light of the latter's wife's murder and recovery from a serious injury since Gibbs himself had been through a similar experience. Vance also prevents Gibbs' detention during a DOD internal investigation by allowing him to be temporarily assigned to JSOC.
Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard
Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (portrayed by David McCallum) is the chief medical examiner at NCIS. His nickname "Ducky", which the NCIS team addresses him as, is a play on his last name Mallard. When he was younger he went by "Donny". Dr. Mallard is a Scottish-born doctor, who has been long-time friends with Gibbs. He has a "second talent", as Gibbs calls it, to be able to read people, which he expands in season four by studying psychology. In cases without actual bodies, he assists by using his psychological training to decipher the clues left by the perpetrators. His skill in reading behavior proves to be crucial when establishing modus operandi and motive.
Dr. Mallard is an eccentric character who often talks to the deceased ("their bodies tell me a great deal; it helps to reciprocate") and rambles to the living with many long personal remembrances or historical accounts, but is a kind man at heart. In the episode "Truth or Consequences", Tony described him, "sometimes his head is connected directly to his mouth". He also calls co-workers by their full first names, with the exceptions of Abby, Gibbs, and medical assistant Jimmy Palmer, whom he addresses as Abigail (or Ms. Sciuto), Jethro, and Mr. Palmer, respectively (although he does refer to Palmer by his first name, Jimmy, when concerned for him, as revealed in "About Face" and "Detour"). He also refers Jenny Shepard and Leon Vance by their job title, "Director". Although most of his time is spent in autopsy and going to crime scenes to examine bodies, he was sent on a highly important undercover mission in the episode "Blowback".
Mallard attended Eton College and the University of Edinburgh Medical School and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He spent some time in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, and in Bosnia during the Yugoslav Wars. While in the RAMC, he fought in the Vietnam War while on an officer-exchange program with the United States military. He then joined NCIS in 1992. During his time in Afghanistan, in the Jalozai refugee camp on the Pakistani border, Ducky stumbled on a CIA interrogation program run by Marcin Jerek, aka Mr. Pain, which tortured Afghan refugees on the suspicions of espionage and knowledge of troop movements. When Ducky found out about the program, through a young man named Javid who was being tortured by Mr. Pain, he gave Javid a lethal injection of morphine to save him from a slow and painful death at Pain's hands. Ducky also gave this way out to numerous other prisoners before the horrors of the camp led him to leave Afghanistan. When Javid's sister attacked Ducky at a crime scene, the story resurfaced and Ducky was to be investigated by the Afghan government on the charge of war crimes. However, he was found innocent when he confronted Mr. Pain himself at the Afghan embassy. It was revealed that Mr. Pain knew that Javid was innocent and that the only reason he was torturing him repeatedly was because he was trying to break Ducky so that he wouldn't take away any more prisoners with his morphine injections. Pain was then arrested for his part and turned over to the Afghan government for trial. Ducky however claimed that he would not be forgiven for the act neither by others nor by himself.
Ducky and Gibbs have worked together for many years with Ducky easily identified as Gibbs' closest and best friend. When Special Agent Todd asked Gibbs "What did Ducky look like when he was younger?" he replied, "Illya Kuryakin"—the Russian U.N.C.L.E. agent played by McCallum in the 1960s television show The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. Ducky drives a Morgan that he restored himself. In the episode "Hung Out to Dry", it is revealed that he has a nephew, though no further information follows.
Ducky lived with his aging mother and her corgis until season six. In the episode "Broken Bird", Ducky revealed his mother had moved out and had Alzheimer's disease. Nina Foch, the actress who played Ducky's mother, died on December 5, 2008, necessitating the change. In the episode "Double Identity", it was revealed Ducky's mother had died. Her headstone indicated 1912–2010. The rest of the team only learns of Victoria Mallard's passing when Abby follows Ducky to her gravesite. Later Gibbs pays him a condolence call in the autopsy room, but Ducky seems relieved at her death rather than sad (probably that she was no longer suffering from Alzheimer's), and grateful to have been her son. He expresses to Gibbs his pride at the fact that she had almost lived to the age of 100.
Ducky is, so far, the only main character introduced in the JAG pilot episodes to miss an episode of NCIS, when he was absent from "Legend (Part II)".
Ducky owns a classic Morgan sports car. His cellphone's ringtone features bagpipes playing "Scotland the Brave."
There is a running gag in which Ducky and his assistant (first Gerald and now Jimmy) frequently get lost or meet a mishap when driving to the crime scene. In the Halloween Day episode "Witch Hunt", he and Jimmy were late after their van was pelted with eggs by youths in ninja costumes. According to Jimmy, Ducky chased the teens for several blocks and apprehended them, forced them into the van and made them clean the van windshield.
In season nine, "Playing with Fire", it is revealed that Ducky has inherited a lot of money from his mother's estate and Gibbs is the first person he has revealed this to. He asks Gibbs to be his executor of his will.
While walking on a beach, Ducky suffered a heart attack in the season nine finale, "Till Death Do Us Part", after hearing about the bomb blast at NCIS headquarters and then is seen lying, motionless on a beach. In "Extreme Prejudice", it is shown that he's alive and receiving treatment thanks to Jimmy Palmer and his wife finding him. He recovers from his heart attack, and under reduced workload, returns to work alongside the team. From this he is seen to push Jimmy into being more confident and to be ready to take his place.
Tobias C. Fornell
Senior FBI Special Agent Tobias C. Fornell (portrayed by Joe Spano) first appears in the series premiere episode "Yankee White". He is often involved in "inter-agency turf wars" with Gibbs' NCIS team. The two frequently pretend to be furiously angry at each other in front of their agents, while privately they are on friendly terms. When their teams have to share jurisdiction on a case, Gibbs usually asks for operational control; in exchange, credit for successes is claimed by Fornell's team.
Their friendship is close enough for Gibbs to delay his retirement in the episode "Escaped" in order to assist Fornell in recapturing a fugitive. In the episode "The Bone Yard", Fornell comes to Gibbs for help when he is accused of being a mole for the mafia. In the same episode, he reveals that Gibbs is likely his only friend. Gibbs seems to feel similarly about Fornell, going so far as to fake Fornell's death, in order to further the investigation to clear him of guilt. It was revealed, in the episode "Twilight", that Fornell was married to Gibbs' second wife (Diane) after she and Gibbs divorced, something that Gibbs warned him against. Fornell and Diane had a daughter, Emily.
Fornell is also friends with SSA Dwayne Pride, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the NCIS New Orleans field office. In 2014, Fornell traveled down to New Orleans to assist in the investigation into the kidnapping of a murdered Marine's wife.
Trent Kort (portrayed by David Dayan Fisher) first appears in the episode "Smoked". He works for the CIA; while he has not done anything illegal, he almost always has his own agenda. He also has a tendency to lie to peoples' faces, even Gibbs'. (In the episode "Dead Reckoning", he tells Gibbs that trust is elusive at best; Gibbs responds that, between them, it is not elusive but impossible). He has managed to keep a neutral relationship with everyone on Gibbs' team except DiNozzo, since he blew up Tony's car in the episode "Bury Your Dead" and kept La Grenouille informed about Tony's relationship with his daughter, even though it was an undercover mission.
However, Kort is shown to have some strong ties within the CIA, as he was able to get files for Gibbs on Ducky and Director Vance. It is also speculated that Kort killed La Grenouille, though it is implied Jenny Shepard may have been also responsible, as her Glock 19 magazine was found to have left the same imprints on a 9mm bullet as the one that killed "The Frog". It can also be said that Kort may have predicted Shepard's violent end, which comes in the season five two-part finale "Judgment Day". Following the La Grenouille incident, Kort is assigned to a desk. He approaches Gibbs for help in tracking down one of NCIS' most-wanted criminals and seizes $300 million in illegal assets for the CIA's use, attempting to get his old job back. Gibbs believes that Kort may be more dangerous behind a desk than when he is in the field.
Kort returns, in season eight, tracking down Lt. Jonas Cobb—also known as the Port-to-Port Killer—at the behest of the CIA. Aware of Cobb's identity from the beginning of the investigation, Kort tries to save one of Cobb's victims; but the effort costs him his left eye, which he sends to the NCIS team. Kort was later revealed to have been the training officer for Operation Frankenstein, the program in which Cobb participated.
Cobb wanted revenge on all those who made him a killer and that included Kort, whom he kidnapped along with Jimmy Palmer and E.J. Barrett in the season finale. His real goal, however, was to have revenge on the man who had authorized the operation: SecNav Phillip Davenport. As he is waiting for Davenport to arrive, Cobb tortures Kort, Palmer, and E.J. with a water hose as a reminder of what he was put through during his training. Cobb was killed before he could kill any of the hostages. CIA agent Ray Cruz later receives a text message saying that Kort was in Tel Aviv and that he had to go there straight away.
Leyla Shakarji (played by Tehmina Sunny) is the daughter-in-law of Mike Franks. She was disowned by her family and then smuggled out of Iraq after becoming pregnant with the child of Franks's biological son, Lance Corporal Liam O'Neill, USMC. O'Neill was murdered and Leroy Jethro Gibbs finds out about Leyla from Franks as he was the lead agent assigned to the case. She and her daughter, Amira, lived with Mike in Mexico until his death in 2011. Gibbs, as Amira's godfather, asks Leyla to move to Washington DC to be nearer to him as he was their closest thing to family.
Leyla's mother, Shada Shakarji (Diane Venora), is the tough-as-nails matriarch of one of the most prominent tribes in Iraq, due to the fact that most of her male relatives were now deceased.
Special Agent Abigail "Abby" Borin (played by Diane Neal) is Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) agent. Originally from a small town in Ohio and an only child, Borin served a tour of duty in Iraq as a Sergeant before presumably retiring from the Marines and joining CGIS where she later rose through the ranks, eventually getting the opportunity to lead her own team. She has made five appearances in the series, her most recent being the season twelve episode, "The San Dominick". She is similar to Gibbs; both are coffee-drinkers and workaholics with a strong sense of duty to their jobs. In "Safe Harbor", Tony attempts to match-make the two of them, to no avail, although Borin continues to humor him by returning his wisecracks. The character has made a guest appearance in the spin-off NCIS: New Orleans when she and Special Agent Pride's team conduct a joint investigation. It is revealed that she took AP Spanish and is fluent in the language. She previously worked with Pride on a joint undercover operation.
Alejandro Rivera (played by Marco Sanchez) is a high-ranking official of the Mexican Justice Department and, secretly, the son of drug dealer Pedro Hernandez and the brother of Paloma Reynosa who was the head of the Reynosa drug cartel.
Rivera was assigned by his government to be a liaison with American law enforcement agencies on a special anti-drug project of forming a Mexican-American task force to strike against the drug cartels, notably against Reynosa. Secretly, Rivera's objective was to have revenge for his father's death by using Abby Sciuto's forensic skills to investigate the cold case while training a class of task force forensic specialists in Mexico. It was later revealed that Gibbs had killed Hernandez and Rivera was counting on Abby's report to bring Gibbs down but it never reached Mexico having been intercepted by Margaret Allison Hart, who was working on the task force project.
Alejandro, however, made one huge mistake when he arrived at NCIS and later threatened Abby, prompting the entire team, including Leon Vance, to have him removed. He had been duped into thinking that his sister, Paloma, had been killed, and went to the safe house she was at, thinking that he could kill Gibbs and his father. However, he ended up killing Paloma and was then arrested for her death.
He reappears in season 11's finale "Honor Thy Father" when it is revealed that he used his cartel to fund operations for the Brotherhood of Doubt after Parsa's death, as a result of the two sharing a common enemy—NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Carol Wilson (played by Meredith Eaton) is an immunologist who works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She first appeared in the season 7 episode "Faith" when she visits her good friend Abby Sciuto at NCIS headquarters to ask for a favor. The character also made a guest appearance in the spin-off NCIS: New Orleans, in the episode "Carrier", when she is consulted after the New Orleans agents find a Navy officer dead from a strain of bubonic plague.
Dr. Rachel Cranston
Dr. Rachel Cranston (née Todd) (played by Wendy Makkena) is a psychologist and the older sister of Caitlin Todd. She has made four appearances to date, the first being in the second eight episode "A Man Walks Into a Bar...". In the season nine premiere "Nature of the Beast", she helps the team piece together the events of Tony's undercover assignment. Her most recent appearance was in the season eleven "Double Back", when she psychologically evaluates McGee after a bombing left his girlfriend Delilah paralyzed.
E. J. Barrett
Erica Jane "E. J." Barrett (portrayed by Sarah Jane Morris) is an NCIS agent reassigned to Washington in the season eight episode "One Last Score". She was originally a Major Case Response Team leader stationed in Rota, Spain, which attracts DiNozzo's attention as he had previously been offered the same position in the season four episode "Singled Out", though he does not resent her position as he turned the offer down in order to stay in Washington. Barrett's presence in the Navy Yard is a source of tension between Gibbs and Director Vance as Gibbs initially believes Barrett was reassigned to Washington because of budget cuts. However, in the episode "Two-Faced", it is revealed that Barrett was stationed in Washington to track a serial killer known as the "Port-to-Port Killer". When one of the killer's victims is found within the MCRT's jurisdiction, Vance puts together a task force to capture the killer, appointing Barrett as lead investigator. This leads to further conflict when Gibbs begins to suspect Barrett and DiNozzo are in a relationship and dividing the loyalties of the team. Gibbs is so distrusting of her that he questions her very motivations for being an NCIS agent, opposing her in everything from interrogating a suspect to profiling the killer. In the season eight finale, "Pyramid", it is revealed that E.J. is the former SECNAV Philip Davenport's niece.
E.J. and her team are ambushed by the "Port-to-Port Killer" at the end of "Swan Song". Her team member Gayne Levin is shot dead and Simon Cade, her other team member, is also shot. E.J. survives but is left in the trunk of a car. After being rescued by Gibbs, she is taken hostage by the Port-to-Port Killer but is again rescued by Gibbs. E.J. then gives up her post at NCIS but not before having removed a little microchip from Levin's arm. Gibbs leaves the door open for her, having finally warmed up to her.
At the end of season eight, DiNozzo is tasked to deal with an agent who is selling top-secret information. In the season nine premiere, "Nature of the Beast", Tony stops E.J. from running away with the microchip. E.J. then reveals that Levin asked her to bring the microchip to Navy Captain Felix Wright if anything happened to him. However, the captain was murdered and E.J. and Tony are targeted by an unknown killer. They turn to Gibbs for help and E.J. says that she does not know what is on the microchip. She meets with her team member Simon Cade in an alley. DiNozzo steps in and wants to arrest Cade, and reveals that he was the agent selling top-secret information. However, Cade knows nothing about it and all three realize that they have been used. They then get shot, Cade fatally, E.J. in the stomach and Tony in his shoulder (but he was wearing a vest). Their shooter appears to be Casey Stratton, who was said to be an FBI agent, but not known by the FBI itself. E.J. goes missing after the shooting, leaving both NCIS and Stratton looking for her.
In the episode, "Housekeeping", E.J. finally emerges, having gone into hiding to escape Stratton's attention. A petty officer whom she had called for help later dies at the hands of an unknown assassin which in turn leads Gibbs and his team to investigate the officer's murder, thus reuniting them with E.J. After they apprehend the assassin who had been tracking E.J. for the past year, she and Tony reconcile, and she returns to her home, on vacation.
Special Agent Ned Dorneget (played by Matt L. Jones) is a probationary agent first introduced in the Season 9 episode "Sins of the Father". Usually known as "Dorney" to the rest of the team, he was often assigned to the evidence locker against his wishes and desired to become a full field agent. In "Need to Know", Gibbs decides that he was ready and hands him his first field assignment. Like McGee during his days as a probie, Dorneget has often been the butt of Tony's hazing pranks in Season 10, most notably in the episode "Prime Suspect". Tony initially saw him as a rival for the affection of female colleagues, until Dorneget reveals that he was gay. The character did not return for Season 11 but was briefly mentioned in the Season 12 episode "The San Dominick", when he calls McGee for updates regarding Gibbs and the hostage situation.
Ari Haswari (portrayed by Rudolf Martin) is a terrorist who attacked and wounded both Gibbs and Gerald Jackson when he infiltrated the NCIS morgue during the episode "Bête Noire". NCIS initially identified him as an undercover Mossad agent in the episode "Reveille", but he was really a rogue agent working for Hamas and he was later found to be the leader of an Al-Qaeda cell in Washington, D.C., the latter info was a correct summation made by Gibbs in "Twilight". Ari Haswari was also an early arch-enemy of Agent Gibbs, as well as Eli David's first-born child.
Both of his parents were medical doctors; Ari's mother, Hosmoya Haswari, was Palestinian and his father, Dr. Benjamin Weinstein (actually Eli David using an alias), was Israeli. He underwent medical training in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, in order to serve undercover inside the Gaza Strip, where his mother was killed during a retaliatory bombardment by Israel. The event prompted Ari to join the radical Islamic cause. It is shown that he hates his Israeli father as Eli David arranged for the attack on Gaza on a day when Ari was in the city. He preferred to be referred to as Haswari in school instead of Ari. Ari's motivation for his actions is his hatred of his father, who groomed him from birth to be a spy within Al-Qaeda, and was very likely the reason why Gibbs later suspected him in "Twilight" to be the head of an Al-Qaeda cell in Washington, D.C.
After murdering Special Agent Kate Todd in the episode "Twilight", and mounting several further attacks on NCIS members (including Gibbs) in the two part episodes "Kill Ari (Part 1)" and "Kill Ari (Part 2)", his reign of terror finally came to an end when Ari was killed by his half-sister, Mossad officer Ziva David, who is later offered and accepts a position at NCIS as Mossad liaison officer. It was revealed in the episode "Aliyah (NCIS)" by Director Vance that Ziva had been under orders to kill Ari, as he was out of control and planning a massive terrorist attack, and to gain Gibbs' trust in the process, which ended whatever secret Gibbs and Ziva could keep from the rest of NCIS. Ziva initially did not believe that Ari was an enemy agent and became his control officer in hopes of protecting him, until he nearly killed Gibbs, when she heard the truth from his own lips. Ziva has not fully come to terms with killing her brother, and still experiences moments of guilt and hurt, even with her departure from Mossad (after the beginning of season 7) and her new American citizenship coming through (in that season's finale episode "Rule Fifty-One").
Haswari has been mentioned various times even after the character's death and Ziva's departure from NCIS. In the season 12 premiere he was mentioned by his friend terrorist Sergei Mishnev (Alex Veadov) who attempted to kill Gibbs in revenge.
Special Agent Paula Cassidy (portrayed by Jessica Steen) first appears in the episode "Minimum Security". She was a criminal profiler for NCIS. An expert on Middle Eastern terrorists, she worked as an interrogator at Guantanamo Bay.
During "Minimum Security", she was viewed with suspicion by Gibbs as the deceased victim in the episode had letters containing her name. She develops a romantic relationship with Tony DiNozzo and the two seemingly stayed in contact with each other but after hearing nothing from Tony or possibly due to her anger at Gibbs giving her grief, she broke it off at the end of "Heart Break" and despite Tony's efforts, didn't answer any of his messages.
Following the aftermath of Kate Todd's death, Cassidy temporarily joins Gibbs' team during "Mind Games" and helps in the case of a serial killer as well as tracking down a copycat who was carrying out similar killings.
After becoming a team leader and being assigned to the Pentagon, her team is killed while investigating a suspected terrorist, and she later joins the team to find out who arranged the phone call and the trap that sent her team to their deaths. She also has something of a very hostile relationship with Ziva David, pronouncing Ziva's surname wrong to antagonize her, a trait that Abby had repeated upon meeting Ziva for the first time. It is later revealed that Ziva had been allowing herself to be the target of Cassidy's anger in order to help her through the ordeal of losing her team.
Furthermore, as a result of the bombing, Cassidy is left with psychological scars and begins developing survivor's guilt, believing herself to be the one responsible for unknowingly sending her team into the trap. She later sacrificed herself to stop a suicide bomber in the episode "Grace Period", thus saving Gibbs, DiNozzo, Ziva, and three Muslim clerics, who were signing fatwās to promote peace in the Middle East.
Her death leaves Tony grief-stricken and finally gave him the courage he needed to tell Jeanne that he loves her. Her portrait was later seen in a bar wall honoring officers who had been killed in the line of duty.
René Benoit ("La Grenouille")
René Benoit, alias La Grenouille ("The Frog") (portrayed by Armand Assante) is the primary antagonist of Seasons 4 and 5, a French arms dealer, or more so it seemed to then-Director Jenny Shepard. He is always referred to by his sobriquet, an ethnic slur for the French. He is introduced in the episode "Blowback". Director Shepard had been obsessed with bringing him to justice for over ten years because she believed he killed her father and made it look like a suicide. Although he has connections to Iran, the CIA appears to tolerate him as a method of funneling disinformation to Iran as well as maintaining him as a prominent arms dealer so as to keep a degree of control over the arms trade. According to a psychological profile by Dr. Mallard, even though La Grenouille is a "merchant of death", he is not a violent man by nature, a viewpoint Gibbs would later embrace, as he, too, would learn the fact that the arms dealer wasn't really dangerous anyway. Director Shepard's investigation of La Grenouille almost ruins a sting operation the CIA was running to get a faulty weapon system into Iranian hands. Subsequently, the CIA do their best to protect their asset. In the episode "Bury Your Dead", La Grenouille asks Director Shepard for protection, claiming someone is trying to kill him and take over his arms business, added to the fact that he no longer trusts the CIA. Shepard tells him "protect yourself" in true devotion to her father and hands him her gun, although it is later shown that he doesn't take it, as Gibbs was there in the same room to see what really happened that night. At the end of the episode, he is seen floating in the Washington Channel with a single gunshot to his head (from Director Shepard's gun). In the episode "Angel of Death", it was revealed that La Grenouille is the father of Jeanne Benoit, the woman that DiNozzo fell in love with after seducing her in the course of Director Shepard's undercover investigation, which she later revealed in an apology to the young woman to having been a step toward "crossing the line" in "Internal Affairs".
It is implied that both Trent Kort and NCIS Director Jenny Shepard killed him also in the episode "Internal Affairs", and in "Judgment Day (Part 1)" Gibbs, reviewing the FBI file, finds evidence that further implicates her while looking at a familiarly marked bullet.
Special Agent Brent Langer (portrayed by Jonathan LaPaglia) first appears in the episode "Tribes". He is killed in the episode "Last Man Standing" by Agent Michelle Lee, and initially suspected of being a mole. Lee was, in fact, the mole, as Langer would learn, and she killed him to preserve her cover. He was mentored by Gibbs at NCIS before joining the FBI and was transferred back to NCIS at Gibbs' recommendation. He had previously worked with Gibbs' team in the episode "Tribes", where he assisted the team in tracking down a terrorist recruiter. Gibbs places his voided FBI agent ID card on a wall commemorating fallen personnel in the episode, "Collateral Damage", just as Gibbs was turning his suspicion back to Agent Lee.
Special Agent Michelle Lee (portrayed by Liza Lapira) first appears in the episode "Shalom". Special Agent Michelle Lee was the newest addition to the NCIS Major Case Response Team based out of Washington Navy Yard. She was brought in between season three and four to bring the team back up to full strength following the departure of Supervisory Special Agent Gibbs. Following Gibbs' return early on in the season she was transferred to the legal department and was frequently seen delivering warrants to the team, also having a covertly intimate affair with the Medical Examiner's assistant, Jimmy Palmer, during that time. She returned to the series in season six as part of Gibbs' new team, but was reassigned after the first episode. It was revealed that she was a mole in NCIS who accessed Joint Chiefs' strategic battle plan in the Middle East. She was caught in the episode "Cloak"; however she claimed that she was forced to trade government secrets because her daughter Amanda had been kidnapped. However, it was revealed that Amanda was actually her sister; the deaths of their parents prompted Lee to raise Amanda as her child. In the episode "Dagger", after she learned that Amanda was safe, she gave Gibbs silent permission to kill the Weatherman, the person responsible for the crimes. The Weatherman was using her as a human shield until Gibbs fired into Lee's abdomen, the bullets passing through her body and killing both of them.
In the course of her espionage, Lee killed Special Agent Brent Langer and Petty Officer Steve Vargo, whom she was blackmailing for the aforementioned classified information. Director Vance hinted that she may have been headed for a death sentence had she survived in "Dagger". Then when asked by Vance if Lee should have been called a hero or a villain, Gibbs responded simply, "Both".
Michael Rivkin (portrayed by Merik Tadros) first appears in the episode "Last Man Standing" as a Mossad officer. He is working with Ziva David when she is on an undercover mission for the Mossad in Morocco (Ziva having been dismissed from NCIS in the previous episode). Later on in the episode, he is seen in the office of the head of Mossad, Eli David, Ziva's father, as Ziva talks on the phone to Gibbs. Tony becomes suspicious of the man that Ziva appears to be dating, and keeps trying to find out who he is. For example, in the episode "Legend (Part 1)", Tony asks Abby to check the records on Rivkin. In the episode "Legend (Part 2)", Michael appears as an undercover Mossad agent who is investigating the same terrorists that NCIS is investigating, killing them off one by one before NCIS can apprehend them. He is asked to leave the U.S. by NCIS agent in charge in Los Angeles, Lara Macy and later by DiNozzo, both of them citing laws that prohibit foreign intelligence operatives from working in the United States.
In the episode "Semper Fidelis", what appears to be an open and shut case of an Immigrations, Customs and Enforcement agent killed by a terrorist is complicated by the presence of Rivkin, who is still in the US visiting Ziva. Tony traces communication with the terrorist's computer to Ziva's apartment, where he finds Rivkin. After attempting to arrest an intoxicated Rivkin for the murders of the ICE agent and the terrorist handler NCIS was tracking, a struggle ensues and Tony shoots Rivkin in self-defense. Ziva later enters her apartment and attempts to help Rivkin but he later succumbs to his injuries and dies in hospital. Finally, in the episode "Aliyah", the relationship between Rivkin and Ziva comes out and this leads Gibbs, Leon Vance, and Tony to Israel. There Eli David accuses Tony of killing Rivkin out of jealousy and Ziva, no longer able to trust Tony, stays in Israel.
Lara Macy (portrayed by Louise Lombard) first appears in the episode "Legend" as the Operations Manager of NCIS' Los Angeles branch, known as the Office of Special Projects. Macy first met Gibbs eighteen years prior to the events in Los Angeles, when she was a Lieutenant in the USMC military police and Gibbs was a USMC Gunnery Sergeant. Macy was one of the few characters to ever find out about Gibbs' murder of Mexican drug dealer Pedro Hernandez, and their relationship was volatile at best as a result of it until OSP's operational psychologist Nate Getz reveals to Gibbs that Macy had been protecting him because she felt his actions against Hernandez were justified. Macy is murdered in "Patriot Down". Her killer is revealed to be Jason Paul Dean, a disgraced Army Ranger who officially worked as a mercenary for Colonel Merton Bell, but was secretly in league with Paloma Reynosa and the Reynosa drug cartel.
In NCIS: Los Angeles, it is implied that Lara Macy was removed due to political differences at a budgetary meeting, although this may have been idle gossip.
Colonel Merton Bell (played by Robert Patrick) is a former Army tank unit commander and the President and Chief Operations Officer of the First Defense PMC, the largest security and bounty hunting firm in the U.S and the main antagonist of season seven. He was hired by an Iraqi tribal leader to capture her daughter and granddaughter from Mike Franks' home in Mexico. Bell sent two of his men to accomplish the mission, but they were killed by Franks' daughter-in-law, Leyla. Franks and his family ran away to Gibbs' home in Washington, D.C. where they could be protected, but Bell found out they were there and sent a squad to capture them. With the help of Damon Werth, a former Marine under Bell's employ, Gibbs trapped and arrested Bell before turning them over to the Mexicans for trial.
Bell was released with the help of American lawyer Margaret Allison Hart. He then sent Hart to Washington in a bid to have his revenge against Gibbs. In "Patriot Down", Hart reveals to Vance that since he got out of prison, Bell had been gathering information on Gibbs and was responsible for uncovering evidence that almost twenty years earlier, Gibbs had killed Pedro Hernandez, the drug dealer who had murdered Gibbs' wife and daughter in 1991. Bell orders his right-hand man, Jason Paul Dean, to kill Special Agent Lara Macy, who had discovered this evidence but had subsequently buried it according to "Legend, Part 2". Bell and his men then set out for Mexico to murder Mike Franks and his family, but they were all killed by Dean who is revealed to be working for an unknown party. Gibbs initially believes Bell's body is actually Franks, but Dean confesses to the murder, leaving the fate of Franks and his family unknown until "Rule Fifty-One". In the same episode, it is revealed that Bell was working for the Reynosa drug cartel. Paloma Reynosa, daughter of Pedro Hernandez and head of the cartel, was planning to use his vendetta against Gibbs to have her revenge for her father's death. She ordered Dean to kill him as she no longer needed him.
Paloma Reynosa (played by Jacqueline Obradors) is the head of the Reynosa drug cartel, the most powerful cartel in Mexico, the daughter of drug dealer Pedro Hernandez and the elder sister of Mexican Justice Department official Alejandro Rivera.
Paloma took over control of the cartel when her husband died. During her years in charge, the cartel grew to be powerful enough to infiltrate the US Navy. As a way to try and end the drug war in Mexico, the Mexican government launched a task force project with American law enforcement agencies to strike against the cartels. Paloma was contacted by Colonel Merton Bell who was seeking revenge against the man who had sent him into a Mexican prison: NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Bell had uncovered evidence that Gibbs had killed Paloma's father with a sniper rifle in 1991. They formed a partnership and elaborated a scheme to have revenge on Gibbs. Paloma's brother, Alejandro, even used his position in the task force to get the forensic evidence linking Gibbs to the murder using Abby Sciuto's skills.
When the evidence was uncovered, Bell sent Lieutenant Jason Paul Dean to kill Special Agent Lara Macy, who knew about Hernandez' murder but covered up the evidence while still an MP officer believing it to be a just killing. Later, Bell tried to kill Mike Franks but Paloma needed him alive as leverage so she ordered Dean to kill Bell and bring back Franks' severed finger. He also returned with Gibbs taken prisoner. Paloma told him of her true intention: she didn't want his death, she wanted his life. She wanted Gibbs to work for her or she would kill his friends and family, starting with his coworkers and finishing with his father.
Four months later Paloma was lured to a safe house where she believed Gibbs, Jackson, and Mike Franks had taken refuge. Alejandro arrived separately, having been tricked into believing Paloma was dead through a note purposely left behind by Director Vance and Agent DiNozzo as bait for a trap. He then opened fire on the safe house with a submachine gun, believing Gibbs and his father to be in it. After being arrested, Alejandro soon learned that Paloma had actually been in the safe house all along, resulting in Alejandro accidentally killing his sister. Paloma then recited the poem of the spider and the fly as her last words before dying.
Paloma also has a fascination for the work of Tennessee Williams, citing him on three occasions: twice in "Rule Fifty-One" ("We are all sentenced to solitary confinement within our own skins for life" and "Cruel men consider themselves paragons of frankness") and in "Spider and the Fly" ("Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering for when it comes you'll know you're dead.").
Special Agent-in-Charge Mike Franks, NIS (Ret.) (portrayed by Muse Watson) is introduced in episode flashbacks in the episode "Hiatus (Part 1)". He is Gibbs' former mentor and partner, still referring to Gibbs as "Probie", just as DiNozzo does with McGee. In "Hiatus Part II", it is stated that he retired to Mexico in 1996, roughly five years after Gibbs joined NCIS, after being disgruntled with the government's failure to prevent the Khobar Towers bombing. Although he comes across as crass and uncaring, Franks has been known to be very devious and sneaky, even hiding the fact that he had a son, though Gibbs helped hide his granddaughter and the girl's mother. Gibbs picked up many of his mannerisms, including the trademark head slap he gives to DiNozzo and his ability to find a way around red tape.
Jenny Shepard, who was still a junior agent during Franks' time, brought him back in the same episode in hopes of helping Gibbs regain his memory after suffering a concussion in part 2 of "Hiatus". He was unable to help Gibbs regain his memory although Gibbs recognized him on sight. Franks was the only survivor of the gun battle that ended Director Shepard's life and found some evidence that the new director was apparently looking for, even though he was outside getting himself water for tea when the shooting started and went back in to make sure the other shooters were dead and was also the last person to know about then-Director Shepard's incurable illness during her lifetime, just as Gibbs still had only his suspicions at that time as of "Judgment Day (Part 1)". In his visit to Gibbs' bedside in season four, it is revealed in flashbacks that he warned members of the intelligence community about the threat that Osama Bin Laden posed to American servicemen abroad some time before the Khobar Towers bombing. After the deaths of a number of Air Force personnel in the bombing, Franks retired to Mexico and handed control of the MCRT to Gibbs.
In season seven, Franks is seemingly ambushed by Colonel Merton Bell's henchmen and hitmen from the Reynosa drug cartel. His fate is left ambiguous and it is unknown whether he was killed or captured in the attack. However, later on, Franks appears again to assist DiNozzo in investigating Alejandro. Also, as a result of the gunfight between Bell's and the Reynosa Cartel's men, Franks loses his right index finger. In the beginning of season eight, in the episode "Spider and the Fly", he appears after four months by showing up at Gibbs' house to help him, the team, Vance, and Jackson Gibbs destroy Paloma and Alejandro once and for all. Mike Franks was killed by Jonas Cobb, the "Port-to-Port Killer", outside of Gibbs' house in the season eight episode "Swan Song" as he attempted to apprehend Cobb. Franks, a Marine like Gibbs, is given a full military burial at the end of the season eight finale. It is also learned in this episode that Franks was dying of cancer and Gibbs was making him a coffin. It was revealed in the episode "Newborn King" that Leyla and her daughter moved to Washington, D.C. following Franks' death. In "Outlaws and In-Laws" it is stated that Gibbs is godfather to Leyla's daughter Amira.
Lt. Jonas Cobb ("The Port-to-Port Killer")
Lieutenant Jonas Cobb (played by Kerr Smith) is the real name used by the "Port-to-Port Killer", or 'P2P' for short, the primary antagonist of season eight. Originally recruited into a CIA assassination team code-named Frankenstein, Cobb cracked under intense and inhumane training before escaping. He re-surfaced in Rota, Spain, where he began his pattern of killing Navy personnel when they made landfall. He has also killed victims in Guam, Japan, Norfolk, Washington, D.C and was in the process of killing another victim in Hawaii before being interrupted by CIA operative Trent Kort. A ruthless serial killer, he was responsible for the deaths of Mike Franks and NCIS Agent Gaven Levin (the latter one he fatally shot with Franks's own gun instead of using a knife), and took NCIS agent E.J. Barrett hostage. One body in the episode "Baltimore" resembled P2P's work, but was later found to be copycat by Dr. Mallard through the way the knot was tied. The killer was revealed to have been Agent DiNozzo's former superior at Baltimore Police, and the victim was DiNozzo's former partner there of whom he never got to reconcile with. The real P2P, though not known to be Cobb at the time made the deception final through a fake Abby Scuito email.
Cobb's modus operandi involves luring his victims into a trap before slashing their throats from behind. He then scrubs the body down with a hospital-grade cleanser before wrapping the bodies in plastic and dumping them in isolated areas. He has been known to dress seamen in the uniforms of officers, and often leaves personal effects of his victims behind frozen in ice that often foreshadow his next kill, though his m.o. would change forever in "Swan Song". Psychological profiling of Cobb depicts him as methodical, intelligent, and opposed to authority, but not easily distracted by law enforcement. The threat posed by Cobb was deemed so great by NCIS Director Vance, that he deliberately changed NCIS policy to antagonize Gibbs in the hopes of setting Gibbs up as a figure Cobb would identify with, in an attempt to lure Cobb into a trap. Cobb, after abducting Ziva David, gave himself up to NCIS in order to start the next phase of his plan. While Gibbs interrogated him with Agent Barrett watching, he told a story about the son of a Marine who was told that he had to have his horse put to sleep, which turned out to be a deadly seed planted into Cobb as a child, since the story was about him anyway.
Cobb is killed in the season eight finale, "Pyramid", where it is revealed that everything he had done since his first kill in Rota has been a part of a larger plan to get revenge on those he holds responsible for Operation Frankenstein—Leon Vance, Trent Kort and the Secretary of the Navy. He is aware that what he does is evil, but maintains that his actions have been for the greater good. He is shot and killed by Gibbs and Vance when he refuses to surrender. In death, he was said to have had a smile on his face while his corpse lay on a wrecked car.
Special Agent Simon Cade (played by Matthew Willig) was an NCIS special agent on the team of E. J. Barrett who appears in three episodes in season eight and the season nine premiere. Prior to being a NCIS agent, Cade attended Yale, where he played football. In the episode "Swan Song", he is wounded in a shootout with Jonas Cobb, but recovers. Following his recovery, he drops off the grid and is suspected of being a mole. Cade was shot and killed by Jonathan Cole in the season nine premiere "Nature of the Beast".
Jonathan Cole (played by Scott Wolf), alias FBI Agent Casey Stratton, is one of the primary antagonists of season nine. He was formerly a member of "Phantom Eight", a clandestine team of operatives assigned to the Watcher Fleet tasked with protecting the United States Navy. Cole went rogue some time after the Phantom Eight were disbanded and begins working with Sean Latham, the corrupt Director of Special Operations for the Office of Naval Intelligence and a former member of Phantom Eight himself. Cole and Latham conspire to sell a series of microchips belonging to Phantom Eight members, which give their owners unrivalled access to the Navy mainframe.
Cole makes his first appearance in "Nature of the Beast", where he adopts the alias of Casey Stratton, an FBI Agent assigned to investigate a shooting involving Tony DiNozzo. DiNozzo, having forgotten the events that led up to the trauma of the shooting, attempts to reconstruct his memories, recounting his investigation of NCIS Agents Simon Cade and EJ Barrett. His investigation centers on a microchip Barrett extracted from the body of Gayne Levin, who also served in Phantom Eight, but wound up the last murder victim of Lt. Jonas Cobb, alias the Port-to-Port Killer. Cole manipulates DiNozzo, Barrett, and Cade into first distrusting one another and then meeting, where he attempts to kill all three before fleeing with the microchip. Cole kills Cade, wounds DiNozzo, and misses Barrett, who flees. He later approaches DiNozzo in the hospital under the Casey Stratton alias, but is unable to kill him as DiNozzo is under guard.
Cole reappears in "Housekeeping", where he attempts to kill EJ Barrett, who has since resurfaced. After the first failed attempt, Latham advises Cole to abandon his mission, but Cole refuses, claiming that he has to see it through, and murders Latham. Now aware of his role in Phantom Eight and his actual name, NCIS trick Cole into attacking a safehouse under the pretense that Barrett and DiNozzo are hiding there. The safehouse is empty, and Cole is apprehended. His final appearance comes in "Till Death Do Us Part" when Gibbs feels he would be an ideal operative to get close to the terrorist Harper Dearing. Cole agrees in exchange for a (slightly) reduced sentence, but Dearing is already aware of his role and rejects his offer of help. Cole is killed when attempting to defuse a bomb left by Dearing outside NCIS headquarters.
Although Cole never offers a reason for his crimes, and the circumstances that led to his becoming a traitor are never detailed, he does admit that he thought he had good reasons for doing what he did; he was soon proven wrong.
Harper Dearing (played by Richard Schiff) is the primary antagonist during the last episodes of the ninth season. Initially described as "an eccentric businessman whose son was killed in a terrorist bombing", he appears as a domestic terrorist, out for revenge against the Navy due to the death of his son, Evan, which is revealed in "Up in Smoke". Dr. Samatha Ryan describes Dearing as "a sociopathic, paranoid narcissist". After a series of attacks on Navy ships, Dearing plants a bomb at the NCIS Headquarters in the season finale, "Till Death Do Us Part". The resulting cliffhanger leaves most of the main characters' fates unclear. These events spur Gibbs to seek personal revenge against Dearing, culminating in a confrontation in which Gibbs fatally stabs Dearing in self-defense.
Eli David (played by Michael Nouri) has had a recurring role, since "Last Man Standing", as the head of the Israeli Mossad, who also happens to be Ziva David's father. In addition to Ziva, he had a son, Ari Haswari (Ziva's half-brother, whom she shoots and kills in order to save Gibbs), and a younger daughter, Tali, also deceased. Though appearing to be uncaring about his children, Eli has his reasons for his inability to care for their well being: he claims to have to hide his heart because of the difficult job he has to do and because the survival of not just a few people but an entire nation with all its neighbors desiring its destruction lies on his shoulders. He and Director Vance share a history since Amsterdam when Eli saved his life from a Russian hit squad.
Eli makes a few appearances in the series. Towards the end of season six, Eli sends Michael Rivkin to Washington in what Vance describes as a not-so-subtle message that he does not think NCIS are doing their jobs. During "Semper Fidelis", Eli is suspected of using Michael Rivkin to spy on the Americans and using the intelligence to locate a terrorist handler and find a training camp located in Somalia. Vance claims that Eli ordered Ziva to kill Ari and gain Gibbs' trust. In "Aliyah", when Ziva, Gibbs, Vance, and Tony travel to Israel, Eli David accuses Tony of killing Michael Rivkin out of jealousy; Tony accuses him of sending every corrupt Mossad officer to Washington for NCIS to deal with. Later, Eli demands that Ziva return full-time to Mossad and complete Rivkin's assignment, sending her and a team to assassinate Saleem Ulman, the leader of the Somali terrorist camp and ordering them to continue even after one member of the team is killed and the other two are wounded. This ultimately leads to her being taken captive and tortured by Saleem. During the episode "Good Cop, Bad Cop", Eli sends Malachi to Washington to discredit Ziva and her account of events that led to her capture prior to "Truth or Consequences", which finally prompts her to admit that her father is corrupt. However, during the events of "Enemies Foreign"/"Enemies Domestic" (season eight), she managed to reconcile with her father after understanding his reasoning, despite the fact the she wanted to live her life on her own terms instead of her father's.
In the 11th episode of Season 10, "Shabbat Shalom", Eli comes to America without any type of protection in hopes of making peace with Ziva and bonding with her. However, he is shot and killed in Vance's home during dinner. In this episode, Leon's wife is also shot, and dies due to her injuries. Eli is last seen with Ziva holding his body while sobbing and praying in Hebrew.
Clayton Jarvis (played by Matt Craven) is the Secretary of the Navy appointed after the events of the season eight finale, "Pyramid", which led to the resignation of Secretary Davenport. Jarvis is an old friend of Director Leon Vance and it seems that he comes highly recommended in D.C. Jarvis is introduced in the final scene in a meeting between himself, Director Vance and Anthony DiNozzo.
In the meeting, Jarvis appoints DiNozzo to NCIS' black operations program and orders him to investigate an NCIS agent who is suspected of leaking information. When Jarvis hands DiNozzo the file with the agent's name, he recognizes the name but it remains unknown to the viewer.
In season nine's "Nature of the Beast", it is revealed that the mole was none other than Simon Cade, a member of EJ Barrett's team. However, it is also revealed that Cade had been framed earlier, and that Jarvis was supplied with misinformation by Sean Latham.
Nevertheless, Jarvis proved to be an asset to the team such as when EJ Barrett reappeared. Jarvis lied to Sean Latham, knowing that he would leak the information to EJ's tracker, so that they could lead him into a trap. He later also helps a joint NCIS/PsychOps operation to apprehend the person who is blackmailing him with a copy of a top secret file. The blackmailer is believed to be Jarvis's childhood friend, Philip Wickes, whose company was about to lose its contracts with the Navy. The operation involves a faked assassination attempt of Jarvis to destabilize Wickes.
Jarvis later dies in the Season 11 premiere episode, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" where he is the victim of a car bomb with his death leaving Vance, who had been friends with Jarvis, devastated.
Following Jarvis's death, he is replaced by Sarah Porter (Leslie Hope) who becomes the new Secretary of the Navy and also the first ever female SECNAV in the entire NCIS series.
Jackson Gibbs (portrayed by Ralph Waite) is the father of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. After his son left to join the Marines, Jackson Gibbs continued to live in the town of Stillwater, Pennsylvania. He was widowed some years before the events in the season six episode "Heartland". During the episode "Frame Up", Gibbs mentions that his father painted pin-up girl Betty Grable on the nose of his P-51 Mustang. Jackson served as a pilot in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.
In the season seven finale, "Rule Fifty-One", Paloma Reynosa of the Reynosa cartel enters Gibbs' store and turns the sign on the door from open to closed. This is following Reynosa's warning to Gibbs that if he does not do exactly as she says she will kill everyone he ever met and is all part of Paloma's plan to get revenge on Gibbs who killed her father twenty years previously. However, in the season eight opening, "Spider and the Fly", it was soon revealed that Gibbs had managed to warn his father about the approaching danger just in time as Jackson was able to fight back against Paloma's men and escape before they could manage to kill him.
In "Heartland", it is revealed that Jackson and his son have an estranged relationship, but in appearances since, they have reconciled and become close. In "The Namesake", is revealed that Jackson named his son after LJ. According to Jethro, it was LJ who inspired him to join the Marine Corps as a teenager. LJ revealed to Gibbs that he, Jackson and the latter's wife Ann were friends growing up and both men fell in love with Ann. Due to segregation, Jackson married Ann as LJ was African-American and an inter-racial marriage was a social taboo during that time.
The strained relationship between Gibbs and Jackson starts to mend after they bond during the case and they get an insight into what the other is feeling. Gibbs finally starts to forgive his father when he learns that he had finished the car that had been Gibbs' only dream during his teenage years. Jackson later tells Gibbs to take the car and they promise to keep in touch. Gibbs also starts to call his father "Dad" from that moment on instead of "Jack".
It was eventually revealed that the resentment for his father came from the difficult relationship between his parents. Gibbs' mother, Ann, was a hard woman to live with and they mutually had affairs despite their strong feelings for one another. Gibbs blamed his father's affairs for his mother leaving. The only thing that kept Gibbs and his father in contact after that was Gibbs' wife, Shannon.
In the season 11 finale, "Honor Thy Father" (which aired exactly three months after Waite's death in February 2014), Vance tells Gibbs that Jackson suffered a fatal stroke. Jackson is buried with full military honors. LJ and Gibbs' team were present at the funeral.
Diane Sterling (née Gibbs, Fornell) (Melinda McGraw) is the first ex-wife of NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the ex-wife of FBI Special Agent Tobias Fornell and DHS Special Agent Victor Sterling, and the mother of Emily Fornell. She made her first full appearance in "Devil's Triangle" in 2011, but appeared in a brief cameo (portrayed by an uncredited actress, Heather Scobie) in "Angel of Death" in 2007.
When she divorced Gibbs, Diane took his money, including his grandfather's watch. Similarly, after her divorce from Fornell, she got his money as well, in addition to joint custody of their daughter.
Before Emily was born, Diane worked for the IRS as a tax auditor; in 2012, she returned to the IRS and was made an investigator with the IRS Criminal Investigative Service, much to the shock of her federal agent ex-husbands.
Special Agent Vivian Blackadder (portrayed by Robyn Lively) (JAG episodes "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown") is a former FBI agent, she joins NCIS after the attack on the USS Cole, in which her brother, Rex, was killed. Despite being a special agent, she seemed to be more focused with avenging her brother's death by any means possible rather than attempting to work with the rest of the team. Her obsession with getting revenge often drew Gibbs' ire—Gibbs told her to stay focused on their case or he would send her back to the FBI.
Later, in the JAG episode "Meltdown", she blew an operation that NCIS was working on to capture a terrorist planning another attack. Although it is not shown, it is implied that she either returned to the FBI or was fired from NCIS for good because of her mistakes. She is the only major character that appeared in the pilot episodes from JAG, and not in the series NCIS.
Thomas "Tom" Morrow (played by Alan Dale) is the NCIS director through the first two seasons. He first appears in the NCIS two-part pilot episodes, "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown", before making his official debut in the season one episode, "Yankee White", with his final appearance as NCIS director in the season three opener "Kill Ari (Part I)", when he leaves to take a Deputy Director's position in the Department of Homeland Security, handing over the reins of his former position to new director Jenny Shepard. He appears in several episodes during seasons one and two, but unlike his future replacements, Directors Shepard and Vance, Morrow himself is not part of the main cast, as he was credited as either a recurring character or a guest star. He has less direct involvement with the team's cases than either of his successors (exceptions being matters of terrorism and national security), and seems to spend much of his time in MTAC monitoring NCIS' global presence. While he seems to like Gibbs, he is less tolerant of Gibbs' personal style and methods than Jenny or Vance; he has a deeply serious, almost stern demeanor, and Gibbs only ever refers to him as "sir". He reappears in his Homeland Security position in the Season 10 episodes, "Chasing Ghosts" and "Berlin". He also appeared in the Season 11 premiere episode, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" where he is later left badly injured in an explosion that kills current SECNAV, Clayton Jarvis. Morrow later informs Vance that the terrorist group, the Brotherhood of Doubt who are responsible for the bombing are targeting former NCIS Special Agent Ziva David.
Lieutenant Commander Faith Coleman (portrayed by Alicia Coppola) is a prosecutor for the Judge Advocate General's office. Coleman first appeared in the JAG episode "Ice Queen" and went on to make several appearances on NCIS, assisting Gibbs and his team. She successfully defended Commander Harmon Rabb when he was accused of the murder of fellow JAG lawyer Lieutenant Loren Singer. Her last appearance to date was in the episode "Hometown Hero", although she was mentioned in the episode "Head Case".
Gerald Jackson (portrayed by Pancho Demmings) first appears in the episode "Yankee White". Gerald Jackson is Dr. Mallard's original assistant until being incapacitated by Ari Haswari after being held hostage in the morgue While recuperating from his shoulder gunshot wound, his position is filled by Jimmy Palmer. Approximately a year and a half later, a week before he was scheduled to return to work, Gerald is again captured by Ari Haswari in an effort to secure Dr. Mallard's attention. After Ari released him, Gerald had not been seen since "Kill Ari (Part 2)", and was replaced by Jimmy Palmer.
Stan Burley (portrayed by Joel Gretsch) first appears in the first-season episode "High Seas". Prior to the series' start, he was Gibbs' partner and subordinate, eventually was transferred out as an Agent Afloat, when he was replaced by DiNozzo. He looked up to Gibbs, and enlisted his and his teams' help in tracking down a drug dealer on board the USS Enterprise. Burley knew (or at least knew of) Mike Franks, and called Gibbs following his death to express his condolences. Over eight years after his first appearance, Burley returns in the season-nine episode "Playing with Fire", where he led DiNozzo and David in tracking down and thwarting a terrorist who tried to destroy the carrier USS Benjamin Franklin in Naples, Italy, under the orders of businessman Harper Dearing. Burley was injured by the terrorist in the process. He returned with DiNozzo and David to the Navy Yard, and was part of the crowd which saw Gibbs place Dearing's photo on the wall of NCIS Most Wanted. Burley reappears in the season ten episode "Squall".
Cassie Yates (portrayed by Tamara Taylor) first appears in the episode "SWAK". Cassie Yates is a recurring NCIS Special Agent. Yates was Chris Pocci's probie. Due to Taylor's commitment to the series Bones, however, Yates has made two appearances on the program. Her last appearance to date is in the episode "Jeopardy".
Charles "Chip" Sterling
Chip Sterling (portrayed by Michael Bellisario) first appears in the episode "The Voyeur's Web", as a new lab assistant working alongside Abby Sciuto that new NCIS Director Jenny Shepard had hired for her much to the displeasure of Abby, who continued to insist she prefers to work alone. As with most newbies, Chip ends up being the butt of Tony's jokes and was told off by Gibbs for lack of concentration on several occasions. Chip, having sinister motives, after being fired from his last job, attempts to frame Tony for murder (in which he almost succeeds) in the episode "Frame Up". In a last-ditch effort, he also attempts to attack Abby with a knife after being discovered, but she quickly subdues and hog-ties him with duct tape before asking Gibbs if she can now work alone.
Hollis Mann (portrayed by Susanna Thompson) first appears in the episode "Sandblast". Lt. Col. Mann is assigned by the Army CID to help in a co-operative investigation with NCIS involving a bombing at the Army-Navy Golf Club. She is offered a position at NCIS by Director Shepard, but instead chooses retirement, in the episode "In the Dark". She and Gibbs had a serious relationship, even earning the nickname "future ex-wife number four" from Tony DiNozzo. Their attraction becomes overt in the episode "Sharif Returns", as they discuss their possible relationship but refuse to act on it until Sharif is caught. At the end of the episode, they kiss. Although she and Gibbs clearly have serious feelings for each other, she is often frustrated by his reluctance to express his emotions. In the episode "In the Dark", she returns from choosing her successor and is upset to find that Gibbs has worked through the night to fix her home's plumbing, seeing it as a sign that he does not want to stick around. She confronts him, saying, "I'm aware there are three billion men in the world, and not all of them have to want me, but you should want me, and the fact that you don't makes me wonder why I ever wanted you." He calmly informs her that he worked on the plumbing through the night because he wanted to surprise her, but that "it's gonna be a bigger job than he thought…it's gonna take a while." She realizes that this is his oblique way of committing to their relationship for the long haul and kisses him fiercely.
In the episode "Ex-File" the relationship with Gibbs ends when she discovers the truth about Shannon and Kelly from Ducky and realizes that Gibbs was still silently mourning their deaths. In the episode "Lost and Found", the Stars and Stripes military newspaper Shepard is reading reveals that Mann has relocated to the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
Dr. Jeanne Benoit (portrayed by Scottie Thompson) first appears in the episode "Sandblast" as Tony DiNozzo's new girlfriend. She is an ER resident in Washington, D.C. In the episode "Angel of Death", it is revealed that her father is the arms dealer "La Grenouille". It is also revealed that Director Shepard, during Gibbs' absence (following his retirement at the end of season 3), assigned Tony to an undercover mission to get close to her, so that Shepard could get closer to finding Jeanne's father. After "La Grenouille" is found dead, an FBI team led by Agent Fornell investigates Gibbs' team and interrogates Tony based on testimony from Jeanne that he killed her father. She later admits to Shepard that she lied out of anger toward Tony for breaking her heart by lying about his identity and his intentions. She leaves the Squad Room after telling Tony (who lied about his feelings) that she wished she had never met him. In the episode "Bounce", she is mentioned as someone who could possibly have a grudge against Tony and be willing to frame him.
Dr. Jordan Hampton
Dr. Jordan Hampton (portrayed by Torri Higginson) first appears in the episode "Identity Crisis". When a "John Doe" is donated to science and Ducky finds mercury in his brain, he is outraged that the medical examiner who performed the autopsy did not think to check his brain before donating him. As he and Gibbs go to confront "him" (Ducky mistakenly assumed that Dr. Hampton was male), he asks Gibbs to think no less of him for giving the M.E. a piece of his mind. After finding out that Dr. Hampton was not male, Ducky was visibly placated. Jordan came back to Ducky's autopsy room to help him find anything else she might have missed, and decodes the tattoo on his arm, helping Gibbs and his team eventually solve the case. She also reveals in this episode that she likes things neat and clean.
She made a reappearance in the episode "Broken Bird" to help Ducky overcome grief and guilt for euthanizing a tortured Afghan when he was a doctor in the military. The two show some romantic interest in both episodes. Also, although she did not appear in the episode, she gave Ducky the autopsy report for La Grenouille in the episode "Internal Affairs".
NCIS Intelligence Analyst Nikki Jardine (portrayed by Susan Kelechi Watson) first appears in the episode "Leap of Faith". She assists Gibbs' team in keeping watch on communications, and speaks fluent Arabic and Kurdish. When she is first introduced, Tony and the rest of the team are turned off by her reluctance to shake hands and unusual habits (e.g. wiping down a phone with wet wipes before using it). In the episode "In the Zone", despite being a germaphobe, revolted at the idea of field work, Jardine asks to go to Baghdad with Tony. She ostensibly goes there on a case, but she also has her own reasons. Her brother had been injured while serving there, and a local villager, mistaken by Marines as an insurgent, was killed while attempting to help him, prompting Jardine to help the villager's children. Her last appearance is "In the Zone".
Special Agent Chad Dunham (portrayed by Todd Lowe) first appears in the episode "Truth or Consequences". Chad Dunham is a recurring NCIS Special Agent who was stationed in the Horn of Africa when Ziva was being held captive by a group of terrorists in the beginning of season seven. He returned in episode four, "Good Cop, Bad Cop". His third appearance (and the last to date) is in season seven, episode seven, "Endgame", although this time it was in person in DC, when Ziva notices that he "cleans up nice".
Margaret Allison Hart
M. Allison Hart (portrayed by Rena Sofer) is an attorney. She was contacted by Colonel Merton Bell while he was being tried by the Mexican authorities for bounty hunting in their country. Hart successfully got Bell released from prison on the condition that he not leave Mexico. Vengeful against the man who had sent him to prison, Bell sends Hart to Washington to defend any accused who are involved in Gibbs' investigations.
Hart starts to take up every case that involves Gibbs. Hart's skills as a lawyer are a match for Gibbs' skills as an investigator. Despite their animosity, they appear to be attracted to one another. It is even implied that they share a kiss at the end of one episode. In the episode "Mother's Day", when Gibbs' former mother-in-law (Shannon's mother) becomes a suspect in a murder investigation in which the victim was linked to the cartel responsible for the deaths of Shannon and Kelly, Gibbs covertly hires Hart to defend her. He then deliberately makes procedural errors to prevent her arrest and prosecution, permitting Hart to get her out of NCIS' custody.
In the episode "Patriot Down", Abby writes a report on the murder of Mexican drug dealer Pedro Hernandez, a crime committed by Gibbs in 1991 in retaliation for Hernandez' murder of Gibbs' wife and daughter. The report never makes it to Mexico as it is intercepted by Hart, indicating that she has switched her allegiances. Her last appearance was "Rule Fifty-One", in which she confronts Gibbs over the report, and though she states that the report would end his career, she offers to defend him in court if it came to that.
Agah Bayar (portrayed by Tamer Hassan is an international Turkish arms dealer. He first appeared in the season eight episode "Broken Arrow". He had a brief appearance in the episode "Kill Screen" and returned in the season nine episode "Need to Know". Gibbs does not like Bayar, as he seems to avoid trouble with federal agencies too easily.
Dr. Samantha Ryan (portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis) is a psychologist and criminal profiler and Director of PsyOps. She is introduced in the episode "Psych Out" when a patient, a Navy warfare psychologist, of her colleague is found dead and Gibbs and his team were called in to investigate. Since then, she has begun a romantic relationship with Gibbs and frequents his house, even causing him to be uncharacteristically late for work once. Like Gibbs, she has a young child, a son, and is either divorced or separated from her partner/husband. While Gibbs and Ryan try to keep their relationship strictly professional when at the office, Gibbs' agents and Ryan's co-workers have frequently speculated on their relationship, as seen in "The Tell". Her last appearance was in "Till Death Do Us Part" when she was threatened by terrorist Harper Dearing, who was seeking revenge on everything and anyone connected with the Navy for the death of his son.
Jerome Craig (played by Greg Germann) is the current NCIS deputy director. He first appears in the episode "Shiva". He is brought in when Director Vance is put on temporary leave and describes himself as "soft" and appears to be a bit confused at times. While Vance was away he complained to Gibbs in "Hereafter" about not being "cut out for this office thing". He is generally on friendly terms with the team, although DiNozzo dislikes his tendency to ramble and finds his love of black coffee and taste in women somewhat eccentric. (Germann has not been added to the main cast and the character has not appeared in every episode since his debut.)
Richard Parsons (played by Colin Hanks) is an investigator who works for the Department of Defense Inspector General. He also bears some resemblance to Timothy McGee, causing Anthony DiNozzo and Abby Sciuto to refer to him as McGee's "evil doppelgänger". He first appeared in Double Blind, the penultimate episode of season 10, in which he was investigating the aftermath of the NCIS team's handling of the Ilan Bodnar case. Initially believed to be pursuing Ziva David, and then Director Vance, the team soon learned his target was Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Parsons goes to great lengths to take Gibbs to court for all of his "wrongdoings", but after a bombing that resulted in the death of SECNAV Clayton Jarvis in the season 11 premiere episode "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot", Parson's perspective on Gibbs' team changed after Gibbs defended him during an ambush in Iran. Parsons repaid the debt by saving Gibbs' life during a gunfight. Later, back in Washington D.C., Parsons dropped his investigation into NCIS and also granted McGee and DiNozzo permission to get their badges back and become agents again.
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