NCIS’ New Spinoff Can Finally Return This 1 Character To The Franchise After 19 Years


A new spinoff from NCIS can finally bring back a character who hasn’t been able to appear in the NCIS universe in 19 years. Some characters are brought back to the franchise long after they depart, like when Anthony DiNozzo actor Michael Weatherly surprisingly returned in NCIS season 21. Characters can also return to the NCIS universe in other spinoff shows, like when LL Cool J’s Sam Hanna joined the cast of NCIS: Hawai’i after his home series, NCIS: Los Angeles, was canceled in 2023.

Some characters or their family members are unable to return to the NCIS universe due to the harrowing consequences that can come with their jobs as NCIS agents. There have been memorable deaths in the series, like the shocking deaths of Jackie Vance (née Thomas) and Eli David (Michael Nouri). Once a character’s death has been portrayed on-screen, their options are limited for returning to the series. While this character won’t be featured in NCIS season 22, they could finally return due to this one special circumstance from NCIS’ lastest spinoff.

NCIS: Origins Is The First Spinoff That Could Feature Kate Todd Because It’s Set In The Past

Special Agent Kate Todd Is A Deceased NCIS Character

NCIS: Origins is distinctly suited to feature Kate Todd (Sasha Alexander) because the prequel spinoff will go back in time. After Caitlin “Kate” Todd was killed in NCIS season 2, it was impossible to bring her back in anything other than post-mortem depictions. While many characters have returned to the NCIS franchise after their time on the show expired, it can never truly see the return of a character who ends up as a dead body on the NCIS autopsy table.

NCIS: Origins will open in 1991, when Gibbs is freshly assigned to Camp Pendleton. After enlisting in the military in the 1970s and leaving his hometown of Stillwater, Pennsylvania, Gibbs was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. As such, the series will follow Gibbs in his mid-thirties when he first joins the fledgling NCIS office. While there was an age difference between Kate and Gibbs, the NCIS timeline still puts Kate as an adult in the early 90s.

Kate Todd’s Shocking Season 2 NCIS Death Explained

Kate Todd Experienced One Of The Most Shocking NCIS Deaths

Caitlin Todd experienced a shocking death in NCIS season 2. She was killed in the NCIS season 2 finale, and her death marked the apex of rogue Mossad agent Ari Haswari’s antagonist NCIS arc. Ari first appeared in NCIS season 1, episode 16, “Bête Noire,” and it began a season-spanning conflict that made “Bête Noire” one of the best episodes in NCIS’ 21 seasons. Kate was held captive by the Mossad agent after he snuck into NCIS Headquarters in a body bag and held several members of the team hostage. Her eventual murder made Alexander’s departure from the series permanent.

Kate was one of the most important main characters who left NCIS. While many characters have come and gone, Kate Todd’s exit from the series was one of the most gruesome. Other characters who would go on to take over Kate’s position, like Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham), would also exit their MCRT position, but in such a w ay that their characters could return. For example, although she was thought to be dead in NCIS season 13, it was later revealed that Ziva was alive in NCIS season 16.


How Kate Has Reappeared On NCIS In The Past

Her Appearances Were Limited To Post-Mortem Visualizations

At the beginning of NCIS season 3, Kate appeared post-mortem. Her physical body was kept on a slab in autopsy, with the former agent being portrayed as both dead and “dead” but with Kate talking to the other NCIS characters. She “comes alive” to talk to Ducky (David McCallum) in autopsy. She also appeared in the bullpen and forensics lab as a visualization experienced individually by Gibbs, Tony, Abby (Pauley Perrette), and McGee (Sean Murray). Each time she appeared to a different MCRT member, her outfit and hair catered to how each co-worker remembered her.

Kate was also referenced in the most recent season of NCIS, paying homage to her character and the legacy surrounding the team’s opening case in season 1, episode 1, “Yankee White,” which was the same episode that Kate joined the team. The season 21 episode that referenced Todd’s character was the 1000th episode of NCIS, and it felt fitting that the storyline focused on an inaugural moment for the team. It also felt appropriate that the 1000th episode featured Kate, who was pivotal to the NCIS villain story paid off after 21 years.

How Kate Todd’s Appearance Could Work In NCIS: Origins

Kate Could Finally Come Back At A Different Time In Her Life

Since her storyline doesn’t directly overlap with Gibbs’ early military experience, Kate’s NCIS: Origins appearance would likely be brief, but it is within reach. It was suggested that Kate was in her 30s when she was with the team, putting her in her 20s in the early 1990s. Kate could be featured vacationing near California’s Camp Pendleton and could interact with Gibbs. It isn’t out of the question that Gibbs could have crossed paths with Kate earlier in life, even learning her name and talking with her, without remembering it by the time both agents met on Air Force One.

It wouldn’t be the first time that the franchise showed characters overlapping in their earlier days. NCIS season 18, episode 2, “Everything Starts Somewhere,” explored the beginning of a friendship between Gibbs and Ducky. The episode complicated NCIS canon, establishing the characters as lifelong friends without explaining that, later in their lives, Ducky had no idea that Gibbs had been married and his wife and daughter were murdered. Kate’s character could be included more seamlessly. While Origins risks ruining what made Gibbs special by shattering the mystery around his character, Kate is a character that could be explored more.

Overlapping with Austin Stowell’s young Gibbs in NCIS: Origins could be what inspired Kate to pursue her career in public service. What’s known about Kate is that she spent two years in law school in the early ’90s, but she left her studies because they didn’t fulfill her. NCIS: Origins could witness Kate before she goes to law school, perhaps on a vacation with her sister, Rachel Cranston (Wendy Makkena), between major moments in her life. Sharing a conversation with young Gibbs could plant a seed that sees Kate leave law school and make her way to the Secret Service.

It’s been a sad trend that has continued for nearly 20 years that Caitlin Todd has not been able to return to NCIS, but it’s finally possible now that the franchise will transport audiences back in time. Sasha Alexander would not likely reprise her role as Kate, just as Mark Harmon will not reprise his role as Gibbs, but the legacy of her character can still be honored by another actor. While Kate can no longer appear in the NCIS present, she can now access a timeline that is coming out with fresh stories positioned before her death.