List of NCIS characters

List of NCIS characters

This is an overview of the regular, recurring, dead and other characters of the TV series NCIS.

Cast status


Name Status Notes
Gibbs, Leroy JethroLeroy Jethro Gibbs Main cast Current
DiNozzo, AnthonyAnthony DiNozzo Main cast Current
David, ZivaZiva David Main cast Current
Sciuto, Abigail "Abby"Abigail "Abby" 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 Also starring Current
Gibbs, JacksonJackson Gibbs Recurring Current
Fornell, TobiasTobias Fornell Recurring Current
Franks, MikeMike Franks Recurring Former
Jardine, NikkiNikki Jardine Other/minor Former
Hampton, JordanJordan Hampton Recurring Former
Kort, TrentTrent Kort Recurring Current
Hart, Margaret AllisonMargaret Allison Hart Recurring Former
David, EliEli David Recurring Current
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
Blackadder, VivianVivian Blackadder Other/minor Former
(Butch), JethroJethro (Butch) Other/minor Former
Snow, HollyHolly Snow Other/minor Former

Main cast

Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, portrayed by Mark Harmon, was born in Stillwater, Pennsylvania to Jackson Gibbs and an unnamed mother. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1976 and became a Scout Sniper instead of attending college. After serving tours of duty in Panama and Iraq,[1] 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. Gibbs later travelled 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.

He currently leads a team consisting of Anthony DiNozzo, Timothy McGee, Abigail Sciuto, and Ziva David. In the episode "Bête Noire" Gibbs comes face to face with terrorist Ari Haswari and puts a bullet through Ari's left shoulder. Finding Ari later becomes an obsession for Gibbs when he and DiNozzo witness original team member Agent Kate Todd get shot dead in front of them in the season 2 finale, "Twilight".

He 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 a deadshot marksman, as evidenced in "Hiatus" with flashbacks of him hitting a long-distance headshot of his family's murderer, who was driving a moving vehicle, a 1200-yard killshot, from a file read by Director Leon Vance in the episode "Deliverance"; And in "Jeopardy" he hits a kidnapper with a very swift killshot in the forehead– he takes this shot while kneeling from inside a car trunk, with his left hand. In "Truth or Consequences", Gibbs saved 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.

Gibbs is one of three characters to have appeared in every episode.

Anthony "Tony" D. DiNozzo

Senior Special Agent Anthony "Tony" D. DiNozzo, 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 that he comes from a wealthy family but was disowned 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."[citation needed]

He 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 the fourth season, 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 light-hearted 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.

Reassigned as an Agent Afloat in Season 5 ("Judgment Day")
Transferred back to the Major Case Response Team in Season 6 ("Agent Afloat")[2]

DiNozzo is one of three characters to have appeared in every episode.

Ziva David

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. Ziva was Ari's control officer and half-sister. After Agent Todd's death, she requested a liaison assignment to NCIS, where she subsequently joined Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs' team. At the end of Season 6, Ziva falls under suspicion as a spy for the Mossad.

Her specialty with the Mossad was espionage, assassination and terrorism and 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. Ziva 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. In the episode "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Ziva became a probationary NCIS Special Agent after she terminated her links with Mossad for good. 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 9's "Nature of the Beast".

Ziva rarely speaks of her personal life. Her father Eli David is the director of Mossad. The show rarely mentions Ziva's mother, Rivka, who taught her to drive; all that is known is that she does not have the same mother as Ari. Her younger sister, Talia "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. Ziva's hobbies include playing the piano, singing, dancing (she took ballet when she was young), cooking, reading, and boxing. She enjoys the fictional drink Berry Mango Madness. She drives a red Mini Cooper, 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.

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."[3]

Former Mossad Liaison Officer, NCIS
Returned to Mossad Season 5 ("Judgement Day") and again in Season 6 ("Aliyah")
Returned to NCIS Season 7. Resigned from Mossad to become a Special Agent, leaving former position abandoned ("The Inside Man").

Abigail "Abby" Sciuto

Pauley Perrette plays Abby Sciuto

Abigail "Abby" Sciuto, portrayed by Pauley Perrette, is a forensic specialist with NCIS. As indicated in the episode "Seadog", she is the child of deaf parents. She is known for her gothic style of dress and addiction to the fictional, high-caffeine beverage "Caf-Pow". 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.

Abby developed a fondness for a Navy sniffer dog in the season 5 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."

Abby is one of three characters to have appeared in every episode and like Director Leon Vance, also appears on the spin-off series, NCIS Los Angeles.

Timothy McGee

Timothy McGee, portrayed by Sean Murray, first appeared in the episode "Sub Rosa" as a Case Agent stationed at Norfolk, and was promoted to Field Agent and assigned to Agent Gibbs' team in the second season, becoming a regular character, where he became a Junior Special Agent with NCIS. He serves as a field computer consultant and occasionally assists Abby Sciuto in the lab.

He 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, once Ziva returns, their relationship reverts to its original state. McGee's methods are often indecipherable to the other team members, have earned him the pejorative nickname "McGeek" and "McGoo" (along with other derisive nicknames based on his surname), as well as "Probie", and "Elf Lord", the latter 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 best seller, Deep Six, 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 uses it frequently on investigation. 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 5 ("Judgment Day") and back to the Major Case Response Team in Season 6 ("Last Man Standing").[2]

Leon Vance

Leon Vance, portrayed by Rocky Carroll, first appeared in the episode "Internal Affairs" as Assistant Director in Season 5. 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.[4] 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 8 finale. 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 wasn't 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.[5]

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 the sixth season; 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 foothole in NCIS through Gibbs. After this, the two of them realize that circumstances will prove one of them right.

At the start of the seventh season, Vance approves Ziva's transfer to NCIS, proving that Gibbs was right, and Ziva was loyal to NCIS. Despite his professional attitude towards Gibbs's 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 who, 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 an Eli-phone call 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 5, 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 6 ("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 8 episode, "Enemies Domestic",[6] 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.

Leon Vance has a wife, Jackie, and 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.[4]

Vance is also a recurring character on the NCIS spin-off, NCIS Los Angeles.

Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard

Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, portrayed by David McCallum, is the Chief Medical Examiner at NCIS. Dr. Mallard is a Scottish-born doctor,[7] who has been long-time friends with Gibbs, and underwent medical education at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He has a "second talent", as Gibbs calls it, to be able to read people, which he expands in Season 4 by studying psychology. In cases without actual bodies, he assists by using his psychological training to decipher the clues left by the perpetrators. Dr. Mallard is an eccentric character who often talks to the deceased ("their bodies tell me a great deal; it helps to reciprocate"[8]) and rambles to the living with many long personal remembrances or historical accounts, but is a kind man at heart. He also calls co-workers by their full first names (ex: Abigail instead of Abby)—with the exceptions of Gibbs and medical assistant Jimmy Palmer, whom he addresses as 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). 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". He also spent some time in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, and in Bosnia during the Balkan conflict.

Ducky and Gibbs have worked together for many years. When Gibbs was asked, "What did Ducky look like when he was younger?" he replied, "Illya Kuryakin"—the Russian spy played by McCallum in the 1960s television show The Man From U.N.C.L.E..[9] 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. The ring tone on his cell phone features bagpipes playing "Scotland the Brave".[10]

He lived with his aging mother and her corgi dogs until season 6. In the episode "Broken Bird", Ducky revealed his mother had moved out and had Alzheimer's disease.[11] 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.[12] 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 2)".

Caitlin "Kate" Todd

Caitlin Todd, portrayed by Sasha Alexander, first appeared in the episode "Yankee White". Todd was a former Secret Service agent, recruited by Gibbs after she successfully helped him solve a murder aboard Air Force One. She worked well with everyone on the team, becoming particularly close with Ducky and Abby, who convinced her to get a tattoo (referenced in the episode "Kill Ari (Part 1)"). Her relationship with Gibbs is unique, as there appeared to be a real friendship between the two characters; which is unusual considering Gibbs is not a close friend with anyone. Her relationship with Tony, however, was more adversarial and appeared to be more of siblings than anything else. Tony frequently flirted with her and went through her personal belongings, no matter how many times she pointed out that his behavior was 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.

Todd was 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 received a fatal gunshot wound to the head from a sniper rifle fired by Ari Haswari. Todd also made appearances in "Kill Ari" parts 1 and 2 as a hallucination, remembered by her teammates. She was replaced at NCIS by Israeli Mossad Liaison Officer Ziva David.

Jenny Shepard

Lauren Holly portrayed Director Jenny Shepard during Seasons 3, 4 and 5 of NCIS before leaving the show for good in the Season 5 finale.

Jenny Shepard, portrayed by Lauren Holly, first appeared in the episode "Kill Ari (Part 1)". She replaced former NCIS director Thomas Morrow, at the start of the third season after Morrow took a Deputy Director's position with the Department of Homeland Security. She is also a "military brat" as her father Colonel Jasper Shepard was an Army officer.[13] 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. They 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 a terminal illness that was never specified. Only she, Ducky, and Mike Franks ever knew, and Ducky broke the truth to Gibbs after her passing.

Shepard had a close relationship with Ziva David and occasionally provided her with key information on a case without going through regular channels or telling Gibbs, as in the Season 3 episode "Head Case." They made it a point to keep these dealings confidential; "What Gibbs doesn't know can't hurt us," Shepard quipped. Later in the episode, though, Gibbs' remarks revealed that he knew about her assistance. Shepard and Ziva had a working relationship prior Shepard being appointed Director of NCIS.

During season 4, 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 she blames Benoit for the death of her father and that Benoit is now central to a major CIA deep-cover operation. Gibbs confronts her 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 the murder of La Grenouille, something reiterated when Gibbs looks through the FBI's file on the death of La Grenouille in "Judgement Day (Part 1)".

In several episodes during season five, before her death in the episode "Judgement Day (Part 1)", her failing health becomes a plot issue, as for example when Ducky is shown to be ordering a test on a blood sample to Abby, telling her that it is from a John Doe. However, when Abby talks to Jimmy Palmer, he says that they have no John Does. Gibbs deduces, correctly, that the only person Ducky would act this way for would be the Director, at the end of the episode "Stakeout". In the next episode "Dog Tags", Gibbs questions Jenny about her illness and she lies to him, saying she is fine. It is never revealed as to what was killing her.

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 and 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 where she and Gibbs had been ordered to assassinate Russian lovers who were crime lords. Gibbs shot the man, but Jenny faced the woman, Natasha (AKA Svetlana), down 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 and her cause of death is reported as "death in home fire". Her death rattles the crew and makes them all depressed. 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 was replaced by Assistant Director Leon Vance.

Other cast

Recurring characters

Jimmy Palmer

Jim (Jimmy) Palmer, portrayed by Brian Dietzen, and sometimes referred to by Tony as "Autopsy Gremlin", first appeared 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 is terrified of Gibbs.[citation needed] Part of the reason that Doctor 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,[14] but does not like baseball.

In many of the episodes, Jimmy is seen fraternizing with Michelle Lee. Often 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. Jimmy Palmer is also shown to have severe tinnitus.

In season 7 it was revealed that Jimmy was in love with a girl named Breena Slater, who appeared in the episode "Mother's Day". In the season 8 finale "Pyramid", NCIS special agent E.J. Barrett congratulates Jimmy with his engagement and in the season 9 premiere "Nature of the Beast" Ziva says that they are getting married in next spring.

Jackson Gibbs

Jackson Gibbs is the father of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, portrayed by Ralph Waite. After his son left to join the Marines, Jackson Gibbs continued to live in the town of Stillwater. He was widowed some years before the events in the sixth season 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. From this, it is possible that Jackson served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. Jackson Gibbs's most recent appearance on the show is also the season ending cliffhanger for season 7. Paloma Reynosa of the Reynosa cartell enters Gibbs's store and turns the sign on the door from open to closed.[15] This is following Reynosa's warning to Jethro 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.[16]

However in the Season 8 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. It is also revealed that Jackson named his son after a business associate, Leroy Jethro.

Tobias C. Fornell

Tobias C. Fornell, portrayed by Joe Spano, first appeared in the series premiere episode "Yankee White". Fornell is a Senior FBI Special Agent. 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, only to meet in an elevator and talk, revealing a pre-existing friendship. 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 "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, just in case the investigation did not clear him. 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.[17]

Dr. Jordan Hampton

Dr. Jordan Hampton, portrayed by Torri Higginson, first appeared in the episode "Identity Crisis". When a "John Doe" was donated to science and Ducky found mercury in his brain, he was outraged that the medical examiner who performed the autopsy did not think to check his brain before donating him. As he and Gibbs went to confront "him" (Ducky mistakenly assumed that Dr. Hampton was male), he asked 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 decoded 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".

Trent Kort

Trent Kort, portrayed by David Dayan Fisher, first appeared in the episode "Smoked". He works for the CIA and while he has not done anything illegal, he almost always has his own agenda. He also has a bad tendency to lie to peoples' faces, especially Gibbs. (In the episode "Dead Reckoning" he tells Gibbs that trust is elusive at best and Gibbs responds by saying that between him and Kort, it is not elusive but impossible). He has managed to keep a neutral relationship with everyone on Gibbs' team except DiNozzo, since he blew Tony's car up in the episode "Bury Your Dead", and kept La Grenouille informed about Tony's relationship with his daughter, even though it was supposed to be an undercover mission to get to La Grenouille.

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 is the one to have killed La Grenouille, though it is implied Jenny Shepard may have been responsible. Her Glock 19 magazine is found to leave the same imprints on a 9mm bullet as the one that killed "The Frog". Following the La Grenouille incident, Kort was reassigned 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 in an attempt 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 the series' eighth season, 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 attempts to intervene to save one of Cobb's victims, but the effort costs him his left eye which he then sends to the NCIS team in Washington. 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: Phillip Davenport, the Secretary of the Navy. 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.

Kort has also made an appearance in NCIS: Los Angeles, revealing that he has worked with Agent G Callen in the past.[18]

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 sent Hart to Washington to defend any accused who were involved in Gibbs's investigations.[citation needed]

Hart started to take up every case that involved Gibbs. Hart's skills as a lawyer were a match for Gibbs' skills as an investigator. Despite their animosity, they appear to be smitten by one another. It is even implied that they shared a kiss at the end of one episode. When Gibbs's former mother-in-law becomes a suspect in a murder investigation, Gibbs covertly hires Hart to defend her. He purposely makes mistakes in legal judgment to prevent her arrest, 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 his 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 51," in which she confronted Gibbs over the report.

Eli David

Eli David, played by Michael Nouri, has had a recurring role as the head of the Israeli Mossad, who also happens to be Ziva David's father. Though appearing to be uncaring about his children, Eli has his reasons for his inability to care for their well being. He and Director Vance share a history since Amsterdam when Eli saved his life from a Russian hit squad.

Eli made a few appearances in the series. Towards the end of the sixth season, 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. He has also used Ziva to spy on NCIS and that she had originally been sent to the agency 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. 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 the "Enemies Foreign"/"Enemies Domestic" 2-parter, Ziva managed to reconcile with her father after understanding his reasoning.

Alejandro Rivera

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 having 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.

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 8 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. than gives up her post at NCIS but not before having removed a little microchip from her dead team member Levin. Gibbs leaves the door open for her.

At the end of season 8, DiNozzo is tasked to deal with an agent who is selling top-secret information. In the season 9 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 doesn't 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 doesn't know anything about it and all three realise that they are used. They then get shot, Cade fatally, E.J. in her stomache and Tony in his shoulder (but he was wearing a vest). Their shooter appeared to be Casey Stratton, who was said to be an FBI agent, but not known by the FBI itself. E.J. went missing after the shooting, leaving both NCIS and Casey Stratton looking for her.

Clayton Jarvis

Clayton Jarvis, played by Matt Craven, is the new Secretary of the Navy appointed after the events of the season 8 finale, Pyramid, which lead 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's 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 9's "Nature of the Beast", it was revealed that the mole was none other than Simon Cade, a member of EJ Barrett's team.

Deceased characters

Ari Haswari

Portrayed by Rudolf Martin. Haswari 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 a rogue agent working for Hamas and he was later found to be the leader of an Al-Qaeda cell in Washington, D.C..

Both of his parents were medical doctors; Ari's mother, Hosmoya Haswari, was Palestinian and his father, while 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.

After the murder of Special Agent Kate Todd in the episode "Twilight", and 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" 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. 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.

Brent Langer

Brent Langer, portrayed by Jonathan LaPaglia, first appeared in the episode "Tribes". He is killed in the episode "Last Man Standing" by Agent Lee, and initially suspected of being a mole. Lee was, in fact, the mole, and killed him to preserve her cover. He was an FBI agent, initially trained under Gibbs at NCIS 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",[19] just as Gibbs was turning his suspicion back to Agent Lee.

Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee, portrayed by Liza Lapira, first appeared 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 covert affair with Assistant Medical Examiner 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 the 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.

Mike Franks

Mike Franks is portrayed by Muse Watson, introduced in episode flashbacks in the episode "Hiatus (Part 1)". Retired NIS/NCIS Agent Mike Franks was called in to help with Gibbs' memory after he went into a coma due to being caught in a bombing. He is Gibbs' former mentor and partner, still referring to Gibbs as "Probie". 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. He 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. In his visit to Gibbs' bedside in the fourth season, 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 7, Franks is seemingly ambushed by Colonel Merton Bell's henchmen and hitmen from the Renosa 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 Renosa Cartel's men, Franks loses his right index finger. In the beginning of Season 8, 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 8 finale. It is also learned in this episode that Franks was dying of cancer and Gibbs was making him a coffin.

Paloma Reynosa

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 older 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, 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's murder but covered up the evidence 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's severed finger. He also returned with Gibbs 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. 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 "The Spider and the Fly" ("Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering for when it comes you'll know you're dead.").

Paula Cassidy

Paula Cassidy, portrayed by Jessica Steen, first appeared in the episode "Minimum Security". Paula Cassidy was a criminal profiler for NCIS. An expert on Middle Eastern terrorists, she worked as an interrogator at Guantanamo Bay. After becoming a team leader, her team is killed, and she later sacrifices 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 portrait is later seen on a wall honouring officers killed in the line of duty. She was shown to have a very hostile relationship with Ziva David.

René Benoit ("La Grenouille")

Portrayed by Armand Assante, René Benoit, alias La Grenouille ("The Frog"), is an arms dealer from France. He is the primary antagonist of seasons four and five. He is introduced in the episode "Blowback". Director Shepard had been hunting La Grenouille for over ten years and soon developed an obsession with arresting him as she believed he had killed her father. Although he had connections to Iran, the CIA appear to have tolerated him as a method of funneling disinformation to Iran. According to a psychological profile by Dr. Mallard, La Grenouille, while a "merchant of death", was not a violent man by nature, a viewpoint Agent Gibbs would later embrace. In the episode "Bury Your Dead", La Grenouille is forced to ask Director Shepard for protection because he believes someone is trying to kill him and take over his arms business. Shepard hands him her Glock 19 9mm, telling him "protect yourself". 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) and it is later shown that he never took the weapon. In the episode "Angel of Death (1)", 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.

It is implied that both Trent Kort and NCIS Director Jenny Shepard killed him in the episode "Internal Affairs," and in "Judgement Day (Part 1)" Gibbs, reviewing the FBI file, finds evidence that further implicates her.

Michael Rivkin

Michael Rivkin, portrayed by Merik Tadros, first appeared in the episode "Last Man Standing" as a Mossad agent. He was working with Ziva David when she was 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 was 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 US 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 Rivkin who was intoxicated 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 decides to stay in Israel.

Lara Macy

Lara Macy, portrayed by Louise Lombard, first appeared 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.

Merton Bell

Colonel Merton Bell (played by Robert Patrick) is a former Army tank unit commander and the head 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's 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. 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.

Lt. Jonas Cobb

Lieutenant Jonas Cobb, played by Kerr Smith, is the name used by the "Port-to-Port Killer", 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 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. He was responsible for the death of Mike Franks, and took NCIS agent E.J. Barrett hostage.

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. 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 is killed in the season eight finale, "Pyramid", where it is revealed that everything he has 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 when he refuses to surrender.

Other characters

Cassie Yates

Cassie Yates, portrayed by Tamara Taylor, first appeared in the episode "SWAK". Cassie Yates is a recurring NCIS Special Agent. Due to Taylor's commitment to the series Bones, however, Yates has made 2 appearances on the program. Her last appearance to date was in the episode "Jeopardy".[20]

Chad Dunham

Chad Dunham, portrayed by Todd Lowe, first appeared 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 7. He appeared for a second time in Season 7, ep. 4, "Good Cop, Bad Cop". His third appearance, and the last to date, was in Season 7, ep. 7, "Endgame", although this time it was in person in DC, when Ziva notices that he "cleans up nice"

Charles "Chip" Sterling

Chip Sterling, portrayed by Michael Bellisario, first appeared 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 Abby's own aggravation. (Throughout Chip's employment, Abby insisted in vain that she was capable of working alone). 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.

Faith Coleman

Portrayed by Alicia Coppola. Lieutenant Commander Faith Coleman is a prosecutor for the Judge Advocate General's office. Coleman first appeared in the episode "Ice Queen" of JAG 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

Gerald Jackson, portrayed by Pancho Demmings, first appeared in the episode "Yankee White". Gerald Jackson was Dr. Mallard's original assistant until being incapacitated by Ari Haswari after being held hostage in the morgue[21] While recuperating from his shoulder gunshot wound, his position was filled by Jimmy Palmer. Approximately a year and a half later, a week before he was scheduled to return to work, Gerald was again captured by Ari Haswari in an effort to secure Dr. Mallard's attention.[22] After Ari released him, Gerald had not been seen since and has been permanently replaced by Jimmy Palmer.

Hollis Mann

Hollis Mann, portrayed by Susanna Thompson, first appeared in the episode "Sandblast". Lieutenant Colonel 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 confronts Gibbs, 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." She is upset to hear that he has worked through the night to fix her home's plumbing, seeing it as a sign that he doesn't want to stick around. He calmly informs her that he did so 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.

She last appears in the episode "Ex-File"; the relationship ends when she discovers that, no matter how strongly Gibbs feels about her, he still misses his wife and daughter. In the episode "Lost and Found", the "Stars and Stripes" military newspaper Shepard is reading reveals that she has relocated to the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

Jeanne Benoit

Jeanne Benoit, portrayed by Scottie Thompson, first appeared in the episode "Sandblast" as Tony DiNozzo's new girlfriend. She is an ER resident in Washington DC. In the episode "Angel of Death (1)", 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. Even though Tony said that his love for her wasn't real, he still had deep feelings for her and loved her.

Nikki Jardine

Nikki Jardine, portrayed by Susan Kelechi Watson, first appeared in the episode "Leap of Faith". She assisted Gibbs' team in keeping watch on communications, and speaks fluent Arabic and Kurdish. In the episode "In the Zone", despite being a germaphobe revolted at the idea of field work, Jardine asked to go to Baghdad with Tony. She ostensibly went there on a case, but she also had her own reasons for going. 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 was in the episode "In the Zone."

Vivian Blackadder

Portrayed by Robyn Lively, (JAG episodes "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown"). A former FBI agent, she joined 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's 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.

Jethro (AKA Butch)

Jethro is a Navy drug detecting dog from season 5 episode "Dog Tags". Named after Gibbs by Abby for being "handsome and quiet". Gibbs walks in on Abby saying "Who's a good Jethro?" with him replying from behind, "I'm a good Jethro." He was framed for murder of a petty officer. Abby proves Jethro's innocence and forces McGee to adopt him, much to his dismay. (Jethro attacked him earlier in the episode.)

Holly Snow

Holly Snow (played by Dina Meyer) is a former Washington madam. She has appeared in two episodes to date: "Jet Lag" and "Guilty Pleasure". In "Guilty Pleasure", Holly is found by Gibbs to be giving a seminar on sexual harassment in the work place, part of a plea deal she worked out after her last episode. Gibbs asks for her help tracking down a prostitute who is the common link to all the murder victims. Later in the episode Holly whispers a request into Gibbs' ear for her assistance. Gibbs declares that her request is "a deal breaker" but Holly states that the deal is the only way she will help his investigation.

The killer ends up kidnapping Holly, blaming her for getting the prostitute into her lifestyle. However, she is saved by Gibbs before the killer can harm her. The episode ends with Gibbs and Holly having a simple dinner together as part of their deal. During which Holly receives a phone call and leaves dinner early, under the impression that she is meeting a client for business.


  1. ^ "Kill Ari". NCIS. CBS. 2005-09-20. No. 1, season 3.
  2. ^ a b DarkUFO (August 9, 2008). "Spoiler TV: NCIS - Latest from TV Guide". Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  3. ^ Mason, Dave, "De Pablo adds spice to 'NCIS'", The San Diego Union-Tribune, January 3, 2006. Retrieved on October 7, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Knockout". NCIS. CBS. 2009-03-17. No. 18, season 6.
  5. ^ "Enemies Domestic". NCIS. CBS. 2010-11-23. No. 9, season 8. 3:01-3:34 minutes in.
  6. ^
  7. ^ In the episode "Iceman", Ducky mentions that he is from Scotland during an autopsy.
  8. ^ Season 6, Episode 18 ("South by Southwest"), transcript at
  9. ^ "The Meat Puzzle". NCIS. 2005-02-08. No. 13, season 2. 21:37 minutes in.
  10. ^ "Kill Ari (Part 2)". NCIS. 2005-09-27. No. 2, season 3. 09:15 minutes in.
  11. ^ "Broken Bird". NCIS. CBS. 2009-01-13. No. 13, season 6. 24:56 minutes in.
  12. ^ "Double Identity". NCIS. CBS. 2010-03-09. No. 17, season 7.
  13. ^ "Jasper Shepard - The NCIS Database". Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  14. ^ "Broken Bird". NCIS. CBS. 2009-01-13. No. 13, season 6. 11:11 minutes in.
  15. ^ "Rule Fifty-One". NCIS. CBS. May 25, 2010. No. 24, season 7. 42:50 minutes in.
  16. ^ "Rule Fifty-One". NCIS. CBS. May 25, 2010. No. 24, season 7. 7:27 minutes in.
  17. ^ "Escaped". NCIS. September 26, 2006. No. 2, season 4. 25:12 minutes in.
  18. ^ "Callen, G (#1.24)". NCIS: Los Angeles. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Collateral Damage". NCIS. CBS. 2008-11-11. No. 7, season 6. 41:40 minutes in.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Bête Noire". NCIS. No. 16, season 1.
  22. ^ "Kill Ari: Part 2". NCIS. No. 2, season 3.

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