NCIS continued on Tuesday night, and viewers were once again left in tears after it was revealed that another beloved character had died.
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While the majority of the episode saw the team dive into the competitive world of food trucks after finding a victim frozen in the back of one, at the very end Tobias Fornell (played by Joe Spano) received a devastating phone call and quickly rushed to the hospital. It was then revealed that his teenage daughter, Emily, had died following a drug overdose.
The episode concluded with Rocky Carroll's character Leon Vance reading a touching poem by Merritt Malloy called Epitaph. - and it seems that viewers couldn't hold back the tears, with many taking to social media to express how emotional the episode made them.
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One person tweeted: "This was beautiful and powerful and so heartbreaking. The Merrit Malloy poem is both haunting and uplifting. As usual, you have left us with deep feelings. Well done, even if I am [crying]" Another wrote: "That's one of the most heartbreaking @NCIS_CBS I've watched in a long time! Brings back to me all those I've lost, and that poem has me still crying!"
A third said: "The end of tonight's #NCIS has me feeling so sad. The way they ended the episode was so beautiful, tragic and emotional."
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However, some fans were less than impressed that the writers chose to kill Emily off, given that the show has already said goodbye to two female characters in recent weeks. "Seriously @NCIS_CBS? First Breena, then Jack, now Emily?" one viewer questioned. "Come on, I want to watch one episode without crying!"
In last week's instalment, Gibb's love interest Jack Sloane departed the series after just four years. It was revealed that the forensic psychologist was relocating to Costa Rica for a quieter life, leaving the door open for her to return in future. Before that, the show tackled the devastating effects of the ongoing global health crisis, with Breena, Jimmy Palmer's wife, dying after contracting COVID-19.
Emily's death came as a shock to fans of the show
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, actor Brian Dietzen revealed that the writing team behind the show were keen to incorporate the sad reality of the pandemic into the series without losing a core NCIS team member.
"The producers let me know that [they wanted] the advent of COVID to hit our team," he said. "And yet, we don't want to lose a team member. So the prospect of having Jimmy lose his wife, the most optimistic team member lose someone, came to the table and they thought it would be a great storytelling mechanic - albeit very, very sad. So they went ahead with it. I was notified ahead of time and prepared for it, I suppose, emotionally."
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