In Season 2, Episode 23, “Twilight,” the NCIS team takes down a terrorist cell led by Gibbs’ archnemesis Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin). While they do succeed in eliminating the cell, it ends with the tragic death of Junior Agent Caitlin “Kate” Todd. Making matters worse is the fact that Gibbs was finally giving her praise for a job well done (after she and her protective vest literally took a bullet for him), to which she replies “I thought I’d die before I ever heard a compliment” a split second before Ari shoots her in the head, killing her instantly.
This wasn’t just the worst moment for Gibbs in Season 2. Fans took it particularly hard as well. In this Reddit thread about surprise endings on NCIS, the most upvoted comments were those relating to this tragic scene at the end of “Twilight.” Ohlordwhyisthishere wrote, “I’m gonna have to say Twilight (02×23). When I tell you I had to put down my phone and go take a walk, I’m serious.” That comment alone earned 34 points from other Redditors. Sparkplug_23 agreed, writing, “Same. This is the only correct answer.” ACCER1 captured the visceral shock that moment created for Gibbs and viewers alike, stating that “There is no question that it was Twilight…that shook us to the core and told us that none of them were really safe and could be taken from us at any time.”