- "She was a great agent."
- —Paula Cassidy commenting on Kate in the Season 3 episode, Mind Games (episode).
Caitlin "Kate" Todd was a former Secret Service Agent who prior to joining NCIS and becoming an NCIS Special Agent was originally assigned to the USS Presidential Protective Detail on board Air Force One.
However, following the events of Yankee White (episode), she resigned from the Secret Service for good after it was revealed that she'd been in a relationship with a Marine Major who was later murdered.
After resigning from the Secret Service, she almost immediately joined NCIS before being assigned as a Junior Agent to the NCIS Major Case Response Team, becoming the third member of the team and Anthony DiNozzo's second partner with her profiling skills rendering her as a great asset to the team.
However, her year and a half-long career as an NCIS Special Agent which had the promise of great things came to an abrupt and very tragic end when in the last few seconds in the Season 2 finale episode, Twilight (episode) and in a move that the team's enemy, Ari Haswari had arranged and also conducted, Kate while talking to her colleagues, fellow NCIS Special Agents Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Anthony DiNozzo, died seconds later after being shot in the head with a lone bullet from a Bravo 51 ironically nicknamed a "Kate".
Kate's death left the NCIS agency, especially her team devastated and struggling to come to terms with her brutal murder.
She was later buried in a cemetery in her native Indianapolis, having been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work in protecting Gibbs from Ari.
Kate's position on the team which was left vacant after her murder was later taken over by Ari's control officer and half-sister/later NCIS Special Agent Ziva David on a permanent basis and then following Ziva's departure nine years later by NSA agent Eleanor Bishop.
Kate was presumably born and raised in Indianapolis to an unnamed mother and father who were seen in Kill Ari Part 2 (episode).
She also had three older brothers whom she described in the Season 2 episode, Caught on Tape (episode) as being "practically psychotic".
In addition, Kate also had a cousin named Maureen Ingalls and an older sister who is a psychiatrist and lived in Miami, with whom she does not have a close relationship.
Despite listing her sister as an emergency contact, Kate "barely returns" her sister's phone calls as revealed in the Season 1 episode, The Good Samaritan (episode).
In 1994, Kate was the winner of a wet t-shirt contest in 1994 during a trip to Panama City which would later come back to haunt her during the Season 2 episode, Conspiracy Theory (episode).
Some time prior to the events of Yankee White (episode), Kate joined the Secret Service and after presumably spending a few years on individual Protection Details, was eventually reassigned to Air Force One where she became a member of the President of the Secret Service's Protection Detail.
NCIS Season 1
Kate made her first ever appearance in the NCIS Season 1 premiere episode, "Yankee White" where at the time of her debut appearance, she was a U.S. Secret Service agent assigned to the presidential protective detail on Air Force One who was also present when Commander Ray Trapp suffered a stroke, prompting Kate to call for medical assistant while on board Air Force One.
Unfortunately, Trapp died almost immediately, forcing Air Force One into an emergency landing and all the local and federal agencies to be summoned to the craft to determine who would take the lead in the investigation.
After realizing that NCIS Special Agent, Leroy Jethro Gibbs and NCIS Medical Examiner, Donald Mallard who had arrived on the plane were not who they said they were, Kate returned to Air Force One despite having been kicked off and attempted to stop NCIS from hijacking the investigation into the death of a Naval officer, something which she failed to do.
She later tried to stand her ground, insisting that the investigation belonged to the Secret Service but when she tried to get the investigation turned to her advantage, Gibbs responded by trying to have her get kicked off Air Force, forcing Kate to back down.
When Gibbs later suggested that they both work together, an offer Kate grudgingly agreed to despite knowing that her Secret Service superiors wanted the FBI handling the investigation instead.
For doing this, she later received a dressing-down from her boss at the time, William Baer who told Kate that she was not senior enough to make any decisions.
It was later revealed that Kate had been in a relationship with Major Timothy Kerry who tragically like Trapp also died after being poisoned.
Upon discovering that a journalist who was also an al-Qaeda operative was planning on killing the President after triggering a medical emergency in the Press Cabin, Kate was given the task of protecting the President while Gibbs went after the assassin, Gibbs eventually shooting the assassin dead during a gunfight.
Hours after the fight, Kate, having broken the rules by dating Major Kerry chose to resign from the Secret Service for good with her superiors accepting her resignation.
Thankfully, Gibbs who had seen Kate's potential made a fast move and hired Kate almost immediately after she'd quit. He then assigned her to his team where she became an NCIS Special Agent and the third member of Gibbs's team, pairing her with Tony DiNozzo.
Upon joining the agency, Kate received her very own NCIS badge, ID card and her own SIG Sauer P228. She then worked her first official crime scene as an NCIS Special Agent during Hung Out to Dry (episode) and even witnessed an autopsy being performed as well.
In Seadog (episode), Kate helped investigate the death of a Naval Commander supposedly involved in drugs and she showed off her feminist side when she berated Gibbs and Tony for letting her ride in a tow-truck with a boat before asking them if they did to all the newbies or just the females. She was also seen firing her NCIS-issued SIG-Sauer P228 for the first time during a gunfight with a terrorist.
In The Immortals (episode), Kate went on board a United States Navy vessel for the first time and during the investigation, formed a bond with the victim as she was Catholic like him which earned Gibbs's ire as he claimed that Kate was letting her own personal feelings cloud her judgment despite Kate insisting otherwise.
In The Curse (episode), Kate was left emotional after learning that the former wife and young daughter of a Navy Lieutenant had been denied death benefits due to the fact that the victim was suspected to have stolen a million dollars of the safe of the USS Eisenhower ten years previously. As such, Kate developed a strong bond towards the family and resolved to get the family the death benefits they deserved which presumably became a reality after the true mastermind was exposed and arrested.
In High Seas (episode), Kate, Tony and Gibbs headed to the USS Enterprise to investigate a possible meth overdose with Kate meeting Tony's predecessor, Stanley Burley. Kate also struggled to find her way around the ship but eventually got the hang of it.
In Sub Rosa (episode), Kate went on board a submarine, the USS Philadelphia for the first time to help Gibbs track down an eco-terrorist who had killed a submariner before disposing of the victim in a barrel of acid. Prior to that, Kate also expressed a strong disapproval of Tony's treatment of Norfolk Naval Base agent Timothy McGee.
In Minimum Security (episode), Kate arrived at Gitmo to investigate the death of a Petty Officer who Dr. Donald Mallard and Medical Examiner Assistant Gerald Jackson discovered had emeralds inside his remains. She and the NCIS team were also successful in stopping an assassination attempt against a member of Osama Bin Laden's family.
In Marine Down (episode), Kate along with Gibbs and Tony tackled the case of a supposedly dead Marine after she and Tony were seen practicing at the NCIS Firing Range. She later (correctly) guessed that Gibbs had been married four times, not three before demonstrating that she was a talented sketch artist with her drawings impressing Abby and even Gibbs.
A while later, Kate took a late night flight to Colombia to save the dead Marine's partner and stop the corrupt CIA agent behind the whole thing. She was later seen on the flight, vomiting while also remarking that she missed Air Force One after being given a single plastic bag upon asking if there were any toilets on board the flight and like Gibbs and Tony, triumphed in saving the kidnapped Marine although the man accompanying them was killed during the gunfight with Kate and Tony later witnessing the Marine being recruited with his family just in time for Christmas.
In Left for Dead (episode), Kate developed an emotional bond towards a "Jane Doe" who had been buried alive and went so far as to take the woman into her home after the woman was released from the hospital. Unfortunately, it was later revealed that the woman had killed one of her colleagues and when Kate confronted her, the woman responded by dropping a bomb that ultimately killed her and her boss, destroyed the building they were in and left Kate greatly traumatized for some time.
In Eye Spy (episode), Kate seemed unwilling to believe that a Navy Lieutenant had murdered her own husband out of spite but was later proven wrong when Kate, Gibbs and Tony caught the wife with the murder weapon in question as well as some missing radar technology.
In My Other Left Foot (episode), Kate revealed that she had a tattoo which was proven to be true due to Gibbs knowing of it but it wasn't shown which part of the body it was or what the tattoo itself was.
In One Shot, One Kill (episode), in order to stop a sniper that was targeting and killing Marine recruiters, Kate went undercover for the first time as she and Gibbs took over the latest recruiting station in an attempt to lure out the sniper who upon being exposed eventually committed suicide by cop after Tony confronted him.
In Bête Noire (episode), Kate along with Dr. Donald Mallard and Ducky's assistant, Gerald Jackson were taken hostage by an unknown gunman who later shot Gerald and then Gibbs before escaping. Kate later found the courage to try and stab him but found that she couldn't because of the supposed kind look in his eyes. She eventually backed down and in a haze of gunfire, the terrorist escaped, leaving a trail of psychological wounds behind him and Kate also cursing herself for not being to stab him as the terrorist had managed to wound Gerald and Gibbs in the process.
In The Truth Is Out There (episode), Kate then told Tony of her belief that they would never see the unknown terrorist ever again with Tony insisting that Gibbs would.
In UnSEALeD (episode), Kate ended up being taken prisoner albeit temporarily by a Navy SEAL who had escaped Leavenworth to find the true person responsible for the deaths of the SEAL's wife and a cable repairman.
During a talk with the SEAL, Kate came to realize that the SEAL was innocent after all although he later stole her SIG-Sauer as a means of protection and possibly as a means of getting back against his wife's lover.
In Dead Man Talking (episode), Kate like the rest of the NCIS Special Agents was left shocked and devastated by the murder of Agent Christopher Pacci. She, Gibbs and Tony then got involved in a cold case involving a woman that Pacci had been investigating before his death with everyone, Tony especially being left stunned after learning that the woman was actually a man and a former Navy Lieutenant who had faked his death and undergone gender reassignment surgery upon being involved in a credit-card scam.
In Missing (episode), Kate and the team investigated the disappearance of a Marine and soon discovered that it was connected to a incident that had occurred in the Philippines in 1991. When Tony went missing, Gibbs and Kate pushed themselves and the team to the limit to find and safe Tony, only to discover that a waitress they had met earlier at a country bar was the true serial killer, not the unit's former C.O. as the team had originally suspected.
In A Weak Link (episode), Kate's religious feelings came to the surface when Gibbs suggested that the killer of a Marine might have been the Marine's best friend. It was also shown that Kate had a strong and almost frightening fear of heights.
In the Season 1 finale episode, Reveille (episode), Gibbs berated Kate for failing to kill the gunman in the morgue many months ago.
Later, on her way back from lunch, Kate was kidnapped by people associated with the unidentified gunman whose name was later revealed to be Ari Haswari with Ari wanting her to help him with a terrorist attack. Kate at first refused but after discovering that Tony's new girlfriend was a member of Ari's terrorist cell would kill Tony when they met again, eventually gave in.
It was later revealed that Ari was actually a mole in Hamas and who was also secretly working for the FBI. He soon relented and let Kate go without any harm whatsoever.
NCIS Season 2
In See No Evil (episode), Kate developed an emotional bond towards a young blind girl whose parents had been taken hostage although Gibbs berated her for this and once the case had ended and with the announcement McGee was to join the team permanently, Kate welcomed him into the team by headslapping McGee at the same time as Tony.
In The Good Wives Club (episode), Kate's profiling skills proved to be essential as she profiled a serial killer who had been going sealing his female victims into airtight rooms after discovering they didn't fulfill his expectations of being wife material.
She and Gibbs were also present when the killer committed suicide in the chapel and Kate's hostage negotiation skills were later called on as she was chosen to talk a Petty Officer and the killer's final victim out of choosing to kill herself by using Tony's gun.
In Vanished (episode), Kate along with the NCIS team helped restore peace to Smokey Corners, a village in West Virginia that for ten years had played host to a feud between two raging families. She and McGee helped escort the daughter of the main leader of the feud out of the area before returning to assist the others in preventing a Marine Captain from avenging his dead brother.
It was also revealed that Kate hated helicopters and that when she was in the Secret Service, she'd dreaded getting on Marine One with the President.
In Lt. Jane Doe (episode), Kate used her profiling abilities to determine that the original killer was not the same person who had murdered Janice Santos, leading the team to suspect that someone else was responsible. Kate also revealed that she'd studied Latin for four years and that she'd also been at NCIS for a year.
In Heart Break (episode), Kate was forced to shoot a young Ensign in self-defense after believing that he was going to attack Gibbs. This left her deeply traumatized and highly doubtful of her skills for a time. After the case was solved, Kate was seen in the NCIS Autopsy Room, staring at Hayes's lifeless body, presumably as a means of coping with what had happened.
In Forced Entry (episode), it was revealed that due to her Roman Catholic upbringing, Kate was a bit prudish and uncomfortable in the subject of sex. Although she'd had some reluctance in shooting someone, Kate finally gained the ability and emotional capacity to do so as during a standoff, she threatened to shoot a woman and her partner who were serial killers.
In Chained (episode), with Tony out in the field, undercover and McGee aiding Abby in the lab, Kate was paired with Gibbs as they sought to uncover stolen Iraqi antiques. She also expressed anger towards Tony after learning that he had referred to her as a Shih Tzu.
In Black Water (episode), Kate developed a romantic attraction towards Thomas McAllister whose brother, Brian had gone missing for a few years before his remains were discovered in a lake. She and Thomas soon hung out together after the case had been solved although it's presumed that they broke it off, possibly due to Kate's time being taken up with her job as an NCIS Special Agent.
In Doppelgänger (episode), it was revealed that Kate didn't like her privacy invaded and that she had a twin or rather doppelganger in Rachel Rapp, a member of the local civilian team led by Lieutenant Cheney.
In The Meat Puzzle (episode), Kate was placed on protection detail after the team discovered that Ducky was the target of Vincent Hanlan and his mother, Mary. She was left later guilt-ridden after Ducky was kidnapped and along with the others, eventually helped save Ducky.
After Vincent committed suicide by slashing his own throat, Kate was tasked with taking his crying mother into custody with Mary Hanlan protesting that NCIS had killed her son.
In Caught on Tape (episode), Kate participated in a standoff against a man who NCIS had discovered was responsible for killing a Marine. She later adopted the murderer's dog and gave it the name, "Tony" or possibly "Toni" due to the fact that the dog was female.
She later confronted the victim's sister and tried to encourage her to give up a corrupt businessman, only for things to take a turn when evidence revealed that the sister who Kate had befriended was responsible for framing her boss and also killing her own sister by force-feeding her some crystal meth.
In An Eye for an Eye (episode), Kate and Tony headed to Paraguay to investigate the death of a Petty Officer where they soon discovered that the victim's lecturer was actually a pedophile who ran his own drug ring.
Unfortunately, their attempts to bring Purcell back to the United States for sentencing hit a snag when the TAT agent accompanying them arrived in and released the lecturer from NCIS custody with the lecturer dying a few minutes later after being shot in the head by an unidentified sniper.
In Bikini Wax (episode), Kate's feminist side emerged again when she reprimanded Tony for viewing a video tape of a Bikini Contest although he claimed he'd been watching to get any possible suspects but she stated he was merely watching it because of the ten and a-half naked women on it.
In Conspiracy Theory (episode), Kate discovered that Tony knew about her Wet T-Shirt competition and the two spent the episode, sniping at each other. Despite this, Kate like Gibbs was left guilt-ridden after a young mentally disturbed Petty Officer committed suicide. For the first time since "Chained", Kate was paired with Gibbs and the two later invaded the Petty Officer's house after coming under attack from an unknown individual.
Kate also served as back-up when she and Tony arrested the attacker as well as a woman who had displayed something of an attraction towards Tony.
In Red Cell (episode), during the case of two Navy Midshipmen who had been found dead with their necks, Kate and Tony began discussing their college days. During the interrogation of a female Midshipman, the two agents discovered that the victims's C.O and who they had left Gibbs with was the murderer and rapist responsible.
Kate and Tony rushed back into the room, only to discover that Gibbs who was injured had managed to subdue the murderer before Gibbs, unable to take anymore of Kate and Tony's college stories told the two Agents that the next person to mention a spring break, a frat party or college would be fired with the two Agents quickly agreeing to his terms much to Gibbs's pleasure.
In Hometown Hero (episode), Kate like the rest of the team was forced to cancel her weekend plans as Gibbs ordered them to work overtime to determine if a Petty Officer who had died in Iraq and who was up for a Silver Star had killed a former classmate of his. The team later discovered that it was the victim's stepfather who had killed her and then framed the Petty Officer.
Later after the case had been solved, the team watched Tony's stolen car be destroyed on live national TV much to Kate's amusement.
In SWAK (episode), Kate and Tony were placed into quarantine after tests discovered that they were the primary carriers of a virus that was later identified to be Y. pestis or plague.
Upon learning that Tony had the disease, Kate opted to stay despite knowing she stood a great chance of becoming infected as well. She and Tony later spent the night in Isolation to make sure that the disease had passed.
Final Days and Murder
In the Season 2 finale episode, Twilight (episode), Kate and her colleagues investigated the death of two Naval officers and soon discovered that their old enemy, Ari Haswari was responsible.
After learning that Gibbs was Ari's main target, Kate was given the assignment of guarding him despite Gibbs protesting otherwise. She even opted to stay at the office just to protect Gibbs.
The next morning, Kate and the team headed off to a company where Gibbs's investigative abilities led to the discovery of a missing missile which ultimately had the NCIS team believing that Ari and his terrorist cell had stolen the missile and were possibly planning on using it as a weapon.
Thanks to information gained from a brief phone call, the team determined that the attack was going to occur in Norfolk with Gibbs grimly realizing that the targets were a group of Navy ships returning to Norfolk.
A while later, the team arrived in Norfolk and while McGee dealt with stopping the missile, Gibbs, Kate and Tony took down the terrorists with Gibbs and Kate being paired together while Tony went separately.
Unfortunately, the stakes grew higher when one of the terrorists managed to get the missile launched with McGee being forced to duck for cover but luckily, Gibbs managed to shoot the laptop computer, throwing the missile off target and sending it crashing into the sea.
While Gibbs, Kate and Tony were regrouping and stocking on new ammo, Kate spotted an Unnamed Terrorist (Twilight) emerging from a door and rushed to Gibbs's aid, instantly taking the bullet originally intended for Gibbs to the chest before falling to the ground in agony.
After Gibbs and Tony had dispatched the terrorist who had shot her by combining their firepower, they went to check on Kate where it was revealed that she had in fact been wearing a bullet-proof vest which managed to stop the bullet from hitting her or even affecting any of her organs although she was left in agony after being shot.
- ""Wow. I thought I'd die before I ever heard a compl-."
- —Kate's final words just seconds before her death at the hands of a sniper in the Season 2 finale episode, Twilight.
Just as she, Tony and Gibbs were standing around, recovering after they had successfully killed all the terrorists involved in the cell, seconds struck seconds later when Kate was shot in the head by a lone bullet which came out of nowhere.
The impact while slicing through her forehead and causing her blood to hit DiNozzo's face killed her instantly while also destroying her brain upon impact with Kate hitting the ground seconds later, already dead.
It was later shown that the person responsible for firing the fatal shot that had ended Kate her life was none other than Ari himself who had used a sniper rifle.
As Tony stood there, stunned, Gibbs drew his gun and whispered Ari's name, having realized that it was Ari who'd murdered Kate.
NCIS Season 3
A few hours later, in the Season 3 premiere episode, Kill Ari Part 1 (episode) and with the crime scene having been processed, Kate's remains were brought back to NCIS so that Ducky could personally perform an autopsy on her while the remaining members of the team who had been left grief-stricken and completely devastated struggled to come to terms with Kate's brutal death.
In addition, they began imagining that she was still alive albeit as a ghost, creating Ghost Kate who served as some comfort to them.
Abby's findings later determined that the bullet that had killed Kate was a .308 Lapua round, the same type that Gibbs had used earlier as a sniper himself and in a possible cruel twist, the generic nickname for the rifle was "Kate".
When she first appeared, visiting Gibbs in "Kill Ari Part 1", Kate wore the same clothing she had when she'd been killed and had the same bullet-shaped mark in her forehead but unlike the other versions of her who were gentle and comforting, Gibbs's vision of Kate had her angrily confronting him.
She later reappeared to him two more times, once sitting at her desk, telling Gibbs that he had always told her there was no such thing as a coincidence and then again in Kill Ari Part 2 (episode), angrily talking to Gibbs while he was out searching for Ducky and Gerald that the only way to make things right again was for Gibbs to kill himself.
When she appeared to Abby, Kate wore a Gothic-style dress with a blonde wig and a cross around her neck.
While autopsying Kate's body, Ducky had a conversation with her while she was lying dead in the morgue and she told him about how at the time, Ari's eyes had looked kind which had prevented her from killing him during the hostage situation in Bête Noire (episode). She also expressed regret at not killing Ari when she'd had the chance because in her opinion, Kate knew that she didn't deserve to die.
Tony's vision had her wearing a Catholic-schoolgirl uniform with a black wig.
McGee's had her in a catsuit similar to that of Trinity from the movie "The Matrix"; when Kate's outfit changed to resemble that of a black-leather BDSM-styled outfit complete with a whip, a surprised McGee noted that he was becoming (more like) Tony.
For her work as an NCIS Special Agent, Kate was also posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom which was seen when she told Gibbs that he was late for her funeral and Gibbs realized that Kate would not have blamed him for her death and as such, grew to accept that she was gone.
She was later replaced by Ziva David, a Mossad officer and Ari's half-sister who had killed Ari to save Gibbs's life and following Ziva's departure in the Season 11 episode, Past, Present and Future (episode) by NSA agent Eleanor Bishop.
In Mind Games (episode), while at a crime scene, Tony told McGee to ask Kate about the truck's inventory before stopping and realizing that Kate was actually dead. Mass murderer Kyle Boone brought up Kate's name as a means of intimidating Gibbs.
In Probie (episode), McGee who was left guilt-ridden after shooting an undercover police officer mentioned Kate.
In Bait (episode), In the episode Bait (episode), a teenage student held his classmates hostage inside a classroom by threatening them with a bomb strapped to his chest. Gibbs and his team arrived on scene but were unable to get audio and video of the situation inside the classroom, thus, Gibbs put himself in danger by offering himself as a hostage. While Tony took charge of the team, the boy demanded that his mother be brought to the classroom by sunset, but the team discovered that she had been dead for a year. Tony let Gibbs know by saying to the student that "Agent Todd" was coming with his mother. The leader of the hostage rescue team asked how would Gibbs know that the boy's mother is deceased. Tony replies, "because Agent Todd is dead."
NCIS Season 6
During the Season 6 finale episode, Aliyah (episode), Ducky mentioned Kate's name during a talk with Gibbs.
NCIS Season 7
In Truth or Consequences (episode), Tony and McGee were taken hostage in Africa by terrorist Saleem Ulman. While McGee was left unconscious, Tony was injected with a truth serum and told Saleem everything about his team. After that, Saleem asked about the fourth member. Tony said they lost her and she was replaced by Ziva.
NCIS Season 8
Kate was also a major subject in A Man Walks into a Bar (episode) when Kate's older sister, Rachel Cranston visits the NCIS team as a psychologist, interviewing each and every member of Gibbs Team.
At first the team is unaware of Rachel's relation to Kate, but later in the episode Tony figures it out when Rachel reveals knowledge about things he can remember telling Kate.
When Rachel slept behind Ziva's desk Gibbs stated that she looked exactly like Kate, a reference to the scene where Kate, the head of protection detail for Gibbs spent the night at NCIS in Twilight (episode).
When conversing with Gibbs, Rachel reveals that she took on the task of working with NCIS for this assignment because she wanted to know the people closest to Kate when she died. She still struggles with her sister's death and even revealed that she could not bring herself to attend Kate's funeral in Indiana.
Gibbs also delivered closure to Rachel when he showed her the spot where Ziva David shot her brother, avenging Kate's death.
NCIS Season 9
Rachel reappeared in Nature of the Beast (episode) to help Tony recover from a traumatic experience, with several mentions of Kate between the two of them; and when she appears again in Psych Out (episode), several more mentions of Kate are made.
Kate made her final appearance in the Season 9 episode, Life Before His Eyes (episode) where in an alternative reality, using stock footage from "Twilight" which included the original ending of Kate not dying, it was shown that Gibbs had managed to spot Ari Haswari in the nick of time just seconds after Kate had taken the first bullet originally intended for Gibbs.
Gibbs immediately informed McGee of the development while Tony ordered Kate to stay down.
McGee called in air support and with his own rifle jamming, thus preventing him from firing the fatal shot and with helicopters bearing down on his position, Ari was forced to flee.
As such, Kate never died and subsequently made a full recovery before resuming her duties as an NCIS Special Agent. She and Tony later got married and had a baby girl named Kelly.
NCIS Season 10
In the Season 10 episode, You Better Watch Out (episode), it was revealed that Tony has a pet goldfish named after Kate.
NCIS Season 12
In the Season 12 episode, Check (episode), terrorist Sergei Mishnev killed Gibbs's ex-wife, Diane Sterling by shooting Diane in the head with a sniper rifle with the circumstances an exact copy of how Kate had died ten years ago.
Prior to joining NCIS, Kate was a Secret Service Agent assigned to the Presidential Protection Detail on Air Force One where she worked under William Baer. Her codename was "Rosefern" and as such, she was one of the many agents charged with protecting the President of the United States.
However, in September 2003, after the events of Yankee White (episode), Kate resigned from the Secret Service for good due to the fact that she'd slept with a deceased co-worker.
Mere seconds after her resignation, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs hired her and assigned her to his team where Kate became DiNozzo's new partner and also the newest NCIS Special Agent.
Kate held the position of Junior NCIS Special Agent up until Timothy McGee's permanent assignment to the team at the end of See No Evil (episode) and became a Special Agent up until her death in the Season 2 finale episode, "Twilight".
Headstrong and determined, Kate, as a Secret Service Agent seemed unwilling to give NCIS any edge in the investigation but later softened before agreeing to help them.
She later quit the Secret Service for good after having a relationship with a colleague of hers which as such was against the rules and joined NCIS straightaway, becoming the "Probie" of the team.
At first, she seemed to be very weak when it came to shooting but gradually improved over time.
She also seemed to get emotionally attached to victims as seen in the episode, Left for Dead (episode), where she befriended a Jane Doe who had memory loss after surviving being buried alive in a shallow grave. This attachment proved to be a mistake when it was revealed that the Jane Doe had actually been deceiving Kate all along and the case came to a tragic end with Jane Doe/Suzanne McNeil and her boss both dying in a massive explosion which left Kate injured.
A few months later and during the Season 2 premiere episode, See No Evil (episode), Kate's inability to maintain a distance from people who were part of a certain case arose again when she found herself developing a bond with a young blind girl whose parents were being held hostage.
Kate also had something of a feminist streak and due to the fact that she was the only woman in a team composed of men, Kate was always determined to prove herself to others, even willing to take dangerous challenges that others believed were unsuitable for women.
Kate had shoulder-length brown or blackish hair and brown eyes.
In her debut appearance, she wore a suit composed of a black jacket, black trousers, heels and a pearl necklace. She later donned a choker and kept that appearance up until her resignation from the Secret Service although it's presumed that she returned the outfit after Air Force One Incident..
When she first joined NCIS, Kate had her hair dyed brown with some of her hair even being cut to form a fringe of some sort and with some blonde streaks even being visible as well.
In her first appearance as an NCIS Special Agent, she wore a brown-colored jacket and skirt with a red shirt underneath the jacket as well as heels.
In the field or in the office, Kate often wore t-shirts, skirts, trousers and jeans. She donned a choker of some sort in the first year of her employment at NCIS before she stopped wearing it midway through the first season.
In Season 2, however, Kate's hair became dark brown or black and she later chose to stop donning the fringe, preferring to keep it straight with the hair itself hanging down as far as her shoulders.
In the second half of Season 2, Kate began wearing silver necklaces.
In the field, Kate often wore the standard NCIS coat and wore the cap too, often keeping her hair pined up and underneath the cap as well, something her two predecessors would also do once they joined NCIS.
Kate also carried a holster with her SIG-Sauer and badge and wore both on the right side of her body, the holster wrapped around her hip.
In addition, Kate also wore a silver watch.
Originally an agent with the Secret Service, Kate was given the assignment of guarding the President of the United States from any and all potential threats. She often helped her colleagues and was also skilled in composing psychological profiles of possible suspects.
Later, as an NCIS Special Agent, Kate was later trained to process crime scenes, interrogate and even potential or possible suspects and as such, became a great asset to the NCIS team.
Kate's primary talent was to compose profiles of suspects that her colleagues at the Secret Service and NCIS would after. She could determine the possible M.O. of the suspect and even give a potential physical description of the suspect.
As a Secret Service agent, Kate was trained to use firearms.
After becoming an NCIS Special Agent, Kate kept training to use firearms and as a federal officer, was trained to lethally or non-lethally incapacitate or kill a suspect that was either endangering her life or the lives of herself and her colleagues.
Although not a level like Gibbs, Kate was a capable interrogator.
Kate's death had a huge and devastating impact on her NCIS colleagues and friends. It left the NCIS Major Case Response Team greatly devastated due to the fact that her death had been unexpected as everyone had originally believed that Ari had intended to kill Gibbs, not Kate.
Like his colleagues, Tony was devastated by Kate's death and was left stunned at it, having been the closest to her when she had been shot dead which also meant that Tony had been splashed with blood from the impact with the blood covering the right side of his face.
Kate's murder caused Tony to grow up in a sense and although Tony remained the same, he later developed a strong, almost fierce need to protect his NCIS colleagues from harm, presumably for the sake of Tony ensuring that they would not die the same way Kate had.
Kate's death had a far-greater impact on Gibbs as he grew to despise Ari for murdering Kate. As such, Gibbs became hellbent on avenging Kate's murder to the point of fixation and resolved to get revenge despite all the other federal agencies believing that Ari was not the sniper responsible for Kate's death.
Despite the government red tape and warnings to back off, Gibbs continued to carry on in his quest for revenge, even going as far to ignore pleas from his NCIS colleagues including Ducky to stop as Gibbs swore to kill Ari, even if it meant Gibbs himself died in the process.
Overall, Kate died a loyal, devoted and dedicated NCIS Special Agent, willing to fight for her country and stop any threats whatsoever. She also left a strong and lasting impression on her NCIS colleagues despite Kate's career as an NCIS Special Agent lasting for only a year and a half.
Despite that, her NCIS colleagues tend to remember her with fondness and her memory has also survived on in their hearts and minds.
Presumably inspired by Kate, Ducky later took over Kate's former psychological profiling abilities, having gained a forensic profiling degree to do so.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs
- "Does it ever give you that empty feeling?"
- "Your jock strap."
- "No. Because like some species of frog, I grow what I need."
- —Kate and Gibbs's first exchange on board Air Force One during the Season 1 episode, "Yankee White".
In the beginning, Kate and Gibbs's relationship was very hostile as the two clashed in "Yankee White" due to the fact that Kate was a Secret Service agent assigned to Air Force One with orders to give the investigation to the FBI while Gibbs was an NCIS Special Agent tasked with finding out who or what had killed Ray Trapp.
But they later began to get along with one another and after Kate had quit the Secret Service, Gibbs took her on as an NCIS Special Agent and acted as a mentor to Kate and although Kate resented Gibbs's rude manners at times, she later grew to respect him, even partnering with him whenever they went into the field together.
Like all the others, Gibbs was left equally devastated and shocked at Kate's death by Ari's hands.
He also saw various visions of Kate, two of which were very malicious and blamed him for her death while also suggesting he kill himself to make things right again.
- "You're late for my funeral, Gibbs."
- —Gibbs's vision of Kate talking to him in her coffin in the Season 3 episode, "Kill Ari Part 2".
After Ari was killed by Ziva, Gibbs saw one final vision of Kate lying in her coffin, smiling and telling him he was late for her funeral, suggesting that she had forgiven him and had finally accepted her death.
Kate and Tony had something of a sibling relationship as the two regularly had arguments usually to some levels of maturity. The two competed with each other for Gibbs's attention and praise during training and investigations.
Kate was also very critical of DiNozzo's attitude towards women and also his respect for personal boundaries as Tony had a tendency to nose through Kate's personal effects including her mobile, PDA and even trash, which annoyed her. In Terminal Leave (episode), DiNozzo snuck into a bathroom while Kate was showering to brush his teeth before making himself known to her much to her horror and disgust. He also mentioned that Kate couldn't sing and that she hadn't shaved her legs for a week, causing Kate to hit him with a wet sponge.
Despite this, Kate usually got her own back on DiNozzo. During Dead Man Talking (episode), when DiNozzo had unknowingly kissed a suspect who was a transsexual, Kate often used this as a method to torment and tease Tony, just as he had often taunted her. Their bickering apparently got so bad that during Pop Life (episode), the two sought counseling from Ducky to help them as he believed that the reason they were seeking Gibbs's attention was due to the fact that they both saw him as a father figure.
However, DiNozzo often showed himself to be kind and even romantic to Kate. He bought her flowers as a peace-offering because he had been annoying her in Vanished (episode) although the good deal was ruined when Gibbs revealed that Tony had gone through her PDA and found her favorite flower place, causing Kate to get angry at him again. He also displayed concern for her as seen in Left for Dead (episode) when Kate realized that she had been played by a Jane Doe and also during Bete Noire in the aftermath of the hostage situation involving the unnamed terrorist.
In The Bone Yard (episode), DiNozzo was almost possessive of Kate when McGee suggested that they pose as a couple to get photographic evidence for Abby. Tony went instead and even remarked to Kate that he thought they made a good couple with Kate remarking, "Maybe for the Jerry Springer show" while in Black Water (episode), Tony also expressed jealousy when Kate went on a date with Thomas McAllister.
During My Other Left Foot (episode), Tony also became obsessed with the possibility that Kate had a tattoo and even began nagging her throughout the episode to know what it was or where it was located.
When DiNozzo went undercover in 'Chained (episode), Kate expressed concern for him and in SWAK (episode), when DiNozzo was infected with Y. pestis, Kate opted to stay with him despite being given the all-clear and knowing that she could get infected because the pestis had been genetically altered to resist all types of antibiotics.
As he was about to die, Kate finally went outside and hugged Ducky before breaking down in tears, but against all the odds DiNozzo survived.
DiNozzo was also a witness to Kate's brutal murder in the last few seconds of Twilight (episode) and just as the fatal bullet impacted through Kate's head before leaving, DiNozzo's entire face was splashed with her blood, leaving him stunned and shocked. Her death had a very serious impact on him as it caused him to "grow up" during the next few seasons and he finally came to terms with her passing after her funeral.
As a result of Kate's death, DiNozzo, like the others saw visions of Kate's ghost and matching his sexist/chauvinistic personality, Kate appeared in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform complete with a black wig. She told him she'd always known what he was thinking and then berated him for having a sexual fantasy about her so soon after her death. Tony responded by telling her that he used to picture her naked, causing Kate to scream in horror and dismay.
In Life Before His Eyes (episode), it was shown that in an alternative reality, Kate had taken the first bullet meant for Gibbs but had managed to avoid being killed with the second bullet due to the fact that after Gibbs had spotted a sniper, he and Tony had ordered her to stay down while McGee called air support. Furthermore, Ari's sniper rifle had jammed and he was unable to get a clear shot, forcing him to flee. It was also shown that Kate and DiNozzo eventually got married and the two had a daughter named Kelly. It's also presumed that because she had never died, Kate still worked as an NCIS Special Agent.
Special Agent Timothy McGee
- "Tim, it's not your fault."
- —Kate assuring McGee that he isn't responsible for letting DiNozzo get infected with the plague in the Season 2 finale episode, Twilight.
- "I really did like you, Kate."
- —McGee talking to Kate's dead body during the Season 3 epispde, "Kill Ari Part 2"..
When McGee was introduced in Sub Rosa (episode), Kate protested at DiNozzo's apparent abuse of authority and treatment of McGee when he ordered the young agent to stay on a crime scene until someone else could come to relieve him. DiNozzo remarked that Kate ought to lighten up and that McGee was new so it was expected of DiNozzo to abuse his authority.
Kate and McGee were partnered for a very short time during during UnSEALeD (episode) during which he came to her help when she was tied up by a former Navy SEAL. McGee proved essential to saving Kate and also enabled her to get to her car in time so that she could fire a shotgun at Curtin, injuring him.
Throughout Season Two, DiNozzo and Kate sometimes ganged up on McGee to tease him, but Kate disliked DiNozzo's pranks and McGee's hazing.
After the murder of a witness under McGee's watch, Kate was the first to try to comfort him, reassuring him that it was not his fault despite McGee thinking otherwise.
After Kate's death, McGee had visions of Kate, one of which had her in a black catsuit similar to that of Trinity from the Matrix before the suit became a BDSM-styled costume complete with a whip, causing McGee to remark that he was turning into Tony. He then had another hallucination of her lying in a drawer in the office while she wondered why McGee hadn't come down to see her yet.
McGee also came to accept Kate's death and was the first to give Kate's replacement a warm welcome while accepting her onto the team.
- "Oh, Caitlin. I am so sorry."
- —Ducky talking to Kate's body in the Season 3 premiere episode, "Kill Ari Part 1".
In Yankee White (episode), Ducky was the first NCIS member who upon meeting Kate for the first time developed a long-lasting friendship with her. The two liked each other very much, showing genuine concern for each other, as seen in several episodes including Reveille (episode) and The Meat Puzzle (episode). In the latter, Gibbs assigned Kate as Ducky's protection detail when his life was threatened by a criminal. In addition to that, Ducky usually called Kate by her first name, "Caitlin", and only occasionally "Kate".
Like all the other members of the team, Ducky was left devastated and grief-stricken when Kate died after being shot by Ari Haswari.
At the beginning of Kill Ari Part 1 (episode), Ducky, having arrived in the morgue unzipped the bag containing Kate's body and told her that he was so sorry. Despite his grief, he insisted on personally doing her autopsy himself and refused to bring in another Medical Examiner to help him, stating to Gibbs: "I couldn't. Not for Caitlin".
In the Season Eight episode "A Man Walks Into a Bar...", Dr. Mallard has a flashback to this vision while speaking to Dr. Rachel Cranston, Kate's older sister.
- "I really liked you, Kate."
- —Abby talking to Ghost Kate during the Season 3 premiere episode, Kill Ari Part 1 (episode).
Upon meeting each other, Abby and Kate who at the time were the only two women on the team formed a strong, budding friendship with one another and they would often make plans together, such as spending the weekend together at a spa although DiNozzo insisted on nosing in and knowing everything about it.
Also, as seen during A Weak Link (episode), Abby was seen talking to Kate and asking for advice about her relationship with McGee after he had confessed to the Goth that he liked her, leaving her unsure of how to respond to the comment.
In the episode Marine Down (episode), it was revealed that Kate had drawn several caricatures of her teammates, including one of Sciuto as a vampire bat. This had happened because DiNozzo had stolen her sketchpad. Kate started to apologize, saying that there was nothing mean in the drawing, only to be interrupted by an overjoyed Abby who asked if she could hang it up on her lab's wall.
Naturally, due to her strong friendship with Kate, Abby was one of the most deeply affected by Kate's death, but regained composure after being cheered up by a postmortem, goth vision of Kate. Abby was even seen sitting in her lab, staring at the drawing of herself as a vampire bat.
As the team were leaving the ceremony after Kate had been buried, Abby played a jazz music record as part of her own New Orleans heritage.
While in her lab with McGee as her protection detail and while her windows were being repaired after Ari had attempted to kill her and Tony, Abby abandoned her usual choice of music, instead choosing to play another jazz song, out of respect for Kate.
- She resents being called "Katie" (reference?) She was called "Katie" in two different episodes, once by Gibbs in "Yankee White" and twice by Tony (in the same scene in An Eye for an Eye (episode); she did not appear upset by either nickname.
- Was revealed to be frightened of the dentist in Witness (episode) although she later came over her phobia by going to a hypnotist thanks to Tony's help.
- Like Ari, Ducky almost always called her Caitlin, which she didn't seem to mind but he sometimes called her "Kate" as well.
- In Caught on Tape (episode), Kate foolishly thinks a man and woman can just be friends, something that Tony, McGee, and Abby try to change her mind about.
- In A Man Walks into a Bar (episode), Kate's older sister, Dr. Rachel Cranston, a clinical psychologist is introduced.
- She was right-handed, but at the start of the Season 1 episode, Eye Spy (episode), she was shown using her computer mouse with her left hand, suggesting she might have been ambidextrous.
- Like Ziva, Kate called Gibbs by his surname instead of "Jethro" which was what Ducky called him or "Boss" which is what Tony and McGee call him. She also slept with a gun under her pillow and expressed a desire to solve things by shooting someone, particularly Tony if he was getting very annoying.
- Kate is the only member of the team who Gibbs and Tony didn't call "Probie".
- Like the rest of the team, Kate carried a SIG-Sauer P228 with her back-up weapon being a Smith & Wesson Model 60.
- Kate's death was written into the series due to the fact that Sasha Alexander, the actress who played her wanted to leave the show as she sought to pursue other projects and start a family as well as the fact that she admitted to Executive Producer Donald P. Bellisario that she didn't think she had the stamina to keep on going with the show.