The final vote was close, but 25 percent of fans who voted chose the character of Clayton Reeves as runner-up. Reeves (Duane Henry) was an officer of MI-6 who joined the NCIS International Desk in Season 13 and became a major presence on the show until his brutal murder during Season 15. His death had a big impact on other “NCIS” characters, which only seemed to compound the feelings among viewers. “Big fan of Ellie here,” posted Redditor u/BubbleOfImaginary. “And her way of dealing with Reeves death made it harder for me.”
But with 28 percent of the vote, the character whose death was deemed most heartbreaking –- and which inspired the majority of fan comments –- was young Emily Fornell, whose dad, FBI agent Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano), has been a prominent character since Season 1. As played by Juliette Angelo (recently seen in a recurring role on “Shameless”), Emily joined the “NCIS” cast back in Season 4, and fans watched her grow up until her tragic, untimely death from a drug overdose in Season 18. “I remember crying when Vance came out and said ‘She’s dead, Gibbs,'” posted Reddittor u/InspectorJavert620.
Reddit user u/whispering_unicorn spoke for many fans when they wrote, “Emily died so young and after all that she had been through, the divorce, then losing Diane, then Tobias going nuts, and her first overdose. It was so painful because even though Merriweather was caught, Emily still reached an untimely end, and Tobias was alone now.” To see how Tobias recovers, fans need only wait until September 20, when the 19th season of “NCIS” launches on CBS.