Sasha Alexander's character, special agent "Caitlin Todd", was one of the most popular on the show until her sudden and surprising death in the final episode of season two. "Kate" took a bullet to save "Gibbs" (Mark Harmon) and survived, only to be shot dead by a sniper moments later. Unfortunately, this end also meant that a return, like the one that "Ziva" (Cote de Pablo) made in 2019, was never going to be in the cards for Sasha Alexander.

NCIS' "Caitlin Todd" (Sasha Alexander) at the First Annual Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy Party in 2003.

NCIS star Sasha Alexander: Why did "Caitlin Todd" leave the show?

As it turns out, the decision to kill off the character of "Kate" was up to the actress herself, as she revealed in a 2012 interview with TV Guide:

"People don't realize that on a network show, you make 24 episodes a year — that's 10½ months a year, 17 hours a day. It's hard core. Plus, people really loved the character, and the way they did it was really was a bullet to the head, you know?"

As we all know, Sasha Alexander went on to star in the very successful show Rizzoli & Isles as "Maura Isles" as well as the Showtime drama Shameless. She also now enjoys life with her husband Edoardo Ponti and their two children!