Jenny Shepard

Jenny Shepard

NCIS character

name=Jennifer "Jenny" Shepard
eyes= Green
tv=Lauren Holly
first= Kill Ari (Part 1)
last= Judgment Day (Part 1)

NCIS Director Jennifer "Jenny" Shepard was a fictional character on the TV show "NCIS" played by Lauren Holly. She replaced NCIS's former director, Thomas Morrow, at the start of the program's after Morrow took a Deputy Director's position with the Department of Homeland Security. Her appointment occurred in the wake of the assassination of NCIS agent Caitlin Todd by a rogue Mossad agent. She was killed in the line of duty in the season 5 finale.__TOC__

Character biography

Previous to holding the title of Director of NCIS, Jenny Shepard had worked with Special Agent Jethro Gibbs in Paris, France on an undercover assignment. It appearsOr|date=September 2008 that they had a personal relationship outside the scope of the mission. The fourth season episode "Smoked" revealed that Shepard also knew Donald "Ducky" Mallard in those days, Shepard once helping Mallard and Gibbs escape France by commandeering a boat to allow the men to flee across the English Channel.

When she was promoted to Director, Gibbs did not agree with the move because he believed that she was too good a field agent to be working in an office (and in several subsequent episodes Shepard is shown using "director's prerogative"Fact|date=September 2008 to become more involved in investigations). She and Gibbs frequently butted heads in investigations.Fact|date=September 2008 In addition to Gibbs and Mallard, she had also previously worked with Officer Ziva David in Israel on counter-terrorism operations, which is why she has agreed to Ziva's request for TDD (temporary detached duty) to NCIS to work with Gibbs' team.Fact|date=September 2008

She once mentioned to a suspect that Gibbs viewed her as a wife.Fact|date=September 2008 When the suspect replied that such a viewpoint was good, she stated that Gibbs has been divorced three times (in a later episode, she observed that Gibbs appeared to be partial to redheads, suggestingOr|date=September 2008 his wives all had red hair; Shepard was also a redhead). She was very caring of Gibbs, to the point that when he was in a coma at the end of the third season, she left a dinner with the President to come to the hospital to see him. In helping him to regain his memories of the previous 15 years, she reminded him that they were once lovers.Fact|date=September 2008

Jenny worked with much of NCIS as a professional director. However, with Gibbs' team, she worked much more personally, such as seeking advice from Ducky or confiding in Tony. She was also shownFact|date=September 2008 as being a confidant of Ziva David's. In the later stages of season 3 her relationship with Tony cooled off somewhat, with Tony insisting on using formal terms when speaking with her.Fact|date=September 2008

At the end of Season 3, Gibbs abruptly resigned from NCIS after recovering from his coma but being unable to prevent an attack on a navy vessel. Shepard, on Gibbs' recommendation, put DiNozzo in charge of the NCIS team. Unknown to Gibbs, however — and as revealed in the second episode of Season 4, Shepard decided not to file Gibbs' retirement package with the Navy, officially ending his career. Instead, she placed Gibbs on vacation and back leave; ultimately, Gibbs agrees to return to NCIS although Shepard — harking back to her earlier relationship with him — statedFact|date=September 2008 that part of her wants him to stay away for fear that he might not recover from the next coma.

Around this time her relationship with Tony also began to warm up, with her recommending him for promotion to team leader of another NCIS unit (Rota, Spain) in the third episode of the season, but expressed her pride in him when he turned it down. In this same episode she was shown receiving a bouquet of flowers from an as-yet unidentified admirer (presumedOr|date=September 2008 by someWho|date=September 2008 it's Gibbs, for letting him back to NCIS and not filing his retirement papers).Fact|date=September 2008 It's worth noting that in this episode Tony referred to her by her first name for the first time.Fact|date=September 2008

Despite her allowing Gibbs to return to NCIS, at the start of the fourth season Shepard began distancing Gibbs from an apparent anti-terrorism operation involving NCIS. On several occasions she had ordered viewscreens in MTAC (Multiple Threat Alert Center) to "go dark"Fact|date=September 2008 when Gibbs enters the room, to prevent him from viewing information that Shepard described to him as "need to know, and you don't need to know"Fact|date=September 2008. The reason for this secrecy and whether it has anything to do with Gibbs personally, has yet to be revealed.Or|date=September 2008 In the episode "Smoked" it was revealed that Tony has been part of some of these operations without Gibbs' knowledge, and that Tony has been acting in this capacity since Gibbs' return, according to Ziva.

Shepard had some sort of connection with the French arms dealer La Grenouille.Fact|date=September 2008 The exact nature of the connection appearedOr|date=September 2008 to involve her father, Colonel Jasper Shepard, who was suspectedOr|date=September 2008 of having sold Warsaw Pact weapons to La Grenouille. Ducky profiled it as an obsession, and he feared that she would do whatever it took to capture him, no matter the cost. Shepard had told Gibbs that her desire to get La Grenouille was as great as Gibbs' desire to get Ari Haswari.Fact|date=September 2008

At the end of the twelfth episode of season 5 it was left open to whether a mysterious blood test that was run belonged to director Shepard that showed elevated levels of creatine kinase, which is an indicator of Muscular Dystrophy, brain tumor, stroke, muscular injury, ALS, and myocardial infarction (heart attack).Fact|date=September 2008 However, the scans looked at by Ducky in the same episode were somewhat mysteriousFact|date=September 2008, as they were brain scans that were not indicative of the disease.Fact|date=September 2008 In the episode Judgment Day Part II, Ducky confided to Gibbs that perhaps Jenny dying in a shootout might have been preferable, as he stated her disease was terminal and the last few months of her life would have been painful (but not stating what that disease was).Fact|date=September 2008

During Judgment Day Part I Director Shepard was fatally wounded in a shootout in connection with the case in France where she met Gibbs. Her death was covered up by NCIS and the United States Government and attributed to a fire in her personal residenceFact|date=September 2008 - which Gibbs set in order to cover up the murder of the woman that arranged Director Shepard's death. During this episode, it is also mentioned (to Mike Franks, Gibbs' former boss), that she is in love with JethroFact|date=September 2008 and has been since Paris where they first began their relationship. Not long after the confession, she is killed trying to indirectly protect him.

Her assistant, Cynthia Sumner, who she is quite close to, is played by Stephanie Mello.


Jennifer Shepard's relationship with Gibbs seemsOr|date=September 2008 especially complicated. When she first arrives, things between the two are particularly tense.Fact|date=September 2008 However, as time goes on, they become more aware of how their past has changed them, and what the future may bring.Or|date=September 2008 In the final episodes, it is clearFact|date=September 2008 that Jennifer Shepard still cares very deeply for Jethro Gibbs, (and she admits as much when talking to Mike Franks in her final episode). However, it is also clearFact|date=September 2008 that nothing could ever come of it for various reasons, including her illness.

Behind the scenes

According to Mark Harmon in the behind-the-scenes featurette "The Women of NCIS", included in the third season DVD set released in April 2007, Lauren Holly was originally considered for the role of Caitlin Todd, before being signed to play Shepard following the departure of actress Sasha Alexander from the series (and the subsequent death of Todd).

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