Fans of NCIS have a special place in their hearts for Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano), who has already been through enough with the loss of his ex-wife and his daughter’s addiction. Throughout the last few seasons of NCIS, Emily Fornell (Juliette Angelo) battled her addiction, which led to a devastating, but ultimately not fatal overdose.
As Emily worked on her addiction, her father and Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon) worked together to infiltrate and put an end to the drug dealers responsible for Emily’s overdose. It seemed like things were looking up for Tobias, but then the worst happened. So what happened to Emily Fornell?
People are really upset about what happened to Emily Fornell on ‘NCIS.’
In Season 18, Episode 9 of NCIS, Emily’s addiction storyline came to an end. Even though she seemed to be on the up and up, her father found her breathing, but so cold, next to a bottle of pills. He rushed her to the hospital and called his good friend, Gibbs. The two waited for her to wake up, but the doctor told them she passed.
Tobias shared to his friend about when he found Emily, “I could feel Diane in the room, like she was waiting for me to get there,” and Gibbs reminded him that, “Emily was not alone.” It was a truly devastating scene that came only two episodes after Jimmy Palmer’s wife, Breena, died of COVID-19. Both deaths were offscreen, heightening the sadness and the loss for the viewer.
A lot of fans of the show think that NCIS went too far this time because it seemed like things were getting better for the Fornells. On the other hand, some feel this was the perfect end to Emily’s addiction story because, sadly too often, this is the fate for those struggling under the weight of addiction.
Why did Juliette Angelo leave ‘NCIS'?
Many would expect that because these exits from NCIS are coming so frequently, there must be a good reason. Juliette Angelo, who played Emily Fornell, is a young actress and musician at only 22 years old who has a ton of life ahead of her, so many fans hoped that her character was killed off so she could focus on other projects.
However, when CBS aired the episode, that’s when Juliette found out she wouldn’t be coming back to the show. As far as she knew, Emily’s overdose could have been another hospitalized near-death experience, rather than the real thing. Because she died offscreen, there’s no way she could have known.
Juliette shared a statement on her Instagram Story: “Thank y’all for your messages about NCIS. It was a shock, for all of us. I found out the same time as you, via text. Lots of emotions about this. Just wanted to pop by in the midst of my social media break and say thanks for all the love these past years. Emily has been a part of my life since I was 13. As a newly 22 year old, it has certainly been a journey. Onward.”
Emily’s death is such a loss for everyone who watches the show, for those who struggle with addiction, and clearly for Juliette. Hopefully, Juliette goes on to do even bigger and better things!
NCIS airs every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.