I’ve been re-watching NCIS lately. The number of shows I can watch without Will is fairly small and he hates procedurals. Meanwhile, I find procedurals entertaining and NCIS doubly so. Below are spoilers for season 4 – since they just finished season 15, I imagine spoilers are ok, but for those who have somehow missed it, SPOILER WARNING!
There is a character on NCIS in the early seasons named Paula Cassidy portrayed by Jessica Steen. For my Supernatural readers, she was in the season 2 episode “The Benders” as Officer Kathleen. I’ve adored Jessica Steen for ages as she manages to be awesome and interesting and heroic in most of the things I’ve seen her in. I still think she made a better Weir on Stargate, but that’s a whole different point.
The point here is that in NCIS Paula Cassidy is quietly badass. Her second or third appearance, while they are hunting for a serial killer, the serial killer kidnaps her. Everyone is panicked and looking for her and at the end of the episode, they reveal that Paula Cassidy escaped and killed the serial killer with her hands tied behind her back.
How kickass is that?
The next time she shows up, her team is killed by a bomb. At the end of the episode she saves the rest of the cast and innocent by-standers by tackling a suicide bomber. She dies.
Now here comes the problem – her death can really be said to have been more about Tony’s emotional journey, something that I dislike because it’s just a little bit TOO Women in Refrigerators. However, the way it is written feels more about Paula than many of the WIR moments often do. She expresses feeling survivor guilt as her team died and she felt she should have died with them. Right before the bomb goes off, she looks up to see her dead teammates smiling at her – this is a touching moment that brings me to tears, but it also is much more about Paula being with her team and being a major fucking hero than it is about Tony.
However, the episode does end with Tony in tears going to his girlfriend.
I love that Paula Cassidy is unabashedly a hero. She is a great character and while she had a great death, I really wish we’d gotten to see more of her. She was confident and capable and moreover, the men around her knew it. Throughout the episodes she’s in she’s funny, fun, tough, and badass. If only more female characters were written as well as Paula Cassidy.