17 years and still running, NCIS, the CBS crime procedural drama, has given the best of hundreds of moments to cherish and enjoy. In fact, every season of the series, exceeds the expectations of viewers, ranking higher than its predecessor. Starting from Kate’s death, to Ziva’s exit, to her miraculous return, it’s just impossible to list just a few as favorites out of the just under 400 total episodes. But, there are some episodes, which were phenomenal, that took the show to another level. Here are our nominations for the five most compelling episodes in NCIS history:

Season 16, Episode 13: “She”’

Eleanor Bishop working on a kidnapping case that Ziva David, presumed to be dead, was working on, while dealing with her own feelings of inadequacy, the entire episode spoke volumes in an emotional level, adding in the nature of the case. But, the final twist – a note from Ziva David, asking Bishop to keep her secret, was what that left the audience in shock that soon turned into joy.

Season 3, Episode 1 & 2: “Kill Ari Part 1 & Part 2”

Gibbs vowed to kill Ari Haswari, following Kate’s death and even identified the terrorist’s whereabouts. With NCIS Director Jennifer Shepard, the team unraveled the terrorist’s tightly bound agenda. These episodes also introduced us to the Israeli Mossad officer Ziva David, who was sent to convince the team that Haswari did not kill Kate. But, with more and more information about Haswari, she decides to do the right thing, and puts a bullet into Haswari’s head.

Season 14, Episode 13: “Keep Going”

Jimmy Palmer joining a man on the ledge to prevent his attempt to take his own life, and revealing his own insecurities, gave a deep touch to his character, which was one of the most underrated characters of the franchise. The episode that started off like any other “NCIS” installment, took Palmer’s character to another level in the fans’ mind, especially the big, fatherly hug from Agent Gibbs.

Season 6, Episode 4: “Heartland”

A Case related Marine, leads to Gibbs getting in contact with his father, and taking his crew to his hometown. And, just in Gibbs’s style, the meeting doesn’t have much of a conversation. But still, the episode will be one of the memorable ones of the series, for its shows the origin of Gibbs’s famous “rules.”

Season 5, Episode 1: “Bury your Dead”

Tony DiNozzo’s life in serious danger, Jenny’s secret agenda, face to face with Rene Benoit, a.k.a. “La Grenouille,”, one of the most dangerous arms dealers, and so much more tension surrounded the first episode of Season 5, making it one of the most stressful episodes in NCIS history. When Dukcy confirmed that the body in car explosion was not DiNozzo, the relief was huge. But, when the bombshell about Jenny’s father accepting bribe from La Grenouille was dropped, our hearts shattered alongside with Jenny’s. In the end, the notorious arms dealer’s lifeless body floating in the water, just left us yelling at the TV for no reason.

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