In “Great Wide Open,” the still-suspended agent chose to stay in Alaska rather than return to D.C. with Timothy McGee (Sean Murray). While he didn’t know what he was looking for, “my gut’s telling me I’ll know when I find it,” he said. “Whatever I’m feeling, this sense of peace, I have not had this since Shannon and Kelly died, and I’m not ready to let it go.” For now, that meant staying in Alaska, but he wasn’t sure if that was going to be his new permanent home.
“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show,” executive producer and showrunner Steven D. Binder said in a statement. “Our north star has always been staying true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go. So regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years…never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.”
We expect Harmon to appear on-screen in the (eventual) series finale; there’s no way that NCIS can end without that. But what could bring him back into the fold? We have some theories.
Gibbs’ Past Comes Back to Haunt Him
Just because he’s in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean that someone from his past can’t track him down — or use his former team to draw him out. The last case we see the team solve on-screen could very well be something related to one of Gibbs’ old cases (perhaps from when the agency was NIS for a deep callback) or even his time as a sniper.
The Team Needs His Help on a Major Case
While we imagine that the team will be working seamlessly (and McGee will have found his “rhythm” as its leader, as Gibbs said he had to in his last episode) by the series finale, that won’t mean they couldn’t use the help of a seasoned investigator. And as we’ve seen, Gibbs doesn’t need a badge to work a case. Considering how long the procedural has already been on air and the fact that CBS hasn’t said Season 19 is its last, it’s going to have to go out with something big, maybe a case that requires more than just whoever’s officially a member of the team.
Gibbs Is Honored in Some Way… and He Shows Up
Gibbs may not have accepted the Meritorious Civilian Service Award (like in Season 6’s “Murder 2.0”), but maybe he’ll be honored in some way and surprise everyone by actually showing up. (This could also be a way to bring back other characters as well, for the ceremony.)
NCIS, Mondays, 9/8c, CBS