From the moment Mark Harmon shocked NCIS fans with his departure just four episodes into the show’s nineteenth season, fans have been eagerly waiting for Harmon’s return as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
It makes sense that of the show’s many departures over the years, Harmons has hit fans hardest. For 19 seasons, Gibbs was the team’s North Star and the show’s mainstay. Among all of the other cast turnovers over the seasons, Gibbs was always the one constant audiences could rely on.
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That was until Gibbs chose to turn in his gun and badge in the fourth episode of season 19, walking away from his job with NCIS in a storyline designed to serve as Harmon’s exit storyline. Harmon’s departure marked a major shift for the show leading to the introduction of a new team leader in Gary Cole’s Special Agent Alden Parker.
Parker has quickly won over audiences, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope among the fans that Harmon could return as Gibbs.
Is Gibbs coming back to NCIS?
Although the door has remained open for Harmon to return to NCIS ever since his departure in season 19, there are no active plans to bring Gibbs back in the show’s upcoming season. Harmon has not expressed any desire to return to the show nor has there been any indication the writers are planning to bring Gibbs back. Instead, there’s been an emphasis on the aforementioned Parker and establishing his tenure as team leader.
While longtime NCIS fans may be disheartened to read about the lack of plans involving a Gibbs comeback, there are some silver linings to be gleaned. For one, Harmon is an executive producer on the show, so he’s still involved in the decision-making process and can weigh in on whether his character should return at some point.
Secondly, Harmon made a point of stating that Gibbs is not “retired” during a documentary for the NCIS season 19 DVD. “I’m not retired”, the actor stressed. “The character is living in Alaska as far as I know.” He clearly wants to leave the door open if he changes his mind.
We get the importance of setting up the new characters after the old ones leave, but NCIS is giving fans the best of both worlds by assuring them Gibbs is still out there, and technically available for action should he never be needed by the team. We couldn’t ask for much more.
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