‘NCIS’: 3 Possible Returns for Gibbs Following Mark Harmon’s Exit

NCIS may have said goodbye to its fearless leader in the October 11 episode, but we’re already wondering what could bring Mark Harmon back as Leroy Jethro Gibbs before the series ends.

The still-suspended agent chose to remain in Alaska rather than return to D.C. with Timothy McGee in “Great Wide Open” (Sean Murray). “My gut’s telling me I’ll know when I find it,” he said, despite the fact that he had no idea what he was looking for. “Whatever it is that I’m feeling, this sense of peace, I haven’t felt since Shannon and Kelly d1ed, and I’m not ready to let it go.” For the time being, that meant staying in Alaska, but he wasn’t sure if that would be his new permanent address.

“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the show’s fabric,” showrunner and executive producer Steven D. Binder said in a statement. “Staying true to our characters has always been our north star, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go.” So, in terms of Gibbs’ future, 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; NCIS cannot end without him. But what could entice him to return? We have some ideas.

Gibbs’ Past Returns to Haunt Him

Just because he’s in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean someone from his past can’t find him — or use his former team to lure him out. The last case we see the team solve on-screen could be one of Gibbs’ old cases (perhaps from when the agency was NIS for a deep callback) or even his time as a sniper.

His assistance is required on a major case by the team.

While we expect the team to be in sync by the series finale (and McGee to have found his “rhythm” as the team’s leader, as Gibbs stated in his last episode), that doesn’t mean they couldn’t benefit from the assistance of a seasoned investigator. And, as we’ve seen, Gibbs isn’t required to wear a badge to work a case. Given how long the procedural has already been on the air and the fact that CBS hasn’t stated that Season 19 will be its final, it’ll have to go out on a high note, perhaps with a case that requires more than just whoever’s officially a member of the team.

Gibbs is honored in some way… and he appears.
Gibbs may not have accepted the Meritorious Civilian Service Award (as he did in Season 6’s “Murd3r 2.0”), but perhaps he’ll be honored in some way and surprise everyone by showing up. (This could also be a way to resurrect other characters for the ceremony.)

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