[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for NCIS Season 19 Episode 4 “Great Wide Open.”]
Yes, Harmon exited the CBS procedural in the October 11 episode, “Great Wide Open,” choosing not only to not get his badge back (after he was suspended when he assaulted a suspect running a dogfighting ring) but also to not return to DC. Instead, he stayed in Alaska, where he and McGee (Sean Murray) followed a lead in the serial-turned-contract killer case.
Earlier in the episode, he’d admitted to Ducky (David McCallum), “I’ve been searching. I don’t know what I’m looking for. I know being alone without the job, that was hard.” (But coming back was “even harder.”) That search for something else came up again as Gibbs said goodbye to McGee. “My gut’s telling me I’ll know when I find it,” Gibbs explained, and while it may not be in Alaska, “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.” In fact, when McGee wanted him to promise he’d be OK, Gibbs told him, “I already am.”
And with that, we’re now in a post-Gibbs NCIS world, something that honestly, we’re surprised exists. So of course two of the big questions are simple: What will NCIS look like, and will you keep watching?
The same episode that bid farewell to the fearless leader also told us what to expect. Part of Gibbs’ final scenes with McGee included passing the torch. “You’re getting there. You just gotta find your rhythm,” he said, obviously talking about more than the fishing they were doing in Alaska. “Be patient. It’s about progress, not perfection. Once you know the basics, the rest just comes from inside.”
“Great Wide Open” also set up Gary Cole’s Alden Parker to join the team, with the FBI firing him for not arresting Gibbs, per the warrant for his arrest. (The FBI director had enough of Gibbs avoiding “paying the price for his actions.”) It feels like just a matter of time before Vance (Rocky Carroll) brings him in.
The end of last season gave us a sense of the team working without Gibbs, and yes, it can be done, no matter how strange it’s going to seem. McGee, Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), Knight (Katrina Law), and Parker (in some capacity) will continue investigating cases of the week. So we’re asking you: Will you continue to watch? Vote in the poll below.
NCIS, Mondays, 9/8c, CBS