NCIS plot hole: Jenny Shepard exposes major error in Gibbs’ backstory – did you spot it?

NCIS fans spotted a major plot hole after exposing a major error between Jenny and Gibbs’ backstory from season six.
CBS’ long-running procedural NCIS is expected to make its highly anticipated return to screens with season 20 in September. As fans look forward to the milestone instalment, one viewer exposed a major plot hole from season six surrounding Jenny Shepard (played by Lauren Holly) and Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) personal background.
Taking to Reddit, the user OkayGuitar3773 asked: “How did Jenny not know about Shannon and Kelly?”
This was a major question as Shannon Gibbs (Darby Stanchfield) was Gibbs’ first wife and Kelly Gibbs (Mary Mouser) was the daughter they shared together.

While it was established Jenny and Gibbs knew each other as they were professional partners several years before the show had aired.

They worked an undercover case together when they were stationed in Europe and during that time they had also got into a romantic relationship.


Highlighting a key episode in the season six episode titled ‘Broken Bird,’ the viewer continued: “Gibbs asks McGee to dig into the personnel files while Vance is out of the office for the week.

“This file is deeply personal and dates back 30 years when Ducky served in the royal guard as a medical doctor or what have you.”

“He is MUCH older than Gibbs and his personnel file, along with everyone else’s in the agency details their entire life/background.

“The director of the agency is the only one with the lawful authority to obtain these files, in this case Tom Morrow, Jenny Shepard, Leon Vance.”


The fans asked: “So during Jenny’s tenure, she never once looked into the personnel file of the man who leads the major response team?

“It wouldn’t have been omitted because Mike Franks is the one who had his family case file when he got back from desert storm.”

Although Jenny and Gibbs had embarked on a relationship, their jobs ultimately forced them apart.

Gibbs was ordered to return to the States, while Jenny was offered her own unit section at the NCIS agency in Europe if she decided to stay
However, the two reunited years later when Jenny became the Director of NCIS in September 2005.

Although this stirred some unresolved feelings they began a flirtatious relationship but Jenny decided to keep things strictly professional at work.
Despite this, Gibbs had never opened up to Jenny about his family history with Kelly and Shannon following their deaths in 1991.

Other fans also found it suspicious Jenny had never looked into his file even though she had lawful authority to do so.
Another fan suggested: “There are a number of continuity errors with Shannon and Kelly – I don’t even think initially they were part of Gibb’s backstory, they were retconned in later.”

While user HelloMoorman wrote: “I think she would have seen looking into his deep file as betrayal (and Gibbs would have thought so too). So I can definitely believe that she didn’t know.”

Whereas, Redditor TheMoo37 stated: “All manner of fun things can happen when you invent a back story several years into a series.

“We add this to the list of inconsistencies we find when fans know the details better than the writers.”

NCIS is available to watch on CBS in the US and is available on Disney Plus in the UK.