NCIS boss ‘seals’ Leroy Gibbs’ return as he teases ‘blowing exit out of the water’
Team leader Leroy Gibbs is now leading a safe and happy life in Alaska after his exit in season 19, but showrunner Steven D Binder is confident he’ll make at least one more appearance.
The popular CBS drama will air its 450th episode next week and is slowly but surely moving towards the incredible milestone of 500 cases across two decades on screen. Following this week’s confirmation of a 21st season of NCIS, showrunner Steven D Binder has teased the possibility of ex-team leader Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) coming back for one more mission.
A future instalment of NCIS could completely upend Gibbs’ departure at the start of season 19.
After appearing in just four episodes near the end of 2021, top-billed star Harmon left the series in the episode Great Wide Open.
Although his legacy still lives on, Gibbs hasn’t made an appearance since last year’s opening credits.
His position has been filled by former FBI agent Alden Parker (Gary Cole) after being given the seal of approval by both the former NCIS boss and the show’s fans.
However, executive producer Binder has teased that the Special Agent in Charge could eventually come out of retirement.
“I don’t see how we don’t see him one more time at some point,” he teased.
“Gibbs has, in my mind, advanced to a higher plane of existence for now – I don’t want to place him in an apartment in Anchorage or anywhere.
“We left him smiling on a river happy, and that’s the image I want people to have until we’re really ready to blow that out of the water or truly embrace it in some way.”
For now, Binder is happy to leave Gibbs where he is as he doesn’t want to ruin his clean getaway.
Long-time co-star Sean Murray even named Harmon’s departure as one of the best days on set as his character Timothy McGee was given the chance to say goodbye.
“Saying goodbye to Gibbs [played by Mark Harmon] was magical,” he recalled in TV Insider.
“Being in Alaska with Mark, it was real in that I have had this incredible personal relationship with him for so many years.”
“And then for me as McGee to be having to feel this goodbye and loss – and leave him in Alaska knowing he isn’t coming back – it was heavy and beautiful.”
Murray was confident enough to say Gibbs won’t ever be a part of the show again after his exit less than two years ago.
Even so, given some more time away from the NCIS chaos, both Harmon and his character could start to reconsider his decision to step down.
Binder’s comments suggest either bringing Gibbs back to check in on his new life, or potentially throwing him headfirst back into the field.
If the showrunner wants to ‘blow it out of the water’, the retired agent could find himself unwittingly caught in another gripping conspiracy, terrorist plot or murder mystery.
Alternatively, with the 500th episode coming up in the next few years, this could be the perfect opportunity for the current team to pay their old boss a visit and recount some of their recent missions.
There’s already talk of Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva David (Cote De Pablo) popping in soon, so there could be a chance to get the whole gang back together on the horizon.
NCIS season 20 continues Mondays on CBS in the USA and is available to stream on Disney+.