NCIS agent Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) left the team in season 19; find out why and what the actor’s future on the hit CBS show looks like below.
Gibbs left NCIS: Naval Cr1minal Investigative Service in season 19 for what reason? Since Mark Harmon has been the face of NCIS as Special Agent In Charge Leroy Jethro Gibbs since the show’s inception in 2003, his departure altered the show’s dynamic. Despite the fact that Harmon remained an Executive Producer on the show despite Gibbs’ absence, his character remained absent.
NCIS is currently CBS’ longest-running scripted primetime series, following the lives and adventures of federal special agents tasked with investigating felony cr1mes, preventing terr0rism, and protecting Navy and Marine Corps secrets.
NCIS, which was created by Don McGill and prolific creator-producer Donald P. Bellisario, the man behind Detroit Lions baseball cap-wearing Magnum P.I., among many others, has seen many significant cast departures over its 18-year run, but none as significant as Harmon’s. CBS is no stranger to replacing leading characters on their shows, but NCIS managed to survive without Agent Gibbs, who is still missed. Harmon’s departure occurred early in the season, giving CBS plenty of time to determine whether the show could continue without him.
What Happened in Gibbs’ Final NCIS Storyline
To answer why Gibbs left NCIS, his last case had been a long time in the making. In Harmon’s final episode, the team discovered that the murd3rs they thought were committed by a serial k1ller were actually committed by a hired hitman. (Jason Wiles). Gibbs took the hitman wherever he wanted to go in exchange for information after dumping FBI Agent Alden Parker (Gary Cole). The k1ller blew himself up after admitting responsibility for destroying Gibbs’ boat and before telling Gibbs who hired him.
Gibbs traveled to Naktok, Alaska, where the investigation led him to Sonova Industries, whose looming copper mining project threatened to devastate the community. After learning that Sonova’s CEO, Sonia Eberhart, hired the hitman to k1ll anyone who might reveal details about the mine’s environmental impact, Gibbs and the NCIS team closed in on evidence to charge her with the d3ath of the journalist investigating it.
Why Did Gibbs Leave NCIS?
The NCIS episode featured pivotal moments between Gibbs and his team, including Nick Torres, played by Wilmer Valderrama (who later reprised his role as Fez in That ’90s Show). The team moments were sprinkled throughout the episode, foreshadowing Gibbs’ departure. He dropped the phone he’d been carrying for so long inside a coffee mug before leaving, indicating he knew he wouldn’t need it after this case.
Gibbs, on the other hand, had no intention of retiring. Gibbs had broken the law by abandoning the FBI and assisting the hitman in getting to where he wanted to d1e. He was d3ad set on serving time for his cr1me, and he even told Parker where to find him. That was not how Gibbs’ tenure on NCIS would end. He didn’t deserve it, so when Parker saw how much good Gibbs had done, he disobeyed orders to arrest him, costing him his job. Gibbs chose to stay because he had found peace. It was the first peace he’d felt since the d3aths of his wife and daughter, and he wasn’t about to let it go.
Why Did Mark Harmon Leave NCIS After 18 Years?
When it came to why Gibbs left NCIS in real life, Harmon was ready to move on in NCIS season 18. He negotiated a brief cameo at the start of Season 19 to ensure the show’s renewal. He’s invested in the series’ future as a producer and long-time veteran of the franchise. Leaving early at the start of a season rather than at the end of another gave NCIS the best chance of being renewed. NCIS had plenty of time to demonstrate that it could hold an audience without Harmon. After being fired for assisting Gibbs, Agent Parker found a job waiting for him at NCIS.
Is Gibbs set to return to NCIS?
Gibbs left NCIS for what reason? He chose to live a quiet life rather than d1e in a heroic blaze of glory, so the door remains open for a possible future return. “As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show,” showrunner Steve Binder said in a statement released the night of Harmon’s departure. “Our north star has always been staying true to our characters,” Binder continues, “and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go.” So, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years, Gibbs’ future…Never underestimate Leroy Jethro Gibbs.”
NCIS Survived Mark Harmon’s Departure
The question of whether NCIS can survive Mark Harmon’s departure hangs in the balance. After all, Gibbs is the show’s main character, and viewers have grown to know and love him over the course of the show’s run. Having said that, plenty of other shows have lost their main character and survived for a few more seasons. The ratings for NCIS season 19 were a key factor in determining whether viewers could live without Gibbs on the show.
This is one of the main reasons Gibbs left NCIS at the start of the season: to see if the show could function without him. The TV show has previously gotten rid of several fan-favorite characters, so audiences are at least used to NCIS characters leaving. However, the d3ath of Gibbs was one of the most significant character d3aths that NCIS viewers will have to deal with. Fortunately, Agent Parker stepped in to fill the void left by Mark Harmon’s departure from the show.
Mark Harmon’s Reflections on Leaving NCIS
Mark Harmon discussed the reasons for Gibbs’ departure and what he hoped to accomplish with the long-running show in his rearview mirror a year after Gibbs left NCIS. The remarks were made during the season 19 DVD release, when Harmon discussed Gibbs’ legacy on both the show and the overall NCIS franchise. According to the actor, after 18 seasons of almost exclusively playing Jethro Leroy Gibbs, he wanted a chance to work on “fresh” and “challenging” material, which he couldn’t do with the NCIS schedule.
He did, however, leave the door open with some good news. On the DVD feature, Harmon stated that Gibbs is not “retired” as a character, which means he can return to the show for special appearances if he so desires. “As far as I know, the character resides in Alaska.” This character has chosen the path that it has. I thought it was honest and acceptable.” While Gibbs has not returned, he has not gone unnoticed. While Mark Harmon is no longer on NCIS, his memory is kept alive by the show. He was mentioned in at least three episodes in season 20.
Related News – Be sure to get some more news when it comes to NCIS.