In the fourth episode of season 19, Mark Harmon and his character Leroy Jethro Gibbs appeared to say their final goodbyes to NCIS. However, a recent episode revealed that Gibbs remains an important part of television’s most-watched drama. And some fans believe they’ve discovered a clue that proves the beloved character will return.
Since October 2021, Mark Harmon has not been seen on ‘NCIS.’
Harmon’s Gibbs was the series’ lead character heading into season 19 — a role he had held since the show’s inception in 2003. Fans were taken aback when he said goodbye to McGee (Sean Murray) and the rest of his team in Season 19, Episode 4 “Great Wide Open” after finding peace in Alaska.
Harmon was expected to play a smaller role in season 19, rather than leave the show entirely. Gibbs, on the other hand, hasn’t appeared since the fourth episode aired in October. His name, on the other hand, is still mentioned frequently.
Gibbs is still an important part of ‘NCIS.’
The most recent mention of Gibbs was in the season 19 winter premiere, an episode titled “Pledge of Allegiance.” As the week’s case revolved around the theft of classified Navy software capable of controlling drones, there was a background mystery involving $10,000 being deposited into both McGee and Palmer’s (Brian Dietzen) bank accounts.
Vance (Rocky Carroll) revealed a secret about Gibbs at the end of the episode, which solved the money mystery.
“I just wanted to greet you as the newest members of the Leroy Jethro Gibbs College Scholarship Club,” Vance said to the pair.
For decades, Gibbs had kept a secret.
Vance explained to McGee and Palmer that Gibbs had been assisting NCIS agents in sending their children to college for decades. When McGee and Palmer tried to return the money, claiming that it was far too generous, Vance explained that Gibbs had given him money when his children were the same age as McGee and Palmer’s.
“It’s dedicated to his daughter, Kelly.” He started a college fund for her when she was young. Gibbs never closed the account after she d1ed. In fact, he continued to add to it. So he’s helped a lot of agents’ families since then. “Kelly’s kids are all going to college in her honor,” Vance explained.
Is Mark Harmon returning to ‘NCIS’?
Palmer said at the end of the scene that he wished he could thank Gibbs in person for the money. Vance responded, “Hopefully one day you will.” That wasn’t a guarantee that Harmon would appear again on the show, but it did give fans some hope.
When it comes to signs that Gibbs will return before the end of the season, some fans believe that one clue is proof that he will return before the end of season 19.
Mark Harmon can still be seen in the opening credits of ‘NCIS.’
Harmon appears in the NCIS opening credits despite not being seen since the fourth episode of the season. He’s still the first person introduced at the start of each episode, and some fans believe this means Harmon will return.
“And that confirms it Gibbs isn’t finished, they still have him in the intro credits, if he was gone he would [have] been removed,” one fan wrote on Twitter.
“Gibbs is still in the opening credits…which means I don’t believe he’s left the series completely, he’ll come back at some point…” said another.
“How come Mark Harmon is still listed in the opening credits?” “Everyone else who’s left has vanished… unless….,” a third fan tweeted.
NCIS showrunner Steven Binder said after Harmon’s final appearance that the actor and executive producer remained “an integral part of the fabric of the show,” adding fuel to the theory that Gibbs will return at some point.
“In terms of Gibbs’ future, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years… “Never underestimate Leroy Jethro Gibbs,” Binder said.
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