All NCIS fans are aware that Leroy Jethro Gibbs may still be in Alaska. Since October, no one has seen Mark Harmon on the CBS procedural.
However, Harmon’s Gibbs was mentioned on January 3rd (happy face). In fact, NCIS writers gave Gibbs, the now-former special agent in charge of the NCIS office in Washington, D.C., a good chunk of dialogue. Gibbs appears to provide college funds to the children of agents. In the episode Pledge of Allegiance, McGee and Jimmy were the recipients of such gifts. Years before, Gibbs did something similar for Vance. So Gibbs continued to exist, albeit in a dialogue-only capacity.
But it turns out that Harmon’s co-stars enjoyed working with him and were grateful for his contributions to the show, which is now in its 19th season.
Here’s what David McCallum, who plays Dr. “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS, had to say about Harmon back in 2007, when the show was in its fourth season.
“There was always a certain degree of chaos,” McCallum said of the early days of production. “However, it’s all gone now. Mark was instrumental in getting our house in order, and I owe him a great debt of gratitude.”
Michael Weatherly, who played Gibbs’ right-hand man Tony DiNozzo, praised Harmon’s professionalism on set as well.
Weatherly describes Harmon as “a very rare person in this business because there’s no assistant, no entourage.” “Mark is primarily a straightforward, approachable, calm, and assertive guy.” He’s not one to pander to others.”
Perhaps this is because Harmon looked up to James Garner as a mentor.
Then, in 2019, Cote de Pablo, aka Ziva David, expressed her admiration for Harmon. De Pablo appeared on the show twice, once in 2013, and again in 2018 for a four-episode arc. So she worked with Harmon at the start of NCIS and later in the show.
“We were always trying to infuse [scenes] with different things, try something new,” said De Pablo. “Mark has been here for years and continues to bring it.”
Harmon, on the other hand, decided not to bring it up much, if at all, after the NCIS episode Great Wide Open, which aired on October 11. Fans are still hoping he’ll return, if only for a cameo. And the producers of NCIS never ruled it out.
The only member of the cast who did not publicly praise Harmon was Pauley Perrette, who played Abby. In 2016, the two had a falling out. This was allegedly after Harmon’s dog bit a crew member. CBS officials confirmed that Perrette approached them about a workplace issue. Perrette tweeted in 2019: “NO I AM NOT COMING BACK! EVER! (Would you please stop asking?) I’m terrified of Harmon and what he’ll do to me. It gives me nightmares.”
NCIS goes on without Harmon. This season, there are two new permanent cast members. Alden Parker, played by Gary Cole, is the special agent in charge. In addition, Katrina Law, who plays Jess Knight, has joined the cast as Torres’ new partner.
The CBS plot teaser for All Hands, which premieres on Monday, is as follows: “After a civilian research vessel in the North Atlantic picks up a small boat of injured Navy officers, NCIS arrives on the ship and is forced to hide when t3rr0r1sts are discovered on board.” Agent Knight also brings a paper doll with her on the mission to photograph her niece’s grade school class.”
If you want to catch up on the most recent new episode, click here for the Outsider recap from January 3.
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