NCIS season 18: Is Agent Gibbs going to retire?

NCIS season 18 could be on the cards after the show finished for another action-packed series. But is Agent Gibbs going to be retiring in the next series?

NCIS had to finish its 17th series earlier than expected due to the coronavirus pandemic. The CBS drama was planning to air another few episodes but was unable to film the scenes before going into lockdown. So instead of a dramatic last instalment, the show ended on an emotional note telling the story of a Pearl Harbor survivor who was played by Back To The Future actor Christopher Lloyd.

Is Agent Gibbs going to retire in season 18?

There have been talks about Agent Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) retiring for the past couple of series.
In season 16, episode 23 called Lost Time, Gibbs saw a therapist who asked him if he had any plans on retiring in the future or would he rather work till he died which was the option he seemed to prefer.
So far, there has been no official confirmation Gibbs will be heading for retirement any time soon.
However, with the shocking return of Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and the death of his neighbour Phineas’ (Jack Fisher) mother Sarah (Louise Barnes) who was actually terrorist Sahar, Gibbs has been through a lot in season 17.
Executive producer Steven B. Binder has since spoken out about the effect this could have on the veteran agent.

Speaking to Cinema Blend, Binder said: “I would say in that regard, this is a general statement about humanity and specific to Gibbs, there’s only so much one man can take.
“He’s getting close to redlining. What that looks like, tune in.”
If the makers of NCIS wanted to keep the show fairly realistic, then Gibbs should have been forced to retire a long time ago as he is too old to be an agent.
When the show began, Gibbs was 53-years-old but he is now at least eight years beyond the NCIS field agent mandatory retirement age of 57.
Under federal law, he should no longer be allowed to serve as an agent.
So could this storyline be introduced at some stage in season 18?

In 2010, actor Mark Harmon spoke out about the possibility of Gibbs one day being replaced.
Talking to French media company Télé-Loisirs, Harmon said: “From the beginning here, I always thought that part of his manner in dealing with his team is to prepare them for a time when he’s not here.
“So, I could see a time certainly in the future where they take the job over and they move on, and Gibbs gets on his boat and sails away.
“[Gibbs] is the senior field agent on the team.
“That doesn’t mean that he would be in charge. It doesn’t mean there might not be someone else in charge.”

Will Ziva David replace him?

Fans believed Ziva was killed in a mortar attack thanks to Trent Kort (xx) when in fact she has been in hiding all this time and only came out to warn Gibbs.
She appeared at the end of season 16 and the beginning of series 17 but Ziva left to reunite with Tony Dinozzo (Michael Weatherly) and their daughter Tali in Paris.
Since she first returned to the show, fans have been questioning if she would be the one to take over from Gibbs.
One fan took to Twitter posting: “Gibbs is old now, I stand by that the only way this show can continue is if Ziva takes his place as team lead, oh how wonderful that would be.
“They could just write that for her child’s protection, Tony is taking care of her in hiding, I wouldn’t be mad at all, anything to have her back.”

Neither CBS or NCIS have commented on the theory that Ziva will return and take over from Gibbs and Pablo has not said if she will even come back.
Nevertheless, the actress had previously said she didn’t think she ever would return to NCIS after she left the first time around.
So did her brief appearance in the series give her a taste of what it would be like to rejoin permanently?


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  1. If Mark Harmon leaves, I don’t think the show can survive. Even if Ziva replaces Gibbs, It just WON’T be the same. He is ONE of the main REASON’S why this show has been such a success. Even though some have been killed off, and replaced, (with some really good actors and actresses)..GIBBS IS WHAT MAKES THIS SHOW WORK. Take him out of this show, I see the rating’s dropping DRASTICALLY!!

    • I absolutely agree. I’m no Ziva fan, and I would stop watching if the producers were stupid enough to try to skip over McGee and put Ziva in charge. Harmon is the only reason that I have ever watched NCIS to begin with.

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