Mark Harmon will return in NCIS: Origins, which will focus on his character’s early years with the organization, although he could return as Gibbs sooner in NCIS season 21, notably in Ducky Mallard’s forthcoming farewell episode.
In light of the death of original cast member David McCallum, the CSB police procedural will dedicate one episode to the beloved medical examiner-turned-historian, with the crew solving a case he was working on prior to his death.
Gibbs’ friendship with Ducky predates the events of the show, therefore it only makes logical that he attends his planned funeral.
The good news is that NCIS season 21 doesn’t need to make a huge deal about Harmon’s return to the brand, which is expected given how important he was to the franchise.
Rather than getting entangled in the matter, Gibbs can simply attend Ducky’s funeral.
No one else needs to see him, including Tim McGee, who has worked with him the longest of any of the force’s surviving active agents.
His first aim is to show respect to one of his oldest friends and appropriately send him farewell.