When Will Gibbs Return to ‘NCIS’ in Season 19?

When Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) suspended Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) from NCIS indefinitely in Season 18, it wasn’t fixed in the next episode. In fact, he still wasn’t back at work at the end of the season. But he has to return to work at some point next year … right?

Not necessarily. The six NCIS episodes without Gibbs showed that the team can get the job done without him. McGee (Sean Murray) has grown nicely from probie (remember when we met him in Season 1?!) to senior field agent to (temporary?) boss. And sure, they’re down an agent with Ellie Bishop’s (Emily Wickersham) undercover work, but we may have already met her replacement in Jessica Knight (Katrina Law). And while it certainly seemed like he would try, Gibbs couldn’t work at NCIS forever.

Plus, he seems to have found another way to keep investigating and remain part of the show: working with reporter Marcie Warren (Pam Dawber). The season even ended with the two embroiled in a case involving a serial killer, which very likely was the reason why Gibbs’ boat exploded at the end of the finale. (We have theories about just who might be responsible for that.) The series could easily continue following NCIS’ cases and Gibbs’ own work.

That being said, we highly doubt that we’ll never see Gibbs working with the team again. In what capacity could very well just depend on how much Harmon is part of Season 19. There are rumors that he might not be around full-time, but there hasn’t been anything said officially yet. For now, we’ll speculate that he’ll either return as boss for part of the season or strictly as a consultant for cases here and there. And if the former is the case, something tells us it won’t be until partway through the season.

When Season 18 ended, Gibbs’ boat exploded as he was (presumably) heading to check out a potential dump site for the serial killer. Whoever planted that bomb aside, wrapping up that case will likely take up most of Gibbs’ time when the series returns in the fall. That could lead to him working with his former team again (perhaps if another victim falls into NCIS’ jurisdiction).

What we do know is that it wouldn’t be right if we never see Gibbs working with his agents again, even if he has yet to truly express any desire to return to NCIS. (Bishop even called him on it in the finale.) He does need one last case with them to truly say goodbye to being Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (even if it’s in name only and not in an official capacity) after 18 years of it on-screen.

What do you think? When will Gibbs return to working at NCIS again in Season 19? Vote in our poll below.