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Season 17, episode 14 of NCIS was reminiscent of the show’s earlier days. From the mystery at the heart of the episode to the suspense and the emotional subplot carrying the narrative, the episode did all the right things. It left fans at the edge of their seats, wearing their hearts on their sleeves. However, based on the way the episode concluded, fans have begun making presumptions surrounding the title character — Mark Harmon’s Agent Gibbs. 

Mark Harmon as Agent Gibbs in NCIS
Mark Harmon as Agent Gibbs in ‘NCIS’ | by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

*spoiler alert*

What happened at the end of the last ‘NCIS’ episode? 

The end of the last NCIS episode left fans wondering who killed Xavier? Xavier was a man who (arguably) deserved what came to him, given his attempt to kill Torres and his sheer audacity, arrogance, and lack of respect for the law. However, agents are not supposed to play God, and the end of the episode hinted that one of the agents – the father figure in the bunch who would do anything to protect his team, his family — may have turned vigilante. 

The last episode of NCIS hinted that Gibbs could have been the one to kill Xavier. So, why do such a thing? If this possibility turns out to be true, Gibbs would have had two primary motivations: vengeance and protection. While he was definitely worried about Torres and angered that someone tried to take out a member of his team, he also didn’t want Bishop to take matters into her own hands, as such an action would be irreversible — leading to years of internal moral conflict. Gibbs told her not to be like him, and thus may have done the one thing he didn’t want to see her do. 

So, what do fans think — do fans think Gibbs did it, or was it just a clever narrative play? Did the writers find a way to make it seem possible, only to deliver the truth down the line? 

Do ‘NCIS’ fans think Gibbs killed Xavier? Is Dark Gibbs making an entrance?

Fans are divided, as seen in the Reddit discussion concerning whether Gibbs killed Xavier, as many believe he has the potential, but would have hesitated. One fan stated:

It was Gibbs. He knew Bishop would’ve probably done it had he not. It didn’t hit me until I thought about what he told her about seeing all of this tragedy but knows he has it coming. I’ve had this thought in the back of my mind for a long time that the only way Gibbs will find peace is in death but it’s something I hope I’m wrong about.

Reddit User

While some concurred with the above statement, others noted that the NCIS writers are notorious for making things seem one way and then defying expectations. One fan stated:

I’m not sure he did though. I think they really set it up to look like that. Which is almost always a mislead. I mean seriously how many times have people supposedly done something or looked to be dead and haven’t. It’s way too obvious of a play. I can’t and don’t trust it. Plus wasn’t Gibbs in the office at the estimate time of death? I could be wrong that last bit of the episode was a little confusing time wise. 

Reddit User

Other fans chimed in, noting that the timeline seems to point away from Gibbs. However, another fan noted how much he loves “Dark Gibbs” — a side of the character that only shows up every so often, and always makes for juicy television. So, have the writers decided to reintroduce Gibbs’ dark side (with a subtext of protection and devotion), or are they just fooling viewers once again?