‘NCIS’ EP Steve Binder On The Impact Of Gibbs’ Big Reveal And The Return Of Ziva

Gibbs (Mark Harmon) dropped a bombshell when he told the team about his vigilante past on the most recent episode of NCIS. Gibbs told the team that he killed the man responsible for the death of his wife and daughter, and NCIS executive producer Steve Binder says the revelation will have lasting effects on everyone, including Gibbs.

'NCIS' star Mark Harmon
Gibbs (Mark Harmon) | Photo by Eric Mccandless/CBS via Getty Images

Binder opens up about Gibbs’ big reveal

Ahead of the last week’s episode, titled “…and Executioner,” Binder teased that Gibbs was going to reveal something major about his past. Binder revealed that the team will face some complications in their investigation into the secret vigilante organization within the government, which prompts Gibbs to come clean to his co-workers.

We do not know how everyone deals with the revelation moving forward, but it could be a major point as we head into the Season 16 finale.

“I’ll let you wait to see what that reveal is, but it’s going to change the whole team dynamic in a way. There will be this sort of fallout as the team reconciles this ‘new Gibbs’ that they didn’t really know existed,” Binder explained.

Gibbs has experienced an interesting emotional journey this season and has done some pretty uncharacteristic things. Earlier this season, for example, he burned one of his rules. But given how long the team has worked with Gibbs, we are confident that they can get past his recent revelation and get back to work without too much trouble. Gibbs, on the other hand, is a different story.

Gibbs unravels in the upcoming episode of ‘NCIS’

Gibbs’ emotional journey began with the episode, “She,” where he burned Rule 10 and Bishop (Emily Wickersham) learned that Ziva (Cote de Pablo) is still alive. According to TV Line, Binder revealed that Gibbs will suffer some kind of mental break in next week’s installment, titled, “Lost Time.”

Binder was hesitant to call it a breakdown because Gibbs is not the type of person who is capable of such a thing, but his issue does make it hard to function. We don’t know what this entails exactly, but Gibbs will seek out help for his problem.


In “Lost Time,” fans will see the return of Dr. Grace Confalone (Laura San Giacomo), who will serve as Gibbs’ psychologist. Binder revealed that Dr. Confalone will work with Gibbs while he is solving a case, which means Gibbs’ mental break is not enough for him to stop working. The situation ties in with the event of the finale, which will see the return of Joe Spano and Tobias Fornell.

Inside the Season 16 finale of ‘NCIS’

In the Season 16 finale of NCIS, titled “Daughters,” Tobias reaches out to Gibbs after his daughter, Emily (Juliette Angelo), is hospitalized for a drug overdose. Tobias is looking to take down the drug dealers responsible for supplying Emily with opiates and asks Gibbs for help.

Normally, Gibbs would not get involved in a case that has personal attachments, but now that he burned Rule 10, there is a strong chance that he gets involved. After all, Gibbs does not want Tobias to suffer the same fate he did when he lost his wife and daughter to drugs.

The other issue at hand is Gibbs’ vigilante history. His team already knows about how he avenged his family’s murders but getting involved in a similar case could lead to further questions. Between his recent mental issues and his personal ties to the case, Gibbs will definitely be navigating tricky waters in the NCIS finale.

What about Ziva?

With the finale focused on Gibbs, there is not a lot of room for a Ziva cameo. The show has mentioned Ziva periodically and many fans hoped for a cameo in the season finale. There is still a chance that Ziva makes an appearance, but it probably won’t happen until the end.

At the very least, we should get some clarification on how the show intends to use Ziva moving forward. De Pablo has not said anything about returning to the show, so it is unclear if producers want to bring her back as recurring or full-time.

Binder previously revealed that they have a plan for Ziva and would not have mentioned her this season without one. Binder did not say exactly how the series will use Ziva in the future, so it is possible that she remains off-screen until Season 17.

New episodes of NCIS air Tuesday nights on CBS.