‘NCIS’: Fans Will See a Softer Side of Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs in Season 18
Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs will continue to undergo changes when NCIS returns for season 18 later this year. Gibbs has experienced a lot of emotional ups and downs over the past two seasons, and NCIS executive producers Frank Cardea and Gina Monreal recently confirmed that fans will see a softer side of Gibbs this season. Here’s a look at what’s ahead for Gibbs plus whether or not Harmon is about to part ways with the hit crime procedural.
Inside Gibbs’ emotional journey on ‘NCIS’
There is no denying that Gibbs has undergone a lot of changes over the past few seasons of NCIS. His journey has been most affected by his relationships with Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and Phineas (Jack Fisher).
Ziva was presumed dead until her surprise appearance at the end of season 16. Ziva and Gibbs were very close before she faked her death, and Gibbs was willing to do whatever it took to keep her safe once she came back.
Phineas, meanwhile, lived next door to Gibbs and the two developed a close bond. At one point, Gibbs promised the young man that he would never let anything happen to his mother.
The only problem is that Phineas’ mother was the same person who was after Ziva. In season 17, Gibbs killed his mom to save Ziva, a move that put Gibbs into an emotional tailspin.
During an interview with TV Insider, NCIS executive producer Steven D. Binder revealed that everything Gibbs faced in season 17 has forced him to take a hard look at his life.
“Those things tend to make people take stock of their lives,” Binder shared.
What’s ahead for Gibbs in season 18?
To make things even more complicated, season 17 of NCIS was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were still a handful of episodes yet to be filmed when production shut down, and producers have already revealed that they will pick up right where they left off in season 17.
Cardea did not reveal any details about what those future episodes will entail, but he did assure fans that one of season 16’s biggest mysteries will be solved next season.
As NCIS fans will recall, Gibbs walked out in the middle of a case in season 16 and we never found out what pulled him away from the mission. Without revealing too many details, Cardea stated that Gibbs had a very good reason for leaving.
“Let’s just say he didn’t walk out in the middle of a case because it was sturgeon season or because Emily Fornell [the daughter of his good friend] left rehab. We are looking forward to paying this storyline off,” he shared.
Cardea added that fans will see a “softer” and “more thoughtful” side of Gibbs this season, especially when it comes to his decision making. But the executive producer also cautioned that how Gibbs reacts to everything “is another matter entirely.”
While fans continue to speculate about what season 18 will bring, there have also been reports that it might be Harmon’s last run on the show.
Is Harmon thinking about leaving ‘NCIS’?
After 18 seasons on NCIS, retirement rumors are nothing new for Harmon. But with the series heading into its 18th season, those reports have heated up.
Luckily, Harmon has not been shy about discussing those retirement rumors. According to Express, Harmon previously revealed that the only way he would consider leaving NCIS is if the writers had nowhere else to take the story.
“Right now our writers are all very up and excited. You can see it on their faces,” he explained in an interview from 2017. “Now, if I ever witness them walking into the writers’ room with their heads down, feeling they’ve done it all, that would be the time to say, ‘I think I’m done here.'”
Between Gibbs’ emotional journey the past two seasons and Ziva’s epic return, it is safe to say that the writers still have plenty of places to take the story.
Harmon has been a part of the hit drama since the very beginning. Apart from his acting credits, he also serves as a producer on the series and is very involved in the creative process.
CBS has not announced when season 18 of NCIS will premiere. Filming is supposed to start back up in the coming weeks and, barring any further delays, the series should air its next episode before the year is out.