‘NCIS’ Season 17: Will Mark Harmon’s Gibbs Finally Get Together With Sloane?

There were a lot of interesting developments in Season 16 of NCIS, but one of the more intriguing storylines was the emerging love story between Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Sloane (Maria Bello). There are plenty of things to tackle in NCIS Season 17, but what are the chances that we finally see Gibbs and Sloane get together next season?

Will Mark Harmon's Gibbs and Maria Bello's Sloane get together in 'NCIS' Season 17
Maria Bello and Mark Harmon | Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Things heat up between Gibbs and Sloane

Fans have been rooting for Gibbs and Sloane to hook up for quite some time, but we didn’t get any real developments until Season 16. The series made it clear last season that Sloane has feelings for Gibbs, which is a big step towards something happening between the characters. Having feelings, however, and acting on them are two different things, especially when that special person is somebody in the workplace.

To make things even more complicated, Gibbs is not the type of person who is open about his feelings. Gibbs has put up a lot of walls over the past 16 seasons and breaking through his barriers is not going to be easy.

Even for a person who is well versed in psychology like Sloane, getting Gibbs to open up about his feelings will be difficult. It also probably won’t happen quickly, which means a romance could take several seasons to bloom.

Will ‘NCIS’ Season 17 have time for romance?

Although we would love to see Gibbs and Sloane get together in Season 17, the show has a lot of storylines to resolve before that happens. According to Carter Matt, the most pressing issue is Ziva’s (Cote de Pablo) surprise return. The character came back from the dead at the end of Season 16 to warn Gibbs about an immediate threat.

The series will undoubtedly address Ziva’s appearance in the NCIS Season 17 premiere, which puts Gibbs and Sloane’s romance on the back burner.

Apart from Ziva, Gibbs and Sloane face another big hurdle that could prevent them from dating altogether. As fans are well aware, Gibbs has a rule against dating co-workers. This is one reason why Ziva and Tony (Michael Weatherly) struggled taking their romance public.

Gibbs could burn the rule, like he did with another one of his regulations in Season 16, but that seems unlikely at this point. On the other hand, Gibbs has been going through a lot of changes lately and giving up another rule would show further character development.  

Gibbs opens up in Season 16 of ‘NCIS’

While Sloane clearly has her work cut out, Gibbs was more open to expressing feelings in Season 16. Not only did he burn one of his longstanding rules about getting personally invested in a case, but he divulged a major secret in the episodes leading up to the Season 16 finale.

During a therapy session with Dr. Grace Confalone (Laura San Giacomo), Gibbs revealed that he avenged the death of his first wife and daughter by killing the drug dealer who murdered them.

Gibbs then admitted that he wanted to turn himself in for breaking the law. Luckily, Dr. Confalone convinced him that handing himself over to the authorities would do more harm than good and that his team desperately needed him.

Gibbs eventually told his team about what he did, though he opted to keep the authorities out of it. The moment showed how much Gibbs has grown over the past few seasons and was a clear indication that he is ready to be more open about his struggles. Whether this means that Gibbs will spark up a romance in Season 17, of course, is yet to be seen.

Gibbs faces new challenges in ‘NCIS’ Season 17

Apart from the Sloane situation, Gibbs has a lot on his plate heading into NCIS Season 17 The most immediate issue is the threat Ziva warned him about, which could be related to the Judge.

There is also the fact that we still do not know how the team will handle Gibbs’ revelation. None of them seemed too worried about what Gibbs did so many years ago, though it could come back to haunt him as the season drags on.