‘NCIS’: Why McGee Didn’t Take Gibbs’ Job

Gibbs is really gone from NCIS. The reality is setting in for Torres, McGee, and the rest of the team, and they must now adjust to his absence. Now that Gibbs is no longer on the team, you would think the natural next step would be for McGee to take over. That would make sense, but the NCIS agent isn’t interested in carrying on Gibbs’ legacy. Here’s why.

Warning: this article contains spoilers for NCIS Season 19 Episode 5

What happened last time on ‘NCIS’

Mark Harmon and Sean Murray pose in their NCIS uniforms.
Mark Harmon and Sean Murray | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

During NCIS Season 19 Episode 5 (“Face the Strange”) Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) is having a tough time accepting that Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is really gone. He asks McGee (Sean Murray) how he could let Gibbs go, but he tells him that Gibbs wanted to leave. He also tells him this is the happiest he’s seen Gibbs in a long time.

FBI Agent Alden Parker (Gary Cole) tells the team he isn’t going to take Director Vance up on his offer and take a job with NCIS. However, Vance convinces him to shadow the team to see if he really wants the job. At the crime scene, things get weird. After the body is loaded into the van, it blows up. The victim had an explosive device inside his body, and it detonated.

In another scene, Torres confronts Vance (Rocky Carroll) about Gibbs. He tells him he doesn’t think Parker is the right agent for the job. Vance and Torres have a heated exchange. Vance tells Torres that if he has a problem, he should take it up with Gibbs. He lets him know that Gibbs recommended Parker for the job. Vance says Parker made a good impression on both Gibbs and Him. After Vance asks him if they’re done, Torres walks away.

Why McGee didn’t take Gibbs’ job

Parker asks McGee the question everyone has been wondering. Why didn’t McGee make a play for Gibbs’ job? He explains that it was Gibbs’ job, so he didn’t go for it. “You never thought about making team leader a permanent gig?” asks Parker. He points out that the writing had been on the wall for months and McGee could have snatched up Gibbs’ job. McGee says he thought about being team lead eventually, but at the time, he decided to pass.

However, Parker keeps pushing. “Vance offered you the job, and you said ‘pass,’” says Parker. “Why?” McGee says he didn’t want the job because it wasn’t what he thought it would be. “Not nearly as fun,” says McGee. “Hours were even worse. Don’t get to go out in the field as much. Plus, there’s all that paperwork.”

Parker didn’t seem to believe McGee’s excuses. Torres later reveals he heard McGee and Parker’s conversation. He asks McGee again about taking over the team. McGee says he doesn’t want Gibbs’ job because it would be too much of a sacrifice when it came to his personal life.

“If there’s anything I learned from Gibbs it’s that this job is all-consuming,” says McGee. “It completely consumes you. You know what the guy had to do to escape? He had to go to Alaska!” McGee goes on to say he has a family, and he can’t be totally consumed by a job. “That can’t be me; I can’t do that,” says McGee.

Palmer and Ducky discuss Gibbs

Palmer is still getting over the death of his wife, Breena. He’s also getting over the departure of Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Gibbs. At one point, Palmer insists that Ducky (David McCallum) return to work with him in autopsy. However, Ducky tells him he’s just going to have to get used to the changes at NCIS. “Change is the essence of life,” says Ducky.

There have been a lot of changes at the agency, and now everyone must pull together and keep moving forward so they can get their jobs done. It’s time to let Gibbs go.

Follow Sheiresa Ngo on Twitter.