Cases continue to be solved in NCIS season 19 without Gibbs (Mark Harmon), but that doesn’t mean that everyone has come to accept his sudden departure. But there is hope — in fact, NCIS fans are more convinced than ever that we haven’t seen the last of the special agent in charge.
As folks may recall, in the fourth episode of the new season, Gibbs said tearful goodbyes to Leon (Rocky Carroll), Ducky (David McCallum) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) before heading off to Alaska. There, he broke the news to McGee (Sean Murray) that he wasn’t, in fact, going back with him to Washington D.C. The last scene showed Gibbs seemingly at peace while fishing.
Since that episode aired on October 11, NCIS fans have noticed over the past several weeks that actor Mark Harmon, who played Gibbs since 2003, is still in the opening credits. Mark is the first person introduced by name at the beginning of each new episode. Apparently, this detail is proof enough for some viewers that he's coming back this season.
“And that confirms it gibbs is not 100% done they still have him in the intro credits, if he was gone he would [have] been removed,” one person wrote on Twitter a week after Gibbs’ exit. “Gibbs is still in the opening credits…which means I don’t believe he has left the series completely…he’ll come back at some point…,” another added. “Why is Mark Harmon still in the opening credits? Everyone else who's left has disappeared immediately... unless....,” someone else tweeted.
While this detail may be good news for viewers, Mark’s name in the opening credits may not necessarily mean that it’s linked to his acting role. Instead, it could be due to his work off camera. According to Mark’s IMDB, he’s an executive producer for NCIS, including for the last four episodes that he doesn’t appear in at all.
After the actor left in mid-October, NCIS showrunner Steve Binder confirmed this as well. “As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show,” he said in a statement. But he also hinted that Gibbs might not be gone forever. “Regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out,” Steve added.
Hmm ... we’ll just have to wait and see!
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