While “NCIS” again scored the most-watched show of 2021 for CBS, it’s been a strange, difficult season for fans, cast, and crew alike. Even prior to its premiere, “NCIS” Season 19 had a rough start. Many fans worried Mark Harmon was leaving the series without any explanation or closure.
Then, we saw Harmon’s official departure (which still leaves me in tears every so often). And that’s not to mention the addition of two brand new cast members with little history alongside the “NCIS” team. That said, fans have taken to Reddit to discuss the merits of the current season.
A Redditor, Insuffer-firecracker, began the discussion with a lengthy, though logical, explanation as to the series’ core value: family.
“I discovered why I dislike season 19 so much,” the outspoken “NCIS” fan wrote. Overall, they write, “The main theme of NCIS is lampshaded off and on about the team as a family unit.”
Over time, fans learn the reason the “NCIS” team works well together is that they’re all misfits.
The Reddit user explained that show writers attempted to continue this theme in new seasons. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to the family dynamic fans previously saw in earlier seasons.
“Episode 9 of season 19, they tried to lampshade this again, but with the new team leader [Alden Parker] giving the speech about the…military group being a family…it just rang hollow.”
Who Plays What ‘NCIS’ Family Role?
As a family, certain characters within the “NCIS” universe have adapted certain traits that later assigned them equivalent family roles. Thanks to the above thread, we have insight why “family” worked as a theme so well before its ongoing season.
Outsiders should know by now, after nearly two decades as “NCIS’s” patriarchal mainstay character, Agent Gibbs was, and always will be, the “papa bear” of the series.
Prior to the death of former NCIS director Jenny Shephard, characters within the series often hinted Jenny was the mother to Gibbs’ “papa bear.” Insuffer-firecracker even referenced an early episode where former forensic scientist Abby Sciuto says, “The kids don’t like it when Mommy and Daddy fight.”
Longtime fans might recall that particular moment in Abby’s lab where the director and Gibbs stand side by side, tension pooling between them.
Meanwhile, we have the beloved Dr. “Ducky” Mallard as “NCIS’s” “wise grandfather.” Beside him, Abby takes the role of “little orphan abby.” And Ziva gets described as the “fish out of water that finds her family and place to belong,” and so, so much more.
After putting these pieces together, it makes sense why some fans have grown away from “NCIS.”
Overall, the analytical viewer writes, “That’s what makes this season unpalatable. [I]ts not just that the family fractured. [I]t’s that the series is pretending it didn’t [fracture] at all.”
What do you think Outsiders? Can “NCIS” writers get ahold of that iconic core value? Or will we see further fragmentation from here?