They may never get to meet officially on the screen, but that doesn’t stop writers from drawing an interesting connection between “NCIS: Hawai’i” character Jane Tennant and former “NCIS” leader Gibbs.
Mark Harmon left his influential role as Gibbs at the beginning of this season. Meanwhile, Vanessa Lachey is just getting started as Jane Tennant.
It’s common for new shows in the franchise to get a backdoor pilot with another older show before getting launched on their own. “NCIS: Hawai’i” broke this tradition. Now, however, writers are working to piece together aspects of this tropical crime-fighting universe with the rest of the franchise.
During last night’s episode, “Spies: Part 2,” the team is investigating former CIA operative Maggie Shaw and her possible role in abetting a Chinese spy hiding out in Hawaii. The two had a major connection, seeing as Maggie recruited and trained Jane 15 years ago.
Then, the flashbacks are set 11 years ago instead. Jane is informed that Maggie is being moved to the Far East division and would not be bringing along Tennant. That doesn’t mean Maggie is going to forget about her young trainee. She pulls out a crisp-looking business card. In a bold font, it reads “L. Jethro Gibbs.” A full-circle moment.
Maggie says that there’s an “NCIS” agent with a “Marine haircut” that she made quite the impression on. When Tennant inquires how she knows she made an impact, Maggie states, “Because he tried to steal you from me; he asked me to give you this.”
The business card also has a special message for just Tennant. It states, “Rule 72: Always be open to new ideas.” A Gibbs rule being in the episode almost makes it feel like Gibbs is back in the room again.
Fans React to ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Mentioning Gibbs
The rest is assumed history. The “NCIS: Hawai’i” star began working with “NCIS” and would eventually get promoted to a Supervisory Special Agent in Hawaii.
For fans of the show, connecting Gibbs and the “NCIS: Hawai’i” leader was an interesting choice. Many viewers have been hoping that Gibbs would make another appearance on the show. These flashback mentions of the kind of guy he was may just be as close as we get now.
Fans on a Reddit thread were excited to get a new Gibbs rule to add to the collection. A few also did the math on the timeline of it all and how it intercepts with the “NCIS” timeline. “So 12 years ago. Did Gibbs try to recruit Tennant to replace Ziva when they thought she died in Somalia,” a fan wrote.
It’s possible that Jane Tennant is even more connected to our favorite early-on “NCIS” characters. There is also the upcoming crossover episode in March between “NCIS” and “NCIS: Hawai’i.” As some of the “NCIS” characters head to Hawaii, we could learn even more about Tennant’s past and her connections to other team members.