‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Why Did Deeks Reference Mark Harmon’s Gibbs?

by Shelby Scott
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It’s always fun when some of our favorite “NCIS” franchise characters make references to other characters outside of their own show; especially because “NCIS” crossovers are extremely rare. However, in a recent episode, one of our top favorite “NCIS: Los Angeles” characters, Marty Deeks, made a prominent reference to former Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. And now, you might be wondering why. Well, if that’s the case, then we’ve laid out all the details for you here.

The newest episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” entitled “Live Free or Die Standing” aired on CBS on Sunday, May 1st. In it, Kensi Blye, Marty Deeks, Sam Hanna, and Caleb Castille’s Devin Roundtree received envelopes each containing $10,000. Included was a letter from Barrett Foa’s Eric Beale, the “NCIS: Los Angeles” Senior Technical Operator.

Eric Beale wrote, “In Silicon Valley, we are all drowning in data that we parade as knowledge, power’s confused with respect and success with happiness. I miss you guys and by sharing my wealth, I hope things bring us both happiness.”

Viewers then learned Eric had also contributed $10,000 to each of the characters’ favorite charities.

Overall, the move was rather random, though definitely a positive intention. After reading the letter, Deeks said, “Maybe he was inspired by Gibbs.”

The ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Gibbs Reference Explained

Why would Eric take inspiration from Leroy Jethro Gibbs? After all, the two characters boast completely different personalities, interests, and careers. However, if you watched all of “NCIS” season 19, you’ll recall one episode that saw Gibbs make quite a significant monetary donation.

In the episode “Pledge of Allegiance,” Special Agent Timothy McGee and medical examiner Dr. Jimmy Palmer each randomly received $10,000 deposited into their account. At the end of the episode, we learn the money came from Gibbs. The veteran special agent previously started a college fund for Kelly, his deceased daughter. Both McGee and Palmer have children of their own that they hope to send to college.

Director Vance explained to McGee and Palmer at the end of the episode, “It’s in memory of his daughter Kelly…Kids all go to college in Kelly’s honor.”

Seeing Deeks mention Gibbs on the West Coast, so far from where he spent 19 seasons, was a little unusual. TV Insider brought up another valid point. How was Deeks even aware of the Gibbs’ college fund given the infrequent “NCIS” franchise crossovers.

The outlet suggested that perhaps McGee and Palmer shared their knowledge of the college fund with their coworkers after the season 19 episode, and that perhaps word got around the agencies. Or perhaps, departed character Tony DiNozzo shared insight with Deeks and Kensi during his visit to L.A. in “Blame It on Rio.”