NCIS fans are feeling sentimental after the departure of Mark Harmon’s Gibbs as they ponder whether the series is in its last legs.
So when you’re dealing with overwhelming nostalgia for better NCIS days, you think about what episodes from the previous 18 seasons are worth watching again. And again.
In fact, one NCIS fan on Reddit posted about recommendations. He had a box set of DVDs, featuring seasons one through eight. Meanwhile, season 18 had just wrapped up. What to watch in the NCIS distant past?
One fan wrote “all of them.” But we’re thinking that it’s probably difficult to binge all 421 episodes this weekend. So, the caveat should be recommendations if you only have several hours blocked off for mindless binging.
If you’re a chronological type, why not start with episode 1? It’s called Yankee White and it ran Sept. 23, 2003. For some historical context, that was way back when George W Bush was in his first term as president.
The episode opens onboard Air Force One. A Navy Commander lunches with the President. This commander is the guy who travels with the nuclear football, aka the codes. The commander dies under mysterious circumstances and AF1 is forced to do an emergency landing in Kansas. It’s initially believed the commander died of an accident, but it might’ve been an assassination attempt on the president.
CBS Introduced NCIS Via Backdoor Pilot on JAG
Technically, NCIS was introduced via backdoor pilot on JAG in the spring of 2003. When the show had its own name and time slot that fall, NCIS introduced more characters in Yankee White, including Tobias Fornell of the FBI and future agent Caitlin Todd, who in this episode, was still in the Secret Service.
One of the next recommendations skips to the opening of season three. And Todd is very much part of this episode, as agents mourn her death from the season two finale. The opening episodes of season three are called Kill Ari Parts 1 and 2. The name is a nod to Ari Haswari, the terrorist who killed Todd. Gibbs wants to kill Ari. Cote de Pablo joins the cast as Ziva David, as does Lauren Holly (Jenny Shepard). Turns out, Ziva and Ari are half brother and sister.
Another suggestion for NCIS episodes to rewatch on a loop were two that came around Thanksgiving in November, 2008. Writers called the episodes Cloak and Dagger.
In Cloak, it becomes evident that someone in NCIS is a mole. Gibbs sets the trap and everyone assumes Abby is the mole. But she was part of the Gibbs trap. In Dagger, the second of the two-part episode, we see that Agent Lee was the mole. She was gathering info because someone sinister had kidnapped her daughter.
Now, get all that binging out of the way. NCIS returns Nov. 1 with a new episode from season 19.