‘NCIS’ Cryptic Post About Gibbs’ Boat Sparks New Round of Fan Theories About Mark Harmon’s Exit

by Suzanne Halliburton

Talk about cryptic. The NCIS official Twitter account dropped three boat emojis in a post. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

Anyone who watched the season 18 finale back in late May knows the emojis likely are about Gibbs’ boat. Because Gibbs’ boat exploded in the middle of a lake, giving every NCIS fan watching a panic attack. But in the final seconds of the episode, called Rule 91, we see Gibbs swimming away from the burning wreckage.

Have a look at the tweet. Play the what-does-it-all-mean game. NCIS started production for season 19, July 15. The show doesn’t return until Sept. 20, so there are lots of days left of splitting these kind of social media hairs.

‘NCIS’ Twitter Loves to Tease with Show Clues

A week ago, NCIS writer/producer Christopher J. Waild brought people back to the mysterious lake with a tweet about being “In the weeds on Day Four.” He posted a photo of what could be the piece of land Gibbs (Mark Harmon) was driving to when his boat blew.

NCIS fans are honing in on a new theory.

“I think Gibbs rigged his own boat,” a fan said in reply to the NCIS boat emoji tweet. Another fan seconded that rigged motion, writing: “Gibbs did rig his own boat. Something to (do) with Bishop. I think he is going to help her.”

So instead of row, row, row your boat, NCIS switched it to rigged, rigged, rigged your boat.

Finale Focused on Bishop and a Dash of Gibbs

The season 18 finale mainly focused on the Ellie Bishop storyline. Bishop, played by Emily Wickersham, intentionally wrecked her own NCIS career. She leaked some classified documents and got busted for it. Her friends worried about whether prison was in her future. But Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) figured out what was going on and confronted Bishop. Torres was correct. The mysterious operative Odette was grooming Bishop for a deep undercover assignment. And as Torres pointed out, to pull it off, she needed to be publicly scorned as a bad agent.

Meanwhile, Gibbs met with Marcie, an investigative journalist, as they track down a potential serial killer. Gibbs discovered a listening device in his house and told Marcie she needed to walk away because it was too dangerous. Don’t be the story he told her. Later in the episode, Gibbs and Marcie meet again, this time at the lake. Gibbs believes he knows where a body is buried based on the pine cones he found.

Gibbs returned to the lake with his boat. As he drove it across the water, said boat exploded.

Keep in mind, this all dovetails with reports that Mark Harmon won’t be appearing in many NCIS episodes in season 19. Producers added Gary Cole, who is similar in age to Harmon, to play an FBI agent.

So that gives heft to the theories. Add this one:

“My dad has a very good theory,” one NCIS fan wrote. “Since Mark Harmon wants more time off, but agreed to a contract for next season, he thinks Gibbs will be “missing” all season so that the team can search for the serial killer associated w/that other woman.”

Stay tuned. Only eight more weeks until the next new episode.