‘NCIS’: Here’s Which Episode the Showrunner Calls a ‘Gift to Fans’

by Anna Dunn
(Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

NCIS has been on TV for quite a while now, and nothing celebrates that quite like its 200th episode, Life Before His Eyes. The writer’s room typically likes to keep NCIS very grounded in reality and tends to stick to traditional plot structures. However, the team got creative for the show’s 200th.

The episode opens with Agent Gibbs shot while facing a robber at his go-to diner. The episode follows Gibbs in a sort of dream state, where he finds himself able to look at different paths his life could have taken had he made different choices. Because the episode took place in this sort of pseudo-reality, it allowed fans to see characters they never thought they’d see again.

This includes characters who had passed away on the show like Kate Todd and Mike Franks. The episode premiered on February 7th, 2012, and was the 14th episode of season 9. At the time of its release, show-runner Gary Glasberg said that the episode was a “gift to fans.”

“‘Life Before His Eyes” is meant to make us think,” he wrote. “Not only about our own personal decisions, but the decisions we’ve watched Gibbs make over the years. By simply not squeezing a trigger or letting someone walk out of a door, so many things would be different. We’ve all been there.” But Glasberg also had the fans in mind. While the 200th episode was experimental, he wanted to benefit the viewers.

“In that sense, as a writer, I thought it would be fun two hundred episodes into the series to experience something different. I hope we delivered and I hope you were entertained,” he wrote.

‘NCIS’ Now Moving On to Season 19 With some Big Changes Ahead

Life Before His Eyes aired almost a decade ago. Now, the show looks quite different than it did back then. This includes the frequency that Agent Gibbs appears on the show. For much of the show, Jethro Gibbs was the face of the series. Now, actor Mark Harmon is taking a step back.

It doesn’t look like we’ll see much of Gibbs at all next year, with Harmon agreeing to come back for a very small selection of episodes.

Agent Bishop actress Emily Wickersham has officially left the series. The will they/won’t they between Bishop and Torres was ended with a kiss in the season finale, but sadly it was a goodbye kiss. Now, season 19 will find Torres alone again.

Still, next season of NCIS will have the same kind of gripping storytelling fans have grown to know and love over the past two decades. Even with some major cast changes, fans are looking forward to what’s to come. NCIS will premiere this fall on CBS along with NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: Hawai’i.