‘NCIS’: Here’s Why Next Season May Feature a Major Time Jump

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

We all know the wait for season 19 of “NCIS” will be long — but how much time will pass within the “NCIS” universe before it comes back. 

As fans have learned from watching throughout the years, “NCIS” typically runs in real-time. Later in season 18, the show transitioned away from this— possibly due to the pandemic. As the pandemic winds downs, some fans theorize that the new series will go back into the present-day, but how exactly will that work? 

After Gibbs nearly dies on his boat, fans will have to wait to see how his storyline pans out. He might immediately work to go after who is responsible for the crash, making us think that Marcie returns for another episode. 

However, we can’t assume he forgets about what happened for months and then decides to do something about it after a time jump.

At the same time, we need to see how Torres is coming along after Bishop made her exit. Fans expect he’ll be better a few months removed in contrast to how he’s doing immediately after the fact. That said, it will be interesting to see how the show explores that in the immediate aftermath.

Previous Time Jumps in ‘NCIS’

Moreso, if Jessica Knight is joining the crew, we’d like to see her progression and how she gets along with the team. Although we’re not sure what the writers choose to do, yet they choose not to tie up loose ends from Season 18, it could present a dilemma for the upcoming season. 

This isn’t the first time “NCIS” played with time. The current season employed flashbacks. The CBS crime drama went back in time — to November of 2019 — and then stayed there for a little while in season 18. 

In the season finale of Season 17, in which Christopher Lloyd guest-starred as Pearl Harbor survivor Joe Smith, the episode closed with Gibbs inviting McGee to learn about his own war stories from Kuwait. 

“We had an episode last year called ‘Musical Chairs,’ where Gibbs disappears from the squad room to go on a mission, and then he shows up at the end of the episode with a black eye,” co-showrunner Steve Binder said of the finale at the time. 

At the time, Gibbs never offered up a clear answer about where he had run off to after he came back. Yet, Season 18’s early episodes filled in some blanks with time hops.