‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Will Next Season Feature a Time Jump?

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Jonathan Leibson/WireImage

“NCIS: Los Angeles” will be returning next season for another helping. But where will fans find the Los Angeles crew? Or should we say when?

Time jumps are nothing new to television. Many shows often incorporate a passage of time to both put some distance between previous seasons and to open up new story avenues. Viewers may also like to know the characters are off living their lives off-screen between seasons.

And “NCIS: Los Angeles” may be poised to jump ahead. For one, Season 12 ended with no pressing cliffhangers. No characters had their lives in danger or any other dramatic stakes. So, the show opened up the perfect opportunity for a mini reset. A time jump would also help set up the new normal for many characters. Season 12 had a few shake-ups that should be addressed.

For one, “NCIS: Los Angeles” lost both Nell Jones and Eric Beale among its regular cast. Both characters have departed the team. Meanwhile, Hetty is back after a season-long absence as well. Additionally, the show plans to introduce new characters such as Gerald McRaney’s Hollace Kilbride (who’s recurred for years now) to its main cast. Other actors may also join the cast as well.

Rather than introduce these new additions to the crew on-screen, Season 13 could pick up with them already working together on the team. Setting up a new status quo is easier with a time jump and it allows “NCIS: Los Angeles” to press forward without getting too bogged down in introductions.

‘NCIS’ May Also Jump Ahead

Meanwhile, “NCIS” may also feature a time jump as well. The flagship show is also primed to jump ahead a few months into the future. Very much like “NCIS: Los Angeles,” the show would be establishing a new normal as well. But the stakes are much higher on the franchise’s parent show.

For one, a time jump would put distance from that dramatic cliffhanger. In the final moments, series lead Leroy Gibbs is among an explosion on his boat. The NCIS commander appears to have perished before quietly swimming away to parts unknown. Fans have theorized that Gibbs intentionally faked his death, or he will use the explosion to disappear for a while.

A time jump in the next season could establish an “NCIS” without Mark Harmon as the lead. It’s very possible that the season could begin with Gibbs’ teammates thinking he’s dead. This would skip all the drama surrounding his “death” such as a funeral. And the show could focus on an NCIS team struggling to move forward in the aftermath.

A time jump could also introduce key new cast members Katrina Law and Gary Cole to the team as well. The coming year promises big changes to the franchise.