‘NCIS’: Mark Harmon’s Gibbs Exits the Show After 19 Seasons

by Suzanne Halliburton

So the NCIS question you ask, where’s Gibbs? He’s in Alaska, fishing. And he’s never been better.

“This sense of peace, I haven’t had this since Shannon and Kelly died,” Gibbs tells McGee, bringing up his wife and daughter, who died years ago.

Then the two long-time friends and co-workers hug, tightly. Gibbs tells McGee he loves him. As McGee climbs aboard the small plane which was supposed to take them both to the airport, Gibbs casts his line out into the river. And he smiles.

Yes, Mark Harmon left NCIS, or at least, his character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, is taking a break from investigating criminals. TV Line reported that this will be Harmon’s last show.

As the fourth episode of season 19 episode played out, we learned that the FBI fired Alden Parker for not arresting Gibbs in Alaska when he had the chance. So Parker is available to come work for NCIS. He said he “colored outside the lines,” just like Gibbs.

The NCIS Episode Served As One Long Gibbs Good Bye

The episode built to the key moment for an hour. The case of whether Sonova paid a hitman to kill people who stood in their way of building a copper mine took a backseat. By the way, the husband of one of Lemere’s victims was in on all the hits. He partnered with Sonova’s CEO, Sonia Eberhart. The husband owned lots of land near the planned copper mine. He stood to make millions, enough money to think he needed to pay a hitman. Torres arrested him in Marcie’s office. The NCIS agents busted him by tracing Eberhart’s calls to him. Parker also helped with the case.

McGee tried desperately to change Gibbs’ mind about leaving. But Gibbs said he’d run out of hobbies, there were no boats left to build. He said he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

“My gut is telling me I’ll know when I find it,” Gibbs tells McGee in the key NCIS scene.

From the moment the episode started, it seemed clear that Gibbs’ NCIS career was over. Parker led a raid on Gibbs’ home after the FBI issued a warrant for his arrest. But Gibbs wasn’t there.

The FBI was irritated that Gibbs left Parker on the side of the road, with Lemere, the hitman, in the back seat of the SUV. Later in the episode, Parker’s boss tracked him down in Alaska to tell him how important it was to arrest Gibbs. He said Gibbs had broken rules and skated too many times. This would be it. And Gibbs was in handcuffs several times during the episode. It turns out that he tipped off Parker as to where he was. He said he didn’t want the FBI to think he was on the run.

Also during the episode, Gibbs had a chance to say good bye to several characters, all in flashback. He first met with Vance, then Ducky. Torres drove him to the airport. Each time, Gibbs told the men how special they were in his life.

Harmon helped make the show into CBS’ premiere dramatic series. It’ll be interesting to see the new NCIS configuration. Next week’s episode is called Face the Strange. The only photo CBS released of it showed Parker, Torres, Jess and McGee.