If Not Gibbs, Who Should Lead the Team in ‘NCIS’ Season 19? (POLL)

NCIS Season 18 Gibbs McGee Office Mark Harmon Sean Murray
Bill Inoshita/CBS

As it stands right now on NCIS, Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) future at the agency is very much up in the air. And with the way Season 18 ended, chances are he’s not going to be rushing back to work even if that becomes an option. That means the team — what’s left of it, that is — remains without its leader, and that can’t continue for much longer.

In Season 18, Gibbs was indefinitely suspended after he beat a man who was running a dogfighting ring and killing the losers and didn’t regret any of it. (He did, however, regret not killing the man.) Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham), and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) continued to work cases in his absence, without an official leader.

So far, what we do know about the team in Season 19 is that it will consist of McGee, Torres, and presumably Jessica Knight (Katrina Law, upped to series regular). With Bishop off on an undercover op (and Wickersham’s departure from the show), the team is now down two members. Knight, who worked with them in the last two episodes of Season 18, can fill the open agent spot (and presumably take her desk), but the matter of Gibbs’ position is much more complicated.

Since we still don’t know how much of Season 19 Harmon will be in, all we can do is assume that however long it is, he won’t be back at NCIS in the fall. After all, he is still trying to find a serial killer and there is the matter of someone (maybe even Gibbs himself?) blowing up his boat. Has Gibbs faked his own death? Did he just get too close to the truth and the serial killer tried to take him out? Either way, he’s likely not in any position to lead the team as they investigate cases-of-the-week, so let’s assume that in the premiere, Gibbs will not have his badge back.

If that’s the case, the question becomes how the spot of team leader should be filled. Is it time to promote McGee? Would he even want the job on permanently? (The once-probie, now senior field agent has come a long way, but is he ready to take over?) Should Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) bring in someone new? That could be on a temporary basis, with the assumption that Gibbs will return at some point, or planned to be permanent. If the latter is the case, that could always be “permanent,” with circumstances changing at some point during the season.

NCIS Season 18 Gibbs McGee Basement Boat

Bill Inoshita/CBS

Without taking into account the possibility they all think he’s dead, that all goes back to what Vance and the others believe about Gibbs’ future with the agency. Bishop, in the Season 18 finale, didn’t think he was planning to return. Vance, as the agency’s director, has to think about what’s best for the team.

What we do know is that Gary Cole’s new character, FBI Special Agent Alden Park isn’t “replacing Gibbs” (though that’s all we know about him), so it seems safe to say we can rule him out as a possible new team leader.

What do you think? Vote in the poll below.

NCIS, Season 19, Fall 2021, CBS