‘NCIS’ Finale Sees Gibbs in ‘Unadulterated, Pure, and Blissful Happiness’

NCIS Season 18 Finale Marcie Gibbs
Cliff Lipson/CBS

Even on suspension, Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has managed to find peril. In the conclusion to Season 18, the onetime NCIS big boss and investigative reporter Marcie Warren (Pam Dawber, Harmon’s real-life wife, wrapping a four-episode guest arc) follow up on last week’s chilling discovery: The criminal she’s been trailing — the one who murdered her childhood friend — is a serial killer.

“They dig deeper and begin to suspect the killer is aware of their investigation and that they have put themselves in danger,” NCIS executive producer Frank Cardea reveals. “Of course they disagree on how to proceed.”

But proceed they do, and the pair’s road to (hoped for) justice is surprisingly rocky, especially for the usually in-control lawman. “Both are headstrong, opinionated and don’t care what others think of their actions,” Cardea explains. “Marcie does not hesitate to call Gibbs out when he hides behind his stoic facade.” Dawber (above, with Harmon) cuts to the chase: “Marcie gets away with a lot, but she doesn’t have to go home with Gibbs. Need I say more?”

Meanwhile, the NCIS team is again joined by Special Agent Jessica Knight (Katrina Law, Arrow). The episode’s action-y opener finds agents Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) in the middle of a case involving an arms dealer that, Cardea teases, “has gone very bad very quickly.” Another blow: Bishop is implicated in an old NSA leak.

At least there’s some potentially good news for broken-hearted Torres, who was let down in the May 11 episode when he and Bishop finally had “the talk” about coupling up. She seemed to reject him, but according to executive producer Steven D. Binder, “We’ll find out nothing could be further from the truth.”

NCIS Mark Harmon Season 18 Finale Gibbs Boat Basement

Cliff Lipson/CBS

We also discover another of Gibbs’ trademark rules to live by (this time it’s No. 91) when he finds it necessary to explain it to Bishop. And if that’s not enough to wrap up another year of America’s favorite crime drama in suitably intriguing fashion, Binder promises this NCIS first: “We’ll finally get to see Gibbs in unadulterated, pure and blissful happiness — something that has eluded him since we met him, but which we all agree is long overdue.” Maybe taking care of that pit bull Lucy taught the gruff old guy some new tricks.

NCIS, Season 18 Finale, Tuesday, May 25, 8/7c, CBS