Jace Downs/CBS; Richard Foreman/CBS; Richard Cartwright/CBS
When NCIS returns to our TV screens with new investigations, it will be in its 18th season — and celebrating another milestone: its 400th episode.
We already know that "very special" hour, according to executive producer Frank Cardea, will focus on how Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Ducky (David McCallum) met. "A case brings them back to 20 years earlier," he previewed.
We take a look back, from the heartbreaking (Kate's death) to the powerful (Taye Diggs' guest spot).
Ahead of that milestone, we're taking a look back at the previous ones. They've brought a team member on officially, introduced an agent's relative after years of only hearing about him, featured memorable cases, and been among the best episodes of the series. Scroll down to see our ranking, from least to most memorable.
NCIS, Season 18, Fall 2020, CBS
Episode 50: "Silver War" (Season 3, Episode 4)
This was the episode in which Ziva (Cote de Pablo) officially joined the team as its Mossad liaison, but other than that, there was simply not much memorable about it. (Then again, Episode 50, when the 400th is near, isn’t that significant of a milestone.)
Episode 250: "Dressed to Kill" (Season 11, Episode 16)
NCIS delved into the DiNozzo family in the second milestone episode to feature Robert Wagner as Tony’s (Michael Weatherly) father. Once again, Senior got wrapped up in the case (as he tends to do when he shows up), but for a milestone hour, that wasn’t all that special, either. Overall, it was as entertaining as any Senior episode, but it doesn’t hold up against the rest of the milestones.
The latest milestone saw the team, specifically Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), work with a key blind witness, Annie Barth (Marilee Talkington), to solve a case involving assault. It was seeing those two together that made this episode one to rewatch, as he came to understand just how much of an asset she was.
Episode 100: "Chimera" (Season 5, Episode 6)
Gibbs and the team left behind the comfort of the office (and land) to investigate on board a top-secret naval research ship, and fans were treated to jump moments, singing from Tony, and an entertaining case.
Episode 150: "Flesh and Blood" (Season 7, Episode 12)
It only took 150 episodes, but fans finally met Senior in this milestone and got to see Tony’s relationship with his father after only hearing about it for years. It didn’t disappoint, and it would serve as the blueprint for DiNozzo episodes to come.
Episode 200: "Life Before His Eyes" (Season 9, Episode 14)
The episode’s concept — asking “what if?” — wasn’t a novel one, but it worked quite well. What if Kate (Sasha Alexander) didn’t die? What if Gibbs didn’t kill Pedro Hernandez? What if his wife Shannon (Darby Stanchfield) and daughter Kelly hadn’t been killed (by Pedro)? Those are questions most fans have probably asked time and time again, and it turned out that for some, heartbreak was just inevitable, no matter what ultimately happened.
Episode 300: "Scope" (Season 13, Episode 18)
One of the best episodes of the series, the 300th was pretty perfect. Gibbs connected with Taye Diggs’ Aaron Davis at Water Reed, suffering from PTSS; Davis eventually talked about the attack and provided necessary information to help the team solve their case. But it was the more personal moments — between Gibbs and Davis, the rest of the team as they headed to dinner, and McGee (Sean Murray) as he planned to propose to Delilah (Margo Harshman) — and a powerful rendition of “Hallelujah” (from Diggs) to cap it all off that puts this one at the top of the list.