9 Characters & Relationships to Keep an Eye on in ‘NCIS’ Season 18

NCIS Season 18 Characters Relationships
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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 17 finale of NCIS, “The Arizona.”]

The CBS hit drama ended its season early and on a bit of a quiet note, but the 20 episodes we did get set the stage for some interesting developments for characters and relationships.

Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is opening up. A milestone episode will reveal more about a relationship that has been part of the show since the beginning. On the romantic front, Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) aren’t part of the only Tiva-like relationship that could be explored. And as important as the members of the team are to each other, they also have families away from the office and at home.

Scroll down to see which characters and relationships we think you should keep an eye on heading into Season 18. (The series has yet to be officially renewed.)

Mark Harmon NCIS Season 18 Gibbs
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After Gibbs forced Joe (guest star Christopher Lloyd) to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor, the WWII vet encouraged the agent to open up, suggesting he’d feel “lighter” after doing so. At the end of the episode, Gibbs did just that, confiding in McGee about how war changed him. Chances are we’ll continue to see his softer side coming out.

Sean Murray NCIS Season 18 McGee Senior Field Agent
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McGee has grown from probie to senior field agent over the past 17 seasons, and that’s just going to continue. Who knows what could be next for him career-wise (as long as he stays at NCIS)?

NCIS Season 18 McGee Delilah Episode Planned
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McGee and Delilah

Season 17 ended early, and one of the episodes still planned was a McGee-Delilah one, which executive producer Frank Cardea said will be shot early next year. We’ve watched the two go from dating to engaged to married to parents, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

NCIS Season 18 Gibbs Ducky Episode 400
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Gibbs and Ducky

Who doesn’t love their friendship? The milestone 400th episode, originally set to air 22nd this season and now set to be second next year, is a key one for those two. “It’s about Gibbs and Ducky and how they met,” Cardea previewed. “A case brings them back to 20 years earlier.”

NCIS Season 18 Bishop Torres Will They Won't They
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Bishop and Torres

NCIS continues to tease the possibility of more than just platonic partners for its newest will they/won’t they couple. After sitting through years of it with Tiva, fans have mastered the meaning of patience. Whether they take that step or continue to flirt around a relationship, fans are going to want to watch their scenes.

Emily Wickersham NCIS Season 18 Bishop Training
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In the fall finale of Season 17, ex-CIA instructor Odette (whom Bishop met as Ziva’s “landlord”) offered Ellie “some specialized training.” That hasn’t played out much on screen, other than Bishop donating much more than her coworkers expected and getting a text from Odette (“Tomorrow. 6am.”) in Episode 17. How might that play out in Season 18?

Maria Bello and Mark Harmon NCIS - Season 18 - Jack and Gibbs
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Jack and Gibbs

Like Bishop and Torres, there’s the potential for something more between Jack and Gibbs — and everyone not only knows it, but also comments on it. How might that continue to play out?

Jack Faith Daughter NCIS Season 18
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Jack and Faith

Jack has been steadily getting to know the daughter she gave up for adoption; she recently told her the truth about her biological father (he raped Jack). With Faith undergoing fertility treatments, Season 18 will hopefully see more of Jack’s family.

Breena Jimmy Palmer NCIS Season 18
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Palmer, Breena, and Victoria

Another character who has grown quite a bit since his introduction is Palmer — just think of him during “Blarney”! — and it’s possible Season 18 could delve into his life a bit more. “We haven’t gone into his personal life in a while,” Cardea said. “We’ve talked about [his wife and daughter], but we haven’t seen them. Maybe we will see them in the future.”