A beloved and long-running CBS drama will be losing one of it’s brighest stars! The Gibbs era is over at NCIS after 18 years. During the latest episode on Monday, October 11, the 70-year-old Mark Harmon, who has played Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the hit crime show let his character’s NCIS Director Vance know that he’s finished.
“I’m not going back, Tim,” said Gibbs. “I’m not going back home,” he told Special Agent Timothy McGee during a fishing excursion between the two characters in Alaska.
Gibbs told his coworker that he decided to stay in Alaska because of the “sense of peace” it made him feel. Peace has been a virtue that Gibbs has sought ever since his wife and daughter died on the show.
According to US Magazine, executive producer and showrunner for NCIS Steve Binder did hint that Gibbs might return sometime in the future. He also said that Harmon will retain his role as an executive producer for the show.
According to the statement from Binder,
“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show. Our north star has always been staying true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go. So regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years … never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.”
Although Gibbs’ departure from NCIS may seem abrupt and shocking to some fans, it’s actually a story that’s been a slow burn for a long time. At the end of season 18, Gibbs was suspended from work for wanton brutality against a suspect. He nearly died in a boat explosion in the finale.
Were you surprised to learn that Gibbs is leaving NCIS for good? Share your thoughts and favorite Gibbs memories in the comments!