Is Gibbs really leaving NCIS for good?

At the end of NCIS Season 19, Episode 4, Gibbs chose to stay in Alaska. Is this really it for the character? Has Mark Harmon left the show for good?

We knew that we’d see less Gibbs in NCIS Season 19. When the show was renewed, we learned Mark Harmon would only return in a limited capacity. We never really knew what that meant, and then we learned that he’d be around for a “single-digit” amount of episodes.

Well, the time has come. For four episodes, he closed the serial killer case that led to him almost being killed during the Season 18 finale. He managed to bring closure to families and protect the ecosystem at the same time.

There were a couple of instances where he was arrested. One of those times was by a reluctant McGee as Gibbs knew that McGee couldn’t get caught up in legal trouble. However, Parker spoke to Fornell, who vouched for Gibbs and led to no arrest in the end. Parker has been fired from the FBI, though.

Gibbs is staying in Alaska on NCIS

When McGee headed back home, Gibbs brought some bad news. Gibbs wasn’t going back. He was at peace in Alaska, a peace he hasn’t found since his wife and daughter were killed. He didn’t want to head away from this peace for now.

The whole episode also opted for a flashback element to it. We even got to see a final moment between Ducky and Gibbs. It was clear that this was going to be a goodbye episode.

How permanent is the goodbye? For now, it looks like very permanent. TVLine reports that Harmon has exited the series. Of course, Harmon is still part of the series as an EP, and there is always going to be a place for him if he decides to return. I could see when the series comes to a complete end, that’s when we could see Harmon return as Gibbs to say a full goodbye.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the series does without Gibbs. Parker certainly has some good qualities so we’ll see if Gary Cole’s character can draw enough people in.

What did you think of Gibbs’s exit? Did it make sense to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

NCIS Season 19 airs Mondays at 9/8c on CBS. Catch up the following day on Paramount+.