NCIS barely got season 18 underway before it was time for the fall finale. Just three episodes into the season, the CBS procedural took a break and revealed they wouldn’t be back with new episodes until January.
There is some good news, though. When NCIS does return in the new year, the network has revealed that they will be bringing back another fan favorite.
The pandemic forced ‘NCIS’ to reconfigure season 18
Fans will remember that when the pandemic hit back in March, the cast and crew of NCIS was still four episodes away from finishing up production on season 17. As Cinema Blend notes, this forced them to cap off their various storylines early instead of closing out their season with a traditional finale.
The lack of those final four episodes also had ramifications for season 18. The creative team decided to reconfigure the start of the season, which resulted in a cold open that had a time stamp of March 2020.
Then, they quickly jumped back in time to November 2019 to revisit an old storyline. They still haven’t given any answers as to why Gibbs (Mark Harmon) was shooting McGee (Sean Murray) in the season opener.
However, it looks like that will change after the six-week holiday break. According to the network synopsis for episodes 4 and 5, it appears that answers are coming soon.
The mid-season premiere will be a double-episode event with the return of a fan favorite
According to Digital Spy, the fourth episode of NCIS season 18 will be titled “Sunburn.” And the synopsis reveals that Margo Harshman will be returning as McGee’s wife, Delilah.
“McGee and his wife Delilah’s Bahamian vacation turns into a high-stakes mission when a case NCIS is tracking of a dead escape room manager has ties to the island,” the synopsis reads. “Also, Gibbs fears the worst when his search for Fornell leads to blood.”
Once again, it appears that this episode will jump back in time since McGee doesn’t appear to be suffering from any gunshot wounds while on vacation with his wife. However, it doesn’t look like their vacay will be peaceful.
The second episode of the night is titled “Head of the Snake.” And that episode description indicates that fans might start to get answers about the season 18 cold open.
“Gibbs and Fornell’s crusade to find the head of the drug ring responsible for Fornell’s daughter Emily’s overdose comes to a climax,” the episode 5 synopsis reads. “Also, Gibbs and Vance finally let the team in on a case that has dangerous implications.”
Will episode 5 finally explain the ‘NCIS’ season 18 cold open?
Immediately, the phrase “dangerous implications” in the synopsis had many wondering what that could mean. Theoretically, every case the NCIS team works on has “dangerous implications.” What makes this so different? Could this be a hint as to why Gibbs was in sniper mode and trying to take down McGee?
The case that Gibbs and Vance brings to the team must be a much bigger threat than what they face every week. If it wasn’t, why would they call out the danger in the episode description? It’s very possible this episode puts things in motion that will eventually lead to the events in the season’s opening scene.
Many aren’t convinced that Gibbs and McGee are at odds. Some have shared the theory that Gibbs is trying to fool someone by shooting his longtime friend and colleague. Others believe the scene had a few editing tricks. The theory is that Gibbs was shooting at the person who was shooting McGee.
Photos from episode 5 show that Gibbs and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) are at the same airport from the season’s cold open. Gibbs is also wearing the same clothes. The timing appears to be right for fans to finally find out what’s going on.
NCIS will return to CBS with two new episodes on Tuesday, January 19.
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