NCIS season 17 has finally come to an end following an emotional finale. But in what way will Gibbs be different in the next series?
NCIS is usually on for the majority of the year with one season concluding in May and the next beginning around September time. However, season 17 of the CBS crime drama had to be cut short as NCIS stopped filming early due to coronavirus. There was meant to be another few episodes left in the series but it instead ended on episode 20 which was called Arizona and featured a very familiar face.
Arizona featured an investigation into an off-base burglary at an Admiral’s home.
But the finale will probably be more remembered for the appearance of Back to the Future actor Christopher Lloyd as Joe Smith, a 95-year-old man who was a Pearl Harbor survivor.
Joe stole a sentimental item from the Admiral’s home as he grew frustrated at how he had never been recognised as a survivor since there was no record of him serving on the ship.
He spoke in-depth to Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) in particular about it and the deaths of his friends on board.
Joe said he wished to have his remains buried on the USS Arizona when he dies as an acknowledgment of his service.
During the episode, NCIS found evidence which proved Joe was on board the USS Arizona and was actually a survivor of the Pearl Harbor.
However, shortly realising the truth, Joe died so it was up to the team to put things right.
Gibbs went to the ship and scattered Joe’s ashes just as he had wanted, ensuring he fulfilled the man’s dying wish.
Even though Arizona was not meant to be the season 17 finale, it turned out to be both a popular and moving ending to the series.
How will Gibbs change in NCIS season 18?
During Arizona, Gibbs not only opened up to Joe, but also to Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) when he returned home from conflicts.
He said: “You come home and you’re like half a person.
“The other half is still back there where at least it made sense.
“Where, even with the bullets, and the blood, and the chaos, you knew what mattered.
“You knew that the guy next to you was willing to die for you and you for him. “And you look around and think it shouldn’t take a war to make the world that simple.”
Clearly emotional after being personally affected by Joe’s story, Gibbs started to talk more about his past.
And according to one of the show’s executive producers, Gibbs’ softer side is going to continue to come out in the next season.
Executive producer Frank Cardea spoke to TV Insider about what fans should expect next from NCIS.
One thing he mentioned, was Gibbs’ character development.
Cardea said: “The Gibbs this past season, maybe the past two seasons, is a character that’s been opening up, and [Gina Monreal, NCIS co-executive producer], took it to a whole new level in this episode, that he’s going to start talking about his feelings.
“We’re seeing a softer side to Gibbs, for sure.”
Fans will just have to wait and see though to find out how this more emotional Gibbs will affect the everyday workings of NCIS.
Unfortunately at the moment though, NCIS has not been renewed for a season 18.
So, officially at least, NCIS season 17 was the drama’s last series.
However, due to its ongoing popularity, it seems unlikely CBS would choose to cancel NCIS anytime soon.
Usually, the series would start back up again in September but if it is brought back for another season, it probably will be delayed as the show is currently unable to start filming due to coronavirus.