NCIS season 18 had a shocking finale with a major cliffhanger that left fans wondering what’s next. Agent Bishop (Emily Wickersham) went on an undercover mission and left the team. Then, Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) boat exploded in the final seconds, without any hint as to who’s responsible.
What will happen when NCIS returns for season 19? Here’s everything we know so far.
One ‘NCIS’ star has officially left the series
Agent Bishop’s storyline took a surprising turn in the season 18 finale when she revealed that she was leaving NCIS and about to go undercover. Not much is known about her mission, except that she had to be a disgraced NCIS agent for it.
Bishop will not be returning for season 19, as Wickersham has officially left the CBS procedural. After seasons of will they/won’t they tension between Bishop and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), the duo shared a kiss before her series’ exit. However, this is most likely the end of their romance.
“If we worked regular 9-5 jobs, things could be different,” Bishop told Torres. “I didn’t mean for us to happen.”
Will Gibbs get his gun and badge back?
In the episodes leading up to the NCIS season 18 finale, Gibbs was suspended indefinitely after he used excessive force against a suspect. He could have returned to his team if he would have apologized, but he refused.
Instead, Gibbs spent his time at home with his dog Lucy while cooking steaks on the fire and building his boat, which he named “Rule 91.” Fans also found out that Rule 91 was “when you decide to walk away, don’t look back.” It appeared in the episode’s final moments that Gibbs was trying to do just that. But, then his boat exploded and he was left floating in the water.
At this point, it doesn’t appear that Gibbs will return to NCIS as the special agent in charge. There’s been no hints that he’s ready to pick up his badge and gun again. In fact, the clues point in the opposite direction.
Who blew up Gibbs’ boat in the final seconds of the ‘NCIS’ finale?
After his suspension, Gibbs also worked with investigative journalist Marcie Warren (Pam Dawber) on a serial killer case. Leading up to his boat’s explosion, Gibbs indicated to Marcie that her office was bugged and they were being watched.
It’s not clear who was behind Gibbs’ boat explosion. But, we do know that he did survive because he swam away from the boat in the final seconds. It seems pretty likely that the person behind the explosion was the same person Gibbs and Marcie were investigating because they were getting too close. There’s also the chance the bomb was planted to make someone think Gibbs is dead.
There’s even a fan theory that the serial killer is Marcie. No one knows for sure at this point, but fans will find out in season 19.
Will Jessica Knight be the newest team member?
During the final two episodes of season 18, fans met NCIS REACT Agent Jessica Knight (Katrina Law) after she lost her entire team in an attack. At the end of her first episode, she told McGee (Sean Murray) that she didn’t know where she belonged. He suggested to her that families grow.
That conversation appeared to be a hint that Agent Knight will be joining the NCIS team in season 19. Especially since we now know that Agent Bishop is gone for good. They have to add another team member, with both Bishop and Gibbs no longer part of the team. The obvious choice would be Agent Knight.
Fans should also expect the promotion of Agent McGee to Special Agent in Charge since Gibbs has apparently retired.
Gibbs’ investigation will eventually cross paths with ‘NCIS’
Gibbs and Marcie’s independent investigation into the serial killer that killed her childhood friend will eventually cross paths with Gibbs’ former workplace. If the explosion was an attempt to fake his own death — or if someone wanted the team to think he was dead — fans can be confident that the NCIS team will investigate.
Fans might also remember that Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) told Gibbs that she wouldn’t hesitate to go looking for him if he ever disappeared or was presumed dead. Could that mean fans will see Ziva again? Or, maybe even Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly)? Fans will have to wait and see.
NCIS will return this fall and will be moving to Monday nights on CBS.
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