For a while now, the NCIS team had been carrying on while "Gibbs" was suspended and working solo. But, this week, the saga finally concluded as he solved a final case and remained in Alaska instead of taking his old job back.
"Gibbs," played by Mark Harmon, got a fitting send-off as the agent's friends were all able to bid him farewell after 18 years. Fans were sad to see him go, but does the departure mean one former star could be returning to NCIS?
NCIS: Mark Harmon exits — will Pauley Perrette return?
While Harmon's exit is difficult to cope with, a certain person is likely OK with it: Pauley Perrette. Now that Harmon is no longer on the show, she could theoretically return to NCIS, as he was the reason for her departure.
The two were an on-screen dream team, but the relationship between the actors in real life was anything but good.
Perrette left NCIS in 2018 after starring as the forensic scientist "Abby Sciuto" for nearly 15 years. The reason was unknown until she raised serious allegations against Harmon on Twitter in 2019.
There, she revealed her fear of Harmon and said she would never return to NCIS because of him. Her fears were due to Harmon bringing dogs to the set and an alleged violent incident. The fighting dog breed is said to have attacked several crew members.
Why a Pauley Perrette NCIS comeback may not happen
This honesty of the "Abby" actress did nothing to improve the relationship. NCIS viewers mourned her exit at the time, as she was one of the fan-favourites. A possible return of the 52-year-old, now that Harmon isn't around, would be a great surprise.
Whether Pauley Perrette will really come back, however, isn't yet known. For one thing, she actually ended her acting career. She was last seen in 2020 in the TV series Broke.
On the other hand, it cannot be ruled out that Mark Harmon will never be seen on NCIS again in the future.
After this week's episode, showrunner Steven Binder stated: "Regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out."
Harmon is also staying on to produce the series. He'll still be a part of the NCIS production moving forward, which could further complicate an "Abby" comeback.