On Monday, NCIS viewers were surprised by an extremely emotional episode. It was the fourth in season 19, and "Gibbs" said goodbye to his colleagues and the series itself.
Recent episodes mainly followed "Gibbs" on solo investigations after his suspension, but this time the agent's friends were able to bid farewell to their former boss with touching words.
Mark Harmon: "Gibbs" says goodbye in NCIS season 19
Mark Harmon got to solve one last NCIS case as "Gibbs," and in between he had warm last words for "Vance," "Torres" and "Ducky." Eventually the case was resolved and "Gibbs" found himself with "McGee" in rural Alaska.
Although the former team leader was offered his old job back, he declined. "I'm not going back, Tim ... I'm not going back home," he told "McGee." He then said goodbye as follows:
"I could not have hoped for anyone better to watch my back for the past 18 years than you, Tim." After this emotional scene it became clear: "Gibbs" is staying in Alaska. But will it be forever?
Will "Gibbs" ever return to NCIS?
With the farewell to "Gibbs," showrunner Steven Binder also spoke out in the following statement. "As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show," he began.
"Our north star has always been staying true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go.
"So regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out," the showrunner concluded.
So, it's goodbye for now, but it sounds like Mark Harmon could still reappear as "Gibbs" in the future. But it'll be a new NCIS in the meantime. The 70-year-old Harmon had been the face of the franchise since it debuted in 2003.