Mark Harmon has finally addressed his exit from NCIS after 18 seasons in the show. Fans saw the last of NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in Season 19, Episode 4, but is there a chance for him to return?
Entertainment Tonight’s first look at NCIS Season 19’s upcoming DVD release revealed Harmon’s interview about his departure. From the legacy of his character to his possible return, the 70-year-old actor finally broke his silence about it.
Mark Harmon Discusses His NCIS Exit
Harmon is one of the original casts of the series. He has been on the show since it started in 2003.
However, the time has come for Harmon to give Gibbs a break, though he seems to hint that he’s not yet done with the role.
"What has always drawn me here is the character I play and to keep it fresh and to keep it challenging," he said. "Plot-wise, this character has taken the path that it did. I thought it was honest and OK with."
From there, he reminded fans that Gibbs is still alive, and he’s just enjoying simpler things in life for now.
"I'm not retired... The character is living in Alaska as far as I know,” he continued.
Harmon’s Final NCIS Episode
Harmon was last seen in NCIS Season 19, Episode 4.
Gibbs told Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) he wouldn’t return to work while they were out on the lake fishing in Alaska.
He said he wasn’t sure how long he would be away, looking for something he himself didn’t know.
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"My gut's telling me, I'll know when I find it," he said. "This sense of peace, I have not had this since Shannon and Kelly died and I'm not ready to let it go."
He then left the NCIS office’s care to McGee.
"I could not have hoped for anyone better to watch my back for the past 18 years than you," he told his protégé.
Will Mark Harmon Still Return to NCIS?
Executive producer and showrunner Steven D. Binder left the door open for Harmon’s possible return to NCIS.
“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show. 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," he said. "So regarding the future of Gibbs, as longtime fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.”
NCIS Season 19 DVD will be out on August 16.
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