NCIS Season 19 premiered this week and the first episode gave fans an idea of how Mark Harmon's character, Gibbs will be written into the show.
In NCIS Season 18, Gibbs was seemingly killed off after his handcrafted boat exploded. His "lifeless" body was spotted swimming away in the water before the season officially ended.
Prior to his alleged demise, Gibbs was suspended from his post at NCIS after he assaulted a dog abuser. He eventually helped investigate a possible serial killer in the previous season.
Gibbs confirmed to be alive in NCIS Season 19, Episode 1
But in NCIS Season 19, episode 1 it was finally confirmed that Gibbs is very much alive. He managed to swim to shore and bandage himself so that he wouldn't lose too much blood.
Gibbs also managed to go to a barn to seek shelter and it is there that he comes across Thelma (Katherine Cortez). Her husband, Virgil (Dave Florek) works as a veterinarian and he helped stitch Gibbs' wounds.
While he was recovering from the boat explosion, Gibbs managed to talk to McGee (Sean Murray), but he didn't tell him what happened. Instead, Gibbs just asked McGee to keep his friend, Marcie (Susan Walters) safe.
Eventually, Gibbs' former team found out what happened to him and he was surprised when they arrived at the ranger station. When the team offered to help Gibbs, he immediately refused and said that he is no longer part of the group.
Gibbs reminded McGee that he was previously suspended, but his agent argued that they are worried about him.
McGee also became convinced that Gibbs might not return to NCIS until he finds his serial killer. So, he dropped a cryptic line that he hopes would change Gibbs' mind.
"The team is your partner, and you not being a part of it is screwing us over," McGee said.
Who is Gary Cole's character Alden Parker in NCIS Season 19?
NCIS cast a new character named Alden Parker (Gary Cole) and audiences will see him for the first time in episode 2.
CBS dropped the official synopsis for Nearly Departed, and it centers on Alden Parker, who has also been tracking the same serial killer that Gibbs is after.
Unfortunately, details from NCIS Season 19, episode 2 remain scarce, but there are already some predictions on how Cole's character could impact the NCIS team.
According to Cartermatt, Parker will initially become an outsider because he's the newest member of the FBI. He will most likely have his own way of doing things, which may or may not sit well with his colleagues.
As of late, it is still unclear whether or not Parker will become an asset to the NCIS team or he would cause more trouble to the group.
While speaking with TV Insider, showrunner Steven D. Binder said that fans would fall in love with Parker.
"You should be prepared to like him… We naturally like good guys. And there is nothing better than a likable bad guy," he said.
Binder's statement suggests that Parker could also be an antagonist in NCIS Season 19. But regardless of what his true intentions are, audiences will see Parker in multiple episodes.
Is Mark Harmon still a regular cast member in NCIS Season 19?
Ahead of this season's premiere, there were reports that Harmon's character will be given a limited presence in NCIS Season 19. An unnamed insider from CBS said that Gibbs will only be seen in a few episodes from NCIS Season 19.
"Cole's character will most likely be the biggest risk that NCIS takes this season. While we've heard time and time again that he is not meant to be a de-facto replacement for Gibbs, it is inevitable that some people will perceive him that way," the publication said.
Earlier this year, CBS entertainment chief Kelly Kahl also told Deadline that they take it year by year with Harmon.
"We'd love to have him as long as he'd like to be here. We're happy to work around his schedule," he said.
Did Mark Harmon hint at his exit from NCIS?
"I've always thought if there's ever a time where the writers are walking into the room and going 'I don't know what to do,' then I think we all have to look at each other and call it a day. But we're not there yet," he said.
It is unclear if Harmon's stand on the matter changed one year later. But for now, the most important thing is that his fans will still see him on the show albeit in a limited capacity.
When will NCIS Season 19, Episode 2 air?
NCIS Season 19, Episode 2 will air on CBS on Monday, Sept. 27 at 9/8c.
This is the first time that CBS moved the hit series to a Monday timeslot after airing it on Tuesday evenings for years.
Is NCIS Season 20 confirmed?
Unfortunately, it's still too early to tell whether NCIS will be renewed for another season. But Binder told TV Line that they will make sure to give Gibbs a satisfying ending when the time comes.
"There's really a couple of possibilities here. One is that we get canceled tomorrow and then there's nothing to be 'contingent' about. The other option is that Gibbs is either solving cases in his 90s, or he gets a gold watch and retires. Neither of those things sounds interesting to me, but at some point in time when that happens, if we find ourselves still on the air and people are thinking of retiring, you have to think about something befitting that character — and a gold watch ain't it. But we're not really thinking too hard at this moment about such a thing," he said.
Check back for more updates, spoilers, casting news, and predictions from the upcoming episodes of NCIS Season 19.