NCIS plot hole: Season 5 premiere consisted of major location error

Due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, the 17th epic season of CBS’s popular procedural series wrapped up early. With the future of the series unclear, NCIS fans have been looking back at previous seasons of the popular series.

Season 17 concluded prematurely earlier this year after lockdown restrictions preventing the CBS cast and crew from filming the remaining episodes.

Agent Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) and his crack team of special agents and forensic experts are expected to take on new threats in the finale two episodes of the season, which will now take the place of the season 18 premiere.

With the thrilling return of fan favourite Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and rumours circulating about Gibbs’ retirement, the 18th season of NCIS remains a highly anticipated TV event.

In the meantime, the placeholder season finale, The Arizona, paid tribute to the lives lost during the attack of Pearl Harbour, as star Christopher Lloyd made a guest appearance as WWII veteran Joe Smith.


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With over 17 years of high-octane TV action and exciting character drama, NCIS is a popular choice to beat the boredom of the ongoing lockdown.

Unfortunately, watching older episodes of NCIS sometimes yields surprising results, as fans have spotted some glaring technical errors brought about by the budgetary restraints of early instalments.

One fan noticed something particularly strange about the skyline in the season five premiere, Bury Your Dead. 

Throughout the episode, NCIS thrilled fans with signature double crossing and shocking twists, and featured the much anticipated death of series nemesis La Grenouille (Armand Assante).

The watchful viewer realised a slow-motion action sequence didn’t line up with where the series is supposed to be set.

They posted: “During the slow motion sequence in DC, landmarks from Los Angeles are in the background.”

Although the mainline NCIS team was eventually followed by popular spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, the original series is actually set around the coastlines of Washington DC.

Despite the US capital city providing the location for the first NCIS series, most of the show is filmed on set and location in Santa Clarita, California.

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This is why some watchful fans may be confused why Gibbs and the gang rarely visit any prominent Washington hot spots throughout the long tenure of the series.

Filming in LA for the NCIS franchise didn’t take place until 2009, when NCIS: Los Angeles finally hit screens a whole year after season five of NCIS broadcast on CBS.

However, this didn’t stop some recognisable LA landmarks sneaking into the background of the adrenaline-fuelled season premiere.

This skyline blunder wasn’t the first mistake fans spotted in the fifth season of NCIS.


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Another fan noticed a continuity mistake in season five: “When Abby tells McGee that the suspect has a gun, there is an overhead shot of the top of the building and the brown car is at least four spaces away from it.

“When Abby is watching the report on TV and says damn you Gibbs, the car is next to the building.”

Thankfully, the fast-paced nature of the long-running action series means most plot holes and continuity oversights are missed by even the most devoted NCIS fans.

NCIS season 17 is available to watch on CBS.

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