NCIS season 19: Director Vance hints Gibbs’ return in explosive season premiere

NCIS: McGee and Torres have massive argument

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The 19th season of NCIS has kicked off in spectacular fashion as suspended agent Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) survived the destruction of his boat. Although the former team leader is still technically out of action in the CBS drama, he’s taking things into his own hands in the second episode of the current outing.

Gibbs could eventually return to the NCIS at some point in the popular crime drama’s new season.

Fans were thrilled when they tuned into the show’s new Monday night timeslot to find Gibbs’ survival was immediately confirmed.

After his hunt for a sinister serial killer started to heat up, season 18 concluded with a shocking cliffhanger as the ex-agent’s new boat was rigged to explode.

Thankfully alive but severely injured, Gibbs managed to swim away before passing out and alerting the suspicions of couple Thelma (Katherine Cortez) and Virgil (Dave Florek).

However, the NCIS boss didn’t stay separated from his old team for long, as McGee (Sean Murray), Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and newcomer Agent Knight (Katrina Law) were soon able to track him down.

Now his location has been secured sooner than expected, Gibbs could once again enlist the help of his fellow agents to track down his elusive stalker.

He’s certainly grabbing a piece of the action in the show’s ‘next time’ trailer, and NCIS Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) doesn’t seem to be against the idea of reconsidering his suspension.

During a conversation with McGee, Vance simply says ‘We’ll see’ when asked if Gibbs could come back to help with their latest case.

With a killer still on the loose and plenty more tough cases still on the way, could the former leader become an official agent again as season 19 continues?

Over on Twitter, fans were definitely missing Gibbs’ leadership as the episode aired on CBS on Monday night.

User Leneisha tweeted: “Does this mean that Gibbs is here to stay??”

Dylan Slemp said: “That was a phenomenal season premiere! I’m hoping Gibbs is coming back.”

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Plus, many other fans admitted the series wouldn’t be quite the same without the NCIS’ grouchy yet formidable leader at the helm.

Alternatively, some fans thought Gibbs and Marcie Warren’s (Pam Dawber) serial killer hunt could be the perfect send-off for the show’s long-running lead.

Twitter user ReeRee speculated: “I guess Gibbs will retire after they catch the killer…

“Mark Harmon has to continue on the show per CBS in order for them to keep this on air so I doubt they would kill him off.”

NCIS star Mark Harmon will also be taking on a part-time role this time round.

It hasn’t been confirmed how many episodes Gibbs will appear in, but viewers would certainly be disappointed if the next few weeks are the last we see of NCIS’ iconic head agent.

Next week’s episode, ‘Nearly Departed’, will also introduce Gary Cole’s Special Agent Alden Parker, which could be the first appearance of a potential replacement following Gibbs’ retirement.

NCIS season 19 continues Mondays on CBS.

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