NCIS season 19: Gibbs fakes death to expose newcomer from FBI as serial killer?

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The upcoming 19th season of NCIS is already attracting a number of wild fan theories ahead of its September 20 premiere. With newcomer Gary Cole joining the cast as Special Agent Alden Park, some of the CBS drama’s long-time viewers think they’ve already cracked the biggest twist of the next instalment.

Leroy Gibbs’ (played by Mark Harmon) surprising fate at the end of the latest season of NCIS could all be part of the plan, if fans are to be believed.

In last May’s jaw-dropping season finale, ‘Rule 91’, a newly suspended Gibbs is launched into the water when his new boat suddenly explodes.

The ex-team leader seemed to be under attack from an unknown threat, but more savvy viewers are convinced the special operative has an ace in the hole.

Prevalent theories suggest Gibbs has, in fact, faked his death in order to track down the serial killer he and reporter Marcie Warren (Pam Dawber) were investigating in season 18.

Furthermore, upon seeing the updated casting for the upcoming instalment, some perceptive members of the audience believe the identity of the killer could be right under our noses.

One viewer outlined the theory in a new Reddit post, which speculated new series regular Gary Cole could actually be revealed as next season’s main villain.

User newtothisjunk said: “My theory is this, the NCIS team will get news of the explosion and will begin investigating as if Gibbs has died.

“The team will then connect with Marcie at some point and start working the case from the serial killer angle.”

Cole’s Special Agent Park is rumoured to be an FBI agent brought in as a temporary replacement for Gibbs following his suspension last season.

As series lead Mark Harmon will be taking on a part-time role going ahead, it’s unclear if CBS will opt to continue NCIS now the star is considering exiting the series for good.

If a potential season 20 does indeed go ahead without Gibbs at the helm, Gary Cole or fellow newcomer Katrina Law could be poised to take over as the show’s new team leader.

However, this fan claims the series has an unexpected twist waiting in the wings which will limit Cole’s involvement to a single season.

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Rather than taking over as his successor, Alden Park may instead be revealed as the killer stalking Gibbs and Marcie.

Using his alter-ego as an FBI agent, Park is perfectly positioned to infiltrate and destroy the NCIS from the inside.

Now operating from behind-the-scenes, the semi-retired Gibbs may have rigged the explosion himself, providing the perfect cover to take down the new adversary.

The fan’s post continued: “Gibbs, being presumed dead, will work on solving the case with the perk of the killer thinking he is dead and the NCIS working with Marcie will find out the killer is actually Cole’s character.”

“Eventually they will meet in the middle with Gibbs and the team surrounding Cole’s character and some generic climax will happen.”

They also proposed Gibbs could make sporadic appearances throughout the season to drip feed his former colleagues Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and Tim McGee (Sean Murray) about the case.

Mark Harmon may be about to permanently retire from NCIS duties, throwing the future of the series without its long-running lead into question.

Even so, Gibbs formulating another masterplan to take down one last violent criminal would be the perfect send-off for the show’s most iconic agent.

NCIS season 19 will premiere on Monday, September 20 on CBS.

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