NCIS: Who will replace Agent Gibbs on NCIS?

NCIS: Teaser trailer for Mark Harmon's final episode

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NCIS season 19’s fourth episode, titled Great Wide Open, saw Agent Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) grace screens for the last time. Since leaving the CBS series from the pilot episode in 2003, Gibbs’ absence will be felt for a long time for fans. However, now he is gone, viewers are wondering who could possibly replace him as NCIS team leader.

Who will replace Agent Gibbs on NCIS?

Fans have been preparing themselves for Agent Gibbs’ exit for some time now, as CBS made it clear Mark Harmon was looking to ease out of the series.

Ahead of season 19, CBS confirmed Harmon would only appear in season 19 in a limited capacity, only featuring in a handful of episodes. 

During the first three episodes of the season, fans were initially relieved to see Gibbs still leading the show, regularly appearing in all three episodes.

During the fourth episode, Gibbs had to take a trip up north, venturing to Alaska in pursuit of another criminal in a long line of adversaries for the NCIS veteran.

At first, the mission appeared to be business as usual, with Gibbs suited and booted to take on another mission.

However, when it came time for him to leave, he turned to his partner Timothy McGee (Sean Murrey) and made it clear he was staying.

Finding peace in the wilderness of the great State, Gibbs realised it was time to put away his gun and badge and enjoy a long-overdue retirement.

It was a bittersweet end for long-time viewers, but it has left the door open for him to return in more of a guest star role in the future.

Regardless, it has left a hole open in the cast, and the NCIS team is in need of a new leader to take the reins, but these are some very big shoes to fill. 

FBI Agent Alden Parker – Gary Cole

By far the most obvious choice and one fans have been preparing themselves for since Alden Parker’s (Gary Cole) announcement.

A new character for season 19, Parker is an FBI Special Agent and another veteran in the business.

He seems set to take over from Gibbs now, already co-leading a case with him before Gibbs’ indefinite sabbatical.

Before season 19’s launch, sources told TV Line that Cole’s inclusion was not meant to be a “replacement” for Gibbs.

Yet, this simply could have been a red herring, as CBS was keeping Harmon’s exit under wraps for fans.

Agent Nick Torres – Wilmer Valderrama

One of the more popular choices for new team leader, Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) has been a staple of the cast since joining in season 13.

His will they, won’t they romance and partner Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) left the show at the end of season 18, leaving little opposition for the hotshot agent.

Valderrama has not made any official statements about how Torres will evolve in season 19 and beyond, but he continues to be a fan-favourite. 

While still not the oldest member of the team, he has proven himself more than capable of leadership over the years.

Katrina Law – Agent Jessica Knight

Finally, Jessica Knight (Katrina Law) could be the next leader of the team, joining the group without any baggage.

First introduced at the end of season 18, many fans assumed she would serve as a replacement for Bishop.

However, now it has become clear Bishop isn’t the only one to go, Knight’s call to lead could be forced upon her.

It would be a change of pace for the series, but nothing new for the franchise as a whole.

The latest spin-off NCIS: Hawaii just introduced the first female lead in the NCIS-verse – Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey).

NCIS season 19 airs Mondays at 9pm EST on CBS in the USA. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed. 

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