How NCIS' Season 18 Finale Will Set Up Season 19, According To Wilmer Valderrama

ncis season 18 nick torres wilmer valderrama cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

NCIS has been a mainstay on CBS for the better part of two decades now, but CBS didn't make the renewal for Season 19 official for quite a while considering its success in primetime. Now, Season 19 is guaranteed, Mark Harmon is still on board in some capacity, and actor Wilmer Valderrama is already hyping what to expect from the Season 18 finale that sets the stage for what comes next.

Wilmer Valderrama, whose Nick Torres recently got a heartbreaking episode that delved into his family history, opened up to TV Insider about what's on the way in the Season 18 finale leading into Season 19, saying that the finale will:

really absolutely blow everyone out of the water. It is absolutely the season finale that the fans deserve and I promise you there will be absolutely no way anybody can predict what’s going to happen. … The writers did an incredible episode to pay tribute to all the questions that people had from Season 17 to 18 and then really kick off the 19th season.

With the exception of Season 17 coming to an abrupt and not particularly explosive ending due to unforeseen circumstances, NCIS has proven over and over again that it knows how to deliver a thrilling finale. Based on Wilmer Valderrama's comments, the Season 18 finale is going to address the questions from the past two seasons in the process of setting up Season 19.

And while that may seem like the natural thing to do, NCIS fans can definitely get excited that the show is reaching back to Season 17 instead of just moving past everything that happened that season prior to the ending that came too soon. As for how that's going to happen... well, Wilmer Valderrama himself says that there's no way that anybody will predict what will go down, so fans may be in for some suspenseful weeks ahead of the finale!

One thing that has been confirmed is that NCIS newcomer and Hawaii Five-0 alum Katrina Law will appear in the Season 18 finale, following her debut in the penultimate episode as REACT Agent Jessica Knight. When Law was originally cast for NCIS (not playing her Hawaii Five-0 character despite the shows technically set in the same TV universe), there was the possibility that Jessica Knight could become a series regular character in the event of a Season 19 renewal.

Now that Season 19 is indeed on the way and will be set up by an episode featuring this new character, is the stage set for NCIS to gain a new agent in Katrina Law's Jessica Knight? And would that mean that a current agent will have to bow out, for better or worse, for a vacancy on the team? The Season 18 finale probably won't answer all the burning questions even as it probably poses new ones to leave fans hanging over hiatus, but a lot of exciting things are seemingly on the way.

Including, according to Wilmer Valderrama previously this season, a big moment for the oh-so-slowly burning relationship between Torres and Bishop! Whether that will result in anything that lasts or moves them in a forward direction remains to be seen. For now, in the weeks leading up to the Season 18 finale, you can find new episodes of NCIS on CBS Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, ahead of FBI and FBI: Most Wanted (both of which have also already been renewed) at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).