Why NCIS Needs To Make A Decision About Gibbs Already After The Latest Case

ncis season 18 misconduct gibbs phone call cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for the May 4 episode of NCIS on CBS, called "Misconduct."

NCIS has spent more than a month with Gibbs suspended after he assaulted and badly beat a man who was drowning dogs, and he has continually showed no inclination to apologize and retake his place at NCIS. And "Misconduct" proved that he feels no remorse for what he did, still feeling justified because of what the man was doing to dogs. His suspension is indefinite, but after "Misconduct" and the Season 19 renewal, NCIS really needs to make a decision about his fate at NCIS one way or the other.

In "Misconduct," Gibbs found himself pulled off of a court case as a witness, because his suspension for the assault could have discredited his testimony and resulted in an acquittal for a dirty financial advisor who was 100% guilty of stealing millions from Navy clients. This court case wound up intersecting with the NCIS case of the week of a hit-and-run and then shooting to take out a key witness, and the lawyer ultimately had no choice but to put Gibbs on the stand.

And just as Vance had feared, the opposition cited Gibbs' remorseless violence as possible proof that he would also lie on the stand, and there was ultimately enough reasonable doubt for the jury that the bad guy was acquitted, and that likely wouldn't have happened if Gibbs had been more credible. Gibbs seemed to have a bit of a rude awakening about what his now-tainted record could mean for the prosecution of cases that he'd been involved in, but by the end of the episode, he was back at home, ignoring NCIS phone calls.

I had my hopes that, after Gibbs had his realization that a guilty man went free because of him, he would make a move to clean up his name as much as possible so that he could regain his sterling reputation and not only help catch the bad guys, but get those bad guys behind bars and keep them there. Even if that meant that Gibbs would have to lie about remorse, I thought that NCIS was finally on the verge of bringing him back.

But nope! Nothing has really changed. Even the case turned out okay, since the rest of the agents found a way to use the financial advisor's wife to find justice despite the initial case falling apart due to Gibbs' testimony. And of course Gibbs didn't kill the original witness and could have been kept off the stand if everything had gone the way it was supposed to, but NCIS not making a decision about Gibbs' future is starting to drag.

Whether NCIS making a decision would mean Gibbs taking the jump and leaving NCIS or swallowing his objections and returning to the job almost doesn't matter to me at this point; I'm just ready for something to happen, especially in light of the renewal for Season 19. Mark Harmon will be part of the next season of NCIS, although it's not clear how much or in what capacity. NCIS can commit to a future now, and I really hope that Gibbs' professional fate is not one of the questions left unanswered in the Season 18 finale.

See what happens next for Gibbs with new episodes of NCIS on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, and check out our rundown of big finale dates for the shows that are wrapping up their seasons in the next couple of months.

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).