3 Questions About NCIS: Hawai'i's Upcoming Crossover With NCIS, Including Gibbs' Involvement

NCIS Hawai'i Jane Tennant NCIS Nick Torres
(Image credit: CBS)

NCIS: Hawai’i joined the franchise as the latest NCIS spinoff back in 2021, and it quickly became one of the biggest new hits of the fall TV season even without debuting as a backdoor pilot of the parent series. Now, 2022 is poised to deliver the first-ever crossover between Hawai’i and NCIS, and there are some big questions about what brings the CBS shows together when they’re set so far apart. 

Luckily, there are some answers already available, including when the crossover will air and two of the stars who will be involved. Wilmer Valderrama and Katrina Law will appear on the Hawai’i spinoff as Agents Torres and Knight, with the investigation in the Aloha State airing in late March. But there are still more questions worth pondering, particularly with both shows on a mini hiatus, so let’s dive in!

Will The Crossover Be A True Two-Parter? 

TV crossovers generally involve characters from one show appearing on another show, but that doesn’t always mean a true multi-parter with the shows actually sharing a storyline. With the two series set thousands of miles apart and Hawai’i an ocean away, it would take a special kind of case to involve both shows, so it’s possible that the crossover will consist of NCIS simply sending a couple of agents over to Hawai’i at the end of its episode. 

9-1-1 pulled off something similar for its first crossover with 9-1-1: Lone Star on Fox as two shows taking place far apart yet set in the same universe, while the FBIs (also on CBS) managed a three-parter involving FBI: International on the other side of the world. NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i could surely figure out a case that required both teams working on it for a true two-part crossover. Plus, the stars hyped it as a “crossover event.”

It’s possible that some Hawai’i characters will appear in the NCIS hour on March 28, but via video call rather than in the flesh. So: is this a case of two NCIS characters heading to Hawai’i just to lend a hand for Jane Tennant and Co. for its case of the week, or two agents following their own case across the ocean to continue the investigation as a true two-parter?

Will Other Stars Cross Over? 

When the crossover was initially announced, only Wilmer Valderrama and Katrina Law were confirmed to be moving from one show to the other for an episode, and members of the NCIS: Hawai’i cast shared messages of excitement for the two stars. As for whether other stars will appear in both shows, a lot may depend on whether or not these episodes will be a true two-parter with one case or two separate separate cases. 

I look to the FBIs again as an example of how shows set very far apart can still share characters without thousands of miles of travel. With the exception of the three-part crossover that launched FBI: International in the fall, crossovers have involved video calls. If Hawai’i actors appear on NCIS, I’m guessing it’ll be via video message rather than in the flesh. That would make it possible for many other stars to appear and make it feel like a real crossover event, as has been hyped, without flying many members of the two casts across the ocean. 

Will Gibbs Be Involved?

Technically, the question of “Will Gibbs be involved?” has been worth asking all season ever since Mark Harmon’s character decided to retire to Alaska, and there have been no reports of Harmon reprising his role in the current TV season. That said, NCIS has mentioned him, and the most recent episode of NCIS: Hawai’i delivered a strong connection between Gibbs and Vanessa Lachey’s Jane Tennant without actually needing Harmon on screen. It’s entirely possible that Gibbs could have a hand in whatever brings the teams together without actually turning up. Oddly enough, his off-screen contribution is the strongest tie between the two shows at this point. 

Plus, with this as the first crossover between the two shows, it would be fun for at least one of the episodes to mention Gibbs, or feature a helping hand from Gibbs while he remains retired off-screen. He played a part via flashback on Hawai'i and from afar on NCIS this season, after all! Still, only time will tell. There aren’t even details about the case that brings the teams together at this point, or how closely the two shows will be connected. 

Both shows are currently airing reruns on CBS while the Olympics dominate primetime, but you can expect them both back on Monday, February 28 starting with NCIS at 9 p.m. ET and continuing with NCIS: Hawai’i at 10 p.m. ET. The crossover will air on Monday, March 28 in the 2022 TV schedule, so there will be some time between the shows’ returns and the two connected episodes. NCIS fans do have something big to look forward to with the first episode back from the break, however, with a familiar face returning to (hopefully) save the day!

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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. 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).