NCIS answers big season 18 mystery after Gibbs twist

NCIS spoilers to follow.

NCIS fans were left shocked by the season 18 premiere back in November, when a dramatic flash-forward sequence saw Leroy Jethro Gibbs gun down colleague Timothy McGee with a sniper rifle. Fortunately, now the show has explained why the cybersecurity whiz did what he did.

In last night’s double bill (Tuesday, January 19), the gang managed to infiltrate the opioid drug ring that has been at the centre of their current investigation, which led to Nick Torres nearly being killed and Ellie Bishop being taken hostage by mysterious mastermind Merriweather (Nick Boraine).

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Later, Merriweather reassured special agents McGee, Gibbs and co that he’d let Bishop go if they agreed to release his confidant Vladimir – oblivious to the fact that the latter was already dead.

Nevertheless, the team decided to move forward and had McGee (Sean Murray) pose as FBI guy Tobias Fornell. Little did they know though, Merriweather had already armed a plane with a bomb and, while Vance was able to inform Gibbs, McGee’s comms were down.

With no other way to stop him from walking into an imminent explosion, McGee (Mark Harmon) shot his friend to slow him down.

The two-parter ended with a heavily injured McGee being rushed to hospital.

timothy mcgee, ncis

Last year, it was explained that the plot of NCIS was going to step back in time to autumn 2019, so that it could avoid having to focus on the real-life coronavirus pandemic into the overarching story.

“We had an episode last year called ‘Musical Chairs’, where [Mark Harmon’s] Gibbs disappears from the squad room to go on a mission, and then he shows up at the end of the episode with a black eye,” co-showrunner Steven Binder previously explained to TVLine. “We are going to pick up Season 18 with that mission that Gibbs was on, back in time.

“My feeling has always been that our show is sort of an hour of escapism. People want to see life the way they wish it was.”

NCIS airs on CBS in the US, and on FOX UK in the UK.