The NCIS Season 19 premiere finally debuted, and with it, some answers were finally presented to NCIS fans.
The episode picked up right where the Season 18 finale left off, with Gibbs’ boat exploding and him being left in the water.
Gibbs made the swim to shore, but as he got to an area where he could stand up, we were able to see that he had shrapnel from the boat lodged in his stomach.
As Gibbs fainted back into the lake, the opening titled rolled on the episode, leaving fans wondering if Gibbs was going to make it.
NCIS Season 19, Episode 1 recap
When the episode returned, Torres was visiting Bishop’s former apartment, which was almost empty as she had taken most of her belongings with her. As Torres was looking around, the landlord and Jimmy emerged from the other room. Jimmy let Torres know that Bishop had called him and asked him to meet with the landlord.
Torres was understandably still frustrated about the Bishop vanishing act, maybe more so that he never saw it coming. That’s why when Jimmy asked him if Bishop had ever said anything, he became quite sullen about it. Jimmy said Bishop was gone, to which Torres replied, “No. She left.”
Agent Ellie Bishop is indeed gone, as actress Emily Wickersham has left the NCIS cast.
After retrieving a gun he had stashed there, Torres got a call from McGee, who was sharing the news about what went down at the lake (Gibbs’ boat exploding).
Gibbs is missing in action
When McGee and Torres got to the lake, the investigation was just beginning. Debris was found with the name of Gibbs’ boat on it (Rule 91), and they knew their boss was in danger. A short time later, a body was retrieved from the lake, but it turned out to be the body of a woman who had been in the water for a while.
Jimmy determined that the woman had indeed been murdered, but McGee was unable to identify who she was. Meanwhile, the search for Gibbs continued.
Gibbs was then shown waking up inside of a locked cabin, with medical supplies near him as though someone had patched him up. But there was nobody else in sight. Later, we would find out that a couple had fished him out of the lake and patched him up, but they didn’t really trust a man whose boat had just blown up.
Back at the offices, Torres was looking longingly at the empty desks of Bishop and Gibbs before he tried unsuccessfully to call Bishop.
Kasie came up to the bullpen and revealed that she had given Gibbs a bug finder and that, in retrospect, it may have indicated that Gibbs was in trouble.
McGee and Torres had an outburst in the bullpen, but they worked through it. Based on that, though, Director Vance assigned NCIS Special Agent Brent Hollister (played by Colin Land) to the team to help them out. They were reluctant to take on the help of a brand new agent, but it afforded the episode a bit of comedy to lighten the tone.
The return of Agent Jessica Knight to the NCIS cast
Vance allowed McGee and Torres to pick someone else to work with them. Enter Agent Jessica Knight again (played by Katrina Law). We saw her at the end of Season 18, and they got to work right away.
Following a tracker on the bug finder, the trio made their way to the loft that Gibbs was working in with reporter Marcie Warren (played by Mark Harmon’s wife, Pam Dawber). This was where they started piecing together the case that Gibbs was working on outside of NCIS. Nobody was at the loft, but somebody had torn it up searching for something.
When they got back to the office, the trio found Marcie already there. As they all began chatting, Gibbs called Marcie to make sure she was safe, and then he told McGee to give her protective custody before he hung up.
Gibbs returns to NCIS?
McGee, Knight, and Torres tracked down Gibbs and were just in time to help him deal with a drug operation that had been working at the lake. It was set up for NCIS viewers to think that they were behind everything, but the drug runners turned out to just be a red herring. The NCIS team broke up a drug ring and proved they could still work together.
As the episode was coming to a close, McGee went to Gibbs and talked to him about reuniting since they were better together. He also said that “Rule 91 sucks.” Gibbs told McGee that he was proud of him for pushing and alluded to being in on returning to NCIS to track down this serial killer.
Gibbs may be willing to help, but it still seems like he isn’t ready to lead the team again or become a full-time NCIS agent again. We will have to tune in for Season 19, Episode 2 to see how this will all play out.
NCIS airs Mondays at 9/8c on CBS.