The joy of NCIS has always been its amazing characters. The series has been expert in making some seemingly random folks into popular stars. A case in point is McGee going from a minor agent to a critical part of the show.
With two spin-offs (and a third coming this fall), there have been scores of characters popping in and out of the agents’ lives. Sadly, many have suffered harsh fates, such as Gibbs’ ex-wife and Fornell’s daughter.
Yet, there’s still some potential for characters to return. This includes those who were once major parts of the casts before leaving. It seems unlikely that Pauley Perrette returns as Abby or Michael Weatherly as Tony, but other options are more open.
Some are characters audiences love and are overdue for a return, while others are just for lighter humor. Yet, it would be great to see these ten faces return to any of the NCIS series to spark up the audience’s love for the series.
10. Meredith Brody
When NCIS: New Orleans began, Meredith was the “outsider” to the team. As a native of the Great Lakes, she had to learn how the unique city worked.
While mostly all-business, Brody had a nice sense of humor, and the fun touch of her loving New Orleans cuisine with the others amazed at her appetite.
Brody was driven by guilt for failing to stop an attack on a Navy ship which drove her to go over the top sometimes on cases.
In the Season 2 finale, Brody realized her lover was using her to plan a terrorist attack. While the team stopped it, Brody resigned in disgrace and was stripped of her security clearance.
It would be good to see her return, maybe in another agency, and get a chance at some redemption with another NCIS team.
9. Vostanik Sabatino
Usually, the NCIS team doesn’t like working with the CIA, but they make an exception for Vostanik Sabatino.
He first ran into the team seemingly working for the bad guys before discovering he was an undercover CIA agent. He has a habit of keeping things tight to the vest to the point Kensi briefly thought he was secretly working for the other side.
He proved himself as a top fighter, risking his life to help rescue Kensi behind enemy lines. It’s indicated he’s married, but he doesn’t talk much about his past.
Vostanik has popped up a few more times to share information, and the team has a grudging respect for him.
While rough, Sabatino is still a capable ally, and it seems inevitable he may run into the team on some other adventure.
8. Sonja Percy
Starting as a newbie agent in the first season of NCIS New Orleans, Sonja Percy was upgraded to full member in Season 2.
While she had a learning curve, Sonja took to the team well, showing a tough side and risking her life often to help out.
Sonja could go a bit too far in some undercover operations with her temper getting the best of her. She and LaSalle had a nice flirtation going with the implication it was an off-screen relationship.
In Season 4, Percy was hit by a “traveling bug” and resigned from the team to join the FBI. This would make for a great return on a case with the NCIS teams or even a crossover with the FBI shows.
At the least, it’d be good to catch up and see what’s become of this popular character.
7. Phillip Brooks
Seeing Gibbs driven to exasperation is always funny. Few can do it like Phil Brooks.
It appeared that the guy had drowned with Gibbs attending his funeral at his home. Gibbs then found Phil alive and well in the basement as someone had tried to kill him.
This led to a nutty murder investigation with Phil’s wife trying to get her lover to get rid of him. Phil later returned to drag both Gibbs and Fornell into a hiking trip gone horribly wrong.
Amazingly, Phil had gotten himself a girlfriend in his last visit, although once again, pulled into a crazy murder case.
Given how rough the last season was, some levity is needed in the coming year. Having Phil once more driving Gibbs nuts would be terrific.
For years, the biggest mystery among fans was Gibbs’ long-talked of but never identified second ex-wife.
At last, she debuted in Season 12. Rebecca Chase, a lawyer, turned federal agent. Jeri Ryan was terrific with her attitude, believable as someone who could win Gibbs’ heart, then break it.
They spent a (platonic) night together, but the case was complicated by the arrival of Rebecca’s fiance, who was the guy she cheated on Gibbs with.
Surprisingly, she hasn’t been brought back, which is too bad as it was delightful getting more insight into Gibbs’ past, and Ryan was sparkling in the role. A return visit would be wonderful.
5. Anthony Sr
It’s sadly unlikely Michael Weatherly is going to drop back on NCIS anytime soon. So at least Tony’s dad can provide some laughs.
Tony had always assumed his father was a con artist when he was really a well-meaning businessman. He was also not as successful as he seemed but barely scraping by.
Veteran Robert Wagner was a great choice in the role, with Anthony Sr showing a wonderful charm to the point he enthralled even Ziva and Bishop.
Even with Tony leaving for Paris, Senior pops up on cases, often as a source for some laughs but can be a surprising aid. He’s been absent for a while, but one never knows when he’s going to pop up again.
It’s always fun when Senior drops by to show the DiNozzo charm is hereditary and would be great seeing him mix with the new agents.
4. Nate Getz
Anyone who watches NCIS: LA knows how this team can use a little guidance. Nate Getz can provide it.
One of the team’s original members, Nate, was a psychologist who could help the team understand targets and their personal issues. Possessing a light sense of humor, Nate was a good heart for the team.
While he left in Season 2, Nate returned a few times, and surprisingly, had turned into an effective combat agent. He’s been popping up now and then, although it’s been too long since his last appearance.
With the team in flux following the exit of Nell and other issues, Nate could be a great help getting them on track and a reminder of the early days of the team bonding.
3. Samantha Ryan
Another gal who can lay claim to Gibbs’ heart, Samantha Ryan was always a great spark on the show.
Jamie Lee Curtis was wonderful in her appearances as the head of a PsyOps division who would aid the team.
She and Gibbs clearly had a great bond, with the team surprised about how open Gibbs could be with her. When he actually showed up late for work, the team thought he’d been kidnapped.
Ryan had to leave when she was threatened by a terrorist going after anyone he felt connected to his own son’s death. It was clear Ryan didn’t want to go.
It’d be nice if the threat passed and Ryan could return, as her therapy and romantic touch is needed for the troubled Gibbs.
2. Cyril Taft
Trying to give therapy to Gibbs can be a losing proposition, but Cyril Taft managed to pull it off.
Jon Cryer’s surgeon appeared in the Season 13 premiere, saving Gibbs’ life. Rather than just healing his body, Taft also tried to help Gibbs’ troubled mind.
Showing a deadpan sense of humor, Taft seemed to enjoy playing mental chess with Gibbs, making some sharp observations on his behavior and one of the few people Gibbs could open up to.
With some tragedy of losing his own son, Taft still had a great presence on the show and bounced off Gibbs well. Cryer has been busy playing Lex Luthor, so it’d be nice to see him returning to a warmer role for fans.
1. Abigail Borin
There’s an entire spin-off to be made on the United States Coast Guard unit.
A few times, the NCIS team ran into the USCG’s top local agent, Abigail Borin. Played by Law & Order: SVU veteran Diane Neal, Borin was a feisty gal who was tough in the field and showed some fun attitude.
Her banter with Gibbs was always great, especially given his history with redheads and the rest of the team enjoyed watching them mix it up. More than one teammate observed Borin was practically a female Gibbs.
It’s been a while since Abigail was on the show, so she’s overdue for an appearance. She can get involved in scores of cases, and it’s always great seeing someone who can keep Gibbs on his toes.
NCIS seasons 1-18, NCIS: Los Angeles Seasons 1-12, NCIS : New Orleans seasons 1-7 on Paramount+.