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NCIS recap: Gibbs says goodbye to his team

Gibbs And McGee Alaska
Mark Harmon and Sean Murray during NCIS Season 19, Episode 4. Pic credit: CBS

This NCIS recap is going to start at the end and go from there.

“I’m not going back, Tim… I’m not going back home,” Gibbs told McGee at the end of NCIS Season 19, Episode 4.

The writing was on the wall during the previous episode of NCIS, which was called Road to Nowhere. At the end of an investigation, Gibbs was shown saying goodbye to his wife and daughter at their cemetery in a scene that screamed of foreshadowing.

And on Monday night, with the episode called Great Wide Open, NCIS fans may have seen star Mark Harmon for the final time on the show.

A few months ago, Monsters & Critics reported on the NCIS spoilers about Mark Harmon’s involvement in Season 19.

We, along with many other NCIS fans, didn’t want to believe that the end of an era was at hand. But here we are now.

NCIS Season 19, Episode 4 recap

On the last episode of NCIS, Gibbs and his team found out that the head of a company who had hired the serial killer (contract killer) to remove any human obstacle had run off to Alaska. Gibbs then let McGee know that they were going to travel there, and that’s where the new episode picked up on Monday evening.

Gibbs and McGee vs the world

While Gibbs and McGee started chasing down leads in Alaska, Agent Alden Parker and the FBI raided Gibbs’ house. When he checked the basement, a wall was missing, which gave some pretty specific answers about how Gibbs got that boat out.

Parker went to Director Vance to find out where Gibbs had gone, leading to a flashback scene where we saw Gibbs saying goodbye to Vance right before he left for Alaska. Gibbs dropped his trusty old flip phone in a cup of coffee, bringing an end to the tech which had been with Gibbs for years.

Gibbs thanked Vance for everything on his way out, again confirming that Gibbs wasn’t intending to come back at all. Vance also provided Gibbs with a satellite phone so he could keep in contact with his team while in Alaska.

The episode then jumped back to the present, with Vance letting Parker know that Gibbs had traveled to Alaska to put that one last case to bed.

Downstairs, Jimmy came in to find Ducky talking to a woman the killer had eliminated. Ducky mentioned Gibbs, which Jimmy was surprised about, and he asked if Ducky had spoken to him recently. It led to another flashback, this one involving Gibbs saying goodbye to Ducky. They inserted a few more jokes about the missing basement wall during a very emotional scene.

Ducky found a clue on the back of a watch that one of the victims had been wearing. It led to an article that she had written up about how a mine for the company that was being investigated would contaminate all of the environment around it in Alaska. That article was why the company had allegedly hired the killer who had gone after Gibbs.

As the NCIS team was tracking down a missing environmental report, Torres went to see Marcie Warren while she was meeting with the families of the victims. One of those people was Phil Hanover (played by John Hensley).

It led to another flashback, as Torres revealed that he was the one who drove Gibbs to the airport, and he let Marcie know about Gibbs’ plans.

It was good to see Mark Harmon’s wife on the show one last time.

Back in Alaska, Gibbs and McGee were continuing to get closer to the truth, when Agent Parker showed up to arrest Gibbs. As McGee stood by in shock, Parker said that Gibbs had let him know where they were in Alaska. It set up some final drama for NCIS fans before the final moments of the episode.

Gibbs, Parker, and McGee solve the case

Gibbs convinced Parker that they were very close to breaking the case open and that the job wasn’t done. Parker decided to keep going but let Gibbs know that he would have to be re-arrested once they had solved it.

The trio of Parker, Gibbs, and McGee concocted a plan that got the head of the company to call the person she was working with in order to get the mine built. It turned out to be Phil Hanover (mentioned above), who held land in Alaska that the company was going to build the mine on. But his wife had figured out what he was doing by having other people killed, and he had her killed as well.

The next scene featured Marcie meeting with Phil as she helped set him up for NCIS. She got Phil to admit to some of it before Torres came in and arrested Phil for hiring the contract killer in order to help that company get the mine built.

On Gibbs’ final case, he had saved a major chunk of Alaska from getting ruined, and he was very proud of that fact. After talking about it with McGee, he then told McGee to arrest him because it was the right thing to do.

McGee took the arrested Gibbs to Parker, but Parker had made a decision (after talking to Tobias Fornell) to let Gibbs go. He also noted that he would not be testifying against Gibbs, so there was no case. For his choices, Parker got fired by the FBI.

Gibbs and McGee go fishing

The episode came to an end with Gibbs and McGee fishing the quiet waters of Alaska. They spent some great moments together until a water plane arrived. It was then that McGee learned that Gibbs wasn’t coming back. Gibbs stated that he was now at peace and he wasn’t ready to give it up. They said an emotional goodbye and it was a great decision by the writers to end the episode with Gibbs and McGee.

The door was certainly left open for Mark Harmon and Gibbs to return to the show at a later date, but this appears to be the end of the road for NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

NCIS airs Mondays at 9/8c on CBS.

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