Gibbs’ New Love Interest Revealed In NCIS: Origins Set Photo

Mark Harmon as Gibbs looking surprised un front of computer monitors in NCIS


  • NCIS: Origins introduces Austin Stowell as young Gibbs and Mariel Molino as Agent Lala Dominguez.
  • A new image from the set of NCIS: Origins offers the first look at Mariel Molino as Lala.
  • Set in the ’90s, the show explores Gibbs’ early days in the agency and his potential romance with Lala.

NCIS: Origins set photo offers the first look at Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ new love interest. After Mark Harmon played the character for almost two decades, young Gibbs has been recast with Austin Stowell for the upcoming police procedural spinoff. Set in the ’90s, the show will tackle Gibbs’ start in the agency being a member of Mike Franks’ rag-tag team at Camp Pendleton. Aside from Vera Strickland, the rest of the duo’s squad will be composed of fresh faces who have never been mentioned in the main NCIS series. That includes Gibbs’ new romantic partner.

Mariel Molino shares a new image of herself as Agent Lala Dominguez in NCIS: Origins on her official Instagram account. Check out her snap below:

Mariel Molino on the set of NCIS: Origins

In the photo, Molino offers her full look as Agent Lala. She doesn’t add any additional context to the post, but it’s worth noting that production for NCIS: Origins has already started.

How Molino’s Debut As Agent Lala Changes Gibbs’ NCIS Story

Gibbs & Lala’s Love Story Will Be Tackled In NCIS: Origins

The challenge for NCIS: Origins is to make Gibbs and Lala’s potential romance compelling that the viewers will still be invested even though they have no future together.

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Per the initial NCIS: Origins‘ report on Molino’s character, Lala is described as “a former Marine who navigates her 1990s male-dominated field with a steely resolve and a dark sense of humor.” The NCIS franchise has a history strong and capable female characters, and she will follow that suit. However, unlike Caitlin Todd and Ziva David, it has already been established from the get-go that Lala will likely develop some kind of a romantic relationship with Gibbs. While the main NCIS series gave Gibbs a few love interests, Lala comes at a unique time in his life.

Considering where NCIS: Origins lands in the timeline, it could kickstart with the death of Shannon and Kelly — Gibbs’ first wife and only daughter. The murder of his family wasn’t revealed until the end of NCIS season 3, but once it was out in the open, it became an important part of his arc moving forward. The challenge for NCIS: Origins is to make Gibbs and Lala’s potential romance compelling so that the viewers will still be invested even though they have no future together. However, they should also be mindful that it doesn’t tarnish Gibbs’ supposed devotion to Shannon.

For what it’s worth, Gibbs did get married three more times after his family was murdered. So seeing him develop feelings with Lala, especially in what may be the most difficult years of his life, isn’t breaking NCIS canon. Still, NCIS: Origins should be careful in crafting their love story. Otherwise, they would be prone to creating plot inconsistencies that could break the franchise’s established story.


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