Knight’s Exit Starts NCIS’ Unavoidable Gibbs Erasure (3 Years After Mark Harmon Left)

Katrina Law as Jessica Knight and Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs in NCIS


  • Mark Harmon’s departure from NCIS ushers in a new era, starting with Jessica Knight’s exit and the potential erasure of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
  • NCIS successfully transitioned from Harmon to Gary Cole’s Alden Parker, showcasing the team’s resilience and ability to adapt to change.
  • The introduction of a new NCIS agent who never worked with Gibbs marks a significant shift in the show’s dynamic and Gibbs’ lasting legacy.

The unavoidable erasure of Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS will begin with the departure of Jessica Knight. It’s easy to forget that, for almost three years now, Harmon is no longer a part of the police procedural that he fronted for almost two decades. When Harmon announced his exit from NCIS, there were concerns that the show wouldn’t survive his absence. While it wasn’t new to cast reshuffles, the project was and remains synonymous with him. It survived losing so many main and fan-favorite characters because Gibbs continued to be the Major Case Response Team’s (MCRT) leader.

Moving on from Harmon had its challenges, but the uncertainty of it was already largely conquered by NCISGary Cole’s Alden Parker stepped in to replace Gibbs as MCRT’s leader, and he has been effective in the role ever since. The writers were smart to introduce someone different enough from Gibbs that there would be minimal comparison. The squad continues to be effective in their job despite the massive changes it has gone through. There’s no denying that Harmon and Gibbs’ traces are still all over the series. That’s about to change if Knight ends up leaving, though.

Knight’s Replacement Will Be The First NCIS Agent Who Never Worked With Gibbs

Gibbs Worked With Every Single MCRT Member Since 2003.

Aside from the mystery of Parker’s Lily in the NCIS season 21 finale, one of the other big plots in the capper revolved around Knight’s future with the team. On top of the outing titled “Reef Madness,” Director Leon Vance offered Knight her dream job, but it would force her to leave MCRT and move to Camp Pendleton. At the end of the NCIS season 21 finale, Knight officially accepted the post. Assuming that she really leaves the team and is replaced with someone new, then it would be the start of Gibbs’ erasure from MCRT.

If/when Knight is replaced in NCIS season 22, it would be the first time that MCRT will have a member who has had the chance to work directly with Gibbs.

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Gibbs worked with every single member of MCRT since NCIS started in 2003. He had a hand in choosing all of its agents, even Parker, who teamed up with him in Alaska for his final case. Knight arrived to replace Eleanor Bishop at the tail end of Gibbs’ time in DC, and while he was suspended then, she still had the opportunity to be a part of his team. If/when Knight is replaced in NCIS season 22, it would be the first time that MCRT will have a member who has had the chance to work directly with Gibbs.

Can Gibbs’ Legacy Stay Alive In NCIS?

CBS Has No Plans Of Ending The NCIS Franchise Anytime Soon.

Mark Harmon as Gibbs covering his mouth at a diner in NCIS

Introducing new characters to be part of the core NCIS cast is inevitable; Knight’s potential replacement is only the beginning of it. Granted that Jane Tennant can step in and join Parker’s MCRT team, but it only delays the inevitable, especially since the flagship series is showing no signs of ending anytime soon. While personnel changes are inevitable, it’s worth noting that Gibbs’ legacy will thrive thanks to characters such as Tim McGee and Jimmy Palmer, not to mention Nick Torress. Harmon’s character worked with them closely for years. Gibbs’ relationship with Director Vance will also contribute to this endeavor.


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