Mark Harmon’s NCIS Prequel Can Finally Fix Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ Oldest Plot Hole

Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs in NCIS


  • NCIS: Origins has the potential to fill in important gaps in Leroy Gibbs’ backstory, including his wife and daughter’s tragic murder.
  • The prequel series can also address the mysterious history between Gibbs and Fornell, shedding light on their friendship before NCIS .
  • Gibbs and Fornell supposedly first met in the NCIS pilot, but it was eventually revealed that they knew each other because they were once married to the same woman, effectively creating a plot hole.

NCIS: Origins can explain so many things about Mark Harmon’s beloved character, but it also has the opportunity to finally fix Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ oldest plot hole. A few years before he met Kate Todd in “Yankee White,” Gibbs and his team were introduced in JAG via a backdoor pilot. It’s usually omitted from NCIS‘ history, considering how successful the flagship series has become. As the universe evolves beyond a straightforward expansion, it goes back in time to tackle Gibbs’ start with the agency, offering new information about his life before he became Major Case Response Team’s (MCRT) leader.

Throughout his time in NCIS, Gibbs’ personal life was regularly explored. When he was first introduced, he was an enigma, with barely anything known about the character outside his work life. Occasionally, however, his personal and professional life converged, resulting in more interesting storylines. Based on the timeline, NCIS: Origins can tackle Gibbs’ darkest storyline — the brutal murder of his first wife and daughter, Shannon and Kelly. After that, however, it can delve into what came next with his relationships, offering the franchise a chance to fix his oldest plot inconsistency.

NCIS: Origins Can Finally Reveal When Gibbs Reall Met Fornell

It’s Unclear When Exactly Gibbs And Fornell First Encountered Each Other

Fornell and Gibbs talk in front of a car in NCIS Head Of The Snake

NCIS‘ 1000th episode revisited the show’s very first case, and while everyone in MCRT who directly worked on that case was no longer with the team, it was also how the show brought back Joe Spano’s Tobias Fornell. Like Gibbs’ inaugural team, Fornell was introduced in “Yankee White” as the FBI officer who butt heads with Harmon’s character over jurisdiction. Their encounter aboard the grounded Air Force One was supposedly the first time they crossed paths, so it was confusing when it was later revealed that they had a history, as Fornell married Gibbs’ second wife.

Since this all happened before the events of NCIS , NCIS: Origins is perfectly positioned to finally settle this confusion involving Fornell and Gibbs’ friendship history.

Since this all happened before the events of NCISNCIS: Origins is perfectly positioned to finally settle this confusion involving Fornell and Gibbs’ friendship history. Like young Gibbs’ recasting, the show can bring in someone to play a young version of Fornell and reveal how they really met. The flagship series never got the chance to address this matter, considering everything else that was happening on the show during the time that Harmon was still a regular on the project. Now, CBS has the chance to retroactively fix its plot inconsistency.

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How NCIS: Origins Can Make Gibbs & Fornell’s Friendship Better

Fornell Was One Of Gibbs’ Best Friends In NCIS

Gibbs was infamous for his fearlessness and aloofness, but nobody was as loyal as him, especially to his very small social circle. While NCIS wasn’t able to regularly highlight his relationship with Fornell, it was one of the best friendships in the whole franchise. They had each other’s backs all throughout their joint time on the police procedural. Seeing how they first got together in NCIS: Origins would make their collective story, the same way Gibbs and Ducky Mallard’s flashback episode did for their dynamic.

What was clear was that, despite their bickering tendencies in NCIS, Gibbs and Fornell were kindred spirits. Aside from having the chance to fix their plot hole, it would be great to learn how their friendship began — whether they immediately liked each other or if they were just initially bound by having married the same woman. NCIS: Origins can easily do all of that if the creatives behind the project want to.


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