NCIS fans will finally get to receive some of the answers they've been waiting for when it comes to the mystery surrounding Fornell (Joe Spano). According to a press release, viewers will finally see Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Fornell as they try to find the head of the drug ring responsible for Fornell's daughter Emily's overdose. Fans have been clamoring for answers to this mystery since the fall when the series aired an episode that appeared to showcase Gibbs shooting McGee (Sean Murray).
NCIS has been forced to implement some unique creative decisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During Season 18, which is currently airing, the show has been jumping back and forth between various timelines. In the premiere episode, which aired on Nov. 17, NCIS featured a scene showing Gibbs shooting McGee. That moment seemingly took place when Gibbs went off the grid in Season 17 for "sturgeon season." Later, it turned out that he was leaving to join Fornell on their investigative mission. Since this storyline will come to a climax on Tuesday night, it stands to reason that fans will finally be able to see the reason why Gibbs shoots McGee.
Prior to the Season 18 premiere, NCIS showrunner Steve Binder discussed how the show was going to navigate Gibbs' mission with Fornell and the other goings-on within the team. Binder explained during TVLine's in-depth Fall Preview Q&A, “We had an episode last year called ‘Musical Chairs,’ where Gibbs disappears from the squad room to go on a mission, and then he shows up at the end of the episode with a black eye." The showrunner went on to note that Season 18 will fill in all of the blanks and answer many of the questions that fans had about the mysterious situation.
“We are going to pick up Season 18 with that mission that Gibbs was on, back in time,” Binder added. As a result of going back and forth between these timelines, the characters were "in a pre-COVID world for a little while,” around November/December 2019. But, once this mission is complete, Gibbs and the rest of the team will be fully involved in the COVID-19 pandemic just like the rest of the world. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.