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NCIS series 17 had to be shorter than normal since filming came to a halt when the world went into lockdown. The CBS series did return to shooting in September and thankfully, season 18 was able to go ahead on Tuesday, November 17, without a hitch. But fans have been scratching their heads as the opening scene left them with a lot more answers than questions.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from NCIS.
Why did Gibbs shoot McGee in NCIS season 18 premiere?
NCIS series 18 started with Sturgeon Season and it looked like it was going to be an action-packed episode.
In the first scenes, Agent Timothy McGee (played by Sean Murray) was seen trying to stop a private jet from taking off.
This is when Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon) arrived on our screens for the first time.
However, it wasn’t to help McGee as viewers were left stunned when Gibbs instead shot his friend and colleague in the arm and leg with a sniper rifle.
Before the show could give any more clarification as to what was going on, the episode skipped to an entirely new story, much to the confusion of fans.
One viewer on Twitter complained at how the opening scene had “nothing in this episode tied to Gibbs shooting McGee in the beginning.”
This was because the first scene and the main plot of Sturgeon Season were in fact entirely separate storylines.
As a subtitle explained, this scene in question was set in March 2020, while the rest of the episode dated back to November 2019.
So the events of series 18’s first episode, which focused on Gibbs and Tobias Fornell’s (Joe Spano) mission to take down someone who supplied drugs to his daughter Emily (Juliette Angelo).
This is in connection with series 17’s Musical Chairs, where Gibbs disappeared for the majority of the episode.
Explaining the jump back in time, showrunner Steve Binder said: “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.
“We are going to pick up Season 18 with that mission that Gibbs was on, back in time.”
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While the beginning of season 18 didn’t seem linked, there was a clue which brought it together with the scene from March 2020.
During the episode, Fornell finds a key fob with a logo which looks very similar to that on the tail of the plane which McGee was trying to stop.
So could Gibbs have shot McGee to stop him from helping his friend Fornell?
For now at least, the truth as to why the veteran agent shot a member of his team remains a mystery but will bound to be explained in the upcoming episodes.
Part of series 18 is going to be set in pre-coronavirus times, explaining why there is a backwards time jump.
This won’t be for the entirety of the season though as the drama will catch up with what’s happening in today’s world soon enough.
Co-showrunner Frank Cardea said: “The first five episodes take place in the period of [pre-coronavirus].
“Episode 6 wraps that up, and episode 7 will bring us up to a post-COVID world.”
NCIS season 18 is available to watch on CBS.
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