“NCIS” entered its 19th season on top, with over 8 million viewers making the show’s season premiere the most-watched program on television on September 20, 2021, per Variety. This served as a launchpad for the well-received spin-off “NCIS: Hawai’i” that followed. For any fans worried that the show was getting a little long in the tooth, the blockbuster season premiere potentially put to rest any talk about “NCIS” possibly declining in its old age. Indeed, viewers were perhaps motivated to tune back in to find out who bombed Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ boat in the Season 18 finale, and whether or not Gibbs even survived the explosion. (Spoiler alert: he lived, but that hasn’t tamped down speculation that this could end up being Mark Harmon’s last season.)
But while “NCIS” continues to twist its stories in new ways nearly two decades into its landmark run, 19 years’ worth of naval crimes is a lot to keep track of, even for the best TV writers. So it was inevitable that somewhere along the way, some plot details might contradict others from earlier in the show’s run, something it’s safe to assume that “NCIS” writers and producers hope fans will not notice or at least take with a grain of salt. Who were they kidding? Asking “NCIS” fans not to pore over the small details would be like, well, asking an actual NCIS investigator to ignore some tiny fibers left at the scene of a crime.