“NCIS” has grown accustomed to changing things up at various times during the season, and after coming up with a general idea for the season finale months ago, the writers were thrown a very unfortunate curveball earlier this year thanks to the death of longtime guest star Ralph Waite. He was important part of the cast family, and his character of Jackson Gibbs was obviously crucial to how Mark Harmon’s Gibbs saw the world. For many out there, were sure that it was only appropriate that the last episode to feature Waite had the word “angel” in the title.
So why was the decision made to write in Waite’s death this season, rather than wait to address it until season 12? It all simply revolved around finding a way to make the story work in a way that felt right, and speaking to Entertainment Weekly on this very subject, series boss Gary Glasberg makes it clear that they found a great way to tell the story:
“We’ve talked about [the episode] since Ralph’s passing, and I think we’ve come up with a really great crime story that will bookend into the passing of Jackson Gibbs. That’s going to be a really emotional storyline that Mark Harmon has been involved with since day 1. We’re working on that right now.”
This is one of many episodes that “NCIS” has coming up that is a little bit different than the mold. In addition to the second part of the “New Orleans” backdoor pilot coming up in the near future, the show also has a chance moving forward to touch on the return of Delilah to work, and also try an interesting new mission late in the season that sends Michael Weatherly’s Tony to France in order to work on a mission.
We’ll hopefully have a chance to get into more specifics soon. For now, just be sure to check back for more news, and click here if you want updates on all things we cover sent right to your email.