Mrs. Carter: It’s been a while since I had a discussion about Gibbs and Sloane on NCIS — now’s the proper time to change that.
With that, why not start off this piece by bringing Rule 12 to the forefront? “Never date a co-worker.” This is a rule that goes all the way back to season 1, so clearly there’s a history of this rule playing an important role in the fabric of NCIS. Characters have, over the years, tried to find ways to circumvent it. It’s probably a reason why Tony and Ziva’s relationship was so secret for some of the run, and it may be a reason for the hesitation between Bishop and Torres — beyond typical workplace-romance jitters. Nobody wants to get on Gibbs’ bad side and even if he’s not running around shouting “Rule 12” at people with a megaphone, they still know them. They remember this. Think back to “She” earlier this season, where Gibbs frequently brought up Rule 10 to Bishop, one that stated to never get personally invested in a case.
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Here’s where things get a little bit interesting. During the episode “She,” Gibbs showed a certain fluidity when it comes to Rule 10. He came to understand that Bishop was effective in that case because of how much she cared. She put forth an unprecedented amount of effort into finding out what really happened and because of her, the team walked away from that case with a win. (Also, cheers to Bishop for helping us to realize that Ziva is still alive — but that’s a discussion for a different day.)
If Gibbs is showing a lenience when it comes to one of his rules, is it time for him to show more lenience with another. Could he break Rule 12 himself … and with Jack Sloane? Isn’t there a certain curiosity that would come out of seeing that play out? Gibbs can be a romantic guy when he puts his heart into it; having the romantic history he has proves that. He’s also danced dangerously close to this rule before — take a look at Hollis Mann as an example of that. Sloane is still different than that; she’s a permanent part of the NCIS team and someone he seems on a daily basis.
Oh, and she’s also someone who has a certain fascinating with Gibbs, just as he seems to have with her. There’s a natural chemistry there, a connection that you can see whenever they converse. It doesn’t necessarily have to turn romantic, but wouldn’t it be interesting if it did? Beyond just giving Gibbs/Sloane fans what they’ve been wanting since Maria Bello’s arrival, there’s another appealing story prospect here: Seeing how Gibbs reconciles his feelings versus the rules he lives by. Sometimes, rules are meant to be broken, even if you are one of the biggest NCIS boy scouts out there. No one would judge him; they would be happy for him. He just needs to figure out that he would be happy with himself.
Sloane would make his life better — personally, I see no other way of it with the way she understands him after spending the past year-plus with him. He just needs to develop a new rule: Pay attention to your heart. It will guide you in the right direction.
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Do you think Gibbs should break Rule #12 for the sake of pursing a relationship with Sloane? Let me know in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)