NCIS season 16: Could David McCallum’s Ducky get proper send-off?

David McCallumBased on the events of this past NCIS episode, there’s absolutely a lot to discuss in regards to David McCallum’s Ducky.

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Let’s kick things off within this article with a reminder: Ducky’s not going anywhere, at least immediately. We know that McCallum is appearing in the next new episode and potentially in some ones that follow that. While he made it clear on this past episode that NCIS isn’t in his long-term plans, he never said anything akin to “I’m never seeing you people again.” He may still be a consult and someone who can pop up a handful of times a season. NCIS already has been pushing in this direction for a while, especially the past season and a half when you think about the total number of Ducky appearances. There have been a few notable episodes, but the shift’s been out there with Jimmy Palmer taking more of the reigns. On this past episode, it was basically made officially that Palmer is taking over as the lead medical examiner.

While there is no confirmation that McCallum is leaving as a series regular this season, let’s pose one important question if he is: How could the series send him off? We hope that it’s something more than just a small moment like we saw on this past episode. This was not a great way to say goodbye to a character beloved by many … and our concern at present is that a lot of people think that we saw some sort of actual goodbye when we didn’t.

In the event that Ducky ever does move on fully, we hope that there’s some sort of actual ceremony for him at NCIS where his friends and colleagues can come together to commemorate his fantastic life and his work. He deserves that much, and also an opportunity to be in the fold here and there even after he says goodbye. There’s nothing that would negate him from being a recurring guest star in the future.

When you look back at some other exits for series regulars, it’s fair to call some of those results mixed. The departure of Cote de Pablo (Ziva) was as rushed as rushed could be, largely because they only had a couple of episodes to tie that story together. (That may have been the studio’s own doing; the writers didn’t have any say in it.) With Michael Weatherly’s exit, they did at least tie Tony’s story in with Ziva’s, but they killed off Ziva seemingly in a way that bummed almost the entirety of the fanbase out. (It’s only recently, thanks to “She,” that there was some hope again.) Finally, with Pauley Perrette there was a worthy exit storyline, but the somberness of it including the death of Clayton Reeves rendered it hard to have some sort of congratulatory goodbye-party for her. (That’s without even getting into the lack of Gibbs – Abby scenes on her way out the door.)

With Ducky, let’s hope that NCIS is able to right some of their previous wrongs — this character deserves it, but so does the series at large. It will give us at least a larger dose of hope for other possible exits, if they happen, down the road. We feel like there’s always going to be a certain degree of flux with a show of this sort.

For more information on this episode of NCIS…

Remember to check out the link here! The next installment is coming on a week from Tuesday.

How do you want to see Ducky written off on NCIS … provided that he even is? Share in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)

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