We know that David McCallum will be appearing as Ducky on NCIS season 16 episode 17, but is it possible that it could be his last appearance overall? We don’t want to go that far, but based on the new “Silent Service” sneak peek that we have for you below, it seems to be the character’s last day working at NCIS.
In this preview, Gibbs, Bishop, and Palmer all do their best to figure out what happened to a Petty Officer who apparently drowned in the middle of a routine divvy, and whose body was carried over to the submarine the USS Memphis. On board, Palmer confirms that it is Ducky’s last day at the office, meaning that he wants to do what he can to get back to the office before long. There seems to be an eagerness for Bishop to do so, as well — which also just makes sense given that nobody really wants to be on a submarine for that long. For starters, there’s the close quarters feel to it that not everyone loves and there’s also the seasickness, for people who aren’t altogether experienced with dealing with these sort of difficult waters. It’s a tough world to be a part of, but Gibbs insists that Bishop at least sticks around. For Jimmy, he’s going to get a chance to head shore with the body for further examination.
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Gibbs and Bishop will spend a part of this episode aboard the submarine, gathering information and doing the stuff you would expect a Gibbs-led team to do. They better act quickly, and not just because they want to make it back for a farewell party (there seem to be too many of those happening these days) — instead, they’re going to find themselves cut off from the rest of their team at some point during the mission, which is not going to go according to plan. Think about what’s going to happen here — they’ll be stranded, cut off from their team, and with very limited resources at their disposal. They’re going to be doing what they can to stay afloat aboard what may (literally) be a sinking ship … or submarine. Close enough. This case is intense, but it could also be sentimental and sweet.
The only reason that we think it may not be David McCallum’s final episode is that save for this little drop-in during this sneak peek about it being his last day, there’s no other promotion out there about it. This isn’t like when Pauley Perrette and Michael Weatherly said goodbye, when there were all sorts of promos out there touting their goodbyes and giving us a sense of their journey. While McCallum was never an equal lead to either one of them on the show, we’re still talking about an original cast member and an iconic character here! Odds are, you could show a picture of Ducky to people in hundreds of different countries and people would recognize him immediately.
Even if Ducky leaves NCIS, he could always come back — the door’s never quite closed on a legend like him. At a certain point, it mostly comes down to finding the right opportunity to make it happen.
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What do you want to see when it comes to NCIS season 16 episode 17? Be sure to share some of your thoughts/hopes in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)