NCIS has been a monumental series that has run for over fifteen years. For nearly twenty seasons, NCIS has captivated fans with compelling stories, exciting action, and wonderful characters. The story of the Naval Criminal Investigation Service has produced some of the most heartwarming characters, such as the dedicated Timothy McGee, the charismatic Anthony Dinozo, the amazing Ziva David, and of course, the sphinxlike Jethro Gibbs.

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As a result, NCIS has become one of the greatest television shows of its time, rivaling other series such as Law and Order and JAG. As the new season of the series approaches, it’s worth taking a look back at some of the best seasons of the show to relive some of the greatest moments in NCIS as a completely new cast begins to take the stage.

Season 1

Season 1 of NCIS is what started it all. From the opening scene of Sergeant Gibbs stepping on a c***e scene and emitting his overwhelming pressure on the United States Secret Service, viewers knew they were in for a treat. The NCIS pilot episode was a great introduction and avoided being poorly received.

The only diamond to be formed from the pressure is special agent Caitlin Todd. Strong, intelligent, and more than capable of hanging with the boys, Caitlin makes a significant impact which leads her to become a member of the NCIS team. This first season was a great run that got fans attuned to the character dynamics in the show and demonstrated the unstoppable force that is Sergeant Gibbs when he gets a hold of a case and won’t let go.

Season 3

Season 3 of NCIS begins fresh off the heels of the d***h of a member of the team. Caitlin Todd, shot while on duty, has Sergeant Gibbs on a warpath to bring her k****r to justice. The path to finding and catching the sh00t3r leads the NCIS team through a series of mysteries and back-door dealings between international agencies and introduces the soon-to-be staple character, Ziva David.

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The deadly agent from Mossad begins as an advisory to NCIS and Gibbs, but as the truth comes to light, Ziva soon establishes a more neutral position. Ziva’s skill and intellect catch the eye of Sergeant Gibbs, and as the team rushes to stop an impending terrorist a***k, Ziva is unknowingly brought into the fold.

Season 6

The NCIS team starts off in Israel, going head-to-head with Mossad. Tensions run high, and Agent David is pushed to the edge, having to choose between her duty, her country, and her family. Unfortunately, things continue to take turns for the worst even after the team lands back on American soil with tragedy after tragedy.

A new addition to the show in the form of Director Vance, played by Rocky Carroll, replacing Lauren Holly’s Jennifer Shepard, has been appointed director in order to thin out Sergeant Gibbs’s team after several of their operations have crossed a line.

Season 8

Season 8 of NCIS has the team battling threats on multiple fronts. Impending terror a****ks and internal agency conflicts have US Navy Sergeant Gibbs and his work family banging their heads against a wall. To make matters worse, a longtime threat to multiple agencies steps back onto the scene and begins dropping bodies left and right.

The port-to-port k***r is one of the most wanted individuals across various countries, and it is up to Gibbs to work well with other teams to put a stop to the k****r’s tirade. Meanwhile, the team has struggles of their own as they face off against their own choices that may hurt more than help.

Season 12

Season 12 sees a new advisory for Sergeant Gibbs in the form of Sergei Mishnev. Sergei has made it his goal to make Gibbs suffer for interfering with his plans to launch an a****k on US soil and for the m****r of Ari Haswari, his half-brother and m******r of special agent Caitlin Todd.

Gibbs is thrown off center when Sergei m*****s his former wife identically to how Caitlin Todd was m******d. Season 12 of NCIS is also the first season without one of the original cast members as Cote de Pablo, who played Ziva David, departed the show previously.

Season 13

The unbreakable Sergeant Jethro Gibbs now faces his own mortality as he must survive an invasive surgery after being shot. The rest of the team must keep their cool and handle business as usual and hope for the best, and await their leader’s return.

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Anthony Dinozo continues to demonstrate valiant dedication, even in the face of losing a valued teammate and romantic interest after Ziva decided to return home. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when Dinozo learns that Ziva and her family were a*****d and that there was only one survivor. Anthony Dinozo’s character makes his final appearance on the show as a new father to the daughter he never knew he had, one of the best plot twists in NCIS.

Season 15

Season 15 of the gritty c***e-drama ramps up the action and returns while agent Gibbs and McGee are still missing in action after a foreign venture goes wrong. The tension rises as c***e never sleeps, and what’s left of the NCIS team must do without them and hope to find a lead to their location soon.

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Season 15 continues with series departures as another original cast member departs in the form of fan-favorite Abby Sciuto, played by Pauley Perrette. The relationship between Abby and Gibbs has been one of the most innocent and heartwarming character dynamics on the show and gained a large cult following over the surrogate father-daughter duo.

Season 19

The legacy of Jethro Gibbs has defined NCIS for over ten years. From the moment his presence was felt on the show, viewers knew they were in for a treat. The unshakable warhorse that drives head first to accomplish any task and deals in black and white, Agent Gibbs represents the foundation of NCIS and is one of the most monumental characters on network television.

Season 19 marks the final appearance of the long-time main protagonist and original cast member as Mark Harmon announced that his final episode would be episode four of Season 19. The show continues to go on, but a large void can be felt in the absence of the silent marine.