NCIS Season 20 Sets up a Major Character Departure

Because NCIS has been on the air for 20 seasons, fans have become accustomed to cast changes. Gibbs’ exit was the most difficult and even his being cut from the opening credits was disappointing. However, plenty of other departures — like Kate, Abby, Ziva, Tony and Bishop — weren’t much easier. So while Season 20 has settled into a routine with its perfect Gibbs replacement, audiences are nervous about who the next character to go might be.

Season 20 has made it clear that Nick Torres will be in for a rough time. A lot of fans think that he won’t make it past the current season because of actor Wilmer Valderrama’s other, upcoming commitments. However, “Guardian” hinted that NCIS is getting ready for another major character departure. It also looks like NCIS Director Leon Vance may be on his way out.

Is Leon Vance Tired of Being NCIS Director?

One episode after a wrench was thrown into Jimmy and Knight’s relationship, the NCIS team had even more personal drama. Director Vance was the victim of a home invasion, but he made quick work of one of the a*******s while the other two fled. (He was a former boxing champion, after all.) It quickly became apparent that Vance was targeted. But despite that, he insisted on going to a pre-arranged conference in Berlin… so Alden Parker decided that he was going along as Vance’s protective detail.

Vance wasn’t only in Germany for business, though. He had feelings for woman that he had done some work with in the past, so he wanted to go see her. She was also nearly k****d because of one of their previous operations. While his acquaintance was in the hospital, Vance spilled his guts to Parker. He talked about watching NCIS old-timers end up alone — married to their jobs. That was exactly what was happening to him. His wife was dead and his children had moved away. While he didn’t come out and say it, it was clear that he was lonely and looking for a bit more in life.

Will Agent McGee Be the Next NCIS Director?

The Vance storyline could just have been a set-up to develop a Vance and Parker friendship; they did go see a movie together in Berlin. However, what happened back home made it look there was more going on. With Vance and Parker out of the country, Timothy McGee was appointed as acting NCIS Director. At first, he hated the position and tried to avoid Vance’s assistant, but over the episode he started to change his mind.

It wasn’t long before McGee started to fit into the role. He even told Jimmy that he wouldn’t mind being Director in the future. He wasn’t vying for Vance’s job and the NCIS writers went out of their way to say that his being Director was a temporary appointment. Even so, McGee was starting to look comfortable in the Director’s chair. Vance has held the position since Jenny Shepard’s d***h at the end of Season 5, but he has to leave at some point — and whenever he does, McGee will be ready to step up.

New episodes of NCIS air Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on CBS and stream on Paramount+.

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