The following contains significant spoilers from the march 16 episode of CBS’ NCIS.

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This main on NCIS, Gibbs landing in the dog residence when a brash act of aggression threatened to end his career. In the end, was Boss’ bacon may be to be saved?

Or did the episode finish up paving the method for series star note Harmon to appear only top top a part-time basis, in the occasion NCIS is renewed? (As reported at the time of NCIS: brand-new Orleans‘ cancellation, Harmon — who contract is up — to be poised to speak to it a day until he learned the his doing so would get NCIS cancelled; as such, he gotten in talks to return because that a handful of illustration if the display returns for Season 19.)

The episode “Watchdog” opened, in ~ least, with a roadside accident that nearly left a live missile in the center of a street in falls Church. But when NCIS landed on the scene, Gibbs thrived interested in the fate of the dog that the navy transport had actually swerved come miss. The pit bull in question, eventually referred to as “Lucy” by Kasie, was found not much away, bleeding indigenous a gunshot wound. When ceded to a nearby veterinarian because that treatment, NCIS learned the it was the 3rd such dog to be brought in through a gunshot wound.

Gibbs, McGee, Bishop and Torres sniffed approximately a residence in the woods, beyond where Lucy had been found. That proprietor, a little old lady, alerted the team come a man who routinely parks his trailer by she pond, ostensibly come fish. Yet when Gibbs looks right into what the guy has actually submerged in the pond, tethered to a rope, that discovers numerous drowned pit bulls. Incensed, Gibbs watch the man, Luke Stana, arise from his trailer, and makes a beeline because that him. Stana have the right to barely get a indigenous out before Gibbs is whaling top top him, knocking him come the ground. Gibbs starts come choke the (alleged!) pet abuser, before Bishop and the others traction him off.

Once ago at HQ, Gibbs is return from we can assume a chewing-out through Vance when Inspector basic Coyle mirrors up to cuff him and also take him away. But prior to Gibbs surrenders self to Coyle, he quietly orders the team to “tell the truth.”

Except… McGee, Torres and Bishop don’t. Instead, they spin a story the Stana tripping and also falling — though that is much from consistent with the victim’s suspect’s injuries. Gibbs is disappointed to hear what story his team told, but before he is self interviewed by Coyle, a lawyer named July Wunderman reflects up to placed a halt come the proceedings — despite Gibbs consequently relieves the Vance-appointed stranger of her services.

When the tiny old lady from prior to balks in ~ serving together a witness come Stana’s questionable behaviors, that leaves the team through no hard proof connecting the hospitalized lout come the dead/abused dogs. In ~ best, they have a working theory that that is associated in one illegal dog-fighting ring, has actually been juicing pit bulls v steroids, and when the pooches lose, he… drowns or shooting them. Stana, though, seems to have actually an excuse for every item of it, consisting of the wad of winnings uncovered in his mattress.

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Luckily — though it sure appeared extra-damning at first! — McGee taken place to it is in beta-testing a body electronic came during Gibbs’ clobbering of Stana, and also the video reveals a pre-existing blood stain ~ above the dog owner’s shirt. Kasie is able to attach that blood to gunshot Lucy, who is at this time recuperating post-op at NCIS. Alas, Stana has checked out of the hospital, yet a gps tag on his broken poodle’s collar leader the team come him, whereby they capture him clearing out the location of his dog-fighting ring. NCIS has been yanked turn off the situation by IG Coyle, sure, but Coyle is standing right external the barn door through the neighborhood police, ready to draw in the cretin.

Gibbs had currently cut a address Coyle, to tell his side in trade for the team gift left untouched. For this reason imagine everyone’s surprise once the case against him soil in limbo because of “evidentiary” issues. Together Vance later defines to Gibbs (who now has taken in Lucy), Coyle and his wife have actually two rescue dogs, so there was small sympathy because that Stana. That said, it has actually been left to Vance to inflict punishment. And also when Gibbs states that yes, the regrets what he did — together in, he wishes he had killed Stana — Vance is left no an option but come suspend his top Special agent indefinitely, for this reason Gibbs transforms in his badge and also gun. (And no, that wasn’t Harmon’s very own dog playing Lucy.)

If this storyline did, in fact, collection the phase for Harmon/Gibbs only appearing in a grasp of Season 19 episodes, space you OK v that? keeping in mind the incoming enhancement Katrina regulation would assist fill the void together a series regular for any type of next season?