WARNING: The following contains spoilers for NCIS Season 18, Episode 16, “Rule 91” The season finale aired on May 25 on CBS.

The end of the season for NCIS dropped bombs, both literally and figuratively, on the future of the show. Season 18, Episode 16, “Rule 91” focuses on two different stories: McGee, Torres, and Bishop hunt down gun dealers while Gibbs and Marcie investigate a serial killer, and each story ends with a huge reveal with huge ramifications.

The episode begins with the three agents in a firefight, and they only manage to leave thanks to the heroism and impressive marksmanship of Bishop. Later, when the group tracks down the arms dealers’ hideout, they find classified NSA documents and, after some investigation, it is discovered that Bishop leaked the files years ago. She will be charged with espionage, so she quits her job at NCIS and seeks to move on as a disgraced agent who appears destined for jail time.

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Bishop and Gibbs from NCIS

At least, that’s what Bishop needed everyone to believe. In reality, he was working with Ziva’s friend and former CIA agent, Odette Malone, and Bishop is about to become an undercover spy. While he didn’t actually leak sensitive NSA documents, he’s still leaving NCIS. Torres takes the news especially harshly after their recent budding romance. Although it’s difficult, Bishop tells him, “If we had regular 9-to-5 jobs, things could be different.” Then she kisses him and walks away. She is confident in her decision to start a new chapter in her life and to live Gibbs’s newly explained rule 91: “When you decide to leave, don’t look back.”

With Bishop moving forward, there’s an open desk in the famous orange bullpen, but the team likely already has his replacement. In the show’s penultimate episode, titled “Blown Away,” Special Agent Jessica Knight had just finished working on a hostage situation when a bomb exploded. Her entire reaction team died, and she only survived because she had left the room. He assisted McGee, Torres and Bishop in the investigation that found his supervising agent responsible for the bomb and was well integrated with the team.

Rumors were already circulating that she could be a possible replacement for Bishop before the final, but they only grew in probability after “Rule 91”. Under the guise of working on the paperwork, Knight is still in the building and volunteers to help McGee and Torres when Bishop apparently goes insane. Again, he works very well with the team and helps determine what happened to Bishop. So it seems highly likely that Agents Knight will become a series regular in season 19.

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NCIS Knight and Torres Header

So of course the show has to end with a suspense. Since he was suspended, Gibbs has been quite busy saving Phineas, improving his house, and building his boat. She also reveals that she has no intention of returning to NCIS, so she has taken it upon herself to help Marcie, her new reporter friend. Right now, they are investigating a series of murders that the police have called off. They believe that they have discovered a serial killer and must be on the right track because, in “Rule 91”, they discover that someone is listening to their conversations and following them.

During the episode, Gibbs finishes his boat, and just in time too. He needs to go to the other side of a lake to search for a possible abandoned body, courtesy of his serial killer. So, he loads his things and embarks on the maiden voyage of the ship. Then the ship explodes, but luckily Gibbs doesn’t die. After a few seconds of floating without doing anything, it dives deep and remains hidden. He and Marcie must be close to finding their killer, if he was willing to try to kill Gibbs so blatantly.

With Bishop leaving, Agent Knight will possibly join the team and Gibbs will do his thing, NCIS it will look a little different when I return for season 19 in the fall.

NCIS stars Mark Harmon, Sean Murray, Emily Wickersham, Wilmer Valderrama, Brian Dietzen, Diona Reasonover, Rocky Carroll, David McCallum. Season 19 of NCIS will debut this fall on CBS.

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