Mark Harmon’s NCIS Prequel’s New Character Risks Ruining Gibbs’ Emotional Send-Off
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Mark Harmon’s NCIS Prequel’s New Character Risks Ruining Gibbs’ Emotional Send-Off


  • NCIS: Origins
    introduces a new character, Lala Dominguez, as a potential love interest for Young Gibbs, raising concerns about his emotional integrity.
  • The prequel series brings in more female representation and explores Gibbs’ past, but risks disrespecting his dedication to his deceased wife.
  • NCIS: Origins
    may complicate Gibbs’ storyline by hinting at a romantic relationship, which could undermine his retirement reasoning and tarnish his character.



NCIS: Origins new character risks ruining Mark Harmon’s emotional ending for Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The CBS series gave the beloved original Special Agent team leader a proper send-off when he decided to retire in Naktok Bay, Alaska. Even after two decades of Gibbs on the screen, there are still many details about his life that haven’t fully played out. This inspires the new NCIS expansion series, which would follow Gibbs during his earliest years as a member of Mike Franks’ team. Set in the ’90s, the prequel will take place years before the events of the mothership series.

The setting of NCIS: Origins calls for a brand-new ensemble to surround Gibbs. Young Franks and Vera Strickland are already confirmed to make an appearance, but based on what’s known about the character’s history, other players can pop up. That includes familiar faces like Tobias Fornell, Jenny Shepard, and even Ducky Mallard. Aside from established allies, however, the prequel will also introduce new characters, starting with NCIS: Origins introducing Lala Dominguez. Played by Mariel Molino, she is described as “a former Marine who navigates her 1990s male-dominated field with a steely resolve and a dark sense of humor.

NCIS: Origins Characters

Austin Stowell

Young Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Mariel Molino

Lala Dominguez

Mark Harmon


NCIS: Origins Gives Gibbs A Love Interest (Right After Shannon Died)

Mark Harmon as Gibbs and Gibbs' family in NCIS

Introducing an entirely new character in NCIS: Origins is unavoidable, and it does have some benefits, including allowing the writers to craft Dominguez to fit the prequel’s storyline. Seeing more female representation via the series is also a welcome development. That being said, setting her up as a potential love interest for Austin Stowell’s Young Gibbs poses some big ramifications, especially considering where NCIS: Origins lands in the timeline. For context, the series starts on the heels of Shannon’s death, Gibb’s first wife. She and their kid, Kelly were murdered by a Mexican drug lord, haunting him throughout his life.



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How NCIS: Origins Romance Ruins Gibbs’ Retirement Reasoning

NCIS paired Gibbs with several women throughout his time in the series. However, Dominguez will likely be the first time that he will be fully engaged in a romantic arc. While it’s understandable that CBS wants to further develop this part of his life, it’s a tricky plot to navigate. If NCIS: Origins makes it a proper romance, it’s disrespectful to Gibbs’ devotion to his wife. However, if they make it a casual fling, then it paints Gibbs as a villain for using her to cope with his grief. Beyond that, however, it would also ruin Gibbs’ decision to retire.

In his explanation to Tim McGee about his decision to stay in Alaska, Gibbs said that he has never felt peace since Shannon and Kelly died on his trip to Naktok Bay. Seeing him develop a romance with Dominguez would cheapen the idea, especially if NCIS: Origins wants to genuinely develop a love line between the pair. The NCIS mothership series never had this problem because, throughout Gibbs’ flirtations, he had yet to admit that he has never fully gotten over his first love.


season 21 airs every Monday, 9pm ET on CBS.

NCIS Origins Temp Logo Poster

NCIS: Origins

Set before the original entry in the long-running procedural crime-drama franchise, NCIS: Origins takes place in the 1990s and follows a younger Leroy Gibbs at the beginning of his career. The series will focus more on Gibbs’ journey to becoming the star investigator he became in the original series and his relationships with past partners and colleagues.

Mark Harmon


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