Mark Harmon

After 18 years on NCIS Mark Harmon bid farewell to his iconic character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, much to the shock of fans.

In "Great Wide Open," Gibbs decided to stay in Naktok Bay, Alaska, and leave the NCIS team after finally finding peace following his family's death.

And the police procedural aired its first episode without the mainstay character on Monday night following his decision.

So, how did the show deal with his exit and what did fans think of it?

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Did They Replace Gibbs on the NCIS Team?

One big question that came up in "Face the Strange" was whether someone would take Gibbs' job on the team, namely newcomer FBI Agent Alden Parker (played by Gary Cole).

Despite being offered the position, Parker revealed to Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), Jessica Knight (Katrina Law) and Nicholas Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) in the episode that he had turned it down.

Despite his initial decision, though, Parker did go out of his way to help the team during their latest investigation.

McGee was also a character who seemed to be in a prime position for Gibbs' role, but when pressed for a reason why he didn't take the job he claimed: "I am not Gibbs."

While it seems like no one is ready to fill Gibbs' shoes just yet, the position remains open and up for grabs in future.

How Did Fans React to the Show Without Mark Harmon?

div data-bg="https://d.newsweek.com/en/full/1896538/gibbs-ncis-season-19.jpg?w=300&h=180&f=b8acb2bb4f8d80f5dabcea89de9ed01c"">>Gibbs' Rule 91 on 'NCIS' ExplainedRead more Gibbs' Rule 91 on 'NCIS' Explained

Fans were understandably beside themselves after Harmon's exit from the show following 19 seasons, and many took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the first episode without him.

While some felt the show wasn't the same without the actor, others were more accepting of his departure and welcomed Cole as his replacement.

One fan wrote: "I have to admit I was a sceptic about Gary Cole taking over Mark Harmon's job... but he's a perfect fit and I so look forward to seeing more episodes. I honestly haven't laughed and enjoyed this show so much since Abby left. Welcome to NCIS family Agent Park!"

While another added: "Don't get me wrong I love and miss Mark Harmon on @NCIS_CBS, but Gary Cole is really wonderful on the show."

One fan also said of the actor: "Gary Cole did a great job taking over for Mark Harmon. #NCIS will go on."

However not everyone was pleased by Harmon's departure, as one person wrote: "How can @NCIS_CBS be #NCIS when there's only one original character left?? I'm happy for Mark Harmon but the show is a totally different show now—they should've cancelled it and started a new show. You can't slap a new, old white guy on an old show and call it the same."

Sharing their unhappiness with Harmon's exit, another person added: "So if they replace Mark Harmon with Gary Cole on NCIS, I'm done"

I have to admit I was a sceptic about Gary Cole taking over Mark Harmon's job... but he's a perfect fit and I so look forward to seeing more episodes. I honestly haven't laughed and enjoyed this show so much since Abby left. Welcome to NCIS family Agent Park!

— MOTIONMAN (@M0710NM4N) October 19, 2021

Don't get me wrong I love and miss Mark Harmon on @NCIS_CBS, but Gary Cole is really wonderful on the show.

— brittany 💌 (@britthawkins) October 19, 2021

How can @NCIS_CBS be #NCIS when there’s only one original character left?? I’m happy for Mark Harmon but the show is a totally different show now—they should’ve cancelled it and started a new show. You can’t slap a new, old white guy on an old show and call it the same. #rantover

— TALYA (@IAMTALYA) October 19, 2021

Gary Cole did a great job taking over for Mark Harmon. #NCIS will go on.

— Cappy (@capseyes_cappy) October 19, 2021

Feels like an unpopular opinion, but I really like @garycole on #NCIS. He is really fun and brings a levity to the show. I miss @MarkHarmon, but this is good

— kentucky yaya (@robbyn_jewell) October 19, 2021

@NCIS_CBS Gary Cole's character is growing on me. I loved him in American Gothic, Good Wife, The West Wing and even Talladega Nights. Good addition but I'll always miss Mark Harmon! #NCIS

— Deb Mullis (@CarolinaDeb88) October 19, 2021

@NCIS_CBS without #markharmon #ljgibbs was like opening Reese's cups and getting all empty wrappers....it looks good but something is seriously missing... Bring in @DianeNeal give us #abigailborin someone we actually love.... pic.twitter.com/4DQruLLW2V

— Kelly Shearer (@Budkat8) October 19, 2021

OK @NCIS_CBS, you have a real winner in #GaryCole to pick up where #MarkHarmon left off.

Count Me In as a happy camper and a faithful fan of NCIS!

— Julie Barnes Weaver (@julieweaver63) October 19, 2021

So if they replace Mark Harmon with Gary Cole on NCIS, I'm done 😠

Source : https://www.newsweek.com/ncis-mark-harmon-departure-how-gibbs-exit-dealt-season-19-1640235

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