‘NCIS’ Season 20: Is Show Setting Up a Goodbye to Major Character?

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The most recent NCIS episode gave us a lot of Director Leon Vance. We know he’s got a nasty left hook, so he’d still be great as a field agent. And he has a (secret) romance with a German woman and admits he’d be happy in a more permanent relationship.

Meanwhile, Tim McGee (Sean Murray) really enjoyed his job as acting director when Vance was out of the country. Who knew that McGee would be so perfect at schmoozing politicos at all those power lunches?

Add it all up, does this mean that Rocky Carroll, who has brought Vance to life for 15 years, may be leaving NCIS, which would then elevate McGee to boss? Carroll spoke about NCIS and the Vance-centric episode with TV Insider. He doesn’t talk like he’s leaving the show anytime soon. But Monday’s episode “Guardian” certainly set up a reason for Vance to leave. It even offered his replacement.

Carroll not only acts on the show, but he also directs. Carroll said he has one episode in the can for season 20, with another two to come this season. That would give him a total of 22 for the series.

As for Vance, Carroll might like to see him take the next step with Lena Paulsen (Marem Hassler), who is a deputy with the German Federal Intelligence Service. Vance, a widower, and Lena met several years ago working a case in France. They then got together at the annual international security conferences. But Vance nearly missed this year’s conference because three men broke into his house. Vance, the former boxing champion, killed one of the men with his fists.

Vance still insisted on taking the trip to Berlin. But Parker also insisted on going on the trip to keep his boss safe. Parker figured out something was going on with Lena and Vance. But by then, someone broke into Lena’s hotel room to try and kill the German spy. It all had to do with the the young daughter of a terrorist, who died during an operation Vance and Lena led. Lena decided to raise the daughter as her own. And she stole some diamonds from the dead terrorist to give to the daughter. Vance knew nothing about the daughter (or the diamonds).

Still, he wasn’t ready to break up with Lena. Before the attacks, Vance and Lena had talked about moving in together.
“I hope we find a way to follow up on this episode,” Carroll told TV Insider. “Now that we know that Vance has a significant other or the potential for a significant other, I’d like to see where that goes.”

Meanwhile, McGee got a taste of being the boss. During the episode, he talked about how Gibbs (Mark Harmon) told him not to take a supervisory role. His reasoning? McGee and his wife have twins who are still in grade school. But maybe this is NCIS going full circle. Murray is one of the original cast members from NCIS season one. He’s morphed from “Probie” to Boss in 20 seasons, albeit temporary boss.

CBS has yet to release details on the next new episode. So we’re not sure what’s coming next. But stay tuned.

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