All 20 seasons of NCIS ranked worst to best

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“Recovery” — The team is required to complete mandatory psych evaluations with a crisis counselor, and Gibbs is most concerned about Abby’s (Pauley Perrette) recurring nightmares since the bombing, on NCIS, Tuesday, Oct. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2012 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“Recovery” — The team is required to complete mandatory psych evaluations with a crisis counselor, and Gibbs is most concerned about Abby’s (Pauley Perrette) recurring nightmares since the bombing, on NCIS, Tuesday, Oct. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2012 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

#16: NCIS season 10

The lack of a major villain for the season weakened NCIS season 10 even if Palmer was promoted to series regular. It picked up from the cliffhanger of the bombing at the Naval Yard, with Ducky facing a health crisis and Palmer stepping up as his replacement. That led to a good episode with Ducky looking into a case from his past. The two-parter of  Gibbs aiding a shell-shocked veteran while the team hunted a terrorist didn’t work as well as it sounds on paper although a fun episode had Gibbs and Fornell forced to work with their mutual ex-wife on a case.

The big moment of the season was the stunning “Shabbat Shalom,” which culminated in the deaths of Ziva’s father and Vance’s wife. That put a downer on the second half of the season with a grieving Vance learning his wife had secrets and included a couple of cliche episodes (Palmer and Ducky kidnapped en route from a crime scene). There was also the odd episode of Gibbs’ barber asking him to look into a case and Tony mentoring a young agent didn’t go anywhere. The episode with McGee’s estranged father being a suspect was quite good, yet the two parter of Gibbs arrested for a coverup and the team quitting in support led to a too-tidy finale so this season doesn’t match its early promise.

#15: NCIS season 12

Without a cliffhanger to resolve, Season 12 started out boldly with Gibbs and McGee shot down in Russia. That set off the storyline of facing a Russian terrorist that would hang over the rest of the year. Jimmy became a father while Bishop accompanied Ducky to London to face his past on a case. There was a lot more action this year such as the hunt for hackers, a battle with pirates on the high seas and the hunt for a bomber which culminates in the injury putting Delilah in a wheelchair.

There’s good personal stuff of McGee handling Delilah and his dying father; Tony getting a girlfriend; Bishop and her husband; and two of Gibbs’ ex-wives coming together in the same case. However, it felt a bit too “same old, same old” without the same excitement as past seasons. The overall arc of the Calling, a mysterious terrorist group, hangs over the season and ends with Gibbs put in a shocking situation. Thus, from start to finish, there’s a lot of action, yet not as much of the lighter stuff which may throw some viewers off.