7 important things to remember from NCIS season 20 before you watch the new season

NCIS is finally coming back for season 21 so here's a few important bits from season 20 to remember for the new year!

NCIS Season 21 Key Art for Press Express. ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
NCIS Season 21 Key Art for Press Express. ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /
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NCIS is finally back for season 21 this week! As fans prepare for the hit show to return after a long delay, here are a few things from season 20 to remember in order to get set for the new year!

Caution: This article contains SPOILERS for NCIS season 20

A Family Matter

1. Parker had some wild times

Season 20 opened with Parker on the run after being framed for murder. He briefly thought his ex-wife Vivian (Teri Polo) was involved, but it turned out she was helping Fornell clear his name. That led to a team-up with the NCIS: Hawaii crew before Parker cleared himself. 

Parker had some other interesting turns in the season, which included briefly having his domineering dad living with him. Thankfully, the dad realized he liked his undercover stay in a retirement home so much that he decided to move out. 

A powerful episode had Parker hunting a criminal who had escaped him years earlier. His temper had him lashing out at the team. It turned out Parker was feeling guilty because when he was busting the guy years ago, he accidentally shot his own partner in the back, paralyzing him. 

There was some romance for Parker as he reconnected with an old flame on one case, while another had him getting involved with a Senator who just happened to be suspected of murder. Through it all, Parker handled himself well to spark up the show. 

Second Opinion
“Second Opinion” – NCIS works to solve the murder of a senator’s daughter who has a rebellious reputation and large online following. Also, Jimmy gets competitive with an old college rival, on the CBS Original series NCIS, Monday, May 8 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer and Katrina Law as NCIS Special Agent Jessica Knight. Photo: CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights /

2. Knight and Jimmy got closer

As season 20 went on, the relationship between Jessica Knight and Jimmy Palmer deepened. A case working alongside an old flame made Jessica realize she was better with Jimmy. A wild Thanksgiving episode had Jessica enduring a tense dinner with her sister, made worse when her sister’s boyfriend had only been dating her to get revenge on Jessica for his brother’s death. 

Jessica also got a scare when her father became ill while overseas and Jimmy helped her through it. The pair admitted they loved each other to the team, who accepted it and now they're a wonderful couple. 

Stranger in a Strange Land
“Stranger in a Strange Land” – NCIS works to solve the murder of a Marine private who appears to have been killed for helping an Afghan refugee. Also, Jimmy navigates the pressure of parenting his teenage daughter, who is eager to go out on an unchaperoned group date, on the CBS Original series NCIS, Monday, March 20 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Diona Reasonover as Forensic Scientist Kasie Hines and /

3. Kasie faced some new challenges

Kasie was able to get out of the lab to work with the team. A big move was the revelation she’d been tapped to secretly sniff out a mole in NCIS, with the team oddly impressed she’d kept her investigation of them so secret. 

Things got more serious for Kasie when she learned she may have inherited the gene for Alzheimer’s and wanted to live her life to the fullest. Yet the lab tech was still good at handling things there, even as she got a bit more field experience this season. 

Unusual Suspects
“Unusual Suspects” – NCIS investigates the death of a ride-share driver who was found after a car accident. Also, Parker’s dad, who is temporarily living with him, assists the team in their investigation, on the 450th episode of the CBS Original series NCIS, Monday, Feb. 27 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Wilmer Valderrama, Brian Dietzen, Sean Murray, Katrina Law, and Gary Cole. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS /

4. McGee adjusted to some family issues

McGee didn't have too much drama this season, aside from being briefly accused of treason during the big NCIS crossover event. It was mostly quiet plots like the realization he wasn't that popular among the dads of his kids' school. However, when Parker and Vance headed to Berlin, McGee briefly became Acting Director and seemed to enjoy it, hinting he may be considering a career shift in the future.

5. The Russian spy plot

A recurring subplot throughout the season was the team discovering a ring of Russian sleeper agents infiltrating the U.S. This played into the season finale as the team had to race to stop a deadly attack by the spies. That led to an exciting showdown to prevent a blackout in Washington D.C. and while the team stopped the attack, there was the worry there was another mastermind out there. 

Black Sky
“Black Sky” – Torres finds himself in prison as the team tries to stop an impending terror attack on U.S. soil, on the 20th season finale of the CBS Original series NCIS, Monday, May 22 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Wilmer Valderrama as Special Agent Nicholas “Nick” Torres. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

6. What is happening with Torres?

A dramatic moment in the season 20 finale was Torres going undercover in prison and befriending an inmate who claimed he was framed. When he saw the guy’s stepfather, Torres called his sister to say, “I found him.” He confronted the man, who tried to apologize for what he’d done to Torres and his family, but Torres seemed ready to kill him as the season ended. 

7. What’s coming for season 21?

The cliffhanger will be resolved with the team racing to not only stop Torres but also find out what this guy did that made the agent ready to kill him. The following episode will have the team dealing with the death of Ducky in a tribute to actor David McCallum, who passed away in September 2023. 

With just 10 episodes of action, NCIS season 21 looks ready to pack in a lot of amazing stuff to make the long wait for a new season worth it!

NCIS season 21 premieres Monday, Feb. 12 at 9/8c on CBS.

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