Rocky Carroll teases the NCIS season 21 finale cliffhanger

NCIS' 1,000th episode was a wild affair but Rocky Carroll is hinting the season 21 finale may be even bigger!
Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance from the CBS Original Series NCIS, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. -- Photo: Art Streiber/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance from the CBS Original Series NCIS, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. -- Photo: Art Streiber/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

NCIS is nearing its season 21 finale, and Rocky Carroll is hinting that there will be some epic stuff with a big cliffhanger! Find out more here!

Since its long awaited return in February, NCIS has been providing a lot of drama for season 21. It opened wrapping up a cliffhanger of Torres seeking revenge on the man who ruined his family years ago. Then there was a warm tribute to Ducky (David MacCallum) passing away. The show has also provided bits like Jessica’s dad dropping by which brought up tension with her romance with Jimmy.

The series just hit a milestone with an episode that acted as the 1,000th episode of the entire NCIS franchise. It was a big one, as Vance was shot while at his wife’s grave by someone with a grudge against the agency. It was all hands on deck not only to capture his shooter but to prevent a larger attack. 

A Thousand Yards
“A Thousand Yards” – NCIS comes under attack by a mysterious enemy from the past. Also, Vance tries to mend fences with his estranged son by explaining why, despite the ongoing dangers of his job, he still chooses to stay at NCIS, on the CBS Original series NCIS, Monday, April 15 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. /

As with any NCIS season, fans expect some sort of big cliffhanger for season 21, set to air on May 6. Speaking to TV Insider, Rocky Carroll gave some hints on what it could be. That includes that Vance will be back in the office, although he is still recovering from his wounds. “I don’t want to give away too much, but he’s walking wounded, but he’s back.”

Carroll also hinted at how big the finale will be:

"I’m always amazed at how every time you think that we can’t top ourselves as far as the team getting in danger and getting in trouble, we seem to come up with something else. We won’t be trying to save Vance from a burning building. I’m not nearly in as much trouble in the season finale as I am in the 1000th episode. But there is a global threat and there is another character on the show that—things don’t go as planned and we’re not exactly sure how things are going to end for one of our characters. I’m going to leave the audience guessing as to which one, but once again, the team has to circle the wagons and rally.”"

As Carroll’s words warn, it’s not just Vance who’s having problems in the finale but other team members as well. 

What may to the rest of the team in the NCIS season 21 finale?

Carroll hinted a big turn might involve Jessica and Jimmy. The episode with her father revealed that the man had long held to “The Plan” which was Jessica eventually rising up to become NCIS Director. He felt Jimmy was a huge distraction from that and had even tried to arrange for Jessica to take over his supervisor role in Japan. 

The Plan
“The Plan” – With the help of Knight’s dad, Special Agent in Charge Feng Zhao, NCIS works to unravel the mystery of a recently used service weapon belonging to a missing agent. Also, McGee is in a tailspin when DNA results reveal a close relative he was unaware of, on the CBS Original series NCIS, Monday, March 25 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. /

Jessica seemed okay with staying in D.C., but Jimmy was wary of her career ambitions clashing with their relationship. Carroll’s words hint Jimmy may have something to worry about. 

"I also think that we’re going to touch on some of the storylines that we’ve created. Jimmy and Knight have this romance and then we introduced Agent Knight’s father, who has a very specific plan for the life of his daughter. And I think Jimmy and Knight are going to have to come to terms and make some very hard decisions about their future."

Could it be Jessica is reconsidering taking up this promotion and Jimmy thinks she’s better there than with him? It’s also likely that some sort of threat pops up that puts the team in danger. We still have plots from McGee handling being acting director to Parker's past popping up that can lead to more drama. 

Either way, Carroll’s words promise that while NCIS season 21 may have a shorter run than other seasons, it’s set to end as wildly as any other season for the hit drama. 

NCIS season 21 airs Mondays at 9/8c on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

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