Rattled and Reckless: Gibbs' Worst Moment in NCIS Season 12

Although Gibbs is usually a level-headed and reliable leader on NCIS, the season 12 premiere marks his lowest point.


Gibbs Makes a Costly Mistake in NCIS Season 12 Premiere

Seasoned viewers of NCIS know Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, as the tough but steady leader of his NCIS team. However, even Gibbs makes mistakes, and a critical one in the Season 12 premiere has lasting consequences.

A Deadly Error in Judgment

In the opening episode, "Twenty Klicks," Gibbs and McGee travel to Russia to assist NCIS agent Kevin Hussein. Unknown to them, a vengeful terrorist, Sergei Mishnev, seeks retribution for the team's takedown of Ari Haswari in a past season. Mishnev shoots down their helicopter and pursues them, injuring Kevin.

Gibbs ultimately prevails in a showdown, shooting Mishnev. But in a tragic error, he doesn't check the body before leaving the scene. This seemingly minor lapse in judgment proves fatal.


Fan Frustration and Lasting Impact

Eagle-eyed viewers immediately noticed Gibbs' mistake. On the NCIS subreddit, fans like "Northsidebill1" pointed out that taking a few seconds to confirm Mishnev's death would have been the smarter move. Others like "Artewig2" found it frustrating that Gibbs dismissed concerns about properly securing the kill.

The consequences become tragically clear later in Season 12. In "Check," Gibbs' ex-wife Diane falls victim to Mishnev's revenge. Mishnev, still alive due to Gibbs' oversight, is able to lure and kill Diane.

A Flawed but Human Leader

This incident highlights that even the stoic Gibbs is susceptible to emotions and mistakes. His impulsive attempt to rectify his error in "Check" further showcases his vulnerability. He charges at Mishnev with rage, jeopardizing himself and failing to secure justice.


As Reddit user "Artewig2" stated, Mishnev was evil, but Gibbs' actions undeniably contributed to the tragedy. This blunder adds a layer of complexity to Gibbs' character, showcasing him not just as a skilled investigator but also as a human prone to flaws.

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