Special Agent Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano) is now missing and NCIS fans are getting nervous.
As viewers saw in the newest season 18 episode, Tobias picks up a job at a fast food restaurant to disguise his identity in attempt to track down the kingpin of an ongoing opioid trade. At the end of the episode, though, when Gibbs (Mark Harmon) goes to check in on Tobias, he learns that Tobias hasn't showed up at work in two days.
Of course, Tobias's mysterious disappearance is putting NCIS fans on edge. But what's really making them freak out is knowing that there won't be a new episode of NCIS airing tonight or throughout the rest of 2020.
When will NCIS return to CBS for the rest of season 18?
According to Newsweek, the fourth episode of NCIS season 18 is set to air on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. In other words, fans will have to patiently wait until after the holiday season has wrapped up to find out what happens to Tobias.
Naturally, fans aren't thrilled with this news, especially since the show had just returned on November 17 after the coronavirus pandemic forced the network to push back the season 18 premiere date.
"I can’t believe the show won’t be back on till January 5, 2021. How crazy is this why didn’t you just wait til January? CBS you’re [sic.] winter break is a joke," one fan tweeted. Another commented, "Something has happened to Fornell and now we have to wait til next year to find out what?! I can’t take the long wait!" "So ur just gonna leave us with that cliffhanger huh," another remarked.
Of course, it isn't unusual for NCIS and other major network shows to go on hiatus this time of year. The big difference, though, is that due to filming delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, CBS only aired three episodes before the fall finale. In recent previous years, the network has aired about nine or 10 episodes.
So, what does this mean for the rest of NCIS season 18? Unfortunately, fans are going to have to accept a shorter season all together. In late October, Deadline reported that CBS had trimmed its episode order for the 2020-2021 fall calendar from 22 episodes to 16 for NCIS. Other CBS shows like Blue Bloods, Bull, The Neighborhood, SEAL Team, and Magnum P.I. also have reduced episode orders, ranging from 16 to 18 episodes per season.
At this point, all we can hope for is that Tobias is found ASAP when NCIS returns in January and that the show writers don't introduce another painful cliffhanger in the season finale. But then again ... it is NCIS.
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