With all the success that the NCIS franchise has had over the years – regularly making the main show the most watched in America and with two successful spin-offs (NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans) – it’s easy to forget that the main NCIS show was actually a spin-off itself. The seeds were planted in a 2003 episode of the naval-based JAG which ran for ten years between 1995 and 2005 and which also had a big fanbase. JAG (the initials referring to the office of the ‘Judge Advocate General’) had started as an NBC production which cancelled the series due to low ratings, but which was then picked up by CBS where it became a success. The show would run for 227 episodes in total.
And now one of the biggest questions fans of JAG had may be about to be answered.
Despite the NCIS franchise occasionally having a familiar face or two from that show appear in guest-roles (Ensign Bud Roberts, played by Patrick Labyorteaux, is shown to have risen to the role of Captain in an episode of NCIS and John M. Jackson’s Admiral Chegwidden is seen as retired but still helping out the Los Angeles team from time to time) the show never really answered what happened to JAG‘s two main characters Captain Harmon Rabb Jnr (David James Elliott) and his partner Sarah ‘Mac’ Mackenzie (Catherine Bell). There was a developing smouldering tension between the characters later in the run but they finally gave in to their feelings and became a couple and decided to get married. As they were both career naval officers it would be a hard decision for either of them to give up their jobs, so they tossed a coin as to who would step away from their position…. however the screen faded to black before the spinning coin landed and for over a decade – despite a few hints here and there – fans have wondered about the outcome.
Now Elliott and Bell are both set to appear, reprising their characters, in the closing episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles latest season. Elliott will appear in two episodes of the current run, the first being the 12th May episode (‘The Guardian‘) and then he and Bell will both be in the 19th May finale. Despite various storylines hinting at the departure of several members of the main regular cast and some speculating the show is coming to an end, it seems likely that the current run will end on a cliffhanger with the show back for at last the 2019-2020 season (and Elliott and Bell’s return may extend into a conclusion in the opening episodes of the next run).