The Culprit Behind Gibbs' Boat Explosion Could Finally Be Revealed

The biggest bombshell on Season 18 of ‘NCIS’ was an actual bomb — but no one knows who set it off. So who blew up Gibbs’ boat on ‘NCIS’?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Sep. 20 2021, Published 8:53 p.m. ET

Gibbs' boat in 'NCIS'
Source: CBS

The end of NCIS Season 18 really takes us for a ride, and we’re sure that Season 19 will not disappoint. That is, it won’t disappoint if we learn who blew up Gibbs’ boat in the Season 18 finale. Between rumors of Mark Harmon not coming back to NCIS in Season 19 and his character’s boat getting blown up, we really have no idea what to expect.

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Basically, in the finale, despite the fact that Gibbs has been suspended, he’s still hot on the trail of an investigation. He and his reporter friend, Marcie Warren (Mark Harmon's IRL wife, Pam Dawber), are looking into a serial killer who was responsible for killing her friend. On their journey, Gibbs realizes that he’s been bugged and is being followed, but still, Marcie pushes forward.

But in the end, Gibbs tries to get away from it all on his boat that he named “Rule 91,” which means, “when you decide to walk away, don’t look back.” And then the boat explodes — making it pretty difficult for Gibbs not to look back.

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Gibbs in 'NCIS'
Source: CBS

Who blew up Gibbs’ boat on ‘NCIS’?

Well, the Season 18 finale doesn’t actually answer the question of who blows up Gibbs’ boat, so we’re left with a lot of theories and a lot of questions — which makes Season 19 of NCIS all the more exciting. Plus, if we do find out who blew up his boat off the bat, the answer could take Season 19 in any direction, including the fate of Gibbs (who for now seems to have survived).

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People have some pretty wild theories about who blew up Gibbs’ boat.

The biggest theory about who blew up Gibbs’ boat is naturally that it was the serial killer he and Marcie are after. But then why does Gibbs survive? Plus, the serial killer has a pattern and a goal, and it doesn’t seem to involve Gibbs.

The killer’s not a professional bomber, so what would he know about placing a bomb on Gibbs? Plus, this is the most predictable option which means it has to be the least likely.

Gibbs' boat in 'NCIS'
Source: CBS
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On the other hand, the culprit of the boat explosion could easily be someone from Gibbs’ past or his future. Maybe it’s someone trying to get Gibbs back in the game. Or it could be a favorite enemy from the past — Gibbs does have a lot of enemies he’s built up over the last 18 seasons, so it could be any one of them.

Gibbs' float in 'NCIS'
Source: CBS

But a favorite theory is that Gibbs himself blew up his boat. Why would he do this? Well, knowing that there’s a serial killer on his tail, the expert agent could have staged his own death. After all, the boat is blown up so perfectly that he’s definitely not dead.

Plus, his “dead man’s float” that he clearly fakes after the boat is blown up makes us think that he must have been putting on a show. Could staging his death be his way to follow “Rule 91” and not look back?

New episodes of NCIS air every Monday at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

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