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The Vance Plot Point That Has NCIS Fans Scratching Their Heads

"NCIS" has been on the air for a staggering 18 seasons with Season 19 confirmed to be on the way. The series has had more than a few outlandish storylines throughout its run and one recent event, in particular, proves that the show isn't likely to slow down on that front anytime soon.

The Season 18 episode "Watchdog" kicks off when the NCIS squad is called to the scene of an overturned truck that dumped a live missile onto a city street. At the scene of the crime is Lucy, a badly injured pit bull who the team manages to rescue. When they learn that Lucy is just one in a string of abused dogs that have been turning up in the area recently, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) becomes determined to track down the culprit.

When they do find the man, Gibbs beats and chokes him until the rest of his team intervenes. When word of Gibbs' actions get back to Vance (Rocky Carroll), the NCIS director has no choice but to suspend Gibbs indefinitely for his transgression.

This might not seem too confusing at first, as regardless of any personal feelings on the matter, Gibbs clearly crossed a line in assaulting the suspect. However, some fans on Reddit are confused as to why, after so many years of questionable actions, Vance is seemingly just now cracking down on Gibbs' behavior.

Fans are confused about Vance's decision making when it comes to Gibbs

In a Reddit thread simply titled "NCIS," user u/socal_guy1320 kicked off a discussion about Vance's decision by writing, "I still find it a little odd that out of everything Gibbs has done in his career ... It was Gibbs beating the crap out of a dog killer ... to get him 'suspended indefinitely'."

User u/Birchflyboy was in agreement. "It seems Vance goes all over the place with what's ok to look the other way on and what's not," they wrote. "Half the time he's 'you do what you have to' and the other half he's 'no that's wrong and you are gonna be punished'."

Several users did have two theories as to what could be at play in Vance's decision-making. The first is, as u/Birchflyboy put it, "I think this time the issue was it was made public by the guy basically screaming police brutality and getting lawyers involved." The second was pointed out by u/ChrisF1987, who brought up the recent national discussion around police brutality and speculated, "I'm wondering if current events played a role."

And while several viewers were confused as to why Gibbs got in trouble for beating an animal abuser in the first place, user u/solidcheese chimed in as the voice of reason. "Am I the only person who thinks it was wrong for Gibb's to almost beat someone to death?" they wrote. "Doesn't matter if he has a personal issue with the guy. He's supposed to be trained to make better decisions under pressure."

Here's hoping that when Gibbs returns for Season 19 he's learned his lesson.