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The Romantic Relationship NCIS Fans Wish Would've Worked Out For Gibbs

Personal relationships often take a backseat to a lot of the action on crime procedurals like CBS' long-running drama "NCIS." Most episodes follow a specific formula involving a crime or murder that needs to be solved by the hour's end, and the team sets out on their mission to bring the perpetrator to justice. It naturally doesn't leave a ton of time for romance. But even if the personal lives of characters don't often get a lot of screen time, they do help to add depth to ongoing storylines, while also bringing a sense of humanity and emotionality to the proceedings. The show benefits greatly from these hints at the life outside of the office, and the personal life of longtime leading man, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), is a favorite topic among fans of "NCIS."

Widowed after the murder of his first wife, Shannon, and divorced several times by the time the series begins, Gibbs has had flings and relationships with various women, including one that took place in the past with Jenny Shepard (Lauren Holly), the late former director of NCIS (which stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service). During the show's fourth season, he was seen to be in a relationship with Army CID agent Lt. Col. Hollis Mann, portrayed by Susanna Thompson, but their relationship ended early in Season 5 after Hollis realized Gibbs wasn't yet over the deaths of Shannon and their young daughter, Kelly.

There have been hints at relationships with other women during the show's long run, of course, some named and some never even identified. However, these relationships never last long, likely because of the grief that still lingers for Gibbs. But there is one person in particular that some fans of "NCIS" wish the character had gotten to spend more time with: Dr. Samantha Ryan.

Fans thought Gibbs and Dr. Samantha Ryan had a lot in common

Dr. Samantha Ryan, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, was a recurring character in the show's ninth season. A psychologist and criminal profiler, she first appeared in the episode "Psych Out" when a patient of a colleague was murdered and Gibbs' team was put on the case. With a young child of her own, she and Gibbs soon began a relationship. But unfortunately, just like all the others, their relationship wasn't meant to last. Dr. Ryan's last appearance came in the Season 9 finale.

"I must say, I like them," wrote Reddit user shanlordal of the coupling of Gibbs and Dr. Ryan. "I know they don't last ... but it would've been nice. They have a lot in common and I think they would've been great. Actually wish [the writers] kept them together."

"It would've been nice to see Gibbs in a proper relationship, one that doesn't end after a few episodes," they continued, noting that Gibbs and Dr. Ryan looked good together and that Gibbs' thing for redheads had been getting a bit old. "I just really wish I could've seen what they could've become."

U/Draano agreed they were a fun couple, largely because Harmon and Curtis had played a couple in the 2003 remake of "Freaky Friday." But not everyone loved Dr. Ryan. 

A Reddit user known as oylaura found the character annoying. "She was so manipulative," they wrote. "She had an answer for everything, and had to crow about it when she knew something ahead of everybody else. She did more talking than listening. I don't know how she and Gibbs could possibly have made it work for any length of time."

Meanwhile, u/ptazdba, noted that Gibbs and Dr. Ryan were both Type A personalities and that a long-term relationship probably wouldn't have worked. Still, there is something to be said about committing to a real romantic storyline for your lead, and it's a shame "NCIS" never allowed Gibbs to find love again after the death of his first wife.