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NCIS season 18: Real reason Gibbs shot McGee exposed in Fornell drugs ring twist

When the 18th season of NCIS kicked off on CBS way back in November, it’s fair to say it did so with a bang. While much of the season so far has transported views back in time, the premiere opened with a sniper rifle-wielding Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) shooting and successfully hitting colleague Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) – although exactly why remained a complete mystery. However, thanks to the most recent episode, NCIS fans finally got their answer.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from NCIS season 18.

It turns out the reason why Gibbs had to take such drastic action against his colleague and friend stemmed from the ongoing mission between Gibbs and Fornell (Joe Spano) to bring down an elusive drugs ring.

While the first episode of Sunday’s double-bill saw McGee and wife Delilah (Margo Harshman) soak up the sun in the Bahamas, the second instalment finally provided the answers.

The episode kicked off with Gibbs readying himself to investigate the drugs ring and its deadly yet mysterious leader Merriweather – although Vance (Rocky Carroll) threw a spanner in the works by suggesting the DEA would be taking over.

In a moment of desperation to keep their hopes of bringing down the criminal enterprise alive, Gibbs made haste to the airport where he spotted Merriweather’s plane.

READ MORE: NCIS star Wilmer Valderrama admits he was set on fire in daring stunt

But none other than Fornell emerged from the aircraft, leading to a slightly comical fight exchange between Gibbs and his pal before finding out what Fornell was doing there in the first place.

Fornell had gathered intel on the drugs ring and that a major new shipment was inbound – although this one could’ve led to catastrophic consequences as the basis of a terrorist attack following a warning from Vance.

Putting two and two together, Fornell and Gibbs worked out the new opioids were planned to circulate around the military bases via a nearby burger chain, which would result in the death of thousands.

Fornell had been posing as an employee at the burger chain and discovered his boss Chad had a rather shifty and criminal side to him.

Gibbs roped McGee into the plan but was unable to inform of the new intel that the plane Merriweather and Bishop were presumed to be on was rigged to explode.

Therefore, as McGee approached the plane in the hopes of saving Bishop from it, Gibbs had no other choice but to shoot him in order to stop him from becoming embroiled in the explosion.

McGee was shot in the arm and leg and could only watch as the plane he was approaching became an inferno following the explosion.

Luckily, Bishop wasn’t on board and instead emerged from a nearby hangar where she shared an emotional embrace from Torres.

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