Monday, December 22, 2014

Of Coffee, Gut Feelings and Elevators: Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs


I’m back and today I’m going to talk about Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS.

Keeping with my first post, here are some adjectives to describe Gibbs: serious, mysterious, fierce, loving, caring, haunted, and loyal.

He’s an INFJ. If you have arguments with that, tell me, but for now this is what I think. INFJs are known to be able to read people like a book and figure out the intricate workings of their minds. This is Gibbs all the way.

Gibbs is the leader of a talented team of agents at NCIS headquarters in Washington, D.C. Even though the team has said goodbye to members over the years, he never just fills a spot to fill a spot. His agents aren’t even really handpicked, he just waits till he finds the person he thinks will fit and he wants to work with. It’s a very subjective process and he doesn’t want to have to work with people that he doesn’t like.

Despite this, Gibbs isn’t wishy-washy. He has a code he lives by, a set of rules that he teaches his team to live by. Rule 12 is “Never date a coworker.” (This is one of the main reasons that Tony and Ziva never got together.) But my personal favorite is Rule 51. “Sometimes, you’re wrong.” Gibbs realizes that people make mistakes and sometimes his rules need to be ignored in order to help someone or just to do something RIGHT.

Gibbs is probably one of the most skilled crime investigators around. He’s terrific at knowing when something’s up and he’s absolutely terrifying in interrogation. He can get a suspect to confess like nobody’s business. He is a Marine after all. Rule 23 is “Never mess with a Marine’s coffee if you want to live.” And he LOVES his coffee.

Even though he’s smart and capable doesn’t mean he hasn’t experienced heartbreak and making really terrible mistakes.  In his younger years, he married the love of his life, Shannon, and they had a beautiful young daughter named Kelly. He loved them and wanted to protect them and when Gibbs wants to protect someone, you better stay out of his way.

They were murdered. Gibbs was so, so angry and he did something he will never forget. He wanted revenge and I don’t think this was the right thing to do, but I understand why. He murdered his girls’ killer. He was never formally caught and there are very few people who knew that this happened (including Abby, who actually did a forensic investigation into this case almost twenty years later). He is continually haunted by the deaths of wife and young daughter. This led him to do some stupid things like get married and divorced three times after that.

But Gibbs also has his little quirks. The man has an enormous coffee addiction and would probably mainline it if he could. He builds boats in his basement while drinking bourbon out of mason jars (Nobody has actually figured out how he gets the boats out of his basement…the mystery lives on). His “gut” is never wrong and you should always follow it at all costs. It is always right, no matter how ridiculous or improbable it may seem. ALWAYS RIGHT. He doesn't have an office, but if you need to speak to him in private, drag him to the elevator and push emergency stop. That's basically his office.

Even though he may not say it directly, he thinks of his team as his family. Tony’s been on his team the longest and he has a father/son relationship with Tony, even though they may seem like they couldn’t care less about each other. Gibbs has been there for him many times over the years (one of the most notable is when Ziva left and Tony was not doing well) and Tony thinks of him as more of a father than his actual dad (who’s kind of an idiot, abandoning him every time he really needs a dad). But Gibbs is always there for him. Ziva’s often referred to him as a father to her (her real dad trained her to be an assassin) and Abby feels that way too.

I think that Gibbs is the ultimate person to have on your side because he’s crazy loyal. He will fight for you to the end and even though he’s hard to bring out if his shell, he cares deeply about his team, his dysfunctional “family.”

He’s a hard man to understand and get to the center of, and he may seem gruff on the outside, but on the inside he’s loving and kind. He’s like a big old papa bear and you can’t help but love him.

This show is extremely close to my heart and if you’re not already a fan then I encourage you to check it out.

As Gibbs says, “Grab your gear.” We’re going on an adventure.


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