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3 Big Reasons Why NCIS: Sydney Should Be Renewed, Despite The Prequel Origins Coming Up

 Olivia Swann, Todd Lasance and Sean Sagar with guns drawn in NCIS: Sydney.
Olivia Swann, Todd Lasance and Sean Sagar with guns drawn in NCIS: Sydney.

Because the writers and actors strikes ground the American film and TV industry to a halt for a large chunk of 2023, fans of the NCIS franchise have had to wait longer for the new seasons of both the flagship show and Hawai’i to arrive. However, they haven’t been without NCIS content altogether, as NCIS: Sydney, the franchise’s first show set outside of the United States, premiered to CBS viewers and Paramount+ subscribers on November 14, 2024, and recently wrapped its eight-episode first season on the 2024 TV schedule. What’s unclear, however, is whether the Australia-set procedural will continue into Season 2.

As someone who’s followed the main NCIS show for over 15 years, but, until recently, didn’t bother with any of the other spinoffs aside from watching the first three seasons of Los Angeles, NCIS: Sydney has made for a fun watch and a pleasant alternative to the usual genre fare I take in. And granted, I am also excited by the news that NCIS: Origins, a prequel show about Leroy Jethro Gibbs, is on the way, but I hope this doesn’t prevent Sydney from returning for a second season. There are specifically three reasons on my mind regarding why this NCIS spinoff should be renewed.

Olivia Swann, Todd Lasance and Mavournee Hazel in NCIS: Sydney
Olivia Swann, Todd Lasance and Mavournee Hazel in NCIS: Sydney

That Cliffhanger Ending Needs To Be Resolved

NCIS: Sydney’s pilot, “Gone Fission,” saw the mysterious blonde woman who was involved with the havoc wreaked during the episode escaping from authorities, but she resurfaced in Season 1’s penultimate episode, “Bunker Down,” as the culprit behind the locked bunker that nearly killed everyone inside with the dwindling oxygen supply. Mackey and her team managed to apprehend this woman before she escaped with the GaiaMetric tech while disguised as a pregnant woman, and in the season finale, “Blonde Ambition,” we came to know her as Ana Niemus, which was obviously an alias.

However, it wasn’t Ana who was causing the most trouble in “Blonde Ambition,” but rather her partner, an Easter European lowlife who disguised himself as a birthday clown, kidnapped JD’s son and demanded a prisoner exchange: the boy for Ana. To make a long story short, the kidnapper went back on his deal and intended to execute both JD and his son, but Ana shot him in the head first, having been tricked into believing her partner only wanted her back to kill her. Even upon realizing she’d been had, Ana left JD the dead man’s phone, suggested he “phone a friend” and fled the scene. When JD called the only saved number on the phone, it reached Colonel Rankin, leading Mackey and the others (who’d been watching JD using state-of-the-art government surveillance) to realize that Rankin was in cahoots with Ana’s now-deceased ex-partner.

Rankin, played by Lewis Fitz-Gerald, popped in and out through NCIS: Sydney Season 1 as a shady government figure who Mackey wisely distrusted. While it seemed like the two had finally reached common ground in the finale when Rankin was willing to aid in safely retrieving JD’s son since he had two children of his own back in the States, this shocking reveal places him back at square one. A cliffhanger like this deserves to be followed up on; is Rankin truly corrupt, or was he in contact with the Eastern European man as some part of deep cover sting operation? Is Rankin working alone or are there others in either the United States or Australian governments who are allied with him on this? I need answers!

NCIS: Sydney main cast gathered around celebratory cake
NCIS: Sydney main cast gathered around celebratory cake

We Need More Of This Fun Team Dynamic

While the main draw of a procedural is to watch the starring characters solve crimes and stop bad guys, if you’re like me, you’re also drawn to their dynamics with one another. If it doesn’t feel like there’s any chemistry between the leads, then I’m less inclined to watch. That’s thankfully not an issue with the NCIS: Sydney cast.

Granted, this team is a long ways off from having the kind of found family vibe that’s present in NCIS, but these relationships have blossomed quite nicely over the course of eight episodes. Mackey and JD made effective co-leaders while maintaining a friendly rivalry, the back-and-forth between DeShawn and Evie is delightful to take in, and it’s always welcome when we can check in on Blue and Rosie since they’re not out in the field like the rest of the characters. All six are pretty tight-knit after such a short time together, as evidenced by the end of “Brothers in Arms,” when they gathered together to celebrate Blue staying on the team full time.

But these relationships can be fleshed out so much more, which is all the more reason for Season 2 to happen. Yes, the NCIS: Sydney protagonists are chiefly together to look into U.S. Navy-related crimes, but I welcome them becoming closer along the way. Depending on how long the show ultimately lasts, I think these characters can achieve that family with each other, resulting in us seeing them spend quite a bit of time together outside of work.

Sean Sagar and Tuuli Narkle in NCIS: Sydney
Sean Sagar and Tuuli Narkle in NCIS: Sydney

It’s Be Great To See Sydney Cross Over With Other NCIS Shows

Aside from a mention of Rocky Carroll’s Leon Vance, the NCIS director who appears on the flagship show, NCIS: Sydney hasn’t sprinkled in any ties to the wider franchise, which is fine. One shouldn’t have to be versed in years, if not decades of NCIS history to enjoy this show, and quite frankly, I think Sydney being this self-contained works for the better.

However, this is still a procedural set in a larger universe, and it’d be a shame if NCIS: Sydney didn’t get to cross over with any of the other NCIS shows at some point. Frankly, I wouldn’t necessarily want Sydney to get involved in any multi-part crossovers because of its smaller episode count per season, assuming the Season 1 length is retained. If the show manages to gets its season stretched to around 20 episode, or maybe even just 13, then we can revisit this.

For now though, I’m thinking about having a character from the other shows stop by for an episode every now and then, like how LL Cool J’s Sam Hanna will appear in NCIS: Hawai’i Season 3 following the conclusion of NCIS: Los Angeles. This allows some connective threads to be established with the rest of the NCIS universe, but still ensure that these mini-crossovers are happening to Sydney’s benefit. So if the show is renewed, I recommend the writers start searching for an NCIS alum to bring over to the Land Down Under. Hell, Olivia Swann has already suggested Katrina Law’s Jessica Knight.

Once word comes in on NCIS: Sydney’s fate one way or another, CinemaBlend will pass it along. Until then, look forward to both NCIS Season 21 and NCIS: Hawai’i premiering on Monday, February 12, and NCIS: Origins will arrive sometime during the 2024-2025 TV season.