With NCIS (finally!) back in production, all eyes are on social media as fans try to piece together the clues to work out what could be about to happen in the first episodes back.
Joe Spano, who has popped up here and there as Fornell on the beloved CBS drama series, has seemingly confirmed his return via Twitter.
Spano shared a post about his home theater on Twitter Monday night, and at the end of the post, he wrote the following:
"And... we're back at work on NCIS."
The news was met with much praise by fans in the comments section of the tweet.
"I’m so glad to hear you are back on #NCIS! Tobias Fornell is one of my favorite characters. I’m hoping we see Emily too. I love Tobias & Jethro craziness," said one fan.
"Hooray! You are back too?? Love you on NCIS," said another fan.
While CBS has yet to officially confirm the news, it's possible that Spano was allowed to tell fans in advance.
It's unclear what could bring Tobias back into the fold, but given that the early episodes of NCIS Season 18 will take place in a pre-pandemic world, it could be tied to the "What happened to Gibbs?" storyline from NCIS Season 17.
"We had an episode last year called 'Musical Chairs,' where Gibbs disappears from the squad room to go on a mission, and then he shows up at the end of the episode with a black eye," Co-Showrunner Steve Binder explained to TVLine in a recent interview.
Fans will be getting answers to the most burning questions from that mission.
"We are going to pick up season 18 with that mission that Gibbs was on, back in time. We're in a pre-COVID world for a little while."
It would make sense to include Fornell in those episodes because it's not hard to imagine him and Gibbs working together on a top-secret mission.
The good news is that NCIS is back in production and episodes should be ready to hit the air very soon.
We know little about NCIS Season 18, but what we do know is that Maria Bello will be exiting as Jack Sloane after three-years in the role.
What do you think of Spano's NCIS comment?
Do you think his return could be linked to the Gibbs storyline?
Hit the comments below.
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.