Are we to believe that Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is dead? “NCIS” wrapped up Season 12 on Tuesday night with the shooting of Gibbs in a marketplace in Iraq. First he was shot in the leg by one of the young American men recruited to be terrorists by The Calling, so it didn’t look too serious. But then, he took a second shot to the body, which could be fatal.
The shooter was Luke (Daniel Zolghadri), the teen who had stayed at Gibbs’ home after The Calling killed both of his parents. And it seemed as if the two were making a connection. The one person who questioned Luke’s motives was Joanna (Mimi Rogers), the late agent Ned Dornegett’s (Matt Jones) mother, who cautioned Gibbs that Luke was playing him. Boy was she ever right!
“The whole idea of this storyline is that Gibbs and the team find the fact that children are being used in these attacks very unsettling,” executive producer/showrunner Gary Glasberg told FOX411 in a conversation following the airing of the finale. “It changes everything that he has focused on over the years and worked towards — trusting women and children first. Then in this instance, he doesn’t know who to trust. This is difficult for him. He wants to help this boy but at the end of the day, this young man ends up being troubled to the extent that it backfires on him.”
It was obvious that Gibbs was very disturbed about the case, so much so that he began seeing dead people when Dornegett’s body arrived in Washington, D.C. On the tarmac when the body was being unloaded, Gibbs saw the ghosts of Kate (Sasha Alexander), Jenny (Lauren Holly), and Mike Franks (Muse Watkins), the latter returning for the finale.
“The incarnation of Mike is very much as Gibbbs’ conscience,” Glasberg says. “That is really what he is doing here. He is saying to Gibbs, ‘The world has changed. The landscape has changed. How much longer can you keep doing this? How much longer can you figure out who’s good and who’s bad, who’s right and who’s wrong?’ With every year that goes by, Gibbs is losing agents. In a post-9/11 world, it keeps changing and it is taking its toll. In essence, Mike is Gibbs’ own thoughts, and Gibbs looking at himself and saying, ‘Can I keep doing this?'”
In addition to the “Peter Pan” aspect of the story with episodes being named “The Lost Boys” and “Neverland,” there is also a touch of “Oliver Twist,” with The Calling leader Daniel Budd (Giles Matthey) being a bit like Fagin in his design. But the reality of the story is actually scarier, according to Glasberg, as the idea for this arc came from real-life news stories broadcasting that terrorist organizations are recruiting on the Internet.
It will be the first episode of Season 13 this fall until we find out whether or not Gibbs survives, but what Glasberg did reveal is that since DiNozzo was in contact with Daniel — the two were on the phone when the attack on Gibbs’ took place, “he will take the lead on that aspect of the case and we will see Tony DiNozzo in action. As the rest progresses, the rest of the team will work together as they do as a family and take on The Calling.”
So what’s up next on “NCIS”? We asked Glasberg for a few hints.
FOX411: What can you tease about the first episode when we come back?
Glasberg: We will pick up right where we left off for the season opener. We will wrap that storyline up early on. As I have done historically, I will probably get into six or seven episodes of more traditional storytelling and into the background of our characters and whatnot, and then figure out what’s next and launch something significant. As you know, I like to surprise people a little. As we get closer to November, we will pull the rug out from under people and try something different.
FOX411: This will be at least a 4-episode arc by the time we return next season to find out if Gibbs survives or not. “NCIS” has pretty much been episodic. Why the continuing story?
Glasberg: We are not serializing per se over the entire season, but the opportunity to take these characters that we connect with and that we feel strongly about and let people go on a little voyage with them over three or four episodes is fun. It gives the writers new opportunity, but we will continue to solve crimes episodically and do the traditional episodes that people look forward to. This was just an opportunity to do something a little different. We will probably do some more of it in the future as well.
FOX411: So what’s with the leads of both “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans” getting shot? Does what is happening on other shows affect you? Is that the temperature of TV that there has to be more danger for the leading characters?
Glasberg: No. This was a very conscious decision. Last season, we didn’t have a cliffhanger. This season I wanted to do something more significant. It was really a decision to do something big and significant with both characters and do some action. Then, we will reset at the beginning of next season. Just raising the stakes a bit. It is not so much what other people are doing or what the climate of TV is. It’s just taking it to a different place.
Gary Glasberg tells THR that this season’s last episode will find Gibbs and Tony in “some very dangerous territory.”
Ned Dorneget’s (Matt Jones) death isn’t the last of the scary moments for the team this season on NCIS.
The characters on the CBS drama suffered a tough loss when the special agent was killed in an explosion at a Cairo hotel during last week’s episode, leading to the arrival of his mother, Joanna (Mimi Rogers).
Executive producer Gary Glasberg tells The Hollywood Reporter that this “heart-wrenching” death helps propel a story arc that will continue through Tuesday’s season-12 finale and into next season.
“Gibbs (Mark Harmon) always takes a loss to his team very, very seriously,” Glasberg says. “Throughout the next episode and then the season opener as well, [the agents will] all be very focused on catching not only Dorneget’s killer but getting to the bottom of this terrorist organization and trying to put a stop to whatever they have planned.”
Glasberg reveals that the finale picks up with Ned’s mom, a CIA officer who “proves to be an important figure politically and with our group,” and then it sees Gibbs and Tony (Michael Weatherly) finding themselves in “some very dangerous territory.”
“[The finale] continues down the road, building the relationship between Gibbs and this young man Luke (Daniel Zolghadri) and then carries us all the way through to a very shocking and disturbing season-ending moment,” Glasberg says.
NCIS’ season-12 finale airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBS.
The NCIS team will deal with a tragedy before the season is out – but who’s going to die? “It’s a fan favorite, and I think it’s going to be quite a shock,” star Emily Wickersham, who plays Ellie Bishop, tells TVGuide.com. “It was a shock to me, and I think it will be a shock to the fans.”
The death occurs in the May 5 episode, “The Lost Boys,” which is the second in a three-episode arc about a terrorist organization that recruits children online. “At the end of the penultimate episode, something pretty atrocious happens and we lose someone very close to us in the process,” says showrunner Gary Glasberg, who also promises the “return of some very familiar faces that will make our fans very happy.”
Of course, he may be referring to Matt Jones, who returns as Probationary Agent Ned Dorneget for at least two of the episodes. But here’s another possibility: Could this mean the long-awaited return of Ziva David (Cote de Pablo)? And if it does, is it possible that she’ll return to the show only to – gulp – be killed off?
Both Glasberg and Wickersham confirm that the death in question is going to have a serious impact on the rest of the team. “It’s someone that we know and that we’re close to,” Glasberg says. “And that will spark the appearance of other familiar faces as well.” Adds Wickersham: “When there’s any sort of loss of a coworker or a friend or anyone that you’ve known for a while, it rattles you. It becomes a motivating thing for the team.”
Who do you think is going to die?
Emily Wickersham tells THR about Bishop’s “intense” scene with her husband, as they reach a “wobbly point” in their relationship.
Bishop (Emily Wickersham) has had a tough road of late on NCIS, and things aren’t exactly getting easier for her.
Last week on the CBS drama, the NCIS agent joined Gibbs (Mark Harmon) in Afghanistan, where she had her first kill. In Tuesday’s new episode, “Troll,” she’ll come to terms with having to tell husband Jake (Jamie Bamber) about it, which leads to a heated scene between them.
“You get a glimpse into where they’re at in their relationship, and it’s a little bit of a wobbly point,” Wickersham tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We don’t really know how things are going to be with them because I feel like all relationships on NCIS kind of end. … There’s a lot of conflict happening in their relationship.” However, she wants to reassure fans that, though their scene is “pretty intense,” the couple is “working through things.”
As the episode’s title might suggest, “Troll” revolves around a cyber mystery, with the team figuring out if a Navy ensign’s murder is due to her career or her volunteer work as a high school basketball coach.
“We’re trying to discover whether this incident that happens is just an isolated incident in D.C., or could it have worldwide implications,” Wickersham explains. “All of it is connected to this thing called ‘the calling,’ which we’ll learn much more about [this season].”
Bishop also unearths a big secret about Jake, as it is revealed that he and Gibbs have become tight. “[This is] a huge thing because Gibbs doesn’t really talk to anyone,” Wickersham says.
Bishop’s professional involvement with Gibbs has evolved as well, and Wickersham points out that the tough moments they’ve endured have brought them closer. “Their relationship, especially after going to Afghanistan, has become stronger, and not that she ever didn’t trust him, but putting her in the position that he put her to go out in the field in Afghanistan … that was a really big step for Bishop,” she says.
That said, things typically take a dramatic turn at the end of an NCIS season, and this year is no exception, as NCIS deals with a very dangerous threat. “Towards the season finale, there’s some big stuff going on that no one is that happy about because it’s scary stuff,” the actress promises.
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS. Let us know in the comments if you think Bishop and Jake will survive their rough patch.
Emily Wickersham opens our interview with a playful, clandestine whisper: “Jake and Gibbs are having a secret relationship.”
Jake (played by guest star Jamie Bamber), of course, is the husband of Wickersham’s NCIS character, probationary Special Agent Ellie Bishop. Gibbs, her boss. And Wickersham is teasing the “light runner,” as they say, in this Tuesday’s episode (CBS, 8/7c), which launches a three-part season-ending salvo.
Regarding the aforementioned bromance of sorts, which comes to light this week, the actress says, “I don’t know if Ellie knows the extent of it, but the team is very surprised, because it’s an unlikely duo.” And while mum on the exact nature of the connection, she dismisses our suggestion that they’re meeting up for mini-golf and brewskis. “I think they’re talking about more important things that no one is allowed to know about,” she teases. “It’s all very interesting….”
That mini-mystery, fascinating DiNozzo and the others as it does, is perhaps a rare bit of lightness amidst Season 12’s intense final three hours. Here, Wickersham previews the high-stakes case the NCIS team is about to tackle, the casualty it will claim, and more.
TVLINE | This week’s episode, “Troll,” kicks off a big season-ending storyline….
Yeah. Ned Dorneget — played by the wonderful Matt Jones, who I worked with for the first time — is assisting the team when an ensign who worked in Naval Intelligence is murdered. We find out that the murder is connected to an international terrorist group that is recruiting children through the Internet. So basically, through the last three episodes, we’re trying to figure out what the hell is going on.NCIS Finale Death Spoilers
TVLINE | Is there ultimately some sort of terrorist event NCIS is scrambling to thwart?
Oh yeah, a big event that I obviously can’t talk about. But these episodes bring up important things about the Internet and how accessible it is to everyone, children in particular. The Internet is a wonderful place but it has the potential to be a very scary place as well. You don’t know who your kids are talking to….
TVLINE | No, one of my 12-year-olds has an Instagram account with 17,000 followers, so I make sure to keep an eye on things.
It’s crazy, yeah. I just feel like you never know who’s behind the accounts or whatever. It’s scary. It’s scary.
TVLINE | What can you reveal about the “significant loss” that [showrunner] Gary Glasberg told me about?
Ohh, I know…. The significant loss is someone who everyone loves, I think, and it will be a very sad, shocking thing — but, at the same time, it becomes a motivator for the team, to kind of figure things out….
FOLLOWING A DEADLY BOMBING OVERSEAS, THE NCIS TEAM WORKS WITH SEVERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE CIA, TO TRACK A GLOBAL TERRORIST GROUP THAT IS RECRUITING TEENS VIA THE INTERNET, ON THE 12TH SEASON FINALE OF “NCIS,” TUESDAY, MAY 12
Mimi Rogers Guest Stars as CIA Officer Joanna Teague
“Neverland” – NCIS feverishly investigates a global terrorist group that is recruiting teens via the Internet following a deadly bombing overseas that results in an emotional and surprising loss for the team, on the 12th season finale of NCIS, Tuesday, May 12 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network. Mimi Rogers guest stars as CIA Officer Joanna Teague.
CHEAT TWEET: After a deadly bombing, #NCIS tracks a global terrorist group recruiting teens online 5/12 8pm
Question: Any tiny scoop for the last episodes of NCIS? —Ann
Ausiello: In the season’s penultimate episode, “The Lost Boys” — which airs May 5 and continues a story arc about a terrorist group that recruits young people online — one of the NCIS agents will form a special connection with a boy caught in middle of the scheme.