Agent's Secrets: Cold Case Threatens 'NCIS' TEAM — By Maxine Shen — New York Post
“NCIS”’ special agents have weathered some pretty tough season finales over the past seven years.
Despite these unsettling events, series star Michael Weatherly (Special Agent Tony DiNozzo) says it was only while filming this season’s finale — the show’s seventh — that he felt that something bad was on the verge of descending upon “NCIS”-land, for real.
“There’s just this increasing sense of some awful event coming, like a cloud way off in the horizon,” says Weatherly, 41.
He compares the feeling to the dread induced by that first glimpse of the monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” (For the record, Weatherly is just as much of a movie buff as his alter ego is.)
“It became a feeling on the set. . .all the characters feel their own version of that dread. It’s going to be different than any of the other season finales that have taken place,” he promises.
Tuesday night’s episode, titled “Rule Fifty-One,” sees Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) past catch up with him as he travels to Mexico to deal with the consequences of killing the man who murdered his wife and daughter 20 years ago. Forensic lab tech Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perette) matched a bullet from the crime with Gibbs’ sniper rifle.
“There’s the feeling of a horrible conspiracy. . .that the things we understood, the tenets and rules of ‘NCIS,’ are [becoming] unmoored a little bit,” Weatherly says.
Although he can’t reveal any details about the actual events in the finale, Weatherly lets slide that Tony has cause to use his passport and that, “At the end, he’s not where he promised he would be — Tony does break a promise.”
From a more philosophical standpoint, Weatherly says the finale will involve “serendipity and fate and consequences of decisions you’ve made years before. Can you ever leave the past behind?”
Fans fervently hoping that the finale will advance the will-they-won’t-they romance between Tony and ex-Mossad agent-turned-“NCIS” probie Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) — nicknamed “Tiva” — are destined to be disappointed.
Still, Weatherly says that all the questions raised in the finale will resonate with the Tiva situation. As a result, fans will be left wondering if Tony and Ziva are “star-crossed, ill-fated, inevitable or never-will-be?”
Surprisingly, deep reflections of this sort aren’t completely out of line for a character notorious for being a womanizer with a penchant for name-calling and committing juvenile pranks.
“Over the years, I’ve probably been unkind to Mr. DiNozzo,” admits the actor who recently married oncologist Bojana Jankovic. “I’ve probably characterized him as shallow, when really I think he’s a lot of fun to play, especially in those squad room scenes, where it’s Drew Carey with a gun. But, there are these other parts to him.
“He’s a lot of surface, he’s candy-coated and he keeps things very light and quick, but I love the idea that there are these deep pools of contemplation and reflection to him that he doesn’t share with anyone.”
While Tony has been known to express deeper sentiments (so long as none of his NCIS colleagues are around) — most recently while investigating the case of a missing TV news correspondent — that doesn’t mean he’s on any real path to maturity.
“You have to be careful with wanting too much change or growth in TV characters because you’re playing an archetype,” Weatherly says. After all, “Daphne is always Daphne on ‘Scooby-Doo.’ “
Tuesday, 8 p.m., CBS