It's definitely time for Anthony DiNozzo to "Grow Up" a bit. Michael Weatherly is an excellent actor and it's about time the writers added some depth to his character.
While newer viewers might enjoy "DiNozzo" as comedy relief, most true NCIS fans, and the bulk of the audience, are seeing a talented actor dumbed down and underdeveloped. (Photo: DiNozzo posing for Abby "Requiem")
Season 4 was probably the best for the DiNozzo character when Jeanne Benoit (Scottie Thompson) was introduced as the doctor that had a serious and emotional relationship with Anthony DiNozzo (using the alias Tony DiNardo). During that relationship, Michael Weatherly was given the opportunity to play a deeper, more emotionally mature character. But, that relationship was terminated.
I'd like nothing better than to see Tony back in a relationship, with the writers expanding the DiNozzo character. Let us see the more serious, emotional side of Tony. Perhaps allow Tony to marry and have a little "DiNozzo" of his own!
At this point, fans don't expect the "Tiva" (Tony/Ziva romance) story line to go anywhere beyond flirting and friendship. So, here's a suggestion: As a background story, as in the case of Jeanne Benoit, let Tony meet a suitable partner that can become part of his life. Perhaps a woman with an NCIS office role (I believe the legal position vacated by Special Agent Michelle Lee - Liza Lapira is still available). — A dual role would make it plausible for DiNozzo's girl to be included in some of the cases, which could provide a new dynamic and fodder for creative storylines.
Finally, let the background story lead to DiNozzo getting married. Let the audience see Tony as a "reformed" player, dealing with the temptations of his youth, while not crossing the line into infidelity. Let Tony become a man that fans can look up to and appreciate as a role-model and hero, much as in the lineage of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. We know from his performance during NCIS season 4, Michael Weatherly is a superb actor and certainly able to balance playing the "class clown" with the challenge of a more serious role.
Many fans recall that years ago, when Gibbs left at the end of season 3, Tony took his place as team leader. He failed at his early attempt to emulate Gibbs' style of leadership, but quickly grew into this new role, developing his own style that included "Campfire" discussions (impromptu information-sharing meetings with chairs pulled together). During early season 4, Tony is offered his own team in Rota, Spain, but declines the invitation. Gibbs also acknowledges during this same episode that Tony is indeed ready for his own team. So, what happened?
Should Mark Harmon (Gibbs) leave the show, DiNozzo is the obvious choice to lead the team as he did during the early part of Season 4. What happens If the producers eventually decide to create another NCIS spin-off to fill the vacuum created when the original-flavor NCIS leaves the screen? DiNozzo is again the obvious choice to lead this new team and provide the character familiarity the audience needs. For that to happen, it's time to let DiNozzo grow up — and let Michael Weatherly perform the role he is ready for!
— NCISfanatic 6/1/2010
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