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NCIS Season 9 Spoilers: E.J., Kort, Ray, Tony's "Assignment" & Much More

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The Port-to-Port Killer was finally stopped in the NCIS season finale, but the story arc didn't die with him. If anything, "Pyramid" posed more questions than it answered.

The fallout won't end with Mike Franks' swan song or the SECNAV's resignation, that's for certain. But where do the events of last night leave our team going forward?

Between the file handed to Tony, E.J.'s shady actions, rogue agent Trent Kort, and the mysterious CI-Ray and his connection to Ziva, it's hard to even know where to begin.

NCIS executive producer Gary Glasberg, who wrote the episode, discussed it in an interview today, while teasing the upcoming ninth season as well. Excerpts below:

Picking Up the Pieces

On E.J.'s next move: "She’s giving up her post in Spain and most likely taking a leave of absence, if not more than that. We’ll have to see where things end up for her."

On what E.J. removed from Gayne's body: "It’s intentionally mysterious. It’s a little microchip and will absolutely be something that will come into play next season."

On Gibbs leaving the door open for her return: "This show is good at picking up things that haven’t been touched in awhile and revisiting them when appropriate."

On Cobb's surprising surrender: "I wanted it to be very unexpected and to take [the characters] by surprise as well. There’s a nice little moment where they hesitate because they can’t even wrap their heads around the idea that he’s walked in."

"So there’s a built-in pause that happens before they reach for their weapons that was just a nice little touch that the actors decided to do that I was really happy with."

On the idea for Operation Frankenstein: "We knew that Vance was facing some significant issues after 'Enemies Foreign' and 'Enemies Domestic,' and we recognized that his relationship with the Secretary of the Navy is a complicated one."

"This was an opportunity to connect them both to an operation that they were involved with that could explain some of the layers of their relationship."

"Operation Frankenstein was a concept Vance came up with. SECNAV thought it was worth following through on. They attempted the project, and in many ways it was successful. But there was one aspect that even SECNAV lost control of."

"At the end of this episode, SECNAV recognizes the flaws, and that a lot of the weight of what happened falls on his shoulders, thus the analogy to the pyramid. And then the decision ultimately is his to do the right thing and resign."

The Director

On whether Gibbs knows it was Vance's idea: "I would imagine that Gibbs is probably privy to how a lot of this unfolded, and in some ways, that will even the playing field between Vance and Gibbs a little bit as they move into next season."

"My goal is to have the team, as well as Gibbs and Vance, really have to work together as a unit a little more in Season 9."

On bringing the team together in this year's finale: "It was a very conscious decision on our part. We thought going into the ninth season, and because it seems that audiences really respond when the group has to band together, that it would be a nice change to enter a season from that standpoint instead of breaking them up."

On the role of SECNAV next season: "He’s not an adversary, he just has a different approach to things and there’s information that he’s privy to that will drive us through a lot of Season 9. Politics and Washington are gonna play a big part in this next season. It will give us the opportunity to see another side of NCIS that we haven’t focused on as much."

On whether we've met the person Tony is "assigned" to: "Yes. And that story line will probably pick up in the season opener. That’s definitely something that will impact the team. I’m not sure yet how long it will go on, but it will definitely have ramifications that we’ll follow through for awhile."

On Gibbs' basement project: "If you go all the way back to the mid-January episode called 'Recruited,' that’s when we started to see Gibbs start to build something new in the basement. Based on the letter that Gibbs had been holding to from Franks, the suggestion is that that’s the time when Franks wrote to him and told him about his illness, and knowing it was terminal, that’s when Gibbs started to do this for his friend."

On the death of Mike: "It wasn’t an easy decision for us. We love Muse Watson, we love the character, their relationship is very special and unique."

"The interesting thing is, we were very happy with the way that 'Swan Song' came out and the use of Franks as this voice that spoke to Gibbs internally."

"The opportunity is there for that conscience or voice to return again at some point. So I won’t say that is the last time that you’re gonna see Muse Watson."

Gibbs and Franks

On Ray's text reading “Kort in Tel Aviv. Handle ASAP.”: "Well, it’s supposed to leave you thinking, not only about the relationship of Ray Cruz to his fellow CIA agent Kort and what his assignment is, but also the fact that Kort is in Israel and how that relates to Ziva and her father. That’s something we’ll definitely return to, probably not in the Season 9 premiere."

"Again, one of the highlights for me of working on this show is being able to plant new seeds and revisit them as the new season progresses."

On the McAbby moment: "They have a history together and an emotional connection, and I’m anxious to see what the new season might bring for the two of them. We’ll see as we go along and hopefully have some fun."

On Ziva and Ray: "[They are] a little open-ended at the moment. There isn’t any closure to it. We’ll have to see where it leads, but I think he was pretty clear that he has a job to do at the moment, and that’s gonna be the primary focus for him."

On Jimmy's engagement: "I have a feeling that the diehard fans are gonna really enjoy the fact that Palmer is engaged. There has never been an NCIS wedding, and that might be something fun that we can take advantage of later on."

What did you take away from last night's NCIS season finale, and how do you see these events taking shape when the show returns for Season 9? Discuss below!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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hi when are you coming back on the tv

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i can wait 4 season 9 to start i truly love NCIS every moment of it good job director,can wait to see that palmer get marriage,Dinozzo,Ziva,McGee,Miss Scuito,Doc or Doctor Donald Mallard play there roles am waiting 4 september to come

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i real mis Ncis its boring

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Bring Tonys old girlfriend Jeanna Benoit back, would be great to watch tony deal with those issues and have them work it all out! Love NCIS!

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Ok get it right Lisa smith cuz in case you didn't realize, Shepard died like 4 seasons ago and Gibbs already has a kid. But she died. As for Tony and ziva I wouldnt mind seeing them together but they would get totally burned by Gibbs for breaking rule 12 ( never date A coworker) I think they should bring back Jeanne from season 5 cuz it would be a huge obstacle for Tony to deal with and I'd really like to see them resolve the issues of the last time. Go mcabby!!

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Well Tonyandziva -Gee, I guess you put me in my place. Speaking of hating s--t, how about a real life human being who hates a total stranger for expressing a different view from his/her own? You went a little psycho there. That you state that my opinion is the result of my being jealous of made up, overdone skills of a fictional character, gives me a hint that you might be in need of a reality check. The depth of your understanding at having a civilized, intelligent disagreement may be a tad underdeveloped, as well as your ability to understand that you really can't possibly know what motivates my opinions. I just don't see UST between Tony and Ziva. I get that many fans want to see the two best looking cast members hook up. Ziva superior snarkiness towards Tony doesn't look anything like love to me.

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A for the comments of annie921 you uninteligent women hating S**t, you are compleatly missing the whole concept of Tony and Zivas relationship. Ziva is great at the role and Tony fits into that. Whats wrong with you feeling inadequate that your just not as cool or skilled as her, Idiot!!! I would love to see more of this side and think it comes across great on screen and Tony almost seems proud of Ziva. I bit more of Tony and Ziva in the positive light would be great and some sauciness behind the eyes of gibbs and the rest of the team for the audience would be great. As we all really want them to get it on. as for the rest keep it just as it is. xxxxxxxxx Love NCIS xxxxxxxx Hate annie921

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I love the show, so many twists and turns, but what i would really like to see happen is that Gibbs finds out that he has a daughter. And her mother was Jenny Shepard. That the one time they "done it" Jenny got pregnant and didn't tell him. She hid the pregnancy and birth and gave the child up. Plus, that would explain why Jenny acted ackward at times, like she was hiding something and keeping a secret. But if you do so, please have her act just like Gibbs, how he walks up in the middle of conversations and knows what people are talking about and have her shoot down Tony real hard.

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I think the show is perfect how it is. Tony and Ziva are funny and Mcgee and Abby are funny as well. Gibbs is the kind of boss I want hard but caring. The whole cast is just awesome together, they could not have pick a better crew. I hope the show contiune on. I cannot wait for the new season to begin.

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I don't mind a little UST between characters, but Ziva pretty much acts like she's better than, and doesn't respect Tony or his position as Senior Field Agent. I'd like to see the writers write the Tony/Ziva relationship in such a way that gives Tony back his skills and ability to fight, and Ziva be less disdainful of him, and not be portrayed as the only one who has fighting skills. For the last couple of years, it seems like the writers have diminished Tony and his skills in order to turn Ziva into some kind of cartoonesque wonder woman character. Enough already. I hope season 9 brings back heroic, brilliant Tony, and puts Ziva's magical abilities and superior snarkiness on the back burner.

NCIS Quotes

You know what Tony is spelled backwards? Y not? Think about it

Tony

McGee: Gibbs would never leave you out of the loop on something like this.
Tony: He didn't.
Bishop: You knew? So why bother fighting with her?
Tony: She fights back. I have a type.

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