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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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    Last season Tony and Gibbs did not go to Ziva American Citzenship thing and these season she did not go to Mike Franks Funral does anyone thing there a reason for these

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    Cathy..agreed - Kort is a 'sneaky snake'...but I don't mind him either...he's sort of evil in a somewhat charming way..maybe? If we have to have some bad guys, it might as well be Trent Kort - plus it gives the Team (and Tony understandably) someone to snark about..I like that part too!!

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    I agree Steve sometimes those evils are necessary. I like the way that the show plays them out. I like the quality of the show and the ways the characters interact. I sort of like Kort he is a sneaky snake.

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    Heh, don't get me wrong Cathy, I make no judgements about the CIA, Millitary or other Intelligence agencies. In the end they do what they have to. It's an ugly business, but monitoring our enemies and gaining an advantage or preventing enemies from gaining an advantage on us outwieghs it. In the end it's about our own survival. "Kort" or those like him may do some questionable things, but they are necessary.

    Tiva

    editor yeah I did laugh and Tony thought he was getting spots and Ziva told it was a freckle and Tony says I never had a freckle then Ziva you always had the freckle there then he says how would you know if I had a freckle I still laugh at that part.

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    if the people of ncis wernt interesting then the best cases would be boring its gibbs team that makes this show.

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    ....and Tiva did you not just laugh out loud when Tony was checking his arm for that freckle...and he screamed at Ziva.."how would you know if I had a freckle..and by the way, I never had that freckle !!"....I laughed forever at that funny Tony....I may have to go and watch that episode now !!!!!

    Tiva

    NCIS has the one of the best characters on TV I like how Tony thought he was dying and the rat phobia in Chimera and Ziva Ghost phobia and McGee's see sickness. I like the cases when it comes to deal with the team like in Framed-up when they went to prove Tony Innocent's and in bloodbath when they went to found who almost killed Abby.

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    I agree with Editor!!! I don't care for the show solely for the cases. i liked chimera episode because of the characters reactions and interactions. And same with about any episode.

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    I too liked the Chimera show, very much and it is not far off the course of what really happens with reality in the military. Well not really the military so much as the the other powers that be cover up what they do not want us to know. My dad was CIA and there was alot that went on that the American public was not allowed to know.
    I guess that is why I am so interested in NCIS and other programs of this nature. I lived through the cold war so I remember a great deal of this garbage that the goverment tried to feed us. However, I digress, I like the Chimera episode when they change it around and get off the ship and then the ship blows up with the Russians on board. That would have pissed me off.
    I am really looking forward to next season. I hope it is as good as the past ones. I do hope that Tony and Ziva get together a litter more and Tim and Abby and I want Gibbs to have someone too, he really needs someone.