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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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Ziva – CI-Ray needs to die… Kort can have him in Tel Aviv, for all we care. Face it, Ziva is HOT, and it’s time for her to hit some uncomfortable roles – Undercover as a stripper, call girl, or sent to prison that brings her some unwanted attention – Tony can even come to the rescue. After a night out with Abbey, she could wake up with a tattoo…and a call for speculation as to what might have happened between them ? Her daddy might be coming up on retirement from the Mossad – maybe even a move to the political arena or deeper into the Intelligence world, perhaps a mysterious disappearance. She needs to sharpen her super-ninja skills, and it might scare Tony and/or Gibbs as to what they see or learn.

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McGee – Time for Tim to Man-UP !! He needs to take down a bad guy with his bare hands, no-holds barred fight to the death – which would end his “Probey� days forever. He needs command experience, again – a “crewman #5� (Sorry for the Star Trek reference) to be a Probey, for a while, only to lose him/her while being somewhat in charge, AND he has to get over it. He and Abbey have a past, but they're both way past it… time to stop alluding to it.

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Gibbs – He needs a steady Red-Head relationship for a while. He may have to deal with his father’s mortality – dying or death. His character should get back into the Director defiant, gut-call dealing, Sniper, and patriarch of the team. Not so angry… just that good.

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Tony – Tony’s dad needs to have closure – Have him hit it big and be back into the money, again, AND have Tony make a choice between the easy money life, with Dad, or a glimpse into his character that has him as a law-dawg. Tony needs to think hard about having his own team, again. Tony and Ziva need to come close to “sealing the deal�, but I don’t know if the character dynamics can handle the post-bedroom fallout.

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Abbey – She needs to struggle with the changing climate within NCIS, be tempted with outside employment, or her self-image (GOTH). Possibly a brief temptation to pursue Gibbs, as a result of their long-time, close relationship – or “think� that he might see her in that light, only to realize their true friendship base is a forever thing. Get her involved in field work, out of the lab – put a gun in her hand, so she realizes her world is a nice, safe lab. Maybe have a relationship that Gibbs can give a final blessing on – after he checks the guy out…real hard.

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I think the word is out that the person in the folder that Tony sees is Cade from that other circus Team and pretty sure ej is
involved and will likely die or be hauled away in handcuffs
Don't know for sure but some of the spoilers indicate this

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Also does anybody know when season 9 is coming to the UK. I can't wait. I like a lot of other people want to see Zeva and Tony and Abbey and Tim get together but we can't have both:)

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It must be somebody very close to Tony as he gets tears in his eyes when he opens the folder.

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Would like to see about 1/3rd in Gibbs receive an envelope. Inside a letter and 4 photos. Yhey are from Jenny Shepherd. The photos, are of the 2 of them in the ?mid 90's, 2 very premmy babies in incubators, the 2 babies in aa cot dressed to go home. The letter states that Jenny knew she was pregnant and had the babies adopted. She called them, Jennifer and Jethro Shepherd. She knew who adopted them and there were photos of them growing up. 2/3rds in the series. The children get in touch with Gibbs. They are ?16/18yrs old. At the end of the series a cliff hanger are they going to live with Gibbs?

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i would like the crew to explore a relationship between Tony and Ziva,it is like, it is about to happen then it is off.

NCIS Quotes

Hey, the Opera is one of the big three!

McGee

Gibbs: Banks? Banks? Talk to me Banks.
Banks: Hannah.
Gibbs: Hannah. Where you from Hannah? What hometown?
Banks: I tried to steer clear, Gibbs. Couldn't shake it.
Gibbs: Hey you are one hell of a pilot.

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