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NCIS Season Finale Preview: What Next?!

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After what many feel was one of the most intense, thought-provoking and dark episodes in NCIS history, it's hard to believe there's still one more left this season.

How will TV's #1 drama follow up Mike Franks' "Swan Song"?

The May 17 season finale will bring the team face-to-face with the Port-to-Port Killer at last, with significant and lasting consequences for the NCIS team.

Executive producer Gary Glasberg offered some hints at what's to come Tuesday, as well as how the controversial P2P arc came about. Excerpts below ...

Grab Your Gear

On the episode's title, “Pyramid”: "It’s a reference to where the weight and the power fall. It speaks to how decisions are made, where decisions are made, and where the threat is felt."

"It gets directly spoken to in the finale, so it will be explained."

On the finale's surprises: "Throughout the finale there are a number of “a-ha” moments. It’s very multi-layered and not only wraps up the Port-to-Port story but also a lot of other loose ends that have come up. People will hopefully be excited by it."

On the list of guest stars: "We have a lot of people coming back - Franks, Kort, Ray Cruz (Enrique Murciano). We’re putting together a really strong team of people to go after this Port-to-Port Killer, and it manifests itself in some interesting ways."

On Kerr Smith's performance as Navy Lt. Jonas Cobb: "The whole group has had a fantastic time working with him. Honestly, the emotional resonance of his performance has been wonderful, so I’m really excited to see how people react to it."

On the re-use of references and characters from years past: "That’s the [series creator Don] Bellisario Way! It’s been fascinating for me to learn that, and it presents tremendous freedom to call back to characters, things, lines of dialogue that have come up, and then build entire storylines around ancillary moments."

On crafting the serial killer arc: "In looking at the finale we had last season, and other finales the show has done, we really just wanted to present an adversary that was formidable, one we could really dig into - and yet do it in an NCIS manner."

"The challenge was doing it in a way that was commensurate with this show, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

On the final body count: "I won’t give numbers, but there is a significant loss that happens for the team – and there is probably more than one. What happened in this week’s episode and the finale will absolutely rock the world of NCIS."

"There is tremendous emotional resonance that happens from the losses they experience, and that resonance will be felt well into next season. I have no doubt."

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

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    Am an Old timer when it was NIS and my duties were all "Probie"
    Gibbs; has anyone estimated how many Marines he recruited?
    Not sure we appreciate the Bully? Got mine and helped drum many of them out of the service. Too much look the other way on dress codes.
    How about getting rid of the directors in favor of someone like Gibbs. Loosing Franks better have someone to replace the Phonies. Cut off the foot in spite of the face?

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    Well, we've already had a significant loss with the death of Mike Franks. I predict that Ducky will discover that Franks was terminally ill, anyway - he did look like death warmed over during the scenes where he was still alive. Gibbs had to have known about it, too, or at least strongly suspected, especially since he didn't say anything. I also see the death of one or more of E.J.'s team. (Why didn't they make a strategic withdrawal from the building once they learned it was a trap designed for them?!) Trent Kort is too slippery to pin down. C.I.Ray, maybe he could go down doing something heroically noble and self-sacrificing and make Ziva all sad and lonely again. (None of these people have any luck in love, after all.) The only character who *cannot possibly* die is Gibbs, as he is, quite frankly, the heart and backbone of this show. Hmmmmm......

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    im gussing Ray Trent and the new NCIS team will all go