We’ve been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for NCIS' Tony and Ziva to finally take their relationship to the next level, but this week’s episode looks more promising due to, among other things, the below picture of the twosome (played by Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo) in each other’s arms.
I jumped on the phone last week with Executive Producer Gary Glasberg to find out just how close Tiva will get in "Berlin," as well how much newcomer Marina Sartis is going to mix it up with Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and how the upcoming addition of Colin Hanks is going to rock our team.
TV Fanatic: Let’s jump right to it. In the “Berlin” episode, is Ziva going to find resolution, or is this just yet another piece of the puzzle?
Gary Glasberg: It definitely adds to the clues that she’s collecting, and it’s a big part of understanding how this all comes together. In January, Eli David is killed, we stepped away for a little while and then in "Chasing Ghosts" we discovered that she’s had this private investigation going on of her own. This propels her to going with Tony on a manhunt of their own that brings them to Berlin.
The cool thing about this episode, and I’m really pleased with the way it came out, was there are story elements to what’s going on with Bodnar that are happening here in Washington. So Gibbs and McGee are focused on that and dealing with the new Mossad director, Orli Elbaz, who’s played by Marina Sirtis.
So that’s happening here, and then simultaneously you’ve got Tony and Ziva going off to follow this trail that leads them to Germany. The great thing that happens there is you’ve got this sort of backbone of this continued search and then at the same time these terrific Tony and Ziva moments that are also happening and we sort of take their friendship and their relationship to a different level. So there’s a lot going on.
TVF: So is it safe to say we’ll see Tony and Ziva go to a place they have yet to go in their relationship? Is that safe to say?
GG: By the end of the episode, yes.
TVF: Vance also lost somebody in that big January episode. Is his resolution tied in with Ziva’s or does he kind of have his own thing going on we maybe don’t know about yet?
GG: No, no, it’s all very much connected. There’s a real sort of silent understanding going on between Vance and Ziva in that he’s giving her his blessing to go out and do this. And that blessing, although sort of private and between them, will ultimately come back to haunt him in a way because sending Ziva David off to basically take care of business can open everyone up to ramifications that come later. So, no, he’s a big part of this, and although he can’t run off and do the manhunt himself, he’s absolutely sort of there and involved.
TVF: Is all that going to basically be leading into Colin Hanks character who is coming soon?
GG: It all connects, and yeah. Standard procedure, in the real world, too, is that anytime that you’ve got a case like this is you’re going to have an internal investigation that goes on from the Inspector General’s office. Colin Hanks plays a character named Richard Parsons, who is an independent investigator who’s brought in to sort of dot the i’s and cross the t’s, and of course, that turns into more as well.
TVF: You’ve called him a pit bull in other interviews so it made me wonder is he somebody we should trust or is he possibly a nemesis to these guys?
GG: That’s the fun of Colin Hanks. Part of why I was so excited about it, in casting him, is behind those boyish looks and that smile is someone who’s smart and manipulative and a go-getter and interested in things for his own reasons as well. So I would say, as we move forward, people have to really kind of look for what he’s after as well.
TVF: Talk to me about Marina Sirtis a little bit and of her character coming in.
GG: She plays a big part in this episode, in the "Berlin" episode. In the real world, there’s never been a female director of Mossad, so Marina stepped in and totally brought it to life. She’s strong and determined and focused, and I kind of love it. You can imagine who she was in her younger years and who she is now and she really stepped in here and the cast embraced her and her character works really well. I look forward to seeing where she goes, hopefully bringing her back at some point next season as well.
In this episode, in addition to everything else, at the end, there’s sort of a revelation that happens as to what her connection is to Ziva and that there’s more to their relationship than just sort of animosity and there’s a lot going on. She was terrific.
TVF: She’s dealing with Gibbs a lot in “Berlin.” How does that go?
GG: There’s a lot of complexity that’s going on. They’re both playing kind of political dances, and it’s a lot of fun. He is both intrigued and sort of wary of her simultaneously. So both those themes came out very well.
TVF: Is there a potential for romance there? Gibbs has been kind of lonely for a while…
GG: No, no, that’s not really what we were going after or what it’s about. But you can’t pull the wool over Gibbs' eyes so he recognizes who she is and what she tries to do and how she tries to manipulate things and he’s up for the game, up for the challenge.
TVF: Watching the "Chasing Ghosts" episode, I felt like maybe we were leading up to the finale where our team could be disbanded for what they’ve done. Am I reading into that correctly?
GG: That’s very perceptive of you, Jim. It’s one aspect of it. The big question that comes up is, and this is sort of what you’re alluding to, is not only with this case, but with multiple cases over the years, and a long career of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, boundaries are pushed, lines are crossed, people are watching. He’s got a whole Defense Department behind him that, in theory, people are sort of keeping an eye on things. At some point, that catches up to you and is this case the one that sort of pushes it over the edge?
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.