NCIS Season 11 Spoilers: A Team Divided?

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In the aftermath of a surprising Season 10 finale, which ended with Gibbs' black ops mission and three agents resigning, we look ahead to NCIS Season 11 and what lies ahead for a team in turmoil.

Executive Producer Gary Glasberg spoke with Entertainment Weekly about a season in which he did a lot of unorthodox things, especially for a show largely considered procedural in nature.

After three episodes that felt like season-enders - Eli and Jackie's death, Tiva's car crash, Bodnar's demise - we were left with a surprising finale Tuesday and many questions for NCIS Season 11.

Excerpts from Glasberg's chat with EW below ...

Ziva With Gibbs

On how he conceptualized this story arc: "[For 10 years], Gibbs has handled things but maybe crossed some lines in the way that he handled them. And someone had to have noticed that somewhere along the way."

"There are people paying attention and what if someone - an investigator who, for his own reasons, decided that this was his opportunity, the moment to go after him and basically say, ‘You can’t keep doing this.'"

"Ziva going after Bodnar was just sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back... and, ultimately, a case linked to that head of the Navy SEAL that we were dealing with. All those threads will tie up."

"Gibbs' team resigns and puts their badges down on Vance’s desk and Morrow, along with Vance and others, come to him and say, "We can make all of this go away if you help us with this case.'"

"And, ultimately, jumping ahead four months, we don’t see who’s in that town car but we know it’s someone Fornell is protecting, and we’re left with Fornell in Gibbs’ sights."

"It was definitely a different season-ender but it’s been a very different season and in doing that, I wanted to come through with something that wasn’t what people normally would have expected."

On how we pick up next season: "In the season opener, we will see the progression of time leading up to that moment that everyone just experienced."

"In that progression, we’ll see the case that Gibbs is assigned to, the specifics of the case, how it is unfolded, who the players are, and then we get to the exact moment. It will all make sense."

On whether he knows what Tony, Ziva and Tim have been up to: "I’m starting to. There are a bunch of pieces that are floating around in my head and at some point ... I’ll figure it all out."

On McGee's girlfriend and Palmer's baby: "The lovely Delilah. That will likely pay off at some point as well. We may even meet Delilah. It depends on how much I can handle in the opening episode."

"But, yeah, there are some threads and nuggets - there’s Delilah, there’s the Palmer baby. There are all kinds of little cookies in there that hopefully people will pick up on.

On whether Ziva "friend zoned" Tony: "I don’t think so. I think there’s a little more to it than that. I think they’re sort of dancing around each other and trying to get a sense of how to move forward."

"Based on everything that’s happened in the last year ... we’re letting it slowly percolate and build and hopefully get it to a place that’s going to be satisfying for everybody."

"[The forehead kiss] might not satisfy everyone out there, but I think we’re getting there, She even reaches up with her hand and puts it very gently, and in a lovely way, on his shoulder before that."

"I think [we have] definitely advanced from where we were a year ago."

On his final word on NCIS Season 10: "This has been a really fantastic season for us. Best numbers we’ve ever had ... more viewers than we’ve ever had. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the show."

"We’ve hired a couple of new writers; we’re already working on five or six stories for next season. Everybody is energized and ready to go. We’re going to take a few days off, come back and keep going."

"The show’s in a really fantastic place and we’re constantly surprising each other about where we want to go. And as long as we keep feeling that, I don’t really see an end in sight for NCIS."

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


Remember Ziva's father betrayed her and Gibbs and Tony and McGee went in and rescued her. Ziva is a good agent and she never asked for special treatment. She had to kill her brother to save Gibbs. Ari and Eli were both dirty.


I hope Glasburg gets Team Gibbs back together.


Agree with mac, the background sound is way too loud. I have to turn the sound up very loud to hear the dialog and then when you switch to a commercial I'm blown out of the room.


Why is the background sound more loud than the dialog? The dialog is very difficult to hear over the insignificant sounds.


@ S: Sorry I read an "Asked" in there, my bad. But clearly you hate Ziva. We get it. Don't need to beat it to death.


Read again - I never said Ziva or CdP "asked" to be Gibbs go to agent. I said that after the Rivkin debacle is when the writing began to portray her as Gibbs go to, and most respected and trusted agent, as opposed to Tony who had this role prior to the Ziva damage control of S7. Gibbs left her in Israel because after lying to and betraying the team in an investigation she told him to chose her over Tony, because she evidently felt that she was the more valuable agent. Even after all of her lies. Her father charged her to finish Rivkin's mission. Apparently poor victim Ziva was supposed to get special treatment because she was the daughter of the director and not be assigned dangerous missions even if it was fine to send other Mossad agents on them. Once again - poor poor Ziva is supposed to get special treatment and is portrayed as the victim if she's actually treated like anyone else would be.


@ S continued: Too much? Probably, but blame the writers and EP's (which include MH) not he actress.


@S: What do you mean "after Ziva asked to be written as Gibbs' go-to agent"? Are you referring to Cote? How do you know what she asked for or didn't ask for in her contract negotiation? Just because the writers made her a permanent part of the team and a US citizen, which they kind of had to as the Mossad Liaison was a tenuous position and they clearly wanted to keep Cote;Just like when Parson made a point to say to Ziva that she never had to "pay" for killing Ari, and now this dialog concerning Rivkin, we must not forget that Ziva was still MOssad and an Israeli Citizen. I'm not saying anything she did was right or legal, I'm saying she probably had diplomatic immunity. Gibbs leaving her in Israel was tantamount to him telling her that she needed to get her priorities straight and work with US, not THEM. That was the worst thing he could do to her, leave her behind. And her father made her pay by sending her on a suicide mission. Too much? Probably, but blame the writers and EP's (which include MH) not the actress.


S makes some good points although we don't know how the Bodnar situation will play out. NCIS really has become overly focused on the personal dramas of either Gibbs or Ziva and the rest of the team no longer has much real importance or are particularly significant to the current Gibbs or Ziva story. It does make me sad that Tony has been paired down to a weekly humiliation scene or sometimes as the very small t in tiva. The show's focus on him is more than not, demeaning.


After Ziva came back from the Rivkin mess was when she began to be written as Gibbs go to agent, and thus began the shoehorned in dialogue about her impeccable loyalty and work ethic. Meanwhile by comparison, Tony began to be portrayed more and more as a slacker who didn't understand protocol or have much of a work ethic. This is also when super savior Ziva emerged in every fight situation while Tony was flattered with scenes like being knocked over by an airline food tray. I doubt if Gibbs was asked to choose today that he would choose Tony. Ziva had clearly betrayed and lied to everyone.
What choice did Gibbs really have? As far as Bodnar goes, I'm predicting Ziva will be portrayed as Gibbs secret confidante, the most loyal martyr, and without a doubt, have a kick butt scene where we yet again see her amazing skills. If she winds up in jail, we'll see the team feverishly working to clear their most valued agent.

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NCIS Quotes

Tony: One other question, I know you're an expert in English history. And I was just wondering, have you ever heard of Archibald Drummond, the 17th Earl of Trent?
Ducky: The Earl of Trent. No, I can't say I have. Why?
Tony: I was just wondering. Thanks.

McGee: All right. Well you should probably know that Abby and I used to date?
Bishop: Ew. Like, each other?
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: Wait - isn't that a violation of rule 12, never date a....
McGee: It was a long time ago. After we'd broken up, one night I went to her lab. Found a scribbled piece paper; a list. Potential boyfriends had to fulfill certain conditions by a pre-arranged date or else, goodbye.
Bishop: Such as.
McGee: Things started off relatively normal: opening the door for her, flowers, putting the seat down. Then around number 8, it gets uh...
Bishop: What?
McGee: Does she know you have these?
Bishop: Does she know you have these?
McGee: Yeah she wasn't happy when she found out.
Bishop: These are all very specific.
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: These ideas apply to you?
McGee: No those rules weren't in place when we were together. At least I don't think so.
Bishop: What's with the two month cutoff? Abby's sabotaging herself. I've seen stuff like this before. We have to talk to her.