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Michael Weatherly’s farewell as Tony DiNozzo on last night’s (May 17) season finale of “NCIS” was not what I expected.
That’s not to say it wasn’t good television. Like many of you, I wanted him to ride off into the sunset with Ziva (Côte de Pablo) and live happily ever after.
That didn’t happen. The easiest thing would have been to do that storyline. What we got was an episode that was bittersweet, yet hopeful. It’s television that wasn’t completely dark, but not reduced to a Shirley Temple movie either.
In the last two episodes, NCIS had been trying to track down rogue MI6 agents. And all that transpired came back to CIA turncoat/scumbag Trent Kort (David Dayan Fisher). People connected to NCIS or British Intelligence were being killed.
At the end of the May 10 episode, FBI special agent Fornell (Joe Spano) was seriously wounded and a TV report in the NCIS squad room shows a farm house in Israel, where Ziva might have been living at, completely in flames.
Last night, we find out that Ziva was living in the house and did not survive the attack. Weatherly’s performance at showing the anger and heartbreak of DiNozzo was his best work as the character.
But soon after, the Mossad director walks into NCIS Director Leon Vance’s office (Rocky Carroll) with a toddler. The young girl is Tony and Ziva’s daughter.
DiNozzo realizes that things have changed and that he has to be there for his daughter and that means he must leave NCIS. There are the heartfelt farewells with his friends/colleagues and with Gibbs and then he steps into the elevator for the final time.
This episode ended another strong season for a show that I was concerned with earlier. I thought it had gone stale. Things started picking back up in the second half of Season 12 and that carried into this season just completed. The character of Elle Bishop (Emily Wickersham) has now been fully developed and Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is starting to deal with issues that he has avoided before. He’s taken small steps, don’t expect him to go all sensitive on us. 🙂
Sarah Clarke (’24’) and British actor Duane Henry were cast in the final two episodes this season. Clarke plays FBI Special Agent Tess Monroe and Henry played M16 officer Clayton Reeves. They may join the cast as full-time regulars when Season 14 begins in September. I hope so. I liked what they brought to the final two episodes and I think there are plenty of storylines to come from those characters. It would be fun to watch Clarke drive Gibbs nuts and I think she could.
I gave ‘NCIS’ an A at mid-season and I see no reason to change that.