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NCIS Season 11 Spoilers: A Team Divided?

by at . Comments

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.

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@guest - I wonder why Ziva would invite everyone of her co workers but Tony in the first place. So everyone could snicker at the diss, or because she's such a sweetheart?

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@S
Ziva did not make a big deal about inviting people. Tony found out AFTER the dinner as it was revealed as he and Ziva were locked in the container together. She did not prance around the office and give everyone a verbal or written invitation in front of Tony. Ziva never rubbed it in his face. It inadvertently got out through their conversations and was brought up again by Abby and Gibbs in the squad room later that night. Ziva did apologize for not inviting him and took him home to make him dinner that night. So, I do not classify that as middle school behavior. But, you will see things how you want to see them. Maybe you should watch that episode again to refresh it in your mind.

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@Jean
Thank you very much! : )

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I think the writers have not done their best making characters do things that were out of place. After the shooting at Vance's all except Ziva show up at the hospital. So NOT ONE of them stayed with Ziva? Really? after her father is shot? some team. Wrong! And if Ducky was at the hospital who (secretly) picked up the Eli's body? Why was Ziva secretive to Tony about her car? It doesn't make sense. After the car accident, no verbal exchange in the car or at the hospital between Tony & Ziva or Gibbs? And all the secret looks between Tony & Ziva. If you're going to show those looks (and Gibbs "knowing" looks) it should mean something. And they have left McGee on the outside too much too. If you make the audience care about the characters you need to give them more.

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I completely agree with everything guest has said.Well done you.

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Loved your post Vickie. Wow mist - you certainly are the witty one.

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vickie go screw urself

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part 2
a school girl on speed, Vance is the stoic one and Ziva is the tough skinned assassin who is way too bitchy at times. The only one who comes across as not being totally exaggerated is Ducky. I will agree with you that the writers are relying on these extremes too much. But you can hardly say that they are only doing it to Tony. They do it to all of them. Just like you do not like them making Tony a clown, I do not like how they always represent Ziva as the ice queen. But, the writers do this for the sake of the drama and I tolerate it because I like the show. I do not blame the actors or the characters, it is strictly the writers and the executive producer who are making all the characters act like they do.

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Well, I for one do not know what my personality would be like but I assume I would have a hard time being friendly and trusting people when everyone I loved had been taken from me in a violent manner. And then there is the fact that her father has used and manipulated her for years for his own agenda. I also have never been held prisoner in a terrorist camp but I am assuming that would do a number on you. It has been implied that bad things happened to Ziva in that camp. Do I think that her behavior at times is abrasive? Yes, absolutely. I often cringe sometimes at the way she talks to people, especially Tony. But just like Tony uses humor to buffer his feelings, I think that Ziva puts up that cold wall in order to protect herself. I also realize though that the writers exaggerate all of their flaws to the extreme. Gibbs is way more harsh than he needs to be, Tony is too much of the buffoon at times, McGee is too timid and unsure, Jimmy acts like a bumbling idiot, Abby is like a school girl on speed, Vance is the stoic one and Ziva is the tough skinned assassin who is way too bitchy at times. The only one who comes across as not being totally exaggerated is Ducky. I will agree with you that the writers are relying on these extremes too much. But you can hardly say that they are only doing it to Tony. They do it to all of them. Just like you do not like them making Tony a clown, I do not like how they always represent Ziva as the ice queen. But, the writers do this for the sake of the drama and I tolerate it because I like the show. I do not blame the actors or the characters, it is strictly the writers and the executive producer who are making all the characters act like they do.

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I guess I should have been more clear. I'm talking about the bullying mean girl middle school mentality that Ziva personifies. Her interpersonal skills and general conceit resemble a nasty insecure middle school bully far more than a fully fleshed out mature woman who is in her 30s. And while Tony is silly, and used to be portrayed as a player, before the writers decided that Ziva had to be portrayed as the most desirable to all male characters, his juvenile behavior never possesses the venomous toxicity that Ziva's nastiness does.

NCIS Quotes

McGee: Rule number 70 - keep digging till you hit bottom.
Abby: McGee! There is no rule 70.
McGee: Well, I--
Abby: You just made up a rule. This McGibbs thing has really gone to your head. I don't even recognize you right now.

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.