Say what you will, “Tiva” fans, but NCIS newcomer E.J. Barrett (played by Sarah Jane Morris) is a Special Agent to be reckoned with, whether she’s butting heads with “the Great White” or asking DiNozzo to hand her a towel. E.J.’s chilly welcome won’t be warmed up much this Tuesday (at 8/7c, CBS), when her own team of agents makes camp in Gibbs’ squad room, to help out with the Port-to-Port Killer case.
Morris spoke with TVLine about E.J.’s unexpected designs on DiNozzo, why Ziva won’t ever spook the new gal, and how the P2P storyline promises to be rife with danger.
TVLINE | While watching last week’s episode, I had to wonder if maybe E.J. might want to dial it down a notch when challenging “the Great White.”
[Laughs] Yeah, I guess…. I see E.J. just trying to do her job.
TVLINE | Do you take a deep breath before having to get up in Mark Harmon’s grill for a scene?
You know, I’ve definitely got a side of me, in Sarah Jane Morris, that can deal with the men, the confrontation and all that stuff. Ask my husband!
TVLINE | Will tensions between E.J. and Gibbs continue to run hot?
There will continue to be some tension, but in this next episode Gibbs kind of accepts that [the P2P killer] is E.J.’s case — not that he’s happy about it.
TVLINE | Would you go so far as to say he comes to appreciate her skill set?
Oh, no. No, not yet. Maybe one day. I still don’t really get why no one trusts E.J., but there’s still a part of Gibbs that doesn’t like the way she does things.
TVLINE | This week her own team shows up. Tell us about Agents Gayne Levin and Simon Cade.
Well, they’re top-notch agents, played by two awesome guys — Alimi Ballard (Numb3rs) and [NFL Super Bowl champ] Matthew Willig. Visually, it’s a funny looking team — Matthew is very big, and I’m pretty small — but we’re a tight team, just as Gibbs and his team are.
TVLINE | Is there any new steaminess coming up for E.J. and Tony (Michael Weatherly)? They got off to a strong start with that shower scene in your first episode.
[Laughs] They’re still connecting, but they have to figure out how to navigate that relationship with the work relationship. I don’t think they feel the need to hide it anymore – everyone knows, pretty much! – but at the same time, Tony knows that it makes Gibbs uncomfortable. And I don’t think Ziva approves — for whatever may be her own reasons.
TVLINE | Does E.J. know or suspect that anything ever “simmered” between Tony and Ziva (Cote de Pablo)?
I don’t think that E.J. is easily intimidated by other women, so I don’t think she has any reason to suspect anything or feel insecure around Ziva.
TVLINE | Well, E.J. seems happy to have a reason to stay in town a while longer.
Yeah, I don’t think that Tony was part of her plan by any means. But she starts realizing there are things she’s missing out on in life, being the ambitious agent she is.
TVLINE | Might we learn that the Port-to-Port Killer has a personal vendetta against one of the NCIS agents?
No, I don’t think we’re going to find out that it’s personal for him…. But he’s obviously very calculated and specific with who he kills, so it will hit close to home.
TVLINE | Where is this all leading — to blood being figuratively spilled on the squad room floor?
It’s going to get pretty nasty out there. Lots of danger. Everyone’s going to start feeling the danger all around them.
TVLINE | Maybe not all of the NCIS agents now populating our screen make it out alive…?
I actually don’t know the answer to that yet, but we’re anxiously awaiting for the next script to get answers. But I really like my guys, and I like everyone in the original cast, too, so I’m hopeful [no one dies]! But you never know with NCIS. Yesterday, I showed up to shoot a scene out in the woods, and there were no other actors around. “Did they do a rewrite and I’m about to get shot in the head or something? Where is everyone?!” It’s a little nerve-wracking, because you never know who they’re going to take out!
NCIS fans, what is your latest take on Special Agent Barrett? And who do you think might be felled by the P2P Killer?