Killer NCIS Preview: Season 8 Climax Will Result In 'Significant Loss'

Intense times await viewers of NCIS as the CBS hit unspools the final two hours of its eighth season. In the first episode (airing this Tuesday at 8/7c), someone with ties to Gibbs’ team becomes the latest victim of the Port-to-Port Killer – and keep in mind, both Muse Watson (aka Mike Franks) and David Dayan Fisher (as Trent Kort) are set to guest star. The May 17 season ender in turn will reveal the identity of the serial slayer, with significant and lasting consequences for the NCIS team.

Gary Glasberg, an executive producer on TV’s most watched scripted series, shared with TVLine a look at the two wild weeks to come.

TVLINE | I have to imagine it’s a recurring temptation to uncork a serial killer arc on a show such as NCIS. Why now?
In looking at the finale we had last season, and other finales the show has done, we really just wanted to present an adversary that was formidable, one we could really dig into and play with — and yet do it in an NCIS manner. The challenge was doing it in a way that was commensurate with this show, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

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TVLINE | The synopsis for the finale says the team will “come face to face with the Port-to-Port Killer.” Is it someone who has been on our screen before?
He’s been hinted at here and there… there are elements that have come up. It will be a surprise and yet a revelation for people.

TVLINE | I do know how you and [NCIS exec producer] Shane Brennan like to employ callbacks, to, like, some tiny bit of dialogue from Episode 6….
That’s the [series creator Don] Bellisario Way! It’s been fascinating for me to learn that, and it presents tremendous freedom to call back to characters, things and lines of dialogue that have come up, and then build entire storylines around ancillary moments.

TVLINE | So there will be a certain “a-ha!” moment to the reveal?
Actually, throughout the finale there are going to be a number of “a-ha” moments. It’s very multi-layered and not only wraps up the Port-to-Port story but also a lot of other loose ends that have come up. People will hopefully be excited by it.

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TVLINE | You’ve got a full house these final two weeks.
We have a lot of people coming back — Franks, Kort, Ray Cruz (played by Enrique Murciano)…. We’re putting together a really strong team of people to go after this Port-to-Port Killer, and it manifests itself in some interesting ways.

TVLINE | What can you say about the character being played by Kerr Smith (Dawson’s Creek), Navy Lieutenant Jonas Cobb?
I had never worked with Kerr before, but the whole group has had a fantastic time working with him. He really ends up playing a key role in this whole Port-to-Port case. Honestly, the emotional resonance of his performance has been wonderful, so I’m really excited to see how people react to it.

TVLINE | Explain the finale title, “Pyramid.” It doesn’t sound very ominous.
It’s a reference to where the weight and the power fall. It speaks to how decisions are made, where decisions are made, and where the threat is felt. It gets directly spoken to in the finale, so it will be explained.

TVLINE | Let’s talk raw numbers: How many will be killed by the end of finale, how many critically injured, wounded…?
I won’t give you raw numbers, but I will say there is a significant loss that happens for the team – and there is probably more than one. What happens in this week’s episode and the finale will absolutely rock the world of NCIS.

TVLINE | In lieu of raw numbers, what sort of impact will be felt? In past finales we have seen the NCIS team lose a leader, fret over Ziva’s fate, endure so many crucibles….
There is tremendous emotional resonance that happens from the losses they experience over the next two episodes — and that resonance will be felt well into next season. I have no doubt.

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  1. Trisha57 says:

    I think one of them is going to be Mike Franks. He didn’t sound very good and I think he might not have a lot of time left. He will probably be ambused by the P2P Killer. I am hoping the other one is the blonde on the other team.

  2. Han Shot First says:

    Nope, it’s Franks like I thought.

  3. Joe says:

    Called it. Franks. And I dunno if it was just me but to be honest I feel a bit underwhelmed by what happened but then again I’ve had this hunch for the last like 4 days & saw it comin’ from a mile away.

    • Kate says:

      I was too! It felt a little too much like the Sixth Sense or after Kate died and she was there talking to everyone.

  4. amy-o says:

    Just because Cote de Pablo just signed a two year contract doesn’t necessarily mean that she won’t be the one to go. I mean, Gibbs hears and sees “ghosts”, you don’t think Ziva would be a recurring character even after her death?

    I was sad to see Franks go, but it was obvious from the beginning if you paid close attention.

    I would like nothing more than to see EJ be the one that is taken out in the season finale, but that’s doubtful. She’s not a fan favorite, and definitely not the heart of NCIS.

    I don’t think CIRay will be killed off either. Ziva’s already lost one lover..I don’t see that happening again. No, it’ll be someone on Gibbs’ team. Sad, but that’s my take on it.

  5. Heather says:

    Ok i dont think Ziva is going to be killed off…they’ve already killed off 2 main girl charcters…i do think she will be badly injured before the team can get to her…and i actually would like to see her and Tony eventually end up together…they say the Heart of NCIS and that is Abby…Gibbs has says that before…although I dont think it will be her..again already killed off women…I think it should be Vance…i dont care for him and he keeps too many secrets…I want to see CIA Ray and EJ go…i dont care for them and i dont like them w/ ziva and tony…im thinkin they may kill off Mcgee which would suck but he’s really the only one left. Cant wait till next week!

    • Kate says:

      That would be pretty ballsy on the part of the writers given that in real life McGee is the show creator’s (Donald Bellasario) stepson!

  6. Edina says:

    As sad it is, I agree. It’ll be someone in Gibbs’s team. I’d like to see EJ gone but that would be the easiest step. I’m afraid -after seeing the promo for the finale – it’ll be Ziva.
    And it was pretty obvious from the beginning that it’s Mike Franks, so I paid more attention to the other details, and not guessing who it might be.

  7. Heather says:

    @Edina yea it was pretty obvious from the beginning tonite that it was going to be Franks that was killed in this episode…yea the preview does make it look like Ziva is going to be killed but I think thats what they want you to think…I believe she is just going to be injured. They’ve killed off so many women in past episodes I think its going to be a guy this time. I would prefer Vance over any of the team…I dont care for him.

    • Edina says:

      It’s true that they killed off many women in the past episodes. I do hope it’s Vance ’cause he annoys me every time I see him.
      At the end of tonights episode, they left us thinking that EJ will be the one killed off….and then promo for next week suggests otherwise…you gotta love NCIS.

  8. Jon says:

    Tejas…so wrong. Mike Franks dies in swan song and it dies rock the entire team especially Gibbs. Although we only saw flashbacks of Gibbs and Franks’ relationship it is Franks who basically turns Gibbs around and saves him. Franks, while being “only” a recurring member, has been a strong character on this show and the box he delivers to Gibbs in Swan Song is the dirt he has on Vance. Every team member from Gibbs to Ducky loved Franks. With the ending of Swan Song it better be EJ that is the second death. Cobb has the gunn to her chin and both her team are down, therefore there is no one there to save her. Vance will be forced to retire for his incompetence in handling this case. And as we saw in the preview with Tony telling Kort “I have to find Ziva” my conclusion is Tony and Gibbs save her and Tony and Ziva finnally open up RO their feelings for each other which was hinted at in Tonight’s closing.

  9. Jon says:

    Kate, don’t let the face that Timmy McGee is Bellesarios step son let you think he is safe. Bellisario has nothing to do with this show anymore and he and CBS are battling in court. As Bellesario has no control over the show and is suing CBS for other issues it wouldn’t surprise me at all if CBS told Sean he was being killed off just to get at Bellesario. I truly hope with the way they left this episode hanging that it is EJ who gets killed and Ziva just gets injured. This new team just makes the show worse.

  10. JustJeanette says:

    And now it appears we have to stomach the soap opera ending that TIVA fen have been clamouring for. Grabs a bucket. Talk about entitled; what about the rest of us who watch NCIS for something other than the Days of our drearies; Baltimore appears to have given me false hope. NCIS, the quirky TEAM based procedural dramady, died when Shane B got it into his heads that everyone loves Ziva (ZCIS:Everyone loves Ziva-hey, catchy name).
    I was, not was, looking forward to the Season Finale, but hey we did this once already with Season 6 and Ziva in peril because of her own arrogance and we doing it again so she can come back as lie some more to the team.
    Yes, we know why Fox cancelled Lie To Me; they couldn’t compete with ZIva and how she lies to the team ALL the time.

    • Edina says:

      If you hate Ziva so much, why are you still watching the show??? At first, I didn’t like her either but she grew with the team. I don’t really see TIVA happening … but if they do end up together, I hope it won’t be like HUDDY (House & Cuddy) in House because it was fun til it lasted but since the breakup the show is a mess.

  11. Gary says:

    The loss in last nights episode of retired agent Mike Franks (Muse Watson) was a great surprise and dissapointment to me. Though not a regular, his character added some bite to the episodes he was in, providing some relief from what have become “standard characters” every week. I’ll miss him. Who’s demise is next? Your guess is as good as mine!

    • jambler says:

      I just have to defend Michael Weatherly, because I think he iis the
      the most talented actor on the series and why I watch. NCIS ihas earned the best show on TV, rightly so and it is because of the acting and the way police procedural is handled. Including fucomedy and romantic relationships has NCIS breaking off new ground compared to all the CSI type of shows. Also the technical aspect is up to date and there is a lot of unpredictability. I became ricveted to the re-runs so I could get the perspective of all the storylines. MW always has stood out, even when he is just in the background. Also he happends to be one of most handsome males on TV!

  12. jj says:

    kort can’t be a cia employee if not a us citizen plain and simple.

  13. Donovan says:

    The three safe people are Gibbs, McGee, and Abby. Gibbs is obvious, and CBS would drop the show if McGee and Abby died, mainly due to the fact that almost every NCIS fan wants to see them hook-up. My guess is Tony, primarily based that they dedicated an entire episode to his history. And if Barrett died then Tony would be out for blood and get himself killed.

  14. susan says:

    Al the Ziva bashing amounts to negative feelings because she is Jewish. Her character on the show illustrates the notion of worldwide terrorism attacks. Her knowledge gives the show realism. Terrorism, spies and plots plus the mystery of serial killers makes NCIS enjoyable to watch each week. I love the writing it’s almost as good as The Sopranos. So enjoy it!!

    • Phil says:

      Duh? Ziva bashing because she’s jewish? Did anyone here aside from you mentioned she was jewish? I’ve been a fan from Season 1 and believe me, I have several reasons to despise her, but none of them include her religion.
      Like many early seasons fans, I didn’t like her at first because she had replaced Kate, who is irreplaceable. But I kept watching the show, even though it had evolved into something radically different from what it used to be in Seasons 1 & 2. And after 6 seasons with Ziva, I still don’t like her. The character really lacks credibility, she’s an arrogant butch, and every time I see her I wonder why they killed Kate off. Another thing that made me dislike her from the beginning is a large part of her fandom: all those so-called ‘NCIS fans’ who jumped in during Season 3 (or later) and didn’t know Kate, and consequently flooded the Internet with comments such as “Ziva is better than Kate” and “I love Ziva, I watch NCIS because of her”. And it keeps pouring as of today! Worse than that, there are people who totally love Ziva but hate Tony and wish his departure from the show… What the hell? You might as well kick Gibbs or Abby out!
      Getting back to the discussion about who’s gonna get killed, I don’t think it’ll be Ziva. Two weeks ago I kinda believed it’d be her, but as elaborated here by many of you, she just signed new contracts and they’ve already killed many female characters: our beloved Kate, Paula Cassidy, Director Shephard… And now that they killed Mike Franks, I honestly don’t have a clue of who’s gonna be next. Gibbs? CBS don’t want to risk worldwide riots. Abby? Same thing. Tony? Apparently many don’t like him but he’s still got too many fans (including me). McGee? That would definitely shake and shock the team for sure. Ducky too. Vance seems plausible at first glance because he is quite unpopular, but then again that’ll be too obvious so I’m not sure. My guess is that it’ll be someone secondary, such as EJ. We’ll know who was right and who was wrong in two days anyway…

  15. jun says:

    hmmm … my hunch will be Vance … like tony said … “there have been many directors”

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  17. Joanie says:

    @Arthur. Thank you for using agent Slacks “real” name!