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.
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.
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.