NCIS Episode 200 Explores Alt Realities: Who Comes Back? Who Is a Hellcat? Who Has a Kid?

TV’s most-watched scripted series, CBS’ NCIS, will mark its 200th episode this Tuesday at 8/7c by prompting the usually rock-solid Leroy Jethro Gibbs to second-guess past decisions and ask himself a big, “What if…?”

The catalyst for the introspection goes down in the never-before-seen diner where Gibbs grabs his morning coffee. On this fateful day, a confrontation with a gunman leads Gibbs to ponder “what the world would have been like had things [in his life] happened differently,” NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg tells TVLine. “He looks back on his time as an agent, and even prior to that.”

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With familiar faces such as Mike Franks (played by Muse Watson) presenting Gibbs with possible alternate pasts and presents, Glasberg likens the illuminating hour to “It’s a Wonderful Life, or almost A Christmas Carol.” And as alternate timelines are assayed, the blasts from the past — including but not limited to Rudolf Martin as Gibbs arch enemy Ari Haswari — will be many.

“We’re doing some really cool things, not only with people we were able to get back,but also with visual effects,” Glasberg shares. “It’s the kind of episode I hope people save to their DVR, because they’re going to want to watch it multiple times. A barrage of faces and images come at you, and very quickly.”

Series vet Michael Weatherly, who plays Agent Tony DiNozzo, attests that the landmark episode is a “head trip,” one punctuated by the aforementioned use of effects and maybe even some actual trips back in time.

“There’s a floating bullet, we have characters that get placed in sets they weren’t really in, we recreated a scene [from years ago] that was pretty intense,” he tells TVLine. “A lot of CGI stuff goes on, and it does blow your mind a bit.”

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But the actual substance within the rejiggered pasts and multiple timelines is what stands to really get fans talking.

For example, Weatherly reveals that in one timeline, “Abby and McGee have a different kind of relationship than they do now.” He also notes that in one reality, Gibbs has a different neighbor in the NCIS squad room, “So as I was watching, I went, ‘Oh, is that the guy who would have been ‘me’ if it wasn’t DiNozzo [sitting there]?'”

And because Ziva in one scenario had never been under Gibbs’ tutelage, Weatherly says, “You get a real glimpse into the hellcat she might have become without that guiding hand.”

The 'NCIS' cast and EP Gary Glasberg discuss Episode 200 at the Television Critics Association winter press tour

Making the tapestry of alt timelines even more tangled is the fact that they are separate and not necessarily connected. Meaning, “If one of the characters had a baby in one of the timelines that was of one gender, five scenes later the gender of the baby could be different,” Weatherly posits. “That’s the degree to which things have been subdivided.” He adds with a laugh, “It’s almost quantum theory!”

As for how DiNozzo himself differs in any of the timelines, his portrayer only offers up a singular word: “Married.”

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But make no mistake, this is a Gibbs-centric hour, and if what happens with the NCIS team leader can make Weatherly get misty, all bets are off.

“Without question, the most remarkable alternate timeline, truly, belongs to Gibbs,” the actor promises. “Mark Harmon does a scene in the basement that is so…. Well, I did cry several times watching this, and I did not anticipate that. ”

Weatherly calls the aggregate events of the hour “impactful,” because “you realize that after living with the characters [for so long], when you see them not behave the way you anticipate them to behave, it’s off-putting. But Gary did a great job of getting people unsettled and then raising the stakes.”

Says Glasberg in closing, “For a diehard fan, [Episode 200] will be a lot of fun. We definitely thought it through!”

For even more on Episode 200, read: NCIS Team Teases ‘What If?’ Episode No. 200: ‘It’s About a Pivotal Moment That Gibbs Faces’

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Marla says:

    Matt, excellent job with the article! I’m so excited about the NCIS 200th episode tomorrow night.
    I especially love this part: Weatherly says, “You get a real glimpse into the hellcat she might have become without that guiding hand.”
    So can’t wait to see it all play out. :)

    • Marla says:

      Oops, left part of the quote out: And because Ziva in one scenario had never been under Gibbs’ tutelage, Weatherly says, “You get a real glimpse into the hellcat she might have become without that guiding hand.”
      I love Ziva so I can’t wait to see how she’s envisioned in this scenario.
      Thanks again. :)

      • Jill says:

        I’m really looking forward to seeing Tony and Ziva in the alternate reality. Here’s hoping the old sparks are there again.

        • janeyre says:

          Remember Moonlighting? I hope Tony and Ziva never form a relationship. That would ruin the flow. Otherwise, I love this show…

    • lil says:

      So looking forward to this but I dont think that ziba would make a good hellcat seeings shes so dedecated to what she is doing

  2. Newo says:

    So glad that we get to watch this episode tonight here in Canada (9pm on Global for those Canadian fans) and don’t have to wait an extra day !

  3. Svenja says:

    OMG how am I supposed to sleep now?
    I can’t wait for this. All of this sounds so mind-blowing and awesome!!!
    Thanks for the article Matt

  4. Tay says:

    Didn’t Franks die or something?

    • Svenja says:

      He did. This whole journey is a “head trip”. It takes place in Gibbs’ mind. That’s why it’s possible to have Franks, Ari and many more

  5. Esther says:

    Yeah, but if Jenny isn’t involved (which TPTB seem to be practically boasting that she’s not), I really don’t care.

  6. Nina says:


  7. Jennifer says:

    This show is badly written and acted and it keeps getting worse!

  8. Saint Alicia says:

    So pumped for this! Just hope it delivers on the hype, what with appearances by Ari, Franks, Shannon and Kelly, maybe Kate? *fingers crossed*
    And a very special Gibbs’ basement scene? Maybe we’ll finally learn how he gets the boats out? ;)

  9. Svenja says:

    I hope Kate will appear. I am already getting my tissues out. My guess is that the “recreated scene” is the famous rooftop scene where Kate died. Just a wild guess.
    Even Michael cried during a basement scene? I will get 100 tissues. So excited. No words…

  10. Steph says:

    I have my box of tissues ready. I should get an oxygen tank too in case I start to hyperventilate. I’m so excited.

  11. AngelMoonGirl says:

    I can’t wait! This sounds really interesting. I’m most excited to see how Tony and Ziva interact having never known each other, and with very different personalities.

    • Saint Alicia says:

      Same here; it’s a shame Tony is married in this “reality” because early Tony was a horndog and early Ziva was a maneater. Would’ve made for some interesting interactions to say the least… :)

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Read story again — there are multiple alt timelines. He may only be married in one of ’em.

        • Saint Alicia says:

          So what you’re saying is my reading comprehension needs work? ಠ_ರೃ Okay! Thanks for the timelines heads up. :P

      • Mcat says:

        Yessss, early Tony/Ziva was the Tiva that I loved! If they are back to their season 3/4 selves, I will be one happy viewer. I can’t stand Tiva as it stands now, season 6 ruined them forever for me.
        But I am also secretly (or not so secretly) hoping against hope that Kate is in this episode and we get some awesome Tony/Kate scenes. I STILL SHIP THEM SO HARD. :’)

  12. Mel says:

    Thanks for this great article!! Love the way Michael Weatherly put a different spin on this ep, and now I am really excited about seeing it. Thanks for the NCIS love!

  13. Nubie says:

    Hi Matt – GREAT scoop, once again. You “TEASE”, you!! The questions you propose in your article heading are very catchy – but really can’t be answered fully until we actually get to see the ep itself.
    In the meantime, here goes:
    Question 1 – A: Well we know Franks & Ari return, but I hear the big talk is whether we’ll get to see Kate stop by for a re-visit. :)
    Question 2 – A: Ziva of course would be the obvious answer. Her life seemed soooo crazy and without direction before NCIS, I can’t even imagine what would have happend had she never crossed paths with Gibbs (or Jenny, for that matter, since she’s the one who brought Ziva to NCIS). Can’t wait to see the Ziva AU.
    Question 3 – A: Ummmm….the only comment I’m going say about THAT issue is this: At this point there’s only one character on the show who we KNOW has a kid: that would be the soon-to-appear Wendy, along with her 7 year-old son. :P

  14. Leonie1988 says:

    I’m very excited about the Ziva part. It’s gonna be great, I’m sure!

  15. Renee says:

    I’m looking forward to this.

  16. kirads09 says:

    Oh, I am so there.

  17. Amanda says:

    I’m hyperventalating, and I havn’t even read the article yet!

  18. Michael says:

    from what I seen so far of it just as long as they keep Tony away from Ziva looks to be good I also hear we get to find out the truth about why Ziva sent Ari to NCIS to kill Kate

  19. Bob L. says:

    Does anyone else have a problem with this episode being only an HOUR long? It could have been a two-hour ride, still fast-paced, with all the twists and turns left intact — just more of them. I, for one, might be left wanting at the end of 60 mins.

  20. Jill says:

    Just looking at that photo, there sure seem to be a lot of men on this show compared to the two women. Luckily for me, I love both Ziva and Abby.

  21. Chris G says:

    I love this show! I hope it has an episode 500!

  22. Gus says:

    The Tony/Ziva scene is short and Ziva is far from being a hellcat.
    She says like 5 words total. That’s it and it’s just her name. It’s lame.
    So, they must’ve cut a huge portion of it out and didn’t tell MW or he’s an idiot.

    • Danyelle says:

      What does the word “glimpse” mean in your country?

    • Pat says:

      Yeah, that ‘hellcat’ scene was a huge disappointment. And whatever happened to the chemistry between MW and CdP?

      • Allie says:

        I agree!
        1. They showed us MORE than half of it in the preview, it was like what, 28 sesconds long?
        2. Cote had like 2 scenes in the whole AU/Diner sequence. I must admit I didn’t pay much attention to the actual case.
        3. I know it wasn’t supposed to be the Tony and Ziva we know, but that was just an dissapointment to what they’ve promised! Did they cut it or something?

  23. callum says:

    Ziva is fantcsik timmy megge is jenis tony is a comedin abby is brilint at
    Finding the killer gibbs is

  24. Preston says:

    Just think if rabb & mac showed up—just think

  25. John says:

    Gibbs daughter in the basement scene?
    Given the looks on his face in any number of episodes that touched on her, well, I can easily see waterworks for viewers.

  26. Ugh! says:

    I would pay REAL MONEY if Mark Harmon would do something – ANYTHING! – with his hair. He’s 60, not 16.

  27. Aimee Hasler says:

    I think this will be a special episode i cant wait to see it

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  30. Ugh! says:

    Actually, Michael, Mark Harmon has been wearing his hair like that, or very close to that style, for many years. He just has a whole lot less of it now and it no longer “bounces and behaves” like it did in his Freddie Shoop days. Time for a change.