'NCIS' Boss on Gibbs' Devastating Twist, Season 13's "Impending Danger"

Gary Glasberg tells THR about the final scene's "long-term effects" and reveals which familiar face is returning next season.
Sonja Flemming/CBS
A still from Tuesday's 'NCIS' finale.

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Tuesday's season 12 finale of NCIS.]

The NCIS team has suffered another stunning blow.

In the CBS procedural's season 12 finale, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) joined Tony (Michael Weatherly) and Joanna (Mimi Rogers) in Afghanistan to track down the terrorist group responsible for Ned Dorneget's (Matt Jones) recent death in a Cairo hotel blast. At the end of the episode, Gibbs was shot by Luke (Daniel Zolghadri), a boy he had befriended, and the special agent's fate remained a mystery at the close of the season.

Executive producer Gary Glasberg tells The Hollywood Reporter that the final scene was intentionally filmed in a "frenetic and chaotic manner" to leave the audience "unsettled and unsure of where we're headed" going into next season.

"Regardless of the outcome, any time that Gibbs or one of our family members is in danger or injured, it significantly affects everyone," says Glasberg. "We'll have to see the long-term effects and the psychological effects, but they'll undoubtedly, as they always are, be there for each other. Then we'll see where it takes [us] as we move forward to the coming episode." 

Glasberg explains that he and the writing staff designed this storyline to focus on what happens when women and children, who are traditionally seen as the first to be protected, are "not to be trusted." He wanted this arc to offer a unique opportunity for Gibbs "to face an adversary who, at the end of the day, is the last person in the world he wants to be fighting, which is a child."

The showrunner reveals that next season's premiere will pick up "right on the heels" of the finale and will prominently feature both Luke and agent Mike Franks (Muse Watson), who died in season eight and returned this season.

"We've got a lot of questions that need to be answered and then some impending danger that we need to deal with when we get back," says Glasberg. 

This week, CBS officially renewed NCIS for season 13, and Glasberg says that he and his writing staff remain as "anxious to come back and keep going" as ever. "When [writing the show] starts to become a significant challenge, then we have some rethinking to do — we're not there yet."

What did you think of the finale and its shocking twist? Let us know in the comments!

Email: Ryan.Gajewski@THR.com
Twitter: @_RyanGajewski

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