To quote Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Tonight, NCIS proves that adage is true.
The departure of Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo and the reported death of Ziva David certainly left two vacant spaces in the NCIS chocolate box, but that box of goodness is not empty by any means.
As McGee (Sean Murray) adjusts to his new role as senior agent in the bullpen, he also has to adjust to Tony’s old desk where everything is arranged in reverse (no doubt complicated because McGee is left-handed).
Bishop (Emily Wickersham) returns from Scotland, where she spent time hiking with MI-6 agent, Clayton Reeves. Duane Henry, who guest-starred as Reeves at the end of last season, graduates to series regular this year as “agent-on-loan” from British Intelligence.
Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has rejected eight new probies in the past three months. Frustrated with Gibbs’s rejection of her recruits, NCIS Special Agent. Alexandra “Alex” Quinn (new cast member, Jennifer Esposito of BLUE BLOODS), shows up at NCIS, asking why Gibbs is rejecting the agents that she has been training.
Considering that Gibbs and Quinn know each other, the fact that she sent him a probie who has mandatory nap breaks suggests that she still has a lot to learn about the team’s “Fearless Leader.”
To that end, Gibbs invites Quinn to shadow the team to determine what he needs. A special agent before becoming an instructor at FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center), Gibbs is aware of an incident in Quinn’s past that motivated her to leave field work to become an instructor.
Spending time in the field with Gibbs and Company may spark a desire in Quinn to return to investigation and fill the team vacancy with a sharp, experienced member.
Quinn also has ties to this season’s other new cast member, Nicholas “Nick” Torres (Wilmer Valderrama of THAT’S ‘70S SHOW). Torres has been deep undercover for eight years…so long that he has been forgotten by many agents and presumed dead by others.
Described as charismatic, unpredictable and an agent who sometimes blurs the line between protocol and practicality, Torres is forced to return to D.C. when his cover is blown.
Known for pushing the envelope, Torres has a dark past, honed skills and a connection to tonight’s case, which involves a car explosion and a link to Torres’s former post in Argentina.
Valderrama, a sitcom vet, may bring his own brand of comic timing to the team, but a situation set up last season certainly will provide an opportunity to “show me the funny.” Recurring guest star, Joe Spano, as FBI Special Agent Tobias Fornell, will spend some time as Gibbs’ roommate as he recovers from his injuries. The dynamic between the two men turns a slightly raised eyebrow into hysterical laughter.
Guest star Patrick Labyorteaux returns as JAG Navy Captain Bud Roberts, Jr. (JAG is the Belisarius series which spun off NCIS’s pilot.) Other guest stars on tonight’s episode, “Rogue,” include Sol Rodriquez, Juan Carlos Cantu, Nicholas Gonzalez, Shaw Jones, Ciara Bravo, Gina Gallego, Brian Michael Jones, Pilar Holland, Bayardo De Murguia, Joshua Elijah Reese and Samantha Cutaran. “Rogue” was written by Gary Glasberg and Jennifer Corbett and directed by Tony Wharmby. NCIS also stars Pauley Perrette, Brian Dietzen and Rocky Carroll.
With its consistently excellent cast and crew and its fabulous new additions, the NCIS box of chocolates promises to be different this season, but no less sweet.