Harper Dearing may be gone, but his terrorist treachery will not soon be forgotten by Gibbs and members of his NCIS team.
In the CBS drama’s Season 10 premiere, Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) met up with Dearing for a tête-à-tête that was as intense was it was inevitable. “I knew I needed to get them alone, and I think we found an interesting way of doing it,” reflects showrunner Gary Glasberg. “If you go back and look at it, Mark only says one word in that entire scene. And you can only do something like that when you’re dealing with actors like Richard Schiff and Mark Harmon.”
Instead, Gibbs let his trusty knife do the talking, with a kill that was extremely up-close and personal — and likely expected, perhaps even counted on, by the man who wound up on the business end of it. “When Harper Dearing reached for his gun… interpret that as you will,” says Glasberg. “I think he knew exactly what was going to happen, from the minute Gibbs walked in.”
That Gibbs vanquished the Big Bad who put his “family” at risk, and that he did so in such an intimate way, will have his team keeping an eye on the boss man. Says Michael Weatherly, “The rest of us are watching Gibbs closely, throughout the whole season, because he seems to be identifying with victims and also assailants, and that is new to us.
“I think it started with Dr. Ryan (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) last year, when we were all looking at Gibbs, going, ‘What’s he doing?! You don’t get involved with a brain-gamer from the Defense Department!’” Weatherly recalls. “We thought, ‘He must be up to something.’ He wasn’t, so there’s concern for Gibbs. But I think Gibbs is doing work on himself. And Mark is such a great actor, you can really watch him plumb some new depths this year. That’s why I keep saying this is going to be the best season ever. It really feels like there’s a momentum.”
In this Tuesday’s episode (airing at 8/7c), a crisis counselor (played by Crossing Jordan‘s Steve Valentine) will take stock of the Navy yard explosion’s survivors, one of which has been plagued by nightmares. “Abby is the sensitive one — she feels the most pain and worries about everyone — so she’s really, really shaken up,” says portrayer Pauley Perrette. “There are some pretty amazing scenes between Abby and Steve Valentine’s character, where we’re trying to do the work. That also sort of leads into Abby being reunited with her brother (Daniel Louis Rivas) for some healing.”
Similarly, Perrette says that Abby’s BFF Carol (played by the actress’ own BFF, Meredith Eaton) likely will resurface this season. But in the end, those the forensic whiz can truly lean on are those she works with every day. “Of course, her family is the NCIS family,” Perrette reminds. “Everybody’s just trying to help each other out and mourn and move on.”