We’ve put the focus on a variety of different series so far in our ongoing Finale Forecast feature here at CarterMatt, but at the same exact time, we are not exactly sure any of them have anywhere close to the amount of attention on them that “NCIS” does. This is a show with a huge challenge ahead for it to resolve the story of Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo in a way that tributes the character, celebrates his legacy, and also tells a compelling narrative in the context of the show. You’re not going to please everyone, and that is something that these writers and producers should just go ahead and make themselves aware of right now.
Yet, we’ve got a few suggestions that could make the season 13 finale of the show at least as strong as possible, and something that will please the majority of fans.
What could happen – Tony will have an emotional send-off in the midst of a case about someone targeting current and former agents. We figure that there will be one or two major cameos, we’ll get a few minutes of the new potential cast members, and the show will write Tony off in a way that could make it possible for him to return in the future. There’ll probably be a little too much of other characters for Tony fans’ liking, and there may be a missing cameo or two that fans really want to see. They’re not going to be able to put everything fans want in there, and the case will probably dominate at least a good chunk of this episode. (This is how many other milestone episodes work for procedurals; we’re not trying to bash “NCIS” here for its structure.)
What should happen – If we were showrunner, the first thing that we’d probably do is give Cote de Pablo a call. If she’s interested in playing a small role, have that happen and give Tony / Ziva fans their due. Also, minimize the main case of the week to just 15-20 minutes of the episode at most, and spend most of the time on character development and goodbyes. In addition to the Cote cameo, the show really should also give you scenes with Weatherly and Sean Murray, Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette, and every other actor who has been around him for a long time. Give everyone their individual goodbye, and write Tony off in an honorable way. We’d like to imagine that the scene with Harmon and Michelle Obama supposedly filled recently involved him finding a way to give Tony some sort of honor for all of his service to the NCIS team. It can be funny at times, but we do want to get a little nostalgic along the way.