Here’s to new beginnings! NCIS‘ season 13 finale on Tuesday, May 13, was the last hurrah for Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), but the start of a number of plot points that will definitely be back next season! There was one huge surprise, along with plenty of smaller ones, so let’s dive right in.
No News Is Good News
The episode started with the television newscast reporting on a firebombing attack on Eli David’s safe house in Tel Aviv. As he watched the broadcast, DiNozzo quietly fingered the Star of David necklace given to him by Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) before she went back to Israel to stay at that very safe house.
Suddenly, the reporter said there had been a survivor. Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), forever a caring boss, told DiNozzo to stop standing around and get on the next plane to Israel, just in case it was Ziva.
Another person who survived a horrific attack was Special Agent Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano), who was still in the ICU and getting out very soon, according to his nurse, but had “a long road ahead” due to major nerve damage from being shot.
His daughter Emily (Juliette Angelo) was keeping watch by his bed and chatting with Gibbs like they were old friends, even though, you know, he used to be married to her mom.
Talk About Some Serious Daddy Issues
Gibbs got back to the station to find Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) asking for DiNozzo.
“I just got a call from Tel Aviv …” Vance said.
Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) and Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) rushed to DiNozzo’s house and found him packing his clothes and getting ready for his flight. Abby’s eyes were red, and she had clearly composed herself just before walking into the house. It was obvious that Ziva had died in the fire.
DiNozzo tried to return to work later but had a meltdown because he felt no one was working hard enough to catch Trent Kort (David Dylan Fisher). Gibbs intervened, sending the agent home to calm down.
Amazingly, after realizing that there was a chance Kort had never left the States, they traced the bombing to a man Kort had wired money to in Israel. The money had come from a location in Washington, D.C., meaning he had stayed behind and let someone else do his dirty work.
Know who else had dirty work to do? The Mossad leader Orli Elbaz (Marina Sirtis), who showed up at the office and tried to offer condolences to DiNozzo. The agent wasn’t interested, reminding her that she ran off with Ziva’s father and wasn’t much of a friend to Ziva while she was alive.
Giving up on the false niceties, Orli got straight to why she had come. She called for Tali to be brought in, which was confusing, since Tali was the name of Ziva’s dead sister. Orli sharply said, “Her namesake, yes.”
Into the office came a small child, no older than 3. She was Ziva’s daughter. She was DiNozzo’s daughter.
She was the survivor referred to in the newscast.
DiNozzo was shocked that he had a child, and hurt that Ziva had never told him because she had worried about overcomplicating his life. Before he could grapple with his feelings, he opened the door to find Abby, Agent Eleanor Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Dr. Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen).
“Is it true?” asked Abby. “Can we see her?”
Back in the lab later, Abby had to put her excitement aside because there was a new development. Mud from the footprint Kort left the night Tobias was shot was found to be radioactive. Suddenly, they had a lead on where he might be. After a quick chat with Jacob Scott (Vince Nappo), they learned that the Kort contact they were looking for was named Edgar, and from there they found a radiation-testing site helmed by a Dr. Edgar Polk. It was on.
Dr. Palmer was at DiNozzo’s to help him babyproof his house later on. He asked the agent if he planned to keep working at such a dangerous job now that he was a single father. DiNozzo didn’t have an answer, but it was clear he was beginning to understand his new responsibilities.
Of course, when McGee called a while later to let him know that Dr. Polk had been abducted at gunpoint and that the team was on their way to Chesapeake City to find him, Palmer’s speech didn’t stop DiNozzo from running out to join his colleagues. First, however, he gifted Ziva’s Star of David necklace to their daughter.
Kort Is Adjourned
When they arrived, Kort was dousing a house in gasoline and preparing to torch it and Dr. Polk, who was tied up on the floor. The team called the fire department, saved the scientist and then chased Kort to his car, where they surrounded him.
The disgraced former CIA member said he saw everyone except for the agent he was expecting.
“I’m here,” said DiNozzo from behind him.
Kort said that it had been “business,” and nothing personal when Ziva was killed. He hadn’t even known she was in the farmhouse.
He reached for a gun, and that’s when the team opened fire.
DiNozzo stopped at Gibbs’ house later to explain why he had been late: “When McGee called, something hit me. I got this feeling — something I’d never felt before. In that moment, I didn’t want Trent Kort dead. All I wanted to do was take care of Tali. Everything she had in her life was gone.”
“Except you,” said Gibbs.
“Except me. I’m it. I’m everything to that little girl now, and I’ve never been somebody’s everything before,” DiNozzo continued.
Then he quit. He announced his plans to take Tali to Israel to look for answers, then to Paris because “Ziva loves Paris.”
Abby confronted DiNozzo in the infamous “conference” elevator at work on his last day. Like so many before her, she turned off the power in the shaft to stall the cart. Before he went, she was determined to tell him that she knew how much Ziva had loved him. She wanted to be sure he knew that, too.
They began to cry as they hugged.
Then the long-running CBS procedural aired a montage of DiNozzo saying goodbye to his colleagues while a voice-over of him reciting his Special Agent creed played.
He turned to McGee, calling him “Very Special Agent Timothy McGee,” which was touching, since we all know DiNozzo himself was always the “very special agent.” He passed on the title, then walked out of the office for good.
Tell Us: What did you think of DiNozzo’s swan song?
NCIS airs on CBS Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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