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Monday, September 20 2010

In the season seven “NCIS” cliffhanger, the life of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) father was in jeopardy when he was threatened by Paloma Reynosa (Jacqueline Obradors), the head of a Mexican drug cartel. And season eight picks up right where seven left off!

“We had two months off and we came back and we almost shot a bookend scene to what was the end of season seven,” Mark tells Samantha Harris, who is first on the set of the hit CBS drama for its eighth season premiere. “Half of the cast wasn’t here for that last scene when Jackson Gibbs (Ralph Waite) was in the store with Reynosa and that is kind of right where we pick up.”

Gibbs knows that he has to take desperate measures to protect the ones he loves with Reynosa on the loose, so he called his father and warned him to leave his store and spend the night somewhere else. But both Gibbs men are stubborn and his dad decided not to leave.

Mark won’t reveal whether or not his TV dad survives his encounter with Reynosa, only saying, “I sure like working with Ralph and I hope he will be okay.”

“NCIS” returns as the No. 1 scripted show on TV, which puts a little spring in the casts’ step.

Mark tells Samantha, “It is a nice place to be and we worked hard to get here. Now it is about trying to keep us here. I think everybody here still loves his job. That makes a difference.”

Pauley Perrette agrees, adding, “…it means to us that we get to keep doing this.”

So what else can we expect from the new season?

According to Michael Weatherly, who plays Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, “I would say you could expect on ‘NCIS’ this year the answers to some origin questions of some characters, I think we will see the return of Mr. Robert Wagner [who plays Tony’s dad]. I know you have got a bomb squad girl who is awful cute …”

But fans will be happy to hear that they will also be getting some answers to some of the series’ mysteries.

“A lot of things will get concluded in that first hour,” Mark tells ET. “[The writers] worked very hard to try not to draw that out as much as possible. I think that is a good thing. Now we are back telling stories that are conclusive about the characters.”

“NCIS” premieres its eighth season on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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