18x01 - Sturgeon Season - Gibbs and Fornell (Joe Spano) attempt to track down the leader of a drug ring who supplied drugs to Fornell’s daughter. Also, the team deals with the case of a missing cadaver from the NCIS autopsy room, on the 18th season premiere of NCIS
Tuesday, Nov. 17, (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT)

Posted by Admin on May 2nd, 2011

Michael Weatherly is in the makeup chair on the NCIS set, getting his brunette hair and long sideburns touched up. He’s shooting “Baltimore,” the May 5 episode that will flash back at hairy length to show the fateful meeting between his Tony DiNozzo and Mark Harmon’s Jethro Gibbs, ten fictional years ago. Writer (and co-producer) Steve Binder sits nearby, in case the script needs any touching up along with Weatherly’s dye job.

“You know I’m wearing that bomber jacket in that last scene,” Weatherly tells the scriptwriter.

“That got approved? That’s awesome,” says Binder.

Weatherly elaborates for a visitor. “It’s when Gibbs fools me into going to the NCIS recruiting office, to sign up for the NCIS test — which I pass with flying colors. It’s a drinking test,” he jokes.

“You know, that is from history,” Binder points out. “Kate asked you how you got hired here, and you smiled at the recruiting officer. I don’t know if you remember that.”

“Oh, I remember it!” says Weatherly, who rarely needs to be reminded of ancient NCIS lore. “Episode number two.”

“I wrote this entire show just to get that moment to happen,” Binder says. “And I was like, ‘How can I get… did Gibbs hire him, or did the recruiting… wait a minute…'”

“I saw her picture,” Weatherly says, of the gal who was just cast for that minor role.

“Is she someone you’d smile at?”

“Oh yeah. It’s gonna be good. I’ve been practicing.” He breaks into a not entirely convincing smile, then doubts himself. “It needs to be in the eyes, doesn’t it?”

“It’ll be a nice ending,” says Binder, “since it’s such a dark episode.” And such a highly anticipated one. Among the NCIS faithful, there could be no more eagerly awaited hour of NCIS than a DiNozzo origins story. Binder realizes that now, but he didn’t when he got the assignment. Then the show’s publicist told him that a TV Guide Magazine cover was being planned for the episode, right after he started writing it in January. “Kristin told me halfway through the outline phase that this was the episode everyone was waiting for, and then I went home and sat in front of my computer and was paralyzed for three days.”

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