NCIS “Family First” Review (Season 13, Episode 24)

Family First

Tuesday night’s episode of NCIS was not only the season finale of the show’s 13th season, but also cast member Michael Weatherly’s last episode EVER. There has been a lot of press on his departure, of course, because unlike the last time a cast member left the show it was under less than favorable circumstances. That issue aside, let’s take a look at how the story played out for Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo, Jr. as his many, many years with NCIS came to an end.

As viewers will recall, Gibbs and the team were looking for Trent Kort because it turned out he was the actual person who sold secrets to the Russians after 9-11, putting the blame on former MI6 agent Jacob Scott. Scott was nothing more than a scapegoat, but he was a great distraction for Gibbs and his team until the 11th hour. Worse yet, news broke that Eli David’s farm house far outside of Tel Aviv (where former team member Ziva David had been living) was bombed.

The action picked up with the team watching the reports from Tel Aviv about the terrorist attack on the David farm house, but when it was reported there was a survivor, Tony was ready to head there to check on Ziva with the blessings of Gibbs. But soon enough, it was learned that Ziva, sadly, did not survive; and worse yet that Kort never left D.C. In fact, Kort outsourced the bombing of the farm house to a Palestinian gun-for-hire all because he wanted any old files kept by the late Eli David (the former head of Mossad and Ziva’s father) about the selling of secrets to the Russians back in the day. Unfortunately, Ziva was just collateral damage.

But who was the survivor of the bombing? Well, that was a big surprise for everyone. The survivor was a little girl named Tali (the name of Ziva’s little sister who was killed many, many years ago). That little girl was…Ziva’s daughter. And who was the baby daddy – you guessed it: Tony!!

Did anyone see that coming? Truthfully, I think a lot of fans were expecting Tony to either go out in a hail of bullets or leave for Tel Aviv to be with Ziva, but I know I didn’t expect them to kill Ziva and have her be a single mother let alone be Tony’s baby momma.

As Tony had to quickly adjust to now being a single dad while reeling from the unexpected loss of the one woman he loved the most, the team scrambled to track down Kort before he could get away. Thankfully (or more to the point not surprisingly), they found Kort before he could eliminate another conspirator (of sorts) and all of his files. The hail of bullets that could have been for Tony (given the guesses on how his story would end) were instead aimed squarely at Kort by every single member of the team (as well as MI6 agent Clayton Reeves and FBI Agent Tess Monroe), taking down the man who was ultimately responsible for Ziva’s death.

The end of the episode was touching with Tony saying goodbye to all of the members of the team – first with Gibbs in his basement, Abby in the stopped elevator at the NCIS building, Ducky and Jimmy in the morgue and McGee and Bishop in the bullpen. He and little Tali will be heading to Tel Aviv to get some answers and then head to Paris because Ziva always loved Paris.

What did you think of Tony’s swan song and the season finale overall? Please share your thoughts below.

‘NCIS’ will return for a 14th season on CBS sometime this fall.

Cast:
Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Michael Weatherly as Tony DiNozzo
Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto
Sean Murray as Tim McGee
Emily Wickersham as Ellie Bishop
Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer
Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance
David McCallum as Dr. Donald Mallard

Guest stars:
Robert Wagner as Tony DiNozzo, Sr.
Sarah Clarke as FBI Special Agent Tess Monroe
Duane Henry as MI6 Officer Clayton Reeves
Laura San Giacomo as Dr. Grace Confalone
Juliette Angelo as Emily Fornell
Dave Dayan Fisher as Trent Kort
Marina Sirtis as Mossad Director Orli Elbaz
Vince Nappo as Jacob Scott
William Duffy as Head of Security Harris Cobb
Mia Barron as Doctor at Hospital
Yorgos Karamihos as Interpol Officer Hans Kohl
Salome Azizi as ZNN Reporter
Emelia and Layla Golfieri as Tali
Joe Spano as Senior FBI Agent T.C. Fornell