How The NCIS Finale Surprised Michael Weatherly

The end is nigh for Michael Weatherly’s run on NCIS as Special Agent Tony DiNozzo. Weatherly was kind enough to prepare us for the loss of DiNozzo by making the announcement that he was choosing to leave well ahead of his final episode, so at least we’ll be prepared to say goodbye. As it happens, however, Weatherly himself wasn’t entirely prepared for certain surprises in the Season 13 finale.

I discovered an aspect of DiNozzo that had never been revealed before and it really surprised me. I think that next Wednesday morning, people will hopefully say, ‘Holy shit, did you see that scene?!’ Because I really feel I was able to explore something in that character’s experience that truly surprised me, it was very compelling and challenging and exciting and I’m very proud of the last episode and the work that everyone did. It was just a very surprising moment.

Michael Weatherly’s tease to THR of his surprised reaction to his last episode can be either very good or very bad for fans of Tony DiNozzo. The surprise could be that DiNozzo figures out some secret from his past and gets a happily-ever-after ending with the possibility of a return, or it could be that DiNozzo gets blown to smithereens and very definitely rules out a return as anything other than a flashback, dream, and/or ghost. After all, DiNozzo hasn't died yet, and that would certainly present a side of the character that Weatherly hadn't entirely explored before. Hopefully, any "Holy shit!" reactions will be from excitement rather than trauma.

The Season 13 finale will air on May 17, and NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg has promised that viewers are in for some majorly heart-wrenching moments that will have us all reaching for the tissues. The farewell video tribute to DiNozzo alone is worth a sniffle or two. The finale won’t be easy. and I foresee a lot of plucked heartstrings around this time next week. Spoilers below if you aren't caught up with the show.

The most recent episode ended with an explosion in the farmhouse that may or may not have been the home of DiNozzo’s past love interest Ziva. Assuming that NCIS didn’t actually choose to kill Ziva off-screen after she’dbeen gone from the show for two years, it’s probably safe to say that she survived the explosion in some way or other. Perhaps seeing a close call for Ziva will be the motivation that DiNozzo needs to leave the rest of the crew on NCIS behind to focus on new endeavors.

Michael Weatherly’s DiNozzo and Cote de Pablo’s Ziva were on-again/off-again in a way that was entirely their own throughout their time together on NCIS. Part of the reason why Weatherly felt that it was time to move on from DiNozzo was because de Pablo’s departure from the show meant that he lost his longtime screen partner and the dynamic that had been built between them. Personally, I’m hoping that the surprising ending for Tony DiNozzo features a guest appearance from Cote de Pablo, as reuniting Tony and Ziva could allow for some killer closure on Michael Weatherly’s 300 episodes, and we could be crying happy tears instead of devastated tears.

NCIS has already been renewed for another two seasons, so the show will definitely go on without Michael Weatherly. Be sure to tune in to CBS on May 17 at 8 p.m. ET to see just what was so surprising about Tony DiNozzo’s final episode. Don’t forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to see what you’ll be able to watch once Season 13 of NCIS comes to an end.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).