PREVIOUSLY ON… | When terrorist group leader Benham Parsa began targeting members of Gibbs’ team, Ziva used the opportunity to leave NCIS — and Tony — and move forward in her life. She was shortly thereafter replaced by NSA analyst Ellie Bishop.

COMING UP NEXT | “The Parsa story is going to come back in a big way” when Season 11 resumes on Jan. 7, showrunner Gary Glasberg says. “That episode is going to come out of the gate hot” and set in motion “a roller coaster ride for a good portion of the winter.” Susannah Thompson reprises her role as Hollis Mann in that episode (“Her and Mark Harmon’s moments together are terrific,” Glasberg effuses), while Wendy McKenna’s Dr. Cranston shows up a week later, to help the team cope with a crisis. Also on the horizon is Episode 250, which among other things features the return of DiNozzo’s dad (played by Robert Wagner) — though he’s not alone this time, but with a lady on his arm. The result, says Glasberg, is “lots of questions and uncomfortable moments” for son Tony, a combo of “angst and lightness and fun.”

 

PREVIOUSLY ON… | Hetty shook up the team by sending Kensi off with Granger on a top-secret mission in Afghanistan, thus (somewhat) disrupting the growing closeness between Deeks and his partner.

COMING UP NEXT | Kensi’s assignment “came at the very, very worst possible time for her and Deeks,” show boss Shane Brennan acknowledges. “But it’s been a lot of fun, and we’ve really enjoyed doing it” – which is in essence found gold, seeing as Season 5 wasn’t headed that way until it needed to set up Daniela Ruah’s maternity leave. And while Brennan long ago ruled out writing in that pregnancy, “Densi” nonetheless is on track to experience a shock “that turns everything on its head … and impacts them in a very, very, very big way.” Until then and elsewhere, viewers can count on “a lot of fun episodes” that play off the classic Callen/Sam chemistry, an episode where Deeks goes undercover as a “fabulous” interior decorator named Sven and a February sweeps outing guest-starring Danny Trejo (Machete) as a man from Hetty’s past. And while Nell will continue to find herself “out and about” with field assignments, Eric’s “past life pays a call on him” on or around Episode 17.

TV Line

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