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The idiom is “sing like a canary,” which our bad guy, Khan, eventually does in the end. However, I prefer to think of Gibbs being the “cat that caught/ate/swallowed the canary,” in a team-centric, energy-driven episode.
For the last ten seasons we’ve heard Gibbs and Co. use the threat of “Gitmo” to break suspects. But what happens if we actually follow through and send a suspect to Camp Delta? Sounds like it would be a big problem. Which is perfect. Big problems make great TV.
That being said…
I know enough not to try and fool our audience. You’re too smart. After two hundred and twenty-plus installments, you know something must be up from the start. But my hope was to play into that and to try to keep viewers guessing as to where exactly reality ended and the puppet show began. Was the needle in the neck real? The angry terrorists? The riot? Tony’s gunshot? Where did you first smell what NCIS was cooking? Did your guess change as things progressed? If nothing else, I hope it was a fun ride watching and waiting for Khan to take the bait. I like when our bad guys are smart and savvy because it puts pressure on our team (and us writers) to be even smarter. Would you have been fooled?
With a sound-design team as good as ours, I certainly would have. A very special thanks to producer Josh Rexon and his post-production crew for the overtime they put in recording and creating a world we onlythought we saw. Without it, none of this would have worked.
Thank you to Mark, Michael, Sean, Cote, Pauley, and David for the team dynamic that not only drives this story, but the entire series. Also, a big thanks to our wonderful guest cast, the best crew in TV, and to Terrence O’Hara for another wonderful collaboration.
And to our loyal viewers, much love. Thanks for watching.
Christopher J. Waild, Co-Producer
P.S. - There was a Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khanreference/joke in this episode that was ultimately cut for time. I only mention it because I wouldn’t want you to think I didn’t try.