Sometimes episodes just come together beautifully. There's a kismet that happens. An unexpected connection between the script, the cast, and the director. Sure Tom Wright had directed a lot of NCIS episodes prior to this one. He has a brilliant eye and brings a plethora of ideas to every NCIS storyline. But this time we gave him plenty to juggle. SQUALL was written by freelance writer Bill Nuss. Writing an NCIS is no easy task and Bill certainly rose to the occasion. I'm the first to admit I handed Bill a pretty tricky episode complete with significant visual effects, a touching story about McGee and his father, and a fun little runner revealing Tim as a "Big Brother" to a teenage boy. Hopefully all the stories wove together well. And kudos to Sean Murray who brought heart and frustration, depth and complexity to every scene he did with his dad, Jamey Sheridan.
Which reminds me...
Go back and look at the scenes of McGee and his father strolling near the Capital in DC. We filmed those here in Valencia. CA. It's truly amazing what some CGI special effects can pull off. And that, my friends, is going to be the focus of the rest of my chat here today. What did it take to pull off a bear of an episode like this in a short period of time? I couldn't have done it without the best post production team a producer could ever have. Avery, Richie, Josh, Trish, Justin, Mitch and James are just a few of the people responsible for getting this episode ready for broadcast. In this instance, I can assure you the Cold Open alone (aboard the ship during the squall) required many long nights of painstaking work, a lot of editorial elbow grease, and tremendous attention to detail. The kind of detail that makes NCIS stand out from the rest.
We hope you enjoyed SQUALL. Be sure to watch the next four episodes leading up to our season 10 finale. Even after all these years NCIS can still be full of surprises. ;)