"Hey, how about a fire episode?" With those words, we started the ball rolling on what would end up as Episode #207 of NCIS. Seven seasons and 206 episodes had come before us. And yet, with all the pyrotechnics, firebombs, and various other "fire elements" on our show, we'd never done a traditional arson story.
Fortunately, the director of "Rekindled" (as the episode would come to be known) was none other than our own NCIS Executive Producer MARK HOROWITZ. Mark has worked with our fire and effects "czar" LARRY FUENTES and his fine SFX crew on countless other fiery expositions in numerous episodes. But arson usually means multiple fires in a single show. And the NCIS budget can usually handle only one high-temp conflagration.
But due to the incredible work of our ENTIRE CAST & CREW the episode came together, and the fire "stuff" worked fantastically, which allowed us to tell the FULL story behind the kid Tony "almost lost in Baltimore." A story often hinted at – but never fully explained. We wanted to explore what drives Tony at his core. He's obviously been a fantastic and capable cop for the last twenty years, so we wanted him to use that personal and professional growth to help Jason - a character that hasn't quite learned the things Tony has. Jason is a bit of a misguided soul desperately in need of the "trickle-down tutelage" inherent in our NCIS family. In this case, the wisdom is passed down from Gibbs to Tony (during his years at NCIS) and from Tony to Jason. In the final elevator scene, we always imagine Gibbs' Obi-Wan Kenobi-like presence urging Tony to use The Force.
As always, the magnificent chemistry between ALL of our characters sells everything: emotion, humor, caring, concern, professionalism. But a special thanks goes to Michael Weatherly - not only for running into the fire (literally) himself, but for taking us all with him on his journey to save Jason, "the boy from Baltimore," not once, but twice.
Thank you all for watching.
Reed Steiner, Co-Executive Producer
Christopher J. Waild, Executive Story Editor