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"Playing With Fire" is the second installment of a four-episode arc that ends Season Nine...we had to continue the investigation of the thermite fires as they escalated and end our episode with the identification of the man behind the murders and arson -- Harper Dearing, his photo slapped up on the NCIS Most Wanted Wall.
Over the years we've discussed bringing back Joel Gresch as NCIS Special Agent Burley. He appeared in Episode 6, "High Seas." It may be the longest time interval in TV history for a character to reoccur. That said, there were sparks between Agents Burley and David. Could that lead to something? We shall see.
Always trying to play the humor between Tony and McGee...we had to find a way to do it with the two separated, McGee aboard a ship at sea and Tony back at NCIS. We thought Dennis Smith brought his usual deft comic touch to the McGee-sea-sickness scene played over the MTAC screen...Tony blanching at the sight of McGee's giant head. In that same vein, with the team separated, Dennis also skillfully handled Gibbs' remote-interrogation of Andre Fullerton, the saboteur, aboard the ship.
For several years we've been aware that David McCallum's favorite charity is the Marine Corps. Scholarship Foundation. We finally got a chance to introduce it into a story and explain how it helps the children of Marine veterans. You could feel David's sincerity as Ducky tells Gibbs he was inspired by the photo of the fallen Marine to leave the bulk of his estate to such a worthwhile charity.
Finally we want to thank our NCIS family, the incredible cast and crew, for such a wonderful, and we look forward to Number Ten!