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Four-thousand eight-hundred and ninety-eight. That’s the number of days I’ve waited since saying “Hello, Folks! Nice world you have here!” before I finally got a chance to work with Jamie Lee Curtis. And I’m pretty sure I did a decent job of hiding my excitement. Mostly because I didn’t say much -- just stared with my mouth hanging partially open (which is how I usually look at 7 am on set anyway). In sum, let’s just say I’m a fan; she didn’t disappoint; and move on…because there’s lots to discuss.
Like Palmer’s bachelor party -- occurring smack in the middle of the hunt for Harper Dearing, the newest addition to our Most Wanted Wall. Peanut butter, meet chocolate. A recipe for a lot of hair pulling during the writing process, but quite possibly what makes NCIS...well, NCIS. The lighter moments of life sandwiched between a few dead bodies and a bloody ax. I had a lot of fun alluding to what Abby had planned for Jimmy’s bachelor party -- though, as you’ve noticed by now, she never gets to execute. In sum, let’s just say Palmer would’ve had a blast; he would’ve been horribly embarrassed; and move on...because there’s still a lot more to discuss.
Like Harper Dearing, played by Richard Schiff. This is the character’s first actual appearance on the show. And I only have two words to say: creepy. Yes, I know that’s only one word -- but that’s how creepy he was. The performance was spot on. To paraphrase a writer I heard once, you write things and hope “they” don’t screw it up. But what you really hope is that they make it better. That was easily the case. And thank Heavens because I take it where I can get it.
In fact, we really had a stellar supporting cast this episode. Loren Lester playing the dentist in the Cold Open; Jason Gray-Stanford playing the second dentist we meet. Matt Jones back reprising his role as Dorneget. The list goes on. All as funny off-screen as they were on-screen. Even more so, which makes me think I should have just left their dialogue slugs blank and let them all improv. Don’t tell them I said that, btw.
As we head into Season 10, I just want to give yet another shout out to Gary Glasberg, our showrunner, and our phenomenal cast & crew – all of whom work so incredibly hard to make NCIS what it is. The hours are long and the work can be very demanding. The crew is there at 7 am every day, many of them earlier. And they usually work until 7 pm, many of them later. That’s a lot of time away from their lives, their friends, and their families. Their biological families, at least.
Steven D. Binder, Co-Executive Producer