'NCIS' scoop: Vance paper-shredding mystery solved next week!

Director-VanceImage Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBSIf your head is still reeling, and your heart still pounding, from last night’s episode of NCIS, you’re not alone. The first episode in the two-parter exploring the history between NCIS Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) and Mossad Director Eli David (Michael Nouri) was info- and action-packed. Fan favorite writer Jesse Stern has spent all season working on these two hours. Last night, we watched as Eli ventured off Israeli soil for the first time in 12 years to attend, in-person, Vance’s review of international case files with contributions from all living NCIS directors (RIP, Jenny). He wanted to be there to defend himself when the truth was finally revealed about Vance’s first NCIS mission in Amsterdam 20 years ago. Having an emotional reunion with Ziva and luring out the remaining three members of a Palestinian terror network that wants to assassinate him was just a bonus for him. For viewers, however, those scenes of the joint NCIS-Mossad protection detail running through an ambush scenario in the hotel parking garage, Ziva confronting her father about why he wasn’t begging her forgiveness for leaving her for dead in the desert, and the actual ambush itself, were the highlight of the episode. (Watch them below.)

Eli never made it to the hearing, and the episode ended with Gibbs unable to reach Eli and Vance after a blast went off at the safe house they retreated to (RIP, Hadar). NCIS exec producer Shane Brennan promises the Nov. 23 conclusion will not disappoint. “Vance isn’t gonna wake up at the end of next week’s episode and say it was all a dream,” he jokes. “It’s a cleverly-woven piece of fabric. There are no loose threads to pull at the end of this episode.” That means we’ll finally find out what happened in Amsterdam to shape Vance and set him on-course to become the director of NCIS. (The episode has extensive flashbacks to that pivotal time and, through the magic of makeup and computers, actor Rocky Carroll was able to play Vance at age 27. We’ll have exclusive behind-the-scenes shots on Monday with commentary from Carroll and Brennan.) Brennan tells EW that we’ll also resolve another of the series’ great mysteries: “The infamous paper that was shredded — answered next week,” he says, referring back to the season 5 finale when Vance became director. “The famous last scene that shocked the hell out of everyone, when he walked into his office and shredded one sheet of paper, called everyone in, and shuffled them around the world.” The text Eli sent Vance earlier this season, “I found him,” will also be part of the revelation.

Two more teases: There will be at least one more death. (I’m betting on mini-Ziva, especially after we found out that she was sleeping with Malachi. And why wouldn’t she be? He’s smokin’.) And the tension you felt watching last night’s episode as they escorted Eli to and into the hotel is just the starting point. “I think of episodes and stories in moments because people remember the moments,” Brennan says. “They talk about them the next day. They don’t say, ‘Ah, the show was about such and such.’ They say, ‘Ah, there was this great moment.’ If you get five or six moments in an episode, great. In next week’s episode, there are probably a dozen moments that are memorable. The tension is cranked up from the beginning and it doesn’t let you go… And yet, we still manage that wonderful NCIS humor.” (I loved Tony suggesting that the room full of ex-NCIS directors might want to applaud him last night.)

What did you think of part 1? What’s your prediction for how part 2 plays out? The safe house bomb was an inside job? Who else doesn’t want Amsterdam revisited?

Follow: @EWMandiBierly

Comments (79 total) Add your comment
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  • jules

    All in all, I thought it was a good episode. But I care a lot less about Vance and Eli than I do about Gibbs, Tony, Ziva, McGee and Abby. I must say that this season so far has been much better than last.

    • Stormy

      Plus Ducky and palmer.

      • jules


  • Sandra

    It was good. I’d be surprised if Director David is alive.

    • k

      They showed him alive and well in the previews for the next episode.

  • Sally

    I thought it was a good episode. I forget about the mysteries surrounding Vance, but it will be fun to see them revisted and solved anyway. I’m guessing mini-Ziva will be killed as well. I’m hoping she isn’t the “inside” bad guy though – too obvious for NCIS.

    • Nerwen Aldarion

      Nah I’m betting Malachi is the inside guy and he kills mini Ziva

  • Michael

    I did not see the first NCIS Director was he there?

    • Stormy

      Wasn’t he in the car with Eli?

    • Sarah

      Don’t remember seeing him, but it was mentioned that he would be there… when Gibbs says, “Tom Morrow called me about lunch.” and Vance says that both of them would be too busy.

  • WWGD

    For an episode he was working all season on, it was pretty average.

    Tony being nice to Mossad after what they did to him? No chance. Nice way of just throwing out the history of the show, PTB.

    • Erin

      Totally! I was expecting some continuity there since Tony did kill one of their agents and after his tete with Eli, you’d think there would be animosity on both sides. But nope that seems all forgotten.

    • Annie

      Funny how they just welcomed them onto their security team. And gave them guns. Weird.

      • Jenn

        It follows the NCIS trend. Let Mossad get away with murder, and ignore everything they’ve ever done, so we can pretend it’s a big happy family on the show. This goes for all of Mossad (as shown by NCIS). Including Ziva. I want the hour of my life back that I wasted watching this episode. I definitely won’t be watching the second half.

  • Mel

    I loved this episode! Can’t wait until Part 2.

  • Dale

    I think that the person who wants the events in Amsterdam to stay buried is the NCIS director at that time. I can’t remember the paper shredding incident, tbh i don’t really remember much about Vances storylines as i dont care for him; i miss jenny.

  • eliza-ann

    I have seen many people complaining about Tony being shown as an idiot. Even not being a Tony fan he was far out of character in this episode. Spoiler speculation— Ziva kills Ziva 2.0 who I believe is the insider passing info to the bad guys. The red herring in this episode will be Director David being blamed for the bombing.

  • Kathy

    ZIva NEVER confronted her father about leaving her for dead. That was my problem.

    • Jena

      Well that’s probably why it’s a 2 part episode.

      But I don’t mind her not asking, that might be even more painful for her to bear.

    • Kate

      She confronted him about his behavior to her so it was there but unspoken.

  • jenna

    Its a good thing that Shane Brennan believes his hype because I went from bored to shaking my head the entire episode. The idea that a 4 person NCIS team would protect the head of Mossad is ludicrous and laughable. This show has become a pale shadow of itself.

    • Jason

      I have to admit I was thinking this myself. And when Vance was willing to risk their safety to save face (didn’t want to move from a hotel to the Navy Yard), that seemed a little far fetched. I still enjoyed the episode though.

    • Annie

      I, surprisingly, wasn’t very bothered by that. I was way more bothered when, after several seasons of teasing Gibbs for being married so many times, they blow him up. Then, guess what? He had a wife and daughter who were killed by Mexican drug bosses. How? Where were they that they just happened across some guy who killed them? They never really followed through with the logistics, but it still bugs me. The show changed in its entirety after that.

  • Jena

    I enjoyed the episode and can’t wait to see part 2.

  • shburrell

    It was a so-so episode. I don’t really care about Vance. Jenny was more like a part of the team/family than Vance is. He is not bad, he is just not that interesting. Not the way they have him now. I really prefer it when they focus on Gibbs and the team. I want Tony to have some depth. Yes, he is funny but there also has to be more than that. They should use him for more than comic relief. And can we get some McGee/Abby love? They are so cute together. They need to focus on adding depth to the core team and not some far-fetched plot.

    • R

      Some of the best episodes are where they show the friendship between Gibbs and Tony and allow Tony to not be the comic relief. The two sitting down for a steak and beer comes to mind.

  • Kit

    Found this episode ludicrous and boring. If Stern has been working on it for a whole season, he needs to consider a career change. The idea that a 4-man investigative-response team is responsible for the security of the Director of Mossad is is laughable.

    Tired of the Mossad-intrigue storyline, and Ziva’s history has been retconned so many times it’s ridiculous.

    After the stellar performances delivered by Michael Weatherly and Robert Wagner last week, this week’s idiot!Tony moment was insulting.

    • Jenn

      Yeah, this was no A-game. Seriously – Glee’s moving up every week, and usually beats NCIS in the target demographic (Adults 18-39). Except the one week that Glee was a rerun and they tied. Fans online have insisted that they are tired of the Mossad story, and yet SB keeps pushing it. NCIS is all right when it stays domestic, but as soon as it goes international it gets RIDICULOUS.

      • Kit

        NCIS has been seriously hit-or-miss the last few years. The more they stray from the formula of team-oriented & crime-focused, the more show goes off the rails.
        Last week is a prime example. “Broken Arrow,” while a bit shaky in plot turned out some FANTASTIC performances… “Enemies Foreign” was just so unbelievable to begin with that I was torn between being bored and incredulous.

  • elizabethdebassige

    I am thinking that next week’s episode will be great!

  • Melody

    I thought it was a great episode. The action was spot on, plenty of drama to sink my teeth into and Tony is such a dork – a all in all a very nice mix. I am excited about next week’s episode, I love answers and we’ve been waiting quite a while for some of these answers.

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