This was a huge episode in my view, and this season does really feel like they are planning for it to be the last. Before Christmas, you saw Fornell and Gibbs kind of close some elements related to their ex-wife, Ducky has resolved issues of whether he wants to stay or go, and Tony resolved issues with his father. This episode has two stories running concurrently — the first is about a dead journalist, dressed as a petty officer, who was working on a story about drug use in the military. It’s a pretty stupid story though as the four main suspects all confess to “protect the military image”. Uh-huh, let’s see if I have this straight — they confess to murder which is a murder IN the military, not a civilian murder, so they’ll serve their time in Leavenworth, even though it’s obvious they didn’t do it. To hide drug use. Yawn.
The second story though is about Ziva’s father Eli being in town covertly, a potential assassination attempt on his evil Iranian counterpart, and more importantly, to spend time with his estranged father. What is more significant though is the ending — GIANT spoiler alert — as there is a shootout at Vance’s house, killing both Ziva’s father and Vance’s wife. Wow! Killing off two big characters? Sounds definitely like the final season to me. I’m betting good ole Ziva is going to wind up high up in Mossad at the end of the season (maybe with Tony as a liaison officer???) and Vance gone as director. Gibbs might even retire (with Tony as lead agent???). Either way, I expect some shake ups to come in the team as they deal with aftermath.