Michael Weatherly’s Epic Return as Tony DiNozzo in NCIS Season 21 Explained


The return of Tony Dinozzo is more for Plamer than Ducky.

NCIS airs a Ducky tribute episode titled “The Stories We Leave Behind,” which combines the team’s grief at his loss with a case-of-the-week storytelling structure. After learning of Dr. Mallard’s death, the team discovers that he was working on a case to clear the name of a deceased Marine.

McGee, Palmer, and the rest go through his notes to learn as much as they can about the situation. Flashbacks to relevant occasions with Ducky are interwoven throughout the show, possibly as a means for NCIS to feature prior series characters.

However, in the outing’s final moments, just as Palmer fights to keep his emotions under control before delivering his mentor’s eulogy, Weatherly’s DiNozzo enters to support his friend.

This is the actor’s first return to the series since season 13. Dietzen discusses why Dinozzo was chosen as the returning character for NCIS season 21, episode 2, citing his tight friendship with Palmer.

“We ultimately decided to bring back the character of Tony. Everything made a lot of sense. This character, in addition to being close to Ducky, was Jimmy’s best buddy, thus when he comes to visit, it is to assist the person who has been left behind. It is really about being there for his pal. Getting [Michael] out here and doing all of this under the guise of secrecy and at night was really amazing.”


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *