Mark Harmon

Tuesday's season finale of NCIS won't allow Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his team much time to mourn the sad death of Mike Franks (Muse Watson).

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As shown in the closing moments of last week's episode, E.J. Barrett (Sarah Jane Morris) and her team were on the wrong end of the Port-to-Port Killer's gun. Regardless of how that all works out, the deadly turns continue when P2P, aka Lt. Jonas Cobb (guest star Kerr Smith), gets his hands on Ziva (Cote de Pablo). That not only puts DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) on high alert, but also brings about the return of Ziva's CIA boyfriend, Ray (Enrique Murciano).

"We brought everybody in and they all join forces," executive producer Gary Glasberg tells TVGuide.com. "It adds another layer of intrigue and some emotional stakes because of the relationships that have formed. And it makes it that much more complex as they try to catch this guy. But as their group gets larger, more people are potentially at risk. It absolutely elevates the stakes."

Indeed, at least one other person will fall in the finale.

But assuming that the team is able to save Ziva, should we expect a romantic moment between her and DiNozzo? "There are moments that touch on the [Tony-Ziva tension] and certainly moments that will help propel us into next season," Glasberg says. "I think all of those relationship elements are always present and often can be reduced down to a simple look or glance that carries more weight than you think it might."

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Based on the previews, Gibbs is also more than a little hot under the collar about what befalls Ziva. Glasberg hints that will lead to yet another Gibbs-Vance (Rocky Carroll) confrontation. "The finale really hits a lot of the Vance-Gibbs tension," Glasberg says. "It's going to provide a lot of answers to what Vance has been dealing with all season. Gibbs is going to become privy to a lot of it... and it's going to bring his relationship with Vance to another level."

Could that mean another administrative shakeup for next season? "There are definite changes that affect NCIS," Glasberg says. "The team is going to have to work together in a way they've never had to work together before next season. It's really going to be a joint effort. They're absolutely going to face certain aspects, hopefully in a different way from what people have encountered before."

NCIS' Season 8 finale airs Tuesday at 8/7c on CBS.