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In a poignant episode titled “The Stories We Leave Behind” from “NCIS” Season 21, fans witnessed the heartfelt return of Michael Weatherly’s beloved character, Tony DiNozzo. The storyline takes a somber turn as the team mourns the passing of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, portrayed by David McCallum. DiNozzo’s presence serves as a comforting beacon amid the grief, both for the characters left behind and for viewers still reeling from McCallum’s real-life departure.

Crafting such an emotionally charged episode undoubtedly required meticulous effort, yet there was room for some lighthearted improvisation, particularly in a pivotal scene. Sean Murray, who portrays Timothy McGee, revealed in an interview with TV Insider the collaborative process behind filming the crucial moments.

Murray disclosed, “We actually did a lot of different versions of that last scene. The main parts we had down, but as far as once Michael and I would start doing our thing towards the end and go into the elevator, every time we did it, we were talking about something different. They would just let us ad lib.”

This improvised moment occurs as DiNozzo and Jimmy Palmer (played by Brian Dietzen) share a poignant exchange, only to be interrupted by McGee with news of their tardiness. Despite the somber atmosphere, DiNozzo injects a lighter energy, engaging McGee in a chat about movies. This scene beautifully underscores the unwavering support and camaraderie within the NCIS team, especially during moments of adversity.

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