[SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for “NCIS.”]
It's been a season of change on "NCIS," with Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) trying to overcome the aftereffects of his shooting, Ellie Bishop's (Emily Wickersham) marriage going into the dumpster, while Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) and Delilah Fielding (Margo Harshman) move in together, and Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) breaks up with his first serious girlfriend since Ziva David.
And there is more to come. In an exclusive interview with FOX411, "NCIS" show-runner and executive producer Gary Glasberg gave us the scoop on what we have to look forward to during November sweeps.
First up, the November 3 episode will feature Ducky as a member of a secret, Sherlock-like society, headed by guest star Jessica Walter, which solves cold cases. But the murder of a Navy Lieutenant Commander in present day turns the cold case hot, and Ducky has to reveal his involvement.
"I don't know if it is as much a secret society as it is a small group of slightly eccentric civilians, who like to get together in the wee small hours, and take on cases that others have forgotten about," Glasberg says. "Ducky initially gets involved [with the Sherlocks] as a means of socializing and getting out a bit."
The plot thickens when it turns out that in going through old records, it is revealed that Abby was actually involved as a forensic scientist in the cold case, having processed the evidence that, at the time, sent a man to prison. There are questions raised based on the science. Abby, of course, was doing what she absolutely believed was the right thing, but accuracy and science change and that is part of the story.
Then on November 10, DiNozzo fans are in for a treat when Scottie Thompson returns as Jeanne Benoit, the daughter of La Grenouille, who Tony had a relationship with back when Jenny Shepard (Lauren Holly) was the NCIS director. The two are reunited when insurgents in Sudan attack a group of volunteer doctors, including Jeanne's husband.
"It is a huge episode and it sends our team off to assist and rescue a group of doctors who are in trouble," Glasberg says. "It's part of a Doctors Without Borders organization. And Jeanne, who is a doctor, is connected to them… This is the continuing of the evolution of Tony DiNozzo. If you go back and you look at significant loves that have gotten away in his lifetime, Jeanne was one of them."
But the case is a bit more complicated. There's a fire associated with a few of the casualties, so the remains are shipped back to Washington, and Ducky and Abby work on things there -- like identifying the remains -- while DiNozzo, McGee and Stan Burley (guest star Joel Gretsch) handle things in the Sudan.
Simultaneously, the episode sees the return of Dr. Cyril Taft (Jon Cryer) when Gibbs, in the middle of everything, hits a surprising hurdle in his recovery.
The November 17 episode deals with Bishop's marriage in a big way. Things with Ellie and Jake come to a head, even as the NCIS team has to solve a "twisty, turny legal mystery." Sally Richardson-Whitfield returns as attorney Carrie Clark to work with them. The events of this episode set up Bishop's trip home in the Thanksgiving episode.
And surprise, surprise. Gibbs accompanies Bishop home to Oklahoma for the holiday, and a "Saving Private Ryan"-type of story unfolds on the Nov. 24 episode. Once in Oklahoma, we meet Bishop's mom, who was just cast, and will be played by Lindsay Wagner.
As for what's ahead for Gibbs, Glassberg says: "He continues to struggle to recuperate from his shooting and he will continue to work with Dr. Taft. That will take us into next year. Then there will be some significant case-related stuff that will connect him with [FBI agent] Fornell [Joe Spano] and take him on an even more significant journey toward the latter half of the season."
"NCIS" airs Tuesday nights on CBS.