ET: The premiere really leaned into the Gibbs and McGee dynamic. What do you think the episode illuminated about their connection?
Sean Murray: It’s obviously away from the norm, but it’s almost as if the father-son relationship that Gibbs and McGee have always had almost turns brotherly in this episode. To me, they’re both in the same place. They’re stuck in the same situation and they’ve got to rely on each other. Gibbs obviously gets it rougher than McGee does, but there’s a camaraderie there that’s almost brotherly.
Does this experience that the two share brings Gibbs and McGee closer?
It absolutely has brought them closer and we reflect on that as we go on. There are things placed here and there; there are reminders. It’s not just, “Oh, OK that happened and we’re all good. We’re back to normal.” That’s a scarring thing and there are things that both characters take from it that are troublesome and hard to deal with. You’ll see some of that as the season goes.
There was one scene between Gibbs and McGee in the prison, where it seemed like they were turning on each other, which we later learn was just a ruse and part of the bigger plan to break out. Talk me through filming that fight scene with Mark Harmon.
We had a lot of fun filming that scene. (Laughs.) I remember Mark and I talking to each other, and you know, there’s the typical stunts that are filmed with the stuntman. But Mark and I put our heads together and said, “You know what, let’s just go for it. Let’s just start wrestling. Try and get some punches in the stomach, around the shoulders. Let’s just wrestle and grapple.” That’s what we did and went for it and improvised a lot of it. You see later that there was a bit of a ruse to that, something that I think they had been cooking up a little bit.