|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Mark Horowitz|
|Written by||Christopher J. Waild & Reed Steiner|
|Original air date||April 17, 2012|
"Rekindled" is the 21st episode of the ninth season of the American police procedural drama NCIS, and the 207th episode overall. It aired on CBS in the United States on April 17, 2012. The episode is written by Christopher J. Waild and Reed Steiner and directed by Mark Horowitz, and was seen by 18.08 million viewers.
The NCIS team deal with an arsonist, which has links to the mysterious Watcher Fleet. While investigating, they team up with arson investigator Jason King, who DiNozzo feels uncomfortable around. They find that the arson was to cover up the theft of a top secret Navy file codenamed "Aquamarine". When a second fire occurs on board a cargo ship, the team goes to investigate as well. Jason saves DiNozzo's life after accidentally setting off a trap. Closer investigation reveals that the ship contained faulty wiring that could cause the entire ship to explode under the right conditions. DiNozzo finally reveals his past with Jason. He saved Jason's life from an arson fire, but was forced to abandon his sister, and Jason has resented him ever since. When they finally track down the arsonist, he reveals that he was hired to steal the file, but is killed by a car bomb. The team recovers the stolen files, and finds out that Aquamarine was a list of Navy ships that had been installed with the faulty wiring. The Watcher Fleet so far had only been able to retrofit a third of the affected ships. While Gibbs has NCIS warn the Navy about a possible terrorist attack, DiNozzo sets the record straight with Jason, telling him that he had to make a choice, and that rescuing him was his inspiration to become a police officer in the first place. Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Brewer falls victim to an arson attack.
"Rekindled" is written by Christopher J. Waild & Reed Steiner and directed by Mark Horowitz. The writers wanted to do "a fire episode", which never before had been done on NCIS. "'Hey, how about a fire episode?' With those words, we started the ball rolling on what would end up as Episode #207 of NCIS. And yet, with all the pyrotechnics, firebombs, and various other "fire elements" on our show, we’d never done a traditional arson story". The budget available usually only handle one "high-temp conflagration", the writers said.
The episode centers around Tony and his "kid in Baltimore", Jason King (portrayed by Gaius Charles). The "kid" has been mentioned in numerous episodes before, including "A Man Walks Into a Bar..." and "Nature of the Beast". In this episode, the writers told the story between Tony and the "kid", a story going back over 20 years, but never explained before. "[...] the fire "stuff" worked fantastically, which allowed us to tell the FULL story behind the kid Tony "almost lost in Baltimore." A story often hinted at – but never fully explained".
"Rekindled" was seen by 18.08 million live viewers following its broadcast on April 17, 2012, with an 11.2/18 share among all households, and 3.1/9 share among adults aged 18 to 49. A rating point represents one percent of the total number of television sets in American households, and a share means the percentage of television sets in use tuned to the program. In total viewers, "Rekindled" easily won NCIS and CBS the night. Compared to last week's episode "The Missionary Position", "Rekindled" was up a bit in viewers and even in adults 18-49.
Steve Marsi from TV Fanatic gave the episode 5 (out of 5) and stated "now that was a first-rate episode of NCIS. "Rekindled" was a fitting title for an installment in which Tony crossed paths with a boy who changed his life forever and vice versa, and we were reintroduced to the mysterious Phantom Eight. This is how you do an "origin" episode and develop characters. Rather than simply having a guest star randomly tell us something about DiNozzo, he relived the past while working with Jason King in the present".
- "(#921) "Rekindled"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (April 18, 2012). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'Biggest Loser' & 'DWTS' Adjusted Up; 'Raising Hope' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- Steiner, Reed, Waild, Christopher J. (April 18, 2012). "Season Nine: "Rekindled"". CBS. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (April 24, 2012). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'American Idol', 'Modern Family' Top Week 31 Viewing". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- Bibel, Sara (April 11, 2012). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'New Girl', 'NCIS: Los Angeles', 'Last Man Standing' Up; 'Raising Hope', 'Ringer', 'Biggest Loser' Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
- Marsi, Steve (April 17, 2012). "NCIS Review: A Slow Burner". TV Fanatic. Retrieved May 2, 2012.