|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Leslie Libman|
|Written by||Steven D. Binder|
|Original air date||February 14, 2012|
"Secrets" is the 15th episode of the ninth season of the American crime drama television series NCIS, and the 201st episode overall. It originally aired on CBS in the United States on February 14, 2012. The episode is written by Steven D. Binder and directed by Leslie Libman, and was seen by 19.59 million viewers.
When a decorated Navy Captain is found dead with an unusual costume under his uniform, the team must find out who wanted him dead. Gibbs, who is known for disliking reporters, intentionally makes a very reluctant Tony the "liaison officer" for Wendy Miller, a journalist who is also his ex-fiancée, to find the killer. It is revealed that Wendy had called off the marriage at the last minute and neither she nor DiNozzo talked to each other for over nine years; he had rejected her invitation to Christmas brunch as shown in the episode "Newborn King". The team discovers that the murdered Captain was a real-life superhero and a member of a group of costumed community activists and vigilantes. In addition, a failed assassination attempt on Wendy's life leads the team to believe that the case involves one of her stories. Eventually, Gibbs and the team realize that a number of other Superheroes were killed in surrounding districts, and figure out that they were carried out by a corrupt real estate investor who feared that the crime fighting activities of the Superheroes would raise the land values of the property he wanted to purchase. Afterwards, DiNozzo asks Wendy why she left him, and she admits that she wasn't ready for commitment at the time. However, she does leave open the option of restarting their relationship.
"Secrets" is written by Steven D. Binder and directed by Leslie Libman. The story of the episode centers around Special agent Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and his ex-fiancée Wendy Miller (Perrey Reeves). "We went into [this season] with the sense of talking about decisions in the team members' lives, and there have been elements of things Tony has been reflecting on all season, which is really why we wanted to do a story with Wendy", executive producer Gary Glasberg told TV Guide. According to Reeves, "[Tony] was brokenhearted, and I think he sort of protected himself all this time. ... In this episode you see the soft side. He's super funny, but I think when you see the two of them interact, you realize that some of it is a little bit of a protective device".
Aired on Valentine's Day, the episode also includes some romantic moments between Tony and Wendy. "Wendy carries a huge flame for Tony. I think she was afraid [back then]. I think she has been hurt in her past, and here was this person who brought out all these qualities in her and as much as she wanted to go down that road with him, she was too wounded", Reeves said to TV Guide.
Wendy is mentioned in earlier episodes of NCIS as Tony's high school teacher, but is shown as a reporter in this episode. According to writer and co-executive producer Steven Binder, "she simply had left her teaching days behind her and had become a reporter".
"Secrets" was seen by 19.59 million live viewers following its broadcast on February 14, 2012, with an 11.7/19 share among all households, and 3.9/11 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, "Secrets" easily won NCIS and CBS the night, while the spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles drew second and was seen by 16.15 million viewers. Compared to last week's episode "Life Before His Eyes", "Secrets" was down a bit in both viewers and adults 18-49.
Steve Marsi from TV Fanatic gave the episode 4.5 (out of 5) and stated that "it was a cheesy case at times, but it offered plenty of laughs, so it worked", and "overall, it was a fun hour that struck the perfect NCIS balance of action, comedy and surprisingly complex character development".
- Gorman, Bill. "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'Ringer,' 'The Biggest Loser' Adjusted Up; 'New Girl' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Bryant, Adam. "NCIS: What Does DiNozzo's Ex Mean for Tony and Ziva?". TV Guide. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Binder, Steven D. "Season Nine: "Secrets"". CBS. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Gorman, Bill. ""NCIS: Los Angeles" And "Unforgettable" Post Week-To-Week Gains In Adults 18-49". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Seidman, Robert. "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'NCIS,' 'Glee,' 'The Biggest Loser Adjusted Up; 'Raising Hope' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Marsi, Steve. "NCIS Review: The Secret Life of Tony DiNozzo". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 15 February 2012.