Richard Cartwright/CBS
May 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM EDT

Last night’s NCIS season finale was an explosive end to the season — because there was an actual explosion. And in the end, 18.7 million viewers were left wondering what would come of the team in season 10.

EW hopped on the phone with executive producer Gary Glasberg to chat about the big season ender — including what might come as a result of that big cliffhanger with longtime medical examiner Ducky, who had a heart attack in the final minutes of the episode. Read on for more:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m so glad that we spoke beforehand or else I would have been a wreck last night. Tell me about the decision to leave us off on this note. 

GARY GLASBERG: NCIS has historically, we’ve done these end arcs or established a villain that carries through for a few episodes, and this one is really no different in that respect. The one difference in the approach in this season was we wanted to deliver a true cliffhanger. [It’s] not the kind of thing you can do every year, but in this instance, we thought it was right and appropriate. We’ll pick things up with him at the beginning of season 10 and wrap it up pretty quickly — we’ve done that before as well. It’ll probably get wrapped up in the first episode. And then we’ll get into a series of self-contained story lines after that.

I really liked the team and family feel of this episode, like when the team gave their gifts to Jimmy before taking off to the wedding. Tell me about that.

Having this team work together as a family is really important to us and it’s really important to the fans. And I wanted to make sure that that moment was there — I didn’t want to rob people of the chance to experience some of the wedding, even though we weren’t going to see our people attending it. So the thought was to create that little moment in the squad room where we could see them interact as family members. And I hope it was successful. It was a nice little moment for everybody and the gifts were hopefully indicative of who they are. So I’m glad it came through.

Moving on to Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, Dr. Ryan. I’ve enjoyed her arc, are we in for more?

We started playing around with this mysterious background of her ex-husband, from the get go in season 9. We’ll have to see where it takes us and how it unfolds. The beauty of NCIS is that we can step away from a character for a very long time and revisit it down the road. That was very much a goodbye that happened between Ryan and Gibbs, and we’ll have to see how things unfold when we might be able to see her again. But having her on the show has been just fantastic and she and Mark [Harmon] are good friends. And I think that really came through in their relationship and how they played off each other. I think we were really lucky to have her.

Next: Ducky’s future

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