Can NCIS Director Leon Vance be trusted? What is he hiding? What is in the CIA file about him? What is his connection to Eli David?
Vance is an enigma with more questions than answers. That's what keeps his character interesting according to Rocky Carroll in an interview with Blast Magazine
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"These characters that over six seasons had been developed and the audience pretty much could have known if they set their watch to who they were and suddenly you introduce this character who really is kind of a mystery. You don't know if he's a good guy or a bad guy, if his motives are good, if he's there to undermine the team," Carroll said.
Vance keeps to the shadows. He's there and watching over everyone's shoulder whether you see him or not. He has breathed down the neck of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs a time or two.
Vance came from the San Diego office to lead an investigation involving then Director Jenny Shepard. He was made NCIS Director upon her death. As fans recall his first action was to break up Gibbs' team. The move was unpopular with loyal viewers.
"Vance comes in and breaks up the team he enters with a real splash. The audience response was they didn't know if this was a good guy or a bad guy," Carroll explains.
Gibbs and Vance are often at loggerheads. Trust is everything to Gibbs. Are there things in the Director's past that make him a liability?
"You know, it just wouldn't be plausible that he's one of the highest levels of office in the federal agency only to be found out to be a rogue or a criminal or whatever," Carroll commented.
We know Vance's has a family and he was a boxer. He attended the United States Naval Academy and became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. His military career was cut short when he received a medical discharge due to surgery to repair a detached retina.
He was an NCIS field agent in Prague. His partner and the politician they were assigned to protect were murdered.
Vance instigated an investigation of a murdered boxer Tyler Owens telling Gibbs the man was a Marine. Dr. Ducky Mallard does a thorough autopsy and discovers that Owens had surgery for a detached retina. That Vance had suffered the same injury is a coincidence don't you think?
Upon the death of Jenny Shepard, Leon Vance was promoted to Director of NCIS. Once in the office he pulls his file and shreds one of the documents. But it isn't a negative or top-secret document it's a letter of recommendation. Why destroy it? Why did the Secretary of the Navy tell Gibbs it was a fake? Is Vance trying to keep Gibbs guessing about his true nature?
Vance is on a first name basis with Eli David, Ziva's father and head of Mossad. It seems they both worked in Amsterdam at one time. The question is doing what?
Director Leon Vance is a puzzle. He keeps Gibbs on his toes. He keeps Gibbs and us guessing. Who is this guy and what will his directorship mean for NCIS?