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The Michael Douglas Thriller Reference You Might Have Missed On NCIS

In addition to his bucket list and daddy issues, Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) is known throughout the "NCIS" fandom for his love of cinema. He often makes movie references and draws comparisons between his favorite films and the cases he's working on. Sometimes, he even uses them to glean ideas for how to approach certain situations.

The Season 6 episode "Love & War" sees DiNozzo making the ill-advised choice to use the Michael Douglas starring thriller "Fatal Attraction" as inspiration for how to deal with a little problem he's having with McGee (Sean Murray). The 1980s classic is about Dan (Douglas), a New York lawyer who begins an impromptu affair with a woman named Alex (Glenn Close). It's a thrilling flight of fancy that quickly turns sour when Dan tries to end their entanglement. Alex refuses to let Dan cut her out of his life and begins going to increasingly frightening measures to get his attention, including an infamous scene where she leaves his daughter's pet rabbit in a boiling pot of water for the family to find.

The movie is a classic in the "erotic thriller" genre and there's no doubt that it's one of DiNozzo's favorites. You may be asking, though, what all that has to do with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Here's the story behind DiNozzo's "Fatal Attraction" reference.

DiNozzo tries to Fatal Attraction his way out of a sticky situation

The B plot of "Love & War" concerns McGee's giddiness at meeting a woman named Claire on an online dating service who he thinks is a perfect match for him ("She's a level 5 sorceress!"). We soon find out, though, that poor McGee is being punk'd. Claire is actually the creation of DiNozzo, who made a fake profile in a fit of boredom in order to mess with McGee. But after hearing McGee wax poetic about his new love interest, DiNozzo decides that his game has gone on for too long and it's time to pull the ripcord. That's when "Fatal Attraction" enters the picture.

Looking for a way to naturally bring McGee and Claire's budding relationship to a close (because apparently ghosting hadn't been invented yet), DiNozzo decides to begin having Claire send McGee angry messages anytime he doesn't email back soon enough. He hopes that the aggressive clinginess will drive McGee away.

Unfortunately, DiNozzo's plan doesn't really work, as McGee is himself desperate enough that Claire's sudden "Fatal Attraction" vibes aren't a deal-breaker. DiNozzo switches his strategy up a few times but has little success. In the end, it's revealed that at some point, Ziva (Cote de Pablo) secretly spilled the beans to McGee, who has begun milking the situation to make DiNozzo feel bad.

The moral of this story? "Fatal Attraction" is probably not the best movie to turn to for advice on how to deal with your problems.