Mike Franks is portrayed by Muse Watson, introduced in episode flashbacks in the episode "Hiatus (Part 1)". Retired NIS/NCIS Agent Mike Franks was called in to help with Gibbs' memory after he went in a coma due to being caught in a bombing. He is Gibbs's former mentor and partner, still referring to Gibbs as "Probie". Although he comes across as crass and uncaring, Franks has been known to be very devious and sneaky, even hiding the fact that he had a son, though Gibbs helped hide his granddaughter and the girl's mother. He was the only survivor of the gun battle that ended Director Shepard's life and found some evidence that the new director was, apparently, looking for, even though he was outside getting himself water for tea when the shooting started and went back in to make sure the other shooters were dead. In his visit to Gibbs' bedside in the fourth season, it is revealed in flashbacks that he warned members of the intelligence community about the threat that Osama Bin Laden posed to American servicemen abroad some time before the Khobar Towers bombing. After the deaths of a number of Air Force personnel in the bombing, Franks retired to Mexico and handed control of the MCRT to Gibbs. In season 7, Franks is seemingly ambushed by Colonel Merton Bell's henchmen and hitmen from the Renosa drug cartel. His fate is left ambiguous and it is unknown whether he was killed or captured in the attack. However, later on, Franks appears again to assist DiNozzo in investigating Alejandro. Also, as a result of the gunfight between Bell's and the Renosa Cartel's men, Franks loses his right index finger. In the beginning of Season 8, in the episode "Spider and the Fly", he appears after four months by showing up at Gibbs' house to help him, the team, Vance, and Jackson Gibbs destroy Paloma and Alejandro once and for all.


Paloma Reynosa, played by Jacqueline Obradors, is the head of the Reynosa drug cartel, the most powerful cartel in Mexico, the daughter of drug dealer Pedro Hernandez and the older sister of Mexican Justice Department official Alejandro Rivera. Paloma took over control of the cartel when her husband died. During her years in charge, the cartel grew to be powerful enough to infiltrate the US Navy. As a way to try and end the drug war in Mexico, the Mexican government launched a task force project with American law enforcement agencies to strike against the cartels. Paloma was contacted by Colonel Merton Bell who was seeking revenge against the man who had sent him into a Mexican prison: NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Bell had uncovered evidence that Gibbs had killed Paloma's father with a sniper rifle in 1991. They formed a partnership and elaborated a scheme to have revenge on Gibbs. Paloma's brother, Alejandro, used his position in the task force to get the forensic evidence linking Gibbs to the murder using Abby Sciuto's skills. When the evidence was uncovered, Bell sent Lieutenant Jason Paul Dean to kill Special Agent Lara Macy, who knew about Hernandez's murder but covered up the evidence believing it to be a just killing. Later, Bell tried to kill Mike Franks but Paloma needed him alive as leverage so she ordered Dean to kill Bell and bring back Franks's severed finger. He also returned with Gibbs prisoner. Paloma told him of her true intention: she didn't want his death, she wanted his life. She wanted Gibbs to work for her or she would kill his friends and family, starting with his coworkers and finishing with his father. Four months later Paloma was lured to a safe house where she believed Gibbs, Jackson, and Mike Franks had taken refuge. Alejandro arrived separately, having been tricked into believing Paloma was dead. He then opened fire on the safe house with an assault rifle, believing Gibbs and his father to be in it. After being arrested, Alejandro soon learned that Paloma had actually been in the safe house all along, resulting in Alejandro accidentally killing his sister. Paloma then recited the poem of the spider and the fly as her last words before dying. Paloma also has a fascination for the work of Tennessee Williams, citing him on three occasions: twice in "Rule Fifty One" ("We are all sentenced to solitary confidement within our own skins for life" and "Cruel men consider themselves paragons of frankness") and in "The Spider and the Fly" ("Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering for when it comes you'll know you're dead.").


Alejandro Rivera, played by Marco Sanchez, is a high-ranking official of the Mexican Justice Department and, secretly, the son of drug dealer Pedro Hernandez and the brother of Paloma Reynosa, head of the Reynosa drug cartel. Rivera was assigned by his government to be a liaison with American law enforcement agencies on a special anti-drug project of forming a Mexican-American task force to strike against the drug cartels, notably against Reynosa. Secretly, Rivera's objective was to have revenge for his father's death by using Abby Sciuto's forensic skills to investigate the cold case while training a class of task force forensic specialists in Mexico. It was later revealed that Gibbs had killed Hernandez and Rivera was counting on Abby's report to bring Gibbs down but it never reached Mexico having been intercepted by Margaret Allison Hart, who was working on the task force project. Alejandro, however, made one huge mistake when he arrived at NCIS and later threatened Abby, prompting the entire team, including Leon Vance, to having him removed. He had been duped into thinking that his sister, Paloma, had been killed, and went to the safe house she was at, thinking that he could kill Gibbs and his father. However, he ended up killing Paloma and then arrested for her death.


Colonel Merton Bell (played by Robert Patrick) is a former Army tank unit commander and the head of the First Defense Incorporated, the largest security and bounty hunting firm in the U.S. He was hired by an Iraqi tribal leader to capture her daughter and granddaughter from Mike Franks' home in Mexico. Bell sent two of his men to accomplish the mission, but they were killed by Franks' daughter-in-law, Leyla. Franks and his family ran away to Gibbs' home in Washington, D.C. where they could be protected, but Bell found out they were there and sent a squad to capture them. With the help of Damon Werth, a former Marine under Bell's employ, Gibbs trapped and arrested Bell before turning them over to the Mexicans for trial. Bell was released with the help of American lawyer Margaret Allison Hart. He then sent Hart to Washington in a bid to have his revenge against Gibbs. In "Patriot Down", Hart reveals to Vance that since he got out of prison, Bell had been gathering information on Gibbs and was responsible for uncovering evidence that almost twenty years earlier, Gibbs had killed Pedro Hernandez, the drug dealer who had murdered Gibbs's wife and daughter in 1991. Bell orders his right-hand man, Jason Paul Dean, to kill Special Agent Lara Macy, who had discovered this evidence but had subsequently buried it. Bell and his men then set out for Mexico to murder Mike Franks and his family, but they were all killed by Dean who is revealed to be working for an unknown party. Gibbs initially believes Bell's body is actually Franks, but Dean confesses to the murder, leaving the fate of Franks and his family unknown until "Rule Fifty-One". In the same episode, it is revealed that Bell was working for the Reynosa drug cartel. Paloma Reynosa, daughter of Pedro Hernandez and head of the cartel, was planning to use his vendetta against Gibbs to have her revenge for her father's death. She ordered Dean to kill him as she no longer needed him.