Nikki (nakeisha) wrote in ncis_gibbsducky,
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Episode Review. Season 4x04 - Faking It

My thoughts, ponderings, etc. behind the cut.



This was, in many ways, a mellow episode, somewhat flat, when compared to the last two. The calm before the storm, maybe? A holding episode.

It was also an episode where, for those of use who like these things, some very useful information for future stories, etc. was gained. It also tied up at least one thing.

A good and explosive start. The plot line itself was intriguing and although certain aspects of it, i.e. Mike hadn't got a copy of the file; he hadn't got an audio tape; he hadn't been kidnapped; he wasn't a traitor; he was going to kill the guy who'd haunted him for fifteen years, were pretty blatant, it nonetheless held together well. And although so much of what was going to happen was predictable, oddly enough it didn't really detract from the enjoyment, as I said mellow.

It seems to have basically tied up the Mike Franks arc; my feeling is that we won't see him again. He came back, he dealt with his nemesis, he dealt with the person who'd kept him awake at nights for fifteen years and he returned in peace to his beach. And Gibbs was vindicated; he did know Mike as well as he thought he did.

On the fact point we know (or have had confirmed):
  • Ducky has been an ME for 25 years.
  • Gibbs is on his fourth boat.
  • Gibbs keep whisky in his desk drawer.
  • Ziva speaks, French, German, Italian, Arabic and Russian
There was some good team work from all three field members, not too much of any of them, and no over the top behaviour from them. Their interactions, even their teasing and gentle bitching, for example the whole 'all men lie' scene, etc. was like the rest of the episode mellow. There were some good exchanges, the Ziva/DiNozzo one at the beginning was amusing; the balance worked. The McGee/Ziva tracking down the vomit also worked well, they were working together.

I think our feelings that Gibbs isn't really back, and that this is why Ducky is being so harsh and pushy was partly confirmed when Gibbs said to Mike that he's surviving, and he thinks about returning to Mexico all the time, but something keeps stopping him. He's still torn, and again that's understandable. My feeling, however, is that DPB can't play this card for too much longer. Now we've in effect tied the Mike Franks arc up, I think we have to move onto the Gibbs/Ducky show-down, and we then have to get Gibbs sans moustache and long hair back.

The Gibbs/Ducky scenes weren't as explosive and antagonistic as the last two weeks, to an extent even they were 'mellow'. But yet again they continued the 'all is not well between them' theme.
  • There is still not use of names, except for Dr. Mallard on one occasion.
  • There was more eye-contact than there has been, but their previous intimacy is missing.
  • Interestingly though, when Ducky was talking to the team, or looking at the x-rays, etc. i.e. not looking at Gibbs, Gibbs was watching him the entire time.
  • They are still observing personal space unless it can't be avoided, and then they move from the other as quickly as possible.
  • Gibbs let Ducky ramble on telling his story without any attempt to stop him.
  • Gibbs doesn't seem angry with Ducky; not even when Ducky couldn't find the bullet, or had called them down to Autopsy saying he had found it.
  • Gibbs still seems perplexed at the wall Ducky has built to keep him out.
I don't think DiNozzo lovers' will be too happy with the basically 'get at DiNozzo/run him down' bits. For example, the egg on his shirt thing; the fact that he kept losing Mike; Mike's comments that basically said he didn't trust DiNozzo to look after him; DiNozzo letting Mike whack him and escape (although at the time he was meant to have been whacked by Mike's kidnappers); the fact that Gibbs implied that DiNozzo only knew about 'reading' a suspect because Ziva had told him so.

Gibbs now knows that DiNozzo calls Jenny 'Jenny' and his 'just how cosy did you get' was said in a rather interesting way. Maybe he expects them to 'cosy' up as he and Jenny did themselves. After all, he does know both of them.

I hate to have to say it (gulp) but this is the second episode running where I didn't actually want to strangle or slap Jenn *whimper*. Now this isn't to say that I a) trust her, b) like her, c) want her to say; I still want to see her leave, preferably discredited, but . . . I thought she was doing her 'usual' Director Shepard act when she was about to hand the killer over to Homeland Security, and of course had it not been for Mike, she would have done. But later on she came through, she stood up to Carver, and let NCIS hang on to the killer for a little longer.

Nice little scene with Abby and Ducky in Autopsy, although I think Ducky's overall unhappiness is showing even here as he wasn't quite his usual self with Abby, almost snapping at her once. Although we did have the nice hug, and cute how he has to stand on tip-toe to kiss her forehead. Lucky Abby, she gets kissed a fair bit by Gibbs and Ducky.

Abby and Gibbs scene wasn't their usual one, but again nice. Lovely bit with Abby telling him about the three and a half billion pennies. That is so Abby.

Gibbs is still not the Gibbs we love and know. He's still, like the episode, too mellow; too distant.

Nice to have several Ducky scenes - so far in four episodes we seem to have had as much Ducky as we did in twice or more times that number of Season Three episodes.

It's a shame that again there was no Jimmy; but we expected that we'd lost him, with the Medical School comment.

Very little Abby this week, compared to the usual.

Overall Feelings

Storyline: 7.50
Enjoyment 7.00







Apart from the Ducky is deliberately goading Gibbs and trying to push him and push him until Gibbs finally really comes back as Gibbs and not as pseudo-Gibbs (this scene has to happen soon), one thing has really struck me about the season thus far.

DPB is catering to just about every possible pairing, is he trying to placate us all?

We've had hints, some more obvious and 'real' than others, of:

Gibbs/Ducky
Gibbs/DiNozzo
Gibbs/Fornell
Gibbs/McGee
Gibbs/Abby
Gibbs/Ziva
Gibbs/Jenny
Ducky/Abby
DiNozzo/McGee
DiNozzo/Ziva
DiNozzo/Abby
DiNozzo/Jenny
Abby/Ziva
Abby/McGee

Hasn't it been busy?

Tags: non-fiction: episode reviews, season 04
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