Nikki (nakeisha) wrote in ncis_gibbsducky,
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Episode Review. Season 4x22 - In The Dark

My thoughts on this week's episode.



No squees from Scotland, becky_monster, in fact quite the opposite; clearly the 'teasers' my friend saw last week re: Gibbs and Mann breaking up were deliberately shown to mis-lead us. As was the the snippet of information about the episode before it aired with both Gibbs and DiNozzo having love problems.

Oh, they aren't; they aren't at all. Not only are Tony and Jeanne going to move into an apartment together, but Gibbs and Mann are now in for a long haul together. (I'd like to suggest that maybe Jeanne and Mann both die in the final episode, as so many people seem to think that Jeanne will die, but Mann isn't even in it).

Okay - review.

Case-wise fairly unspectacular, with the baddie once again lit up in neon lights, but . . . We have a photographer who was blinded in an accident some ten years ago and since then has relied on his other senses, mainly his hearing and sense of smell to allow him to get around and still work. Both senses seem to be more heightened than they were, and he's honed them. He follows interesting sounds and scents; this time he followed a fruity scent and when the photographs are developed his assistant sees a dead man in the background. They blow the photograph up and it's a man in naval uniform. He turns out to be Petty Officer Peter Lynn who works for the Supply Core in the Defence Logistics Agency, and he is the subject of an investigation as it is believed he is abusing his position and providing information on military purchases to competing vendors, and he may have an accomplish, David Wong, who is later also found dead, apparently having hanged himself.

The Gibbs and Mann arch begins in her bedroom with him taking her wall apart to deal with a leaking pipe. She is going to 'pay' him when he gets called away in respect of the dead Petty Officer. The theme of her and her pipes and needed an excellent plumber (Gibbs) pretty much runs throughout the episode.

At the crime scene we have Jimmy there with Ducky - which is a bonus. The dead Petty Officer appears to have been mugged, all the classic signs; his dog tags (mugger probably thought they were a necklace) had been ripped off; his wallet taken; there's signs of a struggle; and there was vomit at the scene, apparently, according to Ducky, muggers, etc. do sometimes throw up when they realise what they have done. The vomit, however, will prove to be of importance (isn't it always *g*).

There are a few nice and caring looks between Gibbs and Ducky and Ducky is being optimistic-ish when he says that it might not be murder. Gibbs just looks at him in his fond-looking-at-Ducky way, which garners from Ducky: "I know, I know. It always is."

We have a rather nice Autopsy scene that begins with Ducky explaining about photography and its history to Jimmy, and how it became infamous during the Civil War. Jimmy thinks he's talking about the photographs of the battle fields by Matthew Brady, but Ducky it talking about pornographic photographs, for the soldiers to look at. Nice touch when he refers to them as 'of a blue nature' and Jimmy at first thinks he's talking about colour photography. Then he realises and we have a nice exchange between Ducky and Gibbs, who walks in just at the end of Ducky's line.

Ducky: "As with all new media, carnal activity came to the forefront thus proving the old adage."
Gibbs: "Sex sells."
Ducky (looking up at Gibbs): "Yes it does." (And to my mind he sounds very slightly p***ed off at that point, nothing major, but there is an edge to his tone). "Although I assume that's not what you came here to discuss."
Gibbs: "That's a good guess."

And then Ducky launches into a long rambling sentence about why Gibbs is there and what is expecting from Ducky, only to end with basically telling him, well actually Jimmy does, that he hasn't found anything other than the fact that he can confirm that the man was stabbed. Some very nice eye contact and closeness in the scene.

DiNozzo's arrival with the news of who the man is (Petty Officer Peter Lynn) and he goes into the old typical DiNozzo mode of trying to in effect show-off his knowledge, and realises that all he's doing is telling Gibbs what he already knows. Gibbs looks at Ducky in exasperation/look what I have to put up with and Ducky gives him one of his very soft Gibbs smiles. And it's also at this point that we learn that the skin under Lynn's finger nails and the vomit come from the same person, and contained red wine, which Ducky dismisses as being 'no doubt a cheap Bordeaux'.

With Gibbs and DiNozzo having gone, Ducky asks Jimmy where they were.

Jimmy (with a smile): "Pornography."
Ducky (a little testily): 'Yes, I believe it was photography, Mr. Palmer. Kindly try to keep your mind out of the gutter."

Poor Jimmy looks crestfallen; after all it was Ducky who'd introduced the subject of pornography. But then it's forgotten as Ducky finds his incongruous thing, and he's going to take it and discuss it with Abby. In his drawer he finds a bra; a leopard print bra, which he gives to Jimmy to dispose of. We then learn that not only has Michelle lost her bra, but also her panties - that match the bra!

Ducky and Abby call Gibbs and his team who are searching Lynn's house to tell them that Lynn and his killer shared the same meal. At Lynn's house they find bags and bags of trash.

They also find a computer program of the solar system, that McGee  explains is open source and as such can be adapted; within it they find Lynn's diary, his very boring diary. The only thing of interest is from two weeks ago when he was contacted by someone at Naval Inspector General's Office at Norfolk, re: a mission.

We also learn that Abby, when trying to find out what notes had been made on her after her psyche profile, hadn't found hers, but had found McGee's. 'Delicate ego', is apparently one of the things that was said.

And on top of it all, Abby appears to have given up Caf-Pow! Or at least is trying to.

At the Inspector General's Office we meet our 'oh, look I'm wearing my hat saying 'baddie' killer; Commander Doug Jakobsen, who seems to have a very heavy cold and isn't too hot on keeping it to himself, much to the dismay of Ziva and DiNozzo.

DiNozzo gets a couple of urgent text messages from Jeanne, and claiming (yet another) dental appointment, he goes round to her. Only to learn that the emergency is that she is going to be evicted as her apartment block is going to be turned into a condo and she has a month to find somewhere else to live. A friend has offered her a couch (but DiNozzo doesn't like this, he's watched Grey's Anatomy, nor does he approve of the idea of Jeanne living with her mother.

Then, as much it seems to his surprise as hers, he suggests they live together. The look on his face as he hugs a very happy Jeanne is, however, still one of uncertainty.

Back at the office the blind man reveals how well he knows his photographs and ties them in with the scents and sounds, and after Abby drops all the hard copies - he doesn't like the idea of them being digital - and is forced to return to her computer screen, the car he remembered being there is enhanced and a partial plate is found. It turns out to belong to David Wong, another young man who works in the same place as Lynn and like Lynn is squeaky clean. Wong went out to lunch four hours ago, and hasn't returned.

Another Gibbs and Mann scene in his basement where, in an utterly amazingly unbelievable move we find him letting her help him with his boat!!!! A conversation, well really a Mann monologue ensues with her talking about having filed for retirement, having her own 'manhunt to worry about', wanting something permanent, isn't asking for promises, but wants to know if Gibbs, like her, is in the relationship for the long haul. After all, she likes him, he likes her and when people like one another, they want to spend time together. She says she's already made a huge investment in their relationship.

One only has to see his face to see how utterly freaked he is by it; and if she couldn't read it and his body language, then how she ever got to the rank of Lt. Colonel with Army CID is beyond me. Everything in him screamed 'no way'. But . . . He cites the fact that he's in the middle of a case and thus is distracted; she's off to help find her replacement and hopes he'll have an answer when she returns - he had an answer, Hollis, you just didn't see it; you couldn't work it out and walk away. (I really do like J's theory, more and more re: Gibbs and women).

At the office the next day DiNozzo, McGee and Ziva are, amongst other things, talking about how irritable Abby is because of her lack of caffeine intake and poor DiNozzo, yes, I'm saying poor DiNozzo, gets a head slap he really didn't deserve.

Jimmy appears with the warrant to get into Wong's home and then starts to look around Gibbs's office (clearly looking for the missing panties), only vanishing when Gibbs notices him. Nice touch with Jimmy going one way, stopping as he realises he's gone the wrong way and hurrying back.

Jeanne calls and DiNozzo makes the excuse of going to the loo. She's found an apartment, three bedroom with floral wallpaper, and DiNozzo is now really worried and showing signs of uncertainty and stress. However, when she calls him on it, he says it isn't because he doesn't want to live with her, he does, he asked her from the heart, it's just his commitment thing again, and he doesn't like floral. He also says that as he's on a case, he's distracted.

As she ends the call and he turns around, Gibbs, McGee and Ziva are standing there. He expects Gibbs to be angry and starts to try to explain. However, for once Gibbs isn't, instead he says in a very heart-felt tone, "I know, DiNozzo. I know." And he does, he really, really does.

It's Ziva who demands to know more, and DiNozzo uses the famous 'it's complicated', which Ziva takes apart and gets angry. She finally says that he is, like anyone in love, worried about getting hurt. To which he explains that it isn't just him getting hurt that worries him, and Ziva tells him that's because he's a good person. The look on DiNozzo's face as she walks off after that comment is priceless; he is stunned by her words.

Nice scene in Abby's lab where she keeps, until Gibbs throws it away, inhaling the scene of the Caf-Pow McGee is holding, and we learn that under Wong's Capslock key was a tiny bug; the kind that collects keystrokes, and thus can learn passwords; it appears the Wong bugged himself. And Abby also uses the word 'distracted' only that's because of the nearness of the Caf-Pow, not a lover.

It is DiNozzo who suggests that they try to find the information the bug garnered by looking in the buffer. Everyone looks at him, and he mutters about the fact that Abby and McGee are always saying things like that, so he thought he would.

Abby: "He's right."
Ziva (in amazement): "He is?"
DiNozzo (in amazement): "I am?"

And they learn the address of an abandoned DLA warehouse, where we know we'll find Wong's body. And they do. He is hanging.

Another Autopsy scene with DiNozzo keeping out of the way over by the door and Ducky sitting at the table with Gibbs hovering nearby. It does indeed appear that Wong has killed himself, after confessing to murdering Lynn. However, the 'suicide/confession' note is signed 'David B Wong' and his service record shows it is actually 'David G Wong'.

The B isn't a B, it's I3, and ties in with an invoice code - Aircraft Maintenance, so evidence of any embezzlement, but McGee is ordered to look again.

Abby appears (her shirt is so Abby, black with pink skull and red hearts) and has found something in the photos, a picture of Jackson Scott's assistant (Bryn  Landers) in the background, and we're meant to think she's up to something, and is maybe the killer. She is up to something, but it's just good old fashioned love for Scott. She'd followed him, having used violet scented perfume so he couldn't notice her and he didn't. He's with Gibbs, DiNozzo and McGee watching Ziva interview Bryn, and he's amazed he failed to notice that she's in love with him. (Aww, moment).

Jimmy walks in, still looking for the lost panties, and makes some excuse; he's about to leave when Scott smells fruit coming from Jimmy. It is revealed that Jimmy has mild diabetes and because of being caught up hunting for the lost 'pipettes' (close to panties *g*), he forget to take his insulin and thus his breath takes on the scent of fruit.

Voilà, the true identity of the killer is then revealed. They return to Commander Jakobsen, who also has diabetes and arrest him. He had got Lynn to place a bug on Wong's computer, telling Lynn that Wong was under investigation for embezzlement; it was a lie, it was done to get Wong's passwords. Wong grew suspicious, contract Jakobsen, ironic because it was Jakobsen. A waiter places him at the restaurant, and there is a needle and insulin in Jakobsen's desk drawer.

We end pretty much where we began, back in Mann's bedroom with Gibbs now sanding down her wall. She appears and we learn that he's worked all night to fix her pipes. She takes that to mean that he's made his decision; their relationship is over and lays into him; telling him that he'd thrown away something good, and that why did she have to want a man who didn't want her. She tells him not to say anything, but then he never does. He should want her, she says.

All the time his looks, his body language is saying she's right, it is over, why didn't she take the hint. But then. . . Then he opens the door to her bathroom and explains that the reason he worked all night was because he'd found another leak, and he'd wanted to surprise her. It's a bigger job than he'd expected. She asks how long it'll take and he says 'oh, it could take a while'.

OVERALL:

Even with Jimmy in it and some nice gentle humour surrounding him, and a very nice Gibbs and Ducky exchange, I find very little credit in the at all. The case was virtually non-existent, but then I guess the episode wasn't about the case; it was about DiNozzo and Jeanne and Gibbs and Mann and their on-going relationships and the whole commitment issues. It has the dubious 'honour' of going into bottom place on my table for this season.

I have to say that if the last couple of episodes are examples of what we can look forward to in Season 5 (assuming there is one), then it might be better to end it now and go out when it's still at a relative high. The standard of episodes, IMO, has gone down hill quite a lot recently.

Mann, Mann and more Mann - what can I say? This is never good.

No Jenn so no more histrionics re: La Grenouille, so that's good.

Jimmy! Always good, and he had some fun appearances and in effect was instrumental in the solving the case, albeit not by anything he actually consciously did.

A nice, longish Ducky scene at the beginning, but then only one another.

A couple of nice Gibbs and Ducky interactions with the way they look at one another; always so wonderful to see.

Storyline:  4.50

Enjoyment: 4.50

Tags: non-fiction: episode reviews, season 04
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