Nikki (nakeisha) wrote in ncis_gibbsducky,
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Episode Review. Season 7x03 - The Inside Man

My thoughts behind the cut.



Unlike the last two weeks I had no real feelings re: looking forward or not looking forward to this episode, so no expectations at all. Overall I was happy with it; it was a solid episode with some great team interaction between various members, so fun banter, some nice asides, a case, that whilst strictly speaking wasn't actually a navy case as the dead guy wasn't navy or marine genuinely involved NCIS. It was interesting to see them, in effect, investigated (not that we saw much of that) and them having to recheck what they'd done.

I'm sad to say that DiNozzo irritated me more than once in this episode, both in his 'silly' comments to the SEC investigator and a couple of his 'jibes' to McGee were bordering very much on the edge of being not the fun banter we've seen in the first two episodes, but back to being not nice. It wasn't all the time, because we did still have the fun and old school banter, so I'm hopeful this was just a one-off. However, if this is a sign of having Ziva back, then sadly I'm afraid I wish she hadn't returned and I like Ziva. But there was definitely a subtle difference in some of DiNozzo's behaviour and an edge to his tone.

There was a lot more Ducky this week *bounces* which was really, really nice and a good amount of Gibbs/Ducky looks and exchanges. And lots of other shipping moments too for various ships, plus, all the interaction could be seen totally as friendship as well - which is lovely, as everyone is happy that way. (Well, not everyone, that's not possible, but most folk).

However, I am also 'missing' Gibbs. I know that several people were complaining during last season that the show seemed to be getting all about Gibbs - something I personally didn't notice at all - but so far this season, Gibbs has been somewhat 'absent'. He's not been around as much, he's sending the boys out to do things and overall, he definitely seems to be having less screen time. I for one really rue that as NCIS is Gibbs; he's the leader, the father, the captain, the head that keeps the body alive and the whole thing ticking over. I do hope he isn't going to continue to take a back-seat.

Anyway, on with the episode itself.

We begin with a man (Matt Burns) sitting in his car on a bridge typing into his laptop and we see NCIS on the screen. Below the bridge are construction workers, one of whom brings coffee for the other. Seconds later Burns's body crashing to the ground with blood all over his chest from where he appears to have been impaled upon something.

In the office McGee is on the phone, DiNozzo is playing with a pen and Ziva is watching. McGee hangs up and makes a comment about it being odd and DiNozzo asks if that is his way of trying to get them to ask what his phone call was about - and that was the beginning of the edge in DiNozzo's voice, the one that had been missing for the last two episodes. McGee tells them he has to retake his polygraph and DiNozzo goes over to McGee's desk and then seems genuinely concerned, even though he makes a comment about whether McGee 'came out' and then goes on about they need to figure out what McGee did wrong, so they can fix it. Ziva has also gone over to McGee's desk and she comments she is sure it is a mistake. She is wearing a Visitor's Badge around her neck.

Gibbs then arrives carrying some kind of oar (which is never commented on or referred to or as far as I could see even seen again). DiNozzo ask him if he's ever failed a polygraph test; Gibbs replies that he's never taken one (how has he managed that? Or is it just Gibbs being Gibbs?). He tells McGee and DiNozzo to go with him. McGee asks about the body is it navy or marine, Gibbs says no, but that it belongs to Matt Burns and we learn that he'd been on NCIS's backs about a case he claimed they covered up. As they are about to go Ducky appears and Gibbs asks if he needs him. Ducky says clearly Gibbs is busy and it can wait. Gibbs says he'll catch him when he gets back. He and the boys leave.

Then Ducky, somewhat clumsily I have to say, tries to talk to Ziva. He comments that it must be hard not being cleared for field work (she says her exact status still hasn't been confirmed) and it would make him mad and is that how she feels. She asks him if he's asking as a friend or a Forensic Psychologist and he glances away and then tells her that she can always talk to him if she needs to. She thanks him and rather pointedly, I thought, calls him 'Duck'. Unlike the previous time he thought she'd called him 'Duck' when she was simply saying 'duck', she doesn't correct her. Once he's gone, she looks up Burns's website.

At the scene Gibbs's badge gets them past the uniformed cop and they split up. McGee addresses and older man (Metro Detective Danny Sportelli) and DiNozzo (naturally) goes to the young woman (Metro Detective Megan Hanley). He compliments her on her scarf, but tells her she shouldn't be wearing it at a crime scene as it could contaminate the evidence; he also asks if it's her first crime scene. It is. Gibbs appears and asks about the body and she starts to give him a bit of background information. At that moment McGee and Sportelli come over and Sportelli is not happy with Megan nor with Gibbs being there, due to NCIS's link with Burns. He tells Gibbs he expects NCIS's full co-operation. Well, Mr. Detective, it all depends on your definition of 'full', does it not? You'll get what Gibbs deems he can get away with giving you.

Back at HQ we see Gibbs, McGee and Ziva standing watching Burns talk about Lt. Rob Arnett, whom he claims was a poster boy for the navy. We learn that Arnett is dead and that he died in a car crash - or at least that's what NCIS's investigation concluded; Burns, however, disputes it. He is accusing NCIS of covering up because Arnett was, in fact, involved with insider trading. During this DiNozzo is at his desk passing comments about how annoyed the whole thing was making him. Gibbs tells them to go over the whole case again.

He leaves and Ziva wonders what is up with Gibbs. DiNozzo comments about how Sportelli tugged at 'superman's' cape. I thought it was rather 'amusing' that the writers had DiNozzo referring to Gibbs as 'superman' in this episode as it was one of the words used about him in the review/discussion here over the first episode and how Gibbs 'miraculously' got from A to B in nano seconds. I digress . . .

McGee then brings up Burns's last post and we learn that he had a 'source' who would open up the whole thing. And we then also learn that Burns is a nasty piece of work who seems to have made his life revolve around ruining other people's lives. One of whom was a judge who was about to be appointed to the Supreme Court, but following some revelation from Burns withdrew is application. DiNozzo says he'll go and see the judge and when McGee tells him to be careful and reminds him that he's going outside of the purview of the job, DiNozzo again gets a tad cutting and almost bitchy. Please, writers, do not go back to this. Please. Pretty please. Let's keep the banter and digs as it's been for two weeks.

Meanwhile down in Autopsy, we see Ducky talking to a machine and trying to get it to work - it doesn't obey him. Gibbs then appears and asks if Ducky has a new toy; Ducky has. His new toy is a portable x-ray machine which will be really useful, once he can actually figure out how to work it. He comments that he'd like to have a chat with the people who write manuals (you and most people, Ducky) adding he doubts though they'd have a common language - so lovely and so very, very true! Meanwhile Gibbs regards Ducky with his fond-Ducky smile and asks what Ducky wants him for. Ducky wants to talk about Ziva and he says that she's clearly been through a lot more than she's letting on (which she has) and that the tried to talk to her, but she wouldn't. He asks Gibbs if she's said anything to him and Gibbs tells him she hasn't, adding she will when she's ready. And he asks Ducky to review the autopsy file he has on Arnett.

Now I am so glad that we're getting this and that the whole thing hasn't just been dropped and brushed under the carpet, but also that we aren't focussing on it every two seconds. This is being really nicely done; we do know there is more to come out; we know she must really have suffered and we know that despite her 'it's in the past; I'm fine' (which is what Ziva would say) she is not fine and it's not as 'in the past' as she's trying to convince others and more importantly herself. So extremely well handled, writers/SB; full marks.

DiNozzo is with the judge whose life Burns ruined. The judge tells DiNozzo how he used to be happy and a respected judge before Burns 'turned up', now he's teaching at a community college kids who are barely literate. DiNozzo sympathises and pulls the subject back to Burns's allegations. He's accused the judge of plagiarism and the judge admits that he foolishly did borrow a few lines from a book for his speech, but that could all have been dealt with and wouldn't have been a problem. But then Burns got really nasty and started to make up lies about his past, how he cheated in law school, his marriage, etc. so much so that the judge dropped his Supreme Court 'application' as it was getting really embarrassing for everyone involved. At that moment DiNozzo sees Sportelli and Megan and hurries away.

Meanwhile Gibbs is with Arnett's CO and Lt. Jessica Summers. His CO says there was no signs at all of insider trading and that Arnett had no need. He was rich, he had family money, he was young and he drove his car like a mad man. He says that Lt. Summers was closer to him than he was and she confirmed Arnett drove fast, but says she didn't know him outside of the office, nor whom his friends were. Hmmm, my spider sense said she wasn't telling the whole truth.

Down in the evidence garage, Abby is uncovering Arnett's car and is not a happy bunny that she has to re-examine the evidence as she knows it was a car crash, everything points to it. McGee turns up and says how worried he is about retaking the polygraph and he goes on about that, whilst Abby goes on about the car and finally they stop and simultaneously say: "You're not listening to me." Nicely done. McGee asks if she knows anyone else who has ever had to take a polygraph; she admits she does - a person who is no longer with NCIS. Poor Timmy; that didn't help.

Back in the squad room Ziva is telling them how she's discovered that in fact there were an unusual number of calls between Arnett and Lt. Summers, that stopped abruptly. DiNozzo passes a comment about 'relationships in the workplace'. Ziva then shows Gibbs something else she has found whilst she has been tied to her desk; this is about Burns making up things about a Congressman. Burns really was a nasty, nasty piece of work - I guess it's not surprising that someone finally flipped and killed him! Gibbs tells McGee to look up Arnett's finances and does his 'leaning over McGee' bit (a Gibbs/McGee moment).

In the interrogation room Gibbs is with Lt. Summers and he tells her she lied to him. He wants to know about her and Arnett and who broke it off. He is whispering to her in his highly scary Gibbs-whisper way. She says she did and then that Arnett did. And finally that Arnett was seeing other women. Outside McGee, DiNozzo and Ziva are watching and discussing what method Gibbs will use to break her. DiNozzo suggests he'll lead with creepy uncle, then go with trusting father figure. McGee thinks it'll be Gibbs's in your face intimidation. Ziva disagrees.

However, they are all wrong because in fact Gibbs goes with lying to her. He tells her they are working with Metro and that notes have been found in Burns's office with her name on them. She believes Gibbs and we learn in fact that she was Burns's Pentagon source - she's a 'woman scorned'. And she also admits that she does think that Arnett may have been insider trading as she remembers an occasion when Arnett was very happy over a stock market deal. Gibbs isn't happy because if Arnett was insider trading, then NCIS did blow the investigation.

Down in Autopsy Ducky tells Gibbs how he reviewed the Autopsy report as if he were an objective outsider and he starts to explain in depth about what he did. But Gibbs cuts him off with his fondly exasperated 'Duck' and asks for the bottom line. Ducky confirms that Arnett definitely died in a car crash. At that moment his phone rings and he tells Gibbs that Gibbs will want him to take it as it's his counterpart - Tom Hubbard the District ME. When he answers the phone he tells Hubbard that he's in the middle of an autopsy, then quietly telling Gibbs he has to say that or Hubbard will talk his ear off (lovely); Gibbs smiles. Hubbard then tells Ducky that Metro have classified Burns's death as a homicide and Ducky tells Hubbard his lips are sealed.

Gibbs (looking at Ducky): "You ever lie like that to me, Duck?"
Ducky: "Never."

G/D squee moment - sorry. Oh, that was so lovely. A great exchange and I loved it when Gibbs asks Ducky if he'd ever lied like that to him and he sounded almost concerned he might get a 'yes'. Really wonderful. Sorry. Moving on . . .

Gibbs is looking at various x-rays which I assume to be Arnett's and Ducky asks that if Burns was murdered, was Arnett, maybe? Gibbs asks if there's anything else Ducky can do. He said if he had Arnett's brain he could run further tests, but he hasn't. When Gibbs asks him why he says because there was no logical reason to keep it. The tests he could have run would have taken ten days and Arnett's family were leaning on Vance to get the body back as they wanted to bury Arnett quickly and wanted to bury him whole. Gibbs tells Ducky to unbury Arnett and to get Vance to use the full impact of his office to allow the exhumation. He goes.

We then go to the conference room where we have SEC Investigator Benjamin Franklin. Gibbs and DiNozzo are with him. He too has looked into the case of Arnett possibly insider trading, but he hasn't found any evidence either. He explains how insider trading works and at one point DiNozzo makes one of 'his' comments, Franklin stops talking, Gibbs says nothing, so Franklin goes on again. He says how only one OTM showed any profit. He puts his glasses on, DiNozzo makes another comment, this time he gets a Gibbs glare and Franklin explains how a Will Sutton, a man who owns a sandwich shop made $2 million on one deal. However, there is absolutely no connection between him and Arnett or him and the navy or him and anyone. At that moment Gibbs's phone rings; it's Abby. He says he'll be right down and goes, leaving Franklin with DiNozzo. There was no need to make DiNozzo come out with his comments during that scene, they weren't necessary, they did nothing to enhance the plot, they were just thrown in, I felt, to give DiNozzo some silly comments to make. Oh, writers, no. Please, no.

Meanwhile in Abby's lab she is having a stand-off with Sportelli (Megan is in the background) telling him that she only takes orders from Leroy Jethro Gibbs and if he doesn't tell her to do something, it doesn't get done. Sportelli then calls her 'honey' - ooh, silly man! Gibbs appears and Abby tells him to 'make this horrible man go away'. Sportelli says he has a Court order to take all the evidence on Arnett; after a moment or two Gibbs tells Abby to hand it over. She isn't happy, but will comply, and she tells Sportelli he has to sign the chain of evidence form, calling him 'honey'. Megan says she'll sign it. I think she's quite amused by the fact that her boss, who doesn't seem the best man in the world to work for, is getting a bit of a run around by NCIS. Someone is finally standing up to him.

DiNozzo has gone to see Sutton in his sandwich shop and he (DiNozzo) has a toothpick - why? Vance is bad enough, but not DiNozzo. Is it going to be the new NCIS emblem? Sutton, not surprisingly, wonders why DiNozzo is there. DiNozzo asks about the stock deal Sutton made a killing on and Sutton says he got lucky, for the first and only time. He'd never heard of Arnett. DiNozzo asks why, if he made $2 million is he still working in his sandwich shop. Sutton explains how the SEC have frozen his funds and how he's now spending money on solicitors trying to get it all sorted and that by the time it is, the solicitors will see more of the money than he will. Meanwhile DiNozzo is gazing rather lovingly at the pastrami Sutton is cutting up.

Back at the office DiNozzo is enjoying a pastrami sandwich whilst McGee is telling him he can't find a link between Sutton and Arnett. They came from totally different backgrounds, were totally different men, they were complete opposites, lived sixty miles apart, there is nothing. He's checked emails, and everything - but nada. He asks for a bite of DiNozzo's sandwich, but DiNozzo refuses and stuffs the remainder of the sandwich - a heck of a lot - into his mouth. You could have spared a bite, DiNozzo.

Down in Autopsy Abby is with Ducky and he is talking about how in some cultures it is sacrilege or even a taboo to be doing what Gibbs has 'ordered' him to do. He then explains how in South China they dig up the body again after a year, clean the bones, dry them and put them in a pot for reburial. He puts a mask over his nose and mouth, Abby holds one over hers and says that exhumations are disturbing - not disturbing enough to prevent her from being there. It was a very Abby thing to do. Ducky agrees, but says it shouldn't be too bad as Arnett had only been in the ground for two weeks (which is odd, I got the feeling, clearly wrongly, from what had been said and the whole Burns thing that it had happened quite a bit longer ago than a mere fortnight). He opens the coffin and finds . . . Nothing. Well, no body; instead there are four weights.

Gibbs and the boys are then down there and they are all looking at the empty coffin. They will have to tell Sportelli about it. Gibbs asks Ducky when he last saw the body; it was the day after the Autopsy and Ducky released it to Heavenly Glen Funeral Home. Gibbs sends the boy off and tells McGee he'll handle McGee's rescheduled polygraph.

In the squad room Ziva is at her desk when Agent Susan Grady appears, looking for McGee. Ziva tells Grady he's out on a case and she is not best pleased. And I then got the feeling that something was slightly 'off' re: the retesting. Something didn't feel 'right'. Grady didn't seem quite genuine. I couldn't really put my finger on it at that moment, but she triggered something.

At the funeral home the woman who co-owns it is telling McGee (DiNozzo is in the background looking at a coffin) about Arnett and how their mortician had done a grand job on restructuring his face, but how the family still decided on a closed casket. Only three people have keys to the place, her brother, their mortician and her. DiNozzo asks about security system and she suddenly seems to remember something and leaves. Meanwhile McGee gets a text from Ziva about Grady appearing - it seems that Gibbs forgot to deal with it. Very un-Gibbs-like.

DiNozzo then calls McGee over to him and suggest he get into the coffin; he'll then take a picture of McGee and people will think he's dead and thus he won't need a polygraph test. Right! At that moment the woman reappears and tells them that in the early hours of the morning of Arnett's funeral, their alarms had gone off. But nothing seemed to have been tampered with and they just dismissed it. There was a twenty minute window between the alarm going off and a security guard appearing. Arnett's body could have been removed.

Back at HQ, Ducky and Abby are again looking at Arnett's coffin. Abby says it's expensive, the top of the range, but that it was factory made, thus it hadn't got any personality, unlike her own, which is like a Stradivarius, and was hand crafted in the 1870s. Ducky says he's never seen the sense in spending a fortune on something that would be seen for a couple of hours and then spend the rest of the time in the ground. Abby comments that hers will provide her with years of restful sleep and pleasure.

Ducky then asks if she's found anything, prints, DNA, but she says she hadn't even the weights had been totally cleaned. Ducky comments that to go to those lengths didn't make sense given that the coffin was meant to have been buried for eternity. Abby then says it is cosmic; there are two minds but with one thought, as what Ducky said was exactly what Gibbs had said when she'd told him. Ducky says "Wow." Another lovely scene for G/D fen, even though Gibbs wasn't actually present. They are so attuned to one another, they think the same :-)

Up in the squad room Gibbs and the others are looking at Burns's site again. Ziva feels that the reason Burns kept pushing at NCIS was because there would come a time when they would have to reinvestigate the case and that would mean exhuming the body. It would be found to be missing and Burns's site would explode; he could say exactly what he liked about Arnett. Burns stole the body. It's a nice idea, but how do they prove that Burns stole Arnett's body? McGee says he has an idea, but he needs access to Arnett's car, which has been impounded by Metro. DiNozzo begins to laugh, but stops very quickly.

We next see McGee and DiNozzo looking very shifty as they appear outside Metro's impound. DiNozzo spies the car. McGee says he can take care of the video surveillance camera, but he is worried about the dogs. DiNozzo assures him Metro can't afford dogs and tells McGee to trust him (so you just know what's going to happen at some point). McGee pulls out a 'gun' and explains how he's put together a solution that will emulate bird droppings. When DiNozzo is sceptical, McGee says how he used it successfully in a paint-ball competition in the summer - DiNozzo is impressed that McGee has played paint-ball. McGee takes aim, DiNozzo calls him McSniper and McGee makes the perfect shot - praised by DiNozzo. DiNozzo then climbs the fence, McGee hesitates and asks about dogs again; DiNozzo says he can't see any or hear any, thus there are none and tells McGee to get a move on.

They get to the car and DiNozzo tells McGee to do his thing whilst he keeps an eye out. McGee is lying on his back upside down fiddling beneath the steering wheel doing 'techy' things. He says how much easier it would be if he could take the navigation system back to the navy yard with him, instead he's copying it onto his laptop. There's a dog bark, but it's only DiNozzo with his mobile phone. He tells McGee he's such a mark, McGee tells him he's such a child - but that exchange was back to the fun level, back to the last two weeks. But then there is real dogs barking. Not surprisingly for a moment McGee doesn't believe DiNozzo, but quickly realises DiNozzo is not kidding him. They both race off, going over cars and trucks and at one point one of the dogs goes up onto the cars to follow DiNozzo. DiNozzo finally gets to the fence, McGee tosses him the laptop, which DiNozzo deftly catches but poor McGee has his trouser leg caught by a dog. As the guard appears McGee tells DiNozzo he managed to send the file to Abby.

In Abby's lab she is looking at mug shots of McGee and DiNozzo and says how poor little Timmy looks so scared. She asks Gibbs why he's not down at Metro sorting things out. He says they'll be fine and asks about the information McGee sent to her. We learn that Burns did go to the mortuary and after that to a park in Maryland. He kisses her check (a nice father & daughter moment or Gibbs/Abby if you see them in that way) and at that moment the boys arrive. As Abby is hugging them both (McGee first) Gibbs says how the director had dealt with getting them back, as it was far above his pay level. He then tells the boys they have to do digging.

Up in the squad room Ziva is beginning an email: Dear Father. Abby appears and Ziva hides the email. Abby is pleased and very Abby-like and tells Ziva she is correct; DiNozzo called to say they'd found the body. And she suggest she and Ziva go out and have a girl's night out (an Abby/Ziva moment). Ziva is very quiet and subdued during this and declines Abby's invitation. Abby after a moment or two accepts it and she goes; Ziva returns to her email.

Now personally I felt Ziva deliberately chose to write the email in English, First of all we know they speak to one another in English, we've seen it. But more importantly (as that can be argued it's done to avoid sub-titles) it is right, because of what she's doing. She's resigning from Mossad, she's severing ties with Israel and her father. She's choosing NCIS over Mossad; the US over Israel; Gibbs over her father. Writing to him in English would be the perfect thing for her to do to show him beyond any doubt that she has made her choice. She is choosing to write in her non-native language, thus leaving her father in no doubt at all that this is it. So to me the choice was chillingly perfect.

We are then with McGee and Agent Grady. She has him hooked up to the machine and is fiddling with it a bit. She tells him how she'd gone to work early on the previous day just to carry out his test and he'd missed the appointment. She said he'd got her into trouble as the people she sees every day on the train - she's a creature of habit - were concerned about her. And you suddenly see she's flirting with him; this is not a real test at all. She is abusing her position. She then says she'll ask him some basic questions to which he can only answer 'yes' or 'no'; she begins with his name, and his place of birth (Bethesda, Maryland). She then asks if he's ever been arrested, he says no. Then hesitates and tries to explain about the previous day, she says he can only say 'yes' or 'no' so he says yes. The than asks if he lives alone and if he's in a committed relationship - way over the line, Gardy! He says a straight yes to the first, but hesitates slightly over the second; he finally seems to be aware her questions aren't 'right'.

And then he suddenly asks her about the train, the one she takes every day. She tries to laugh it off saying he can't ask questions, but he pushes and finally when she confirms she does indeed take it every day, he get up, pulls the bits off him and leaves, saying he'll have to reschedule.

In Abby's lab Abby is telling Gibbs that the fibres on Arnett's burial clothes match the kind that came from the make and model of Burns's car, but she needs the actual car to prove it. McGee hurries in and says he needs to see an inventory of Arnett's personal effects adding 'hi, boss'. He learns that Arnett has a rail pass and then he explains to Gibbs how it would be possible for Arnett and Sutton to have met on the train and travelled together each day. Thus, it could still be a case of insider trading. He traces Arnett's route and now he needs to see Sutton's pass.

McGee and DiNozzo go to Sutton who thinks DiNozzo is back for more pastrami, this time bringing a friend with him - McGee holds up his badge and DiNozzo denies that McGee is a friend. McGee asks about the train journey and the rail pass. DiNozzo then talks about the film Strangers On A Train and McGee and DiNozzo tell Sutton how his and Arnett's 'Strangers On A Train' worked. McGee shuts up shop and asks to see Sutton's pass.

Sutton and Arnett met, Arnett gave Sutton inside information, Sutton did the 'deal' and got the money and after a period of time, he'd split it with Arnett. Sutton's only mistake was to panic and believe Burns. Burns had nothing, just a tip; he had no evidence. However, Sutton asked to meet him to 'tell all' and then pushed him off the bridge. DiNozzo then says NCIS and Metro are working closely together and they will connect Sutton and Arnett. I must say it was another case of me not shedding any tears over Burns; I'm not saying he deserved to die, but he really was a nasty piece of work - a destroyer of lives and a nasty blackmailer. Even if he didn't get money, he was still a blackmailer; he toyed with people and ruined them. Evil.

Back at NCIS Gibbs, Sportelli and Megan get out of the lift. Gibbs says that as they've caught Burns's killer, he wants the charges dropped against his team. Sportelli doesn't like it, but agrees - as long as the case against Sutton stands up. DiNozzo then says he'll escort Sutton down to the car along with Megan and as they go off he's complimenting her jumper.

McGee then approaches Gibbs about the polygraph test and Gibbs tells him that he'd made an impression on Grady and she made an excuse to see him again. McGee just stares at him for a moment until Gibbs asks his he wants him to draw him a picture (bless). McGee declines, saying he'll handle it and he goes.

Ziva then goes over to Gibbs's desk and puts a piece of paper down in front of him, saying she needs his signature. She tells him being stuck at the desk gave her a lot of time to think and being a visitor is wrong. He asks what she means by that. He's still quite distant from her, still somewhat off, so despite her calling him in effect her father, he still hasn't totally forgiven her for the whole Ari incident. Again, that's quite good to see; we know how important trust is to Gibbs, he doesn't give it easily and once it has been breached, it's not easy to get back. She tells him she wants to become an NCIS Agent. He looks at her and says he doesn't even know if it's possible and that she'd have to resign from Mossad. Er, and don't forget, you have to be a US citizen and as far as I'm aware, Ziva isn't. She tells him she's done that, she's sent her father an email. He asks what he thinks of that and she says it doesn't matter. He has the pen, she looks down at the form and at the place he should sign his name 'Recommended by Leroy Jethro Gibbs' and . . . He doesn't sign it; he just looks back up at her.

OVERALL

A solid episode.

A somewhat different from the norm case. A few twists and turns and a good resolution and although my spider sense twitched a few times, I didn't have Sutton pegged for killing Burns. Although there were elements of the case and the whole Arnett and Burns that didn't quite work and had a few holes.

Some good exchanges and nice banter.

Very well done on the whole Ziva thing on all fronts; firstly the fact she isn't over her ordeal hasn't been dropped and secondly Gibbs's interaction with her and reaction to her.

A really nice amount of Ducky, which makes me happy. And some lovely Gibbs/Ducky moments.

Some shippy moments for several other ships: Gibbs/McGee; DiNozzo/McGee; Ziva/Abby; Gibbs/Abby; Abby/McGee

Overall pretty well balanced. I enjoyed it. But then I had lots of Ducky and Gibbs/Ducky, which is bound to increase my enjoyment.

Oh, and on a totally shallow note, I also loved it because Ducky wasn't in his greens or his blue coveralls, but in his 'smarter' clothes and white coat. Lovely.

I have a few niggles:

DiNozzo (as mentioned above) in parts wasn't as good as in the previous two episodes.

There was no Jimmy.

The whole Ziva wanting to become an NCIS Agent when nothing was said about her not being an American citizen.

The case felt rushed. The fact that Burns had only been doing the dirty for two weeks felt wrong. Plus, the whole convoluted thing of him getting Arlett's body from the funeral home just so he could boost himself, seemed somewhat OTT. Plus, I'm sure the investigations into insider trading would have taken a lot longer and people wouldn't be so categorical about Arlett not being involved.

Best scenes:

- Gibbs and Ducky in Autopsy (the portable x-ray machine)
- Gibbs and Ducky in Autopsy (when Ducky is lying to his fellow ME)
- Ducky and Abby with the coffin and the cosmic moment
- McGee and DiNozzo in Metro's pound

Ship of the week:

Gibbs/Ducky

Character of the week:

Ducky

Actor/Actress of the week:

David McCallum

Storyline: 8.75

Enjoyment: 9.25

I think I'm going to stick, unless it's really obvious, to rating after my second viewing, for this season.
Tags: !creator: nakeisha, non-fiction: episode reviews, season 07
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