I knew next to nothing about this episode before I watched it; the title being the only thing, so I had no expectations at all.
Overall I thought it was another solid case-based episode. In some ways the link with the navy was slightly more tenuous than in other episodes, even though one of the victims was a navy man, but nonetheless it was another solid case for the team to investigate.
From a non-American perspective I thought it was an interesting and brave subject to tackle and I felt it was well portrayed and well done. It stopped short of sensationalism and showed an honest feeling and fear that some citizens have. Sadly, it also showed that whilst some people have one set of plans and don't want to kill or harm anyone, they just want to get their message over, not all people in the same group feel that way. And it showed what can happen when those who aren't satisfied with non-human targets get tired of waiting or bored or whatever and take matters into their own hands. It was a sobering subject.
As a non-American I was stunned by the fact that a postman could take a sick day to go and umpire/referee a softball game and that was perfectly fine with his employers. Er, sick days are for being sick, aren't they? I confess I don't fully understand the set up in America about sick days, personal days and holidays, but to me it was shocking that someone could do this.
Also, is it just me or did everyone seem a tad 'off' in this episode? I can't put my finger on it (maybe it's just this virus/cold/persistent cough I still have and being under the weather) but I just got that feeling. I can't even point to an example or two, it was just a feeling for the entire episode. It was almost as if they were just actors/actresses delivering lines and playing parts - which I know is what they are, but they don't usually come across like that. The smoothness, the 'whatever' wasn't there.
There was some good team interaction, but not as good as it has been. It's all part of the 'slightly off' feeling I had. There were some fun lines and scenes and nice shippy moments for several ships (Gibbs/McGee, DiNozzo/Abby, DiNozzo/Ziva, DiNozzo/McGee were the ones that really stood out).
Despite the relative sombre nature of the episode there were some fun moments; Tony struggling with his voice made for a nice light interlude and it was very well done. Tony does indeed, as we know, love to talk so it must have been so hard for him not to do so. I felt it was fun and light hearted without making him look like an idiot.
There was no Jimmy this week, which was a shame, so I guess we are left to assume he's at Med School. And for me there was too little Ducky. There is less Ducky this season. It also seemed to me that the writers are struggling to know what to do with both Abby and Ducky these days, maybe that's why we are seeing less of them.
I can't say the bad guys came as any real surprise, the postman was almost too 'postman-like' a caricature in a way and the other guy was smarmy, so they did stand out a bit.
I thought the baseball theme wasn't overplayed and again not being American I can't get the excitement, etc. Tim and Tony were feeling, I was definitely on Ziva's wave length whilst they were going on about it. So it was a nice little bit at the end when suddenly the lights come on, Tim, Tony and even Gibbs seem somewhat transfixed by them and then Ziva decides to go and play catch with Gibbs.
We again had the father theme mentioned and I thought it was interesting that when Ziva was talking to the daughter she said that sometimes fathers do things that need a lot of forgiving. She wasn't just talking about the girl and her father, she was talking about her and Daddy David. And again at the end with her saying her father had taught her baseball.
And it was interesting, I felt, that Ziva's past and the 'old' Ziva was mentioned more than once. Interesting that Tony misses the old Ziva. Also Ziva undercover as her old self. And that was revisited between Tony and Ziva near to the end. I know a lot of people have said they miss the old Ziva and don't like how 'tamed' she has become, I wonder if we are going to see a change to her character again? I also thought it was telling that Ziva stopped carrying her knives when she became an NCIS Agent.
I did like Tim's slight hesitation when he was about to erase five years of Ziva's life, whereas Ziva seemed less bothered. It was very subtly done, very understated and underplayed, but it was there.
What can I say? I can't say the episode lit me up or kept me on the edge of my seat, but I wasn't bored by it. It started extremely well with the shooting and did lose a bit of ground after that. It was a tad slow in parts, I felt. Nothing too bad, but just a bit. It was just a middle of the road, solid episode. But part of the not lighting me up might be down to not being well.
- No Jimmy.
- Too little Ducky.
- Everyone being slightly 'off'.
- The opening squad room scene with Tim and Tony going on about baseball and how Tony actually thought Tim had a good idea. I liked the bonding between them and Ziva not really getting the whole obsession.
- Ducky in Autopsy talking to the bodies.
- Gibbs and Ducky in Autopsy, but far too short.
- Tony and Tim in the car when Tony is talking about the old Ziva and how sexual she was and the reference he made to the time they were undercover as man and wife and how when Tim said it was all just an act, Tony clammed up and wouldn't answer him. Nicely done. Again his silence can be read two ways, because we do know that whilst Tony loves to get information on everyone else, he's far more reticent and closed mouthed about himself. Thus his silence was typical, neither deny nor confirm - very well done and played.
- Ducky examining Tony and Tony not keeping still or quiet and Ducky getting slightly miffed with him and then teasing him about film references after telling Tony he shouldn't talk for 24 hours. A nice scene, but even that seemed slightly off.
- Ziva pushing Tony to the ground and their little exchange about him missing the old Ziva.
There were some nice little throw away touches too:
- Tony's 'jogger people'.
- Tim's slight reticence about erasing Ziva's life over the last five years.
Ship of the week:
Character of the week:
Actor/Actress of the week: