Nikki (nakeisha) wrote in ncis_gibbsducky,
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Episode Review. Season 8x06 - Cracked

My thoughts behind the cut.



All I knew about this episode was that it was Abby-centric and involved her getting obsessed over a case, which did have me slightly concerned we would get way over the top Abby and her being weird and so hyper she'd be unbearable. In parts she was, but for the most part she was fine; driven, focussed; the comparison with the dead girl and her was scary at times - as the others noticed - but that's Abby.

Another solid case, which was good given it was a character-centric episode. Far too often in recent times a character-centric episode meant the NCIS side of it took second place and it was just there to back-up the angst that was driving the character. This wasn't so with this one; this was again back to the solid character-centric episodes of Seasons 1 & 2 whereby the case was still central and the character-centricness was based around the case.

I enjoyed the case and seeing Abby following it through and working it out. Science isn't my bent, so I have no idea whether it was good science or not (J'll have more an idea as his background is on the science/maths/computing side). And whether it is possible to make fuel from rubbish, again I have no idea if that is remotely possible - or if it will be - or if it's just 'fiction'. So even though at times I had no idea what Abby was babbling about, I was still interested in the case.

Sadly it was another time when the baddie really was wearing the black hat as I pegged her the instant I saw her. Normally that doesn't affect my enjoyment, but this time she was so ultra-obvious that I was partly fast-forwarding in my mind to the moment they worked out who it was and caught her.

I was curious when the episode opened as to how it was going to fit into NCIS when it was clearly a simple accident, in fact I was surprised they were called to such an obvious case of someone just trying to dodge the lights. But it did fit in (obviously) and worked out well. The killing was particularly vicious and personal and really did fit with the 'the female of the species is more deadly than the male'. To kill purely because someone was better than you, because people thought her work was wonderful. Sometimes it's possible to have some degree of sympathy for the killer or at least understanding, but not this time. She was a nasty, scheming bitch.

As for the victim, to be that driven and obsessed and intelligent must be scary in a way - for the person and those around her. The poor girl, I felt sorry to her despite her brilliance. I did have to wonder if she'd be accepted into the forces given she had to take regular medication for whatever illness she had. To die, to be killed, out of envy and because you are better than someone else is a terrible thing. She hadn't harmed anyone, but she had to die.

The team didn't seem 'off' this week, which was good and there was some good interaction and nice moments and several shippy moments for various ships (Abby/McGee, Gibbs/Ducky, Gibbs/McGee, Gibbs & Abby, Ducky & Abby being the main ones). I liked how the team were concerned about Abby, and showed it at different levels and in different ways.

There were flashes of humour, not many, but some - mainly Tony and his John Travolta impression. And I get cookies because I actually recognised who he was dressed up as (which anyone who knows me will know is a rare thing). I did like how they started that little theme at the beginning with Ethel wanting Tony to dress up and kept it going once or twice throughout the episode, nothing heavy or OTT, just to remind us and then we get the big reveal. It was cleverly done and fun.

I felt for Tim, he wanted to help Abby (he's still in love with her, that came over so well in this episode) but at the same time he was really concerned for her, thus his trying to reason with her. He wasn't totally to blame for her storming off like that; the bus driver closed the doors so quickly and it was Abby's choice - what could be have done run along after it? In honesty he didn't have a chance to board the bus. But he felt bad about it and Tony's niggling at him wouldn't have helped. Very Tony though, very defensive of the whole team. I have no doubt had it been Tim in the position and not Abby Tony would have been as peeved with the person.

As for Abby. In parts I did want to shake her and point out how obsessive she was getting to the point of being dangerous and letting everything else go. And there were a couple of times she really annoyed me, but generally her focus was so Abby and it was scary to see her in comparison with Clea, very scary.

Nice to see Jimmy back and interacting with Abby, Ducky and Gibbs. And we only had one tiny inappropriate comment this week, but that actually fitted fairly well. And nice to see a little more Ducky than in previous episodes and for my main ship there were some lovely Gibbs/Ducky moments and scenes with looks and closeness.

Overall I really did enjoy the episode. Although I did have a problem with all the writing it squeaked me out. In fact my skin is still tingling and crawling and I'm itching because of it. It's me, it's a 'thing' I have.

Favourite scenes:

- The opening squad room scene was really well done. Some excellent interaction, banter and teasing between the three younger members of the field team. A lot of fun and great to see them so relaxed, so happy to be in one another's company and so easy together. Jibes being thrown in all directions, but nothing nasty, nothing bitchy, just good, honest fun.
- Abby and Jimmy interacting in Autopsy.
- Gibbs, Ducky and Jimmy in the first Autopsy scene. Poor Ducky he was so glad to see Gibbs as he thought he'd finally get Abby out of the way so he and Jimmy could get on with their jobs.
- McGee showing his concern for Abby when comparing her to Clea.
- Abby talking to Clea and Ducky appearing and talking to Abby in his gentle caring way. I enjoy Ducky and Abby interaction.
- Gibbs and Ducky in Autopsy talking about Abby and Gibbs being really concerned, but Ducky knowing they'd only get Abby back when she was ready.
- Abby and Clea's mother. That was moving and the best thing they could do to try to pull Abby back from the edge of the abyss she was teetering on. I liked Clea's mother telling Abby if she wanted to help she had to be like Clea and cut off all emotion. So much was said in that line; poor Clea's mother, not just losing her daughter, but in a way she'd never really had her.
- Abby, McGee and Gibbs in the final Abby's lab working scene. Very well done and co-ordinated.
- Gibbs and Ducky and Jimmy in the final Autopsy scene. I loved how Gibbs sent Jimmy off to find out who had filed the patent and Jimmy's look of sheer happiness that he'd been given something important to do. That was superb.
- The final squad room scene with Tony in his outfit; again excellent interaction between the three of them. And for someone who was apparently so ashamed of dressing up like that, why did he show Tim and Ziva? He didn't have to, but he did. But that's Tony.
- The final scene in Abby's lab - it did look good - with Gibbs. And nice how she hurried back for the book.

There were some nice little throw away touches too:

- The look Gibbs gave Tony when Tony sat on his desk. Nothing was said, the look was enough. Tony should not be there and he better get off quickly - and Tony knew it.
- Gibbs leaning over McGee.
- Gibbs raising his voice to Abby.

Minor irks:

- Having to shoehorn Kelly into the episode again. I have to wonder how many people do go around asking 'do you have children'?
- Abby in Autopsy for the first scene when she was taking photos and literally shoving poor Ducky out of the way.
- Abby shaking the book so hard.

Ship of the week:

Abby/McGee

Character of the week:

Abby

Actor/Actress of the week:

Pauley Perrette

Storyline: 9.00

Enjoyment: 9.00
Tags: !creator: nakeisha, non-fiction: episode reviews, season 08
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