A good episode and one that raised a question as to the future of the team. Not only did we have the scene with Ziva asking Tim how long he thought the team would be together and Tim telling her about Tony turning down his own team (that's two weeks running that fact has come up) and that he couldn't do it again and admitting in time he'd like his own team, but we had the stand-off between Gibbs and Vance in MTAC and then more tellingly the way Vance was watching the final squad room scene from up above. So is it red-herring time or is something actually going to happen? We know MH, DMc, SM, PP & MW have all re-signed their contracts for 'multiple' years (well two in MH's case), we don't yet know about CdP or RC, so that kind of implies unless they are going to have two teams running with Tony heading up one of them and I can't see that happening that nothing is going to change, but this episode really did hint something might. I guess TPTB might well be playing with us - again.
The episode held my attention throughout, I knew virtually nothing about it except it was going to be a fairly Tim-heavy episode - which was excellent news - and I enjoyed it. The focus was very much on politics and not just the reason for the suicide bombing or the 'kidnapping' but also the internal politics as to who would do what. Why did TPTB object so much to NCIS investigating the case? Was it just because it was all, in their opinion, cut and dried or was there something more? Again from the episode it appeared to be the former, but we know they were not happy with Vance for 'allowing' his team to investigate and Vance was warned off, added to last week's reminder that Vance has asked for the job as Director of NCIS, there could be more developments.
Adriana was a fairly straight-forward character, a somewhat spoilt brat who'd been used to having things her own way, who loved her father but hated his politics and who wanted the father she once had back, I felt. She wasn't anywhere near as spoilt as many in her position, but she was somewhat idealistic to believe kidnapping her would a) stop her father and b) just end with her kidnapping. I think she may have learnt several life lessons from that incident, at least I hope so. She walks away scot free, but she'll know that she was partly responsible for the murder of a Marine and the death of her Professor.
There was some nice team interaction, some great banter especially between Tim, Ziva and Tony, some nice touches of humour, Ducky in lecturing mode (always good) and it was good to see Vance actually standing up to Gibbs and in effect asserting his position as Director. As much as I love Gibbs, we all know he pushes and crosses lines and he's never shown Vance, just as he never showed Jenny, the full respect he showed Tom Morrow. He will do his own thing, he will do things his way, he will break rules and there are times when he does go a wee bit too far and needs stopping. I'm not saying he went too far in this, I don't think he did, but even so it was excellent to see Vance showing Gibbs he is the Director and he is in charge and won't just take anything and everything. The scene in MTAC towards the end was excellent, so well done and played out between them.
The opening scene with Vance saying he wanted Tim and Tony's badges if it wasn't resolved was excellent and a different way to begin the episode - a great show down between him and Gibbs. And the second scene with the suicide bomber was also great. They really caught your attention and held it and pulled you straight into the episode and I thought the standard was kept up pretty well. Obviously it wasn't as intense and gripping as those two scenes, but it didn't really dip.
I liked the idea that the team gave blood, a nice little way to hopefully encourage more people to do that thing, well the team with the exception of Tony. As a wee filler point it was very well done with him finding ways to avoid giving and finally confessing to Abby he had a fear of needles every since he'd been in hospital with the plague. And I loved Abby's solution: find a pretty girl who'll smile at Tony and offer to help him and he'll give blood and of course in true Tony fashion when confronted with his fear, he tries to make light of it and says it's not really a fear at all. So that whole little sub-sub plot of giving blood was very well done. And it was nice to see that Ducky and Jimmy weren't forgotten when it came to giving blood.
I guessed Professor Fleming was involved, indeed when Adriana was outside his office asking Tim and Ziva if they had to go in with her, I knew full well he'd be the man behind the suicide bomber. At that point I didn't suspect Adriana was involved as well, that came later. You could say that justice was served with Fleming being killed by Jed - who was clearly only in it for the money. Jed I did have my suspicions about from the moment I clapped eyes on him, there was something about him that didn't quite add up and didn't quite feel right. And yes, he got greedy and he'll pay the price for that.
The pre-kidnapping scene was, I felt, badly written in more ways than one. First off why did Tony just toddle off to get the salads without going into the apartment first to do a check? Second, why did they let Adriana go in first? Surely one of them should have gone in? Three, why did Tim dawdle so much when the doorbell rang/door was knocked? There's no way he would have just stood like a lemon in the bathroom as Adriana toddles out to answer the door. He'd have been there straight away. Yes, she knows not to answer the door, but as they'd already learnt she does things her own way. So that was poor. Tim simply would not behave like that, he is far too conscientious. When she went into the bathroom and 'conveniently' had a bulb go, then I knew she wasn't on the straight; I knew she'd fixed the bulb to blow. At first I thought it was just to get Tim there, but once the kidnapping happened, it was obvious she was involved.
I did like to see Gibbs, as a true team leader, taking responsibility when Tim said it was all his fault and he'd resign. It's true he didn't break protocol, yes he was slow about the door, but he didn't just say 'you open it', plus he'd stopped her from kissing him. But also strong of him to accept full responsibility - but at the end of the day as Gibbs knows (as Tony knew in 'Bounce') the responsibility is, even if he/she is not present, always the team leader; Gibbs was team leader, thus it was his fault that Tim and Tony 'lost' Adriana. That scene was very well played indeed, angry Gibbs is always enjoyable and yet again it wasn't overplayed. Very well done indeed.
One of my favourite scenes was Ducky and Jimmy arriving in Autopsy after giving blood to find Gibbs sleeping on one of the tables. I liked Ducky asking Jimmy if he'd failed to put a body away, but it was clear it was Gibbs all along, and Gibbs 'revealing' himself. Nice little close bit between Gibbs and Ducky when talking about the body being sent and Ducky's concern because it had been embalmed and finally Gibbs thrusting his 'pillow' into Ducky's hands before going off after Jimmy. I do like the way they pop the Gibbs sleeping on the Autopsy table in from time to time. That goes right back to 'Yankee White' where it was established it was something he does.
Another was the opening squad room scene where Tony is playing with the new app and doing things to the faces of the team and getting caught by Gibbs as he's messing with Gibbs. It was clear it was going to happen, Tony always gets caught, but it was really nicely done. And then the banter about the giving blood and Tony pretending he mixed up the days and Gibbs telling him it was okay because they were doing it all week. I also liked how Tony printed out and pinned up the picture he'd done of Abby - actually I thought that picture was quite well done.
Abby was very Abby with her nagging Tony about not giving blood and also with the chanting over Tony's stapler and Tim's book to try to ward off bad luck so they wouldn't get fired/made to resign. Her scenes with Gibbs, especially the one with where Tim was also there trying to find who Adriana had called whilst Abby babbles on about if you get your mobile phone wet to put it in long grained rice was excellent.
I also liked Tim, Tony and Ziva's interaction. Tony calling the mini-camp fire to discuss if Gibbs had in effect told them to go and search the apartment to find what the FBI had missed and then producing the FBI crime scene label was great. Ditto them working together in Adriana's apartment and Tim finding the way Adriana had 'fused' the lights and Tony finding the mobile phone in the cistern. One thing I did notice was that he took his plaster off in the apartment, but in all the scene after that it was back on. So either he put another one on, or it was one of those missed in-episode inconsistencies. Not a big thing, but noticeable.
I thought the team banter was very good and even when Tony was dishing Tim and saying all the things about him, it wasn't done in a really nasty way, just in a lightly teasing, big brother way. I did like Ziva coming to Tim's defence though and gently letting Tony know he'd said enough.
Ducky was very much in story-telling mode throughout. I always like it when he tells Jimmy things and I really liked how, after Jimmy managed to escape to go and take the bits to Abby, Ducky tells the Marine that the history lesson will be suspended until he returned. Lovely. And I agree with Jimmy, I don't understand fanatics.
I'm really glad Jimmy was there this week and that we didn't have any inappropriate humour this time.
Poor Tim, once again a woman shows interest in him, but isn't really interested and just 'using' him for her own ends.
And in true form Tony had to try to flirt with Adriana himself and pull her obvious attention to Tim onto himself and was clearly put out that she preferred Tim to him. So well done though, totally in character all the way through, just the thing Tony does and his face when he did realise she wasn't interested was a picture - as it was when she made a comment about his age.
And that's another theme we've had recently; Tony and his age. He's obsessed with it, more than once he's made a reference to 'getting old' and telling Ziva not to call him old and now this, is this something else that's going to come up? Is this yet another hint of changes to come?
Yes, yet again they rehashed a plot: Tim can't meet/like/fall for a woman without her being a trouble-maker/a baddie/only pretending to like him to get him to help her. But amazingly that didn't really bother me that much.
Overall I thought it was a jolly good solid episode that started exceptionally well and kept my attention throughout. Some top notch banter, some lovely team interaction, an interesting 'case'. Not an actual out and out naval case, but there was never any attempt to make it thus and it wasn't just dropped in for no reason. NCIS were assigned to protect and they did it, even though it wasn't naval. I enjoyed it.
- The opening scene where Vance threatens to take Tony and Tim's badges away.
- The opening squad room scene.
- Gibbs sleeping on the Autopsy table.
- Tim and Ziva talking about the future of the team.
- Ducky story telling about blood giving and also about suicide bombers.
- Gibbs and McGee at the crime scene after Vance had left.
- Abby trying to ward off bad luck.
- Abby, Gibbs and Tim in Abby's lab.
- The MTAC scene when Vance told Gibbs some home truths.
- The final squad room scene.
There were some nice little throw away touches/things we learnt too:
- Tim didn't belong to a fraternity.
- Tony calling Tim 'Timmy' more than once.
- Tony saying he ran the marathon. He may have done, but he may also just have been trying to impress - either scenario would fit Tony's character.
- The Godfather film reference, which I actually knew *g*
- Ducky's comment to Jimmy that they deal in bodies not gossip.
- Abby putting the stapler back on Tony's desk.
- Too little Ducky.
- The pre-kidnapping scene.
- The plaster being taken off and then reappearing.
Ship of the week:
Tony & Abby
Character of the week:
Actor/Actress of the week: