Here are my thoughts - for now. This definitely requires a second watch.
Again, these are without having read any other review.
Okay, may I just say 'WOW'!
Now this was a season opener, although I can see why it couldn't be, as they needed to get rid of the debt Gibbs owed Ziva and already have Gibbs back in Washington. This, IMO, really was worthy of being a Season One/Two episode.
Some extremely good scenes throughout the whole thing and the full range of emotions and feelings came over. We had tension, humour, affection, friendship, anger, regret, admittance, guilt, relief, to name just a few and a good plot too, with an extremely good twist.
This is fairly rambling, as it doesn't follow through the episode as much as deal with characters/events.
This was a 'tough love' episode really - as far as the important characters in Gibbs's life and their relationship with Gibbs went.
A great basement scene between Gibbs and Fornell, very well done, and well paced. I liked the humour to begin with, and the swift move on to why Fornell was there. And then Fornell's parting line - wow! In fact all the scenes between Gibbs and Fornell were great, both their individual, just them ones, and the ones with the others there. Nice little scene when they both stood with their arms folded looking at DiNozzo. And a nice scene in Emily's bedroom, especially when Fornell says about them all wanting to get out and that's basically what keeps them going. Very true words.
Continued good humour with Gibbs walking straight into Jenn's office and her comment about having just got used to the door being treated as a door. And it was a good scene between them. Very interesting that she hadn't filed his retirement and yet at the end she makes it clear that she doesn't want him back - talk about a contradictory woman! But at least we had very little of her in this episode, that is always a good thing. I don't think she does want him back, and not for the reasons she gave, but for the reason Gibbs gave.
Great scenes between Abby and Gibbs (oh, the Gibbs/Abby shippers will be so happy) with the hugs and Abby flipping his pictures off her computers and then back on when he again launched into his 'protest too much' act. It wasn't convincing last week, Jethro, what made you think it would be this week? I loved Abby's attitude and her sulking at one point, and their exchanges and how seamlessly they slipped back into them. And I did like the way she handcuffed him to her in order to stop him from returning to Mexico. Plus, how generally insistent she was that he would be staying. That they'd make him stay.
The exchanges she had with Agent Lee were priceless too. Lee certainly has got a lot to learn, McGee wasn't that green, and most of all about not insulting or questioning Gibbs's methods. And how Gibbs kept walking in whilst she was dishing him and dancing around, was perfect.
In fact we were getting Gibbs back during this episode. We had his look, his all knowingness, the way he interacted with everyone, and we were getting some of the Gibbs sarciness back!
I wasn't at all surprised to see that DiNozzo had been irritating the rest of the team, especially with his 'camp fires'. And I loved the way that he needed to listen in to the conversation to know what was going on, whilst Gibbs just seemed to know. What was also interesting throughout this episode was that DiNozzo had gone backwards from last week; last week although he was imitating Gibbs, he was nonetheless displaying some team leadership skills, but in this episode he was back to the DiNozzo we've know for three seasons. Which in itself was good foreshadowing, along with Gibbs over protesting and also the scenes with Tobias. It was also interesting how, as the episode progressed, DiNozzo slipped more and more into using 'boss' and didn't correct himself - the writing really was on the wall. I really liked the bit where Gibbs points out that it wasn't his car that had been stolen, but DiNozzo's - at that moment he actually seemed to be quite enjoying not being in charge. Great bit when he smashed DiNozzo's dictaphone.
And then we have the Gibbs/Ducky scene. More tough love. Ducky was not pulling his punches in this one. This time he made no attempt to hide how much Gibbs had hurt him by going away, not at all. His comment 'I wondered when you'd come down to see me' and his one about 'avoiding me' must have really hit Gibbs - hard.
Their whole scene was a mass of emotions and silent communication. Not once did Gibbs take his eyes off Ducky, even when he was on the phone, I don't think he'd ever seen his Duck quite like that, certainly not directed at him. And Ducky's two comment about when Leroy Jethro Gibbs had made up his mind . . . Wow! This was Ducky hitting Gibbs as hard as he could and basically shaking him up. Gibbs looked shell shocked at one point by the almost brutal exchange. I doubt he ever expected his Ducky to act like that, and speak to him like that, and I have to say, I was surprised too. I hadn't expected it either.
And yet despite that you could see the deep affection, love and friendship was still there. You can only say the kind of things Ducky said and get away with them and hit home if the person to whom you are saying these things and you have a very good, deep, caring relationship. But you could certainly cut the air with a knife and see the tension, and so much more. I'm not surprised Jimmy vanished quickly - I would think he too was stunned by his dear boss's words and tone.
The other scene they had together with Ducky pulling the man's joints back into place, was also interesting. As the anger had, to my mind, dissipated, Ducky had had his say and he was back to being Ducky with Jethro was tends to be his wont hovering over his shoulder. Gibbs was the one who seemed a little wary, and again I'm not surprised.
It's great that Ducky is going to expand his knowledge even further and conduct 'psychological autopsies' as well as real ones. He's perfect for the role, as we know from the previous seasons that he has a great understanding of the human mind and a huge interest in people and motivations, etc. He'll be excellent at that. Let's hope that his new role means that we'll get to see more of him this season.
What we saw of Jimmy was good, but it was woefully short, but I always look forward to even a few seconds of Jimmy.
Really good plot twist, I thought. And interesting to see, again, that Gibbs is more than the forceful, sarcy, demanding person. He knows how to handle people and how to treat them, his way of getting what he wanted from the person in the interrogation room was lovely, as was the way he handled the scene when we found out who the true perp was. That was really well done. His gut may have let him down four years ago, but it was back on track when it and his instincts told him that the Petty Officer wouldn't kill the man who'd framed him, because he never had been a killer and wasn't about to start now. That would probably go far further than any amount of actual 'I'm sorry I messed up and got it wrong' that Gibbs and Fornell could say.
And the final scene was absolutely spot on. I loved it. The three established team members coming in chatting, the way we were getting scans of empty desks and then the sight of Agent Lee standing clutching her belongings just staring, and our beloved Gibbs back behind his desk where he should be. Even his final comment was so absolutely Gibbs. Sadly it does look as though he's quite happy to look ten years older and we aren't going to get our handsome short haired, no moustache Gibbs back. But we've got Gibbs back; I can live with his new looks.
There wasn't an over-abundance of DiNozzo and Ziva in this episode, which was great, it was much more evenly balanced out with all of the field team and Abby. And not too much Jenn either (although sadly any Jenn is too much), and for once I didn't have this compulsion to strangle her -not until she turned up in Gibbs's basement, that is.
More Jimmy would have been nice.
More Ducky too (but then with few exceptions I always think we need more Ducky).
Ditto more Gibbs and Ducky, but what we had was certainly powerful stuff.
I really enjoyed this episode and am definitely looking forward to next week.
Hubby, who has been ill in bed all day (hence the reason I watched this episode earlier than usual) felt better, got up and said he wanted to watch the latest episode (and I say I'm obsessed *g*).
Anyway, he had an additional thought.
It is in the scene with Gibbs and Jenn in her office.
And it's the bit where he asks if she's worried whether he'll flunk the Psych test. And then goes on to add 'or the firearms test'.
J says that the way the said that was really barbed and he believes that it meant something, something pertaining to Jenn and Gibbs's history. We all know that Gibbs is an ace shot, and Jenn knows that too. So why did he say it? Especially in the one he used.
J wonders if, maybe, Jenn nearly flunked (or indeed did flunk and Gibbs covered up) her firearms test (we know she threw up at her first autopsy), and whether it is linked with the shooting in Paris.
As soon as J mentioned it, I agree the comment was barbed, most definitely so. And there was no need, no need at all, for Gibbs to mention that. There could never be any reason to think or even hint that he'd flunk a fire arms test.
Thus, I agree there was something behind it.