Well, well, well, we certainly have some interesting relationships and future themes developing.
So DiNozzo now calls Madam Director 'Jenny'. They seem quite close, are involved in a case about which only the two of them know and definitely have interesting vibes going. Jenny/DiNozzo, maybe? Or given that we know DiNozzo has been visited Ziva once a week whilst Gibbs was away, maybe even a threesome?
DiNozzo's decision to take the offer of his own team doesn't surprise me, and not only because if we were losing him I'm sure we would have had hints about someone leaving by now. And of course once we saw the scene between Gibbs and Jenny when Gibbs says that when DiNozzo believed he was ready to lead his own team everyone would know about it, that definitely confirmed that DiNozzo wasn't taking it, and at that point, Jenny knew the same thing. It also ties in with comments I've made in stories about DiNozzo knowing that he wasn't ready to actually lead a team permanently; it wasn't just me being 'down' on DiNozzo. So now that he has made his decision, I hope that he'll stop being quite the pain he's being and trying to usurp Gibbs. I suspect he will; otherwise he would have taken the job.
Some intriguing byplay between DiNozzo and McGee. It can't be easy for either of them really having Gibbs back. They both clearly want it and are happy, but it will take a little time to readjust and get back to the balance they had before. McGee being upset by DiNozzo calling him Probie again (Agent Lee will do well in the Legal Department, that was certainly the way she thought), and so hits out at DiNozzo about him not still being there if he were ready to have his own team. Interesting reaction from both of them; I think it was another bit of proof to DiNozzo himself that he wasn't ready.
Let's be honest, if he were ready, he'd have snapped Jenny's hand off and grabbed the offer with both hands. And he knows it; he just had to admit it to himself. And that is never an easy thing to do. So although he was being irritating with his overlapping with Gibbs and being bitchy, etc. in many ways it was understandable. McGee realised maybe he'd said more than he should have done, and it didn't come out right, but he of course was also smarting by having to go back to being called Probie - so more misunderstanding. Nice touch that Gibbs reminded him that Mike Franks still calls him 'Probie', nearly sixteen years after he'd joined NCIS.
And of course Ziva played her part in helping DiNozzo come to his realisation, with her comments, which being Ziva were more blunt and out and out bitchy. The scenes between DiNozzo and Ziva worked well though, they didn't dominate the episode, as they often did in Season Three, and they are meshing together quite well. In fact the kids are all working together, bitching aside, fairly seamlessly now.
Gibbs is back, but Gibbs is not back. I wonder just what will give us the old Gibbs back, when he loses the moustache or before? Nice ongoing theme about Gibbs being more mellow, more human, and it all relating to his moustache. A fun touch, and indeed he doesn't as yet seem fully like the Gibbs we love and know. Although it is nice to see him calling McGee 'Tim' from time to time now, not just 'McGee'. And interesting that it appears his memory is still a little off; he does seem somewhat distracted and not really one hundred percent with his team, yet.
More interesting and tension filled Gibbs and Ducky scenes. There is still a great deal of hurt and anger coming from Ducky, and he is still not pulling his punches. His digs about all his friends being at his graduation ceremony (when clearly Gibbs wasn't) and the one about Gibbs knowing what travelling alone was like, were certainly heartfelt and designed to hurt his friend.
Gibbs seems both troubled and almost puzzled, but also driven to irritation himself by Ducky's behaviour; we know he only resorts to 'Doctor' or 'Dr. Mallard' when he's worried about Ducky, but can't show it. In fact outside of those 'names' neither man is calling the other anything in this episode. There is no 'Jethro', no 'Ducky' and no intimate 'Duck'. It's all very telling. Gibbs knows that Ducky is hurting him, and that is totally out of character, but he almost seems not to know why - or maybe he won't admit why. After all, he must know how much he hurt Ducky, mustn't he? If for no other reason than Ducky is making that quite clear.
And no longer are they maintaining a 'normal' relationship in front of the kids; the scene in Abby's lab where Ducky was suggesting passwords must have jolted the whole team and made them wonder what was going on. Is this Ducky's way, maybe, of getting his Jethro back? Can he see that Gibbs isn't really Gibbs, so is resorting to tough love to force him into realising what he did to Ducky and to the team?
Are we being led to an actual confrontation between the two old friends, where Ducky out and out tells Gibbs just what he has done to him and everyone? It's possible. And that would be a scene and a half.
Given Gibbs's comment to DiNozzo about only missing the couple of minutes that make the difference between the victim being put into a body bag or an ambulance, Gibbs seems to still being somewhat unsure about whether he's back to stay - and again, that's understandable. And that could also explain one reason why Ducky is still 'off' with him. He's known Gibbs for so long, and tied in with his comment in last week's episode about when Leroy Jethro Gibbs makes up his mind he makes up his mind, he's quite possibly still worried that Gibbs will up and go again. So he's holding back somewhat, in order to protect himself from getting hurt so badly again.
So it is going to be interesting and thought provoking to see what it is that pushes Gibbs into really being back. Something has to jolt Gibbs back into being the Leroy Jethro Gibbs we love and know.
Good to see Abby and McGee working so well together again. However, I thought Abby's comment about 'your new golden boy' struck just a little of jealousy; she wants to be Gibbs's number one when it comes to forensic stuff and matching prints. Very Abby though, very in character as we've seen her like this on previous occasions. I loved the scene when she kept pulling Gibbs back to tell him a bit more and a bit more. I also liked the one with her and McGee asleep over the computers and Gibbs's little comment about the computer being on fire was excellent. Both came to so well, both were in synch, Abby did not appreciate Gibbs's methods though. And of course Abby and Bert, that was sweet and fun - nice to see Bert becoming a 'regular'.
Ziva just did not look good in that suit, which was of course the whole point, and seemed so out of place to begin with. But didn't she improve and actually show that she has learnt about more than just being a killer? I really liked her improvisation of getting the men to give her their fingerprints - good and quick thinking. And once she got into her role, she certainly carried it off very well.
And as for the case itself. Quite a good one, intriguing, a different way of looking at how to find someone to marry. We've seen better cases (Seasons 1&2), but we've seen several far worse (Season 3). It was a good middle of the road plot. The baddie was, as is so often the case, obvious from the second we saw him, but . . . That isn't always a negative thing, not at all.
Some good scenes in the Interrogation Room with the different suspects and the different styles. When Gibbs was in there, we got more of a hint of the old Gibbs than at other times during the episode.
Nice to see more of Ducky in this episode - I do hope that continues.
A shame that we didn't get to see Jimmy, but given the conversation between him and Ducky last week about him going to Medical School, I feared that we would be losing him. I hope that somehow it can be worked so that we do still see him.
The episode was far more focussed on the characters, their relationships, how they are changing, growing, being rebuilt, developing, than on the case itself and thinking about it, that is to be expected. It would have been unrealistic for Gibbs to have come back last week, and wham everyone is immediately back to how they were in the previous seasons, including Gibbs himself, as if his leaving never happened.
EDIT: On second watch through (hubby insisted on seeing it tonight - and I think I'm hooked *g) my overall grades have gone up a tad.
Oh, and, *gulp* for the first episode ever I actually didn't hate Jenn! In fact I couldn't find fault with her once *double gulp*
Not quite as enjoyable as last week's, but still a good episode. I hope they continue to build on this.