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Jan
27

NCIS Season 7 Episode 13 Jet Lag – Recap

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So there they were in Paris — Tony and Ziva. The situation was ripe for romance, right? Was NCIS finally going to “go there” and let fans have a Moonlighting moment for their favorite characters?

Not so fast. Before you could say Champs Elysees, the two were boarding a jet at Charles de Gaulle airport to complete an assignment that turned into murder in the air. Fortunately, the mystery on the airliner trumped the one on the ground and made for a good episode.

It seemed way too coincidental that Gibbs and McGee were investigating a dead Marine who just happened to be a part time hit man and his next target was Tony and Ziva’s charge, the Pollyanna whistleblower do-gooder who was a hopeless romantic. Too bad she was not going to get a happy ending. But suppose the cleaning lady hadn’t found the dead Marine’s body? See, there would have been no connection and that was too contrived for me.

The mystery on the plane was a lot better. The reference to Murder on the Orient Express was apt, although there were too few suspects. Neeley was too obvious, so was the guy with the earphones who looked vaguely like a terrorist. I suspected the little woman with the knitting needles because if Ziva could be a killer, why not her? And — by the way — do airlines allow knitting needles on planes these days? No liquids allowed, but knitting needles are okay?

With Ziva and Tony watching everything, it seemed like Nora was safe, so the bit with a pillow laced with peanut dust causing an allergic reaction was very smart. I didn’t suspect the flight attendant, because the idea of her doing hits on the side was a stretch. Apparently the airlines don’t pay very well.

On the D.C. front, Gibbs had a good encounter with Holly Snow, the madame who was implicated in the killings. I liked the way Gibbs put the screws to her in his steely way that let her know he would lock her up and throw away the key. He might have felt different if she was a redhead.

But the most interesting part of the show wasn’t the peanut allergy or the stewardess killer or even the kitty litter to cover the smell of the body. It was Rule #12 — never date a co-worker. Have Tony and Ziva respected the rule, or have they crossed the line? They weren’t saying, were they?

Tony lied to McGee about using the couch, and Ziva lied to Nora about Tony using the bed, so what actually were the sleeping arrangements in the Paris hotel room?

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Nov
25

NCIS Season 7 Episode 9 Child’s Play – Recap

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If you want to show the soft side of Jethro Gibbs, involve a kid. That would seem to be the logic behind this episode which was a bit of a reach, what with cornfields, a think tank for gifted children, government secrets, a tenuous link to gang activity, a dead Marine, and pink cupcakes … but still interesting.

There was also the whole connection to Thanksgiving at Ducky’s. Would our favorite NCIS team make it to dinner together or would they be setting out on separate paths? Would Abby master the cranberry sauce? Read more after the jump.

The body was found in the cornfield, but I still don’t understand why the body was stuck there. The killer wanted to pin the crime on gangs, so why go rural? That was a headscratcher, and the whole brilliant kids in the think tank was a bit of a stretch. I’m sure the U.S. government is probably doing something like that, having children play video games because they’re smarter than adults at puzzles and such. As DiNozzo suggested, it was all a bit too much The Bad Seed.

Angela was actually like a tin-type Abby, complete with braids. And she was brilliant, which was also like Abby. And Gibbs’ somewhat instant affinity to her was reminiscent of his relationship with Abs. Angela was smart enough to hide secrets in a painting that was, in fact, coded messages in an encryption of her own design. Very Abby.

While Angela was a smart cookie, the idea that Ziva and Duck would be so preoccupied brining a turkey that they would let her leave the room and escape out the front door was not believable. Ziva’s too good an agent to make that kind of error. It was a plot device, and a poor one at that.

But it did lead to the breadcrumbs she left for Gibbs to find her, just as the killer was going to kill her mother. The face-off in the courtyard wasn’t as dramatic as a John Woo movie, but did you have a doubt that Ziva was in position to take the shot? I didn’t. The sly smile on Jethro’s face said it all when he asked Angela to assess the probabilities. Ziva was going to down the killer with a single shot and Angela would be unscathed (at least physically).

Thanksgiving looked lovely at Ducky’s, but it would have been nice if Mr. Palmer had changed his plans. And exactly why had Gibbs not shown up the previous nine Thanksgivings? No answer to that mystery.

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Nov
05

NCIS Season 7 Episode 6 Outlaws and In-Laws – Recap

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Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ former mentor, Mike Franks (Muse Watson), returns to NCIS this week, and not under the best of circumstances.

Even Ducky isn’t comfortable with the “psychological make-up” of Franks and thinks he’s lying. Lying about what? We’ll get to that.

Somehow, a boat drifts into a Navy yard in San Diego with two dead bodies on board. That would be Gibbs’ boat, which he gave to his goddaughter.

Mike Franks was in possession of the boat, which raises questions.

According to evidence, the bodies of two ex-military personnel have been dead for at least three days, the bodies may have been dragged on board Gibbs’ boat, and there are bullets lodged on bullets.


So there’s another shooter, right?

The people dragged into the accident include: the head of a private military company where the two worked for and possibly Mike Franks or even Vance.

Gibbs doesn’t tell Vance about a recent talk he had with his mentor, and he is incredulous about not being able to haunt “the fugitive.”

Outside the hearing range of the trio – Ziva, Tony and McGee – Vance tells Gibbs that he doesn’t have much finesse in his method.

He finally tells Vance that Franks and his family are in his house. Tony and Ziva then head to take over babysitting duties, while Franks sets off.

Gibbs doesn’t mince his words to the colonel and accuses him of hiring men to the paramilitary company with not-so-pleasant histories.

Then he tells the two – Vance and Gibbs – that the two dead dudes were in Mexico to carry out a “contract.”

Asked if it was for Franks, he says he doesn’t know who Franks is.

As it turns out, the two guys were hired by Franks’ daughter-in-law’s family to find her. Apparently, the prominent Iraqi family disowned Layla when Franks’ son Liam got her pregnant.

He in turn insists that it was all in self-defense.

However, archaeologist Abby successfully dissects the boat into many pieces. Evidence from the boat should confirm Franks’ claims.

But alas, negative, so there’s another shooter.

Ziva also has some heart-to-heart with the daughter-in-law, mostly about missing homelands and loves at first sight.

Abby and Ducky do an “intervention” because Gibbs is too attached to the case and can’t notice that Franks is lying through his teeth.

As they are about to lay it to him, though, Gibbs is the one who gives it to them, explains that Franks didn’t kill the two, but instead shot through the gunshot wounds to cover up the first ones – Franks’ daughter-in-law killed the dudes.

Fortunately, Franks doesn’t lie further once confronted.

So case solved right? Yes, only Mama Layla (the mother-in-law who hired the two military guys) flies to Washington, and it’s up to Franks to question her, and tell her that it’s her daughter herself who gunned down those she sent.

Oh, and the colonel is hell bent on carrying out the contract and getting the daughter back, leading to an altercation at Gibbs’ house, which Ziva and Tony are fortunately able to win.

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Oct
22

‘NCIS’ Recap: Larceny Lotto’s, Mr. Roger, and Code Reds

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To be completely honest, I expected a way funnier NCIS
Halloween episode. Though “Code of Conduct” was light and had nice moments – for one, Tony and Gibbs repeatedly calling Ziva “probie” – it could’ve been funnier. Like Abby, for instance, yes, her lab was turned into a some sort of dumping ground for all of the victim’s prank paraphernalia (and she’s not wearing costumes because of Vance and McGee and skinny jeans), but other than, what? OK there’s one – Gibbs had to suddenly slow down impatiently because there were a lot of motion-sensitive stuff in the room.

The case this week on NCIS was the death/suicide/murder of a Marine who was notoriously known – in his own neighborhood and even while deployed in overseas combat – as a prankster. In a weird turn of events, his body was discovered by a bunch of young pranksters, his princes of pranks, while doing a prank of their own. It looked suicide at first glance, but after multiple examination of evidence, it turned out that it was something else other than the first clues pointed to.

Who did it? Not grumpy Mr. Rogers, not creepy muscle guy, not his wife with the history of dead Marine husbands. Abby, for instance, found other chemicals in the guy’s stomach, indicating that someone tried to poison him some time ago. But lo and behold, there were also injuries even before the poisoning incident, and it’s possible that an entire squad was responsible for it. “Code Red” Gibbs instantly called it, and we thought we had it. But nothing is what it seems on NCIS, and finally, it turned out that it was the step-daughter who did it to get her young hands on the trust fund.

What did you think of this episode of NCIS?

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Oct
14

NCIS Season 7 Episode 4 Good Cop, Bad Cop – Recap

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As the episode opens, the fish-gnawed remains of an AWOL marine Daniel Cryer are found off the coast of Tanzania by a fishing boat.

How did they get there? Therein lies the key to opening up a particular door that has been closed since the seventh season opened:

What the hell happened on board the Damacles? The vessel that Ziva took to Africa was never recovered, and there were no survivors.

Was Cryer also on that boat?

At NCIS, the discovery of his body has Ziva in the crosshairs, as her account of Mossad’s operation to take down Saleem Ulman called in to question.


Ziva’s application to join NCIS is being held up, and now we know why. As we learn from a series of flashbacks, she’s going to have to come clean as well as prove herself to the department before she can come on board.

First, we learn that Cryer had deserted the Marines to become a soldier of fortune, a mercenary of sorts. A smuggler of all things – and people.

He was a private contractor, arranging for the team that Mossad sent after Saleem to gain passage to Somalia on the Damacles, a cargo ship carrying some seriously sketchy people. That’s putting it mildly.

Ziva’s original story – that the ship they had been traveling on had gone down in a storm – is proven false by the location of Cryers body, and the research of weather patterns by Abby that proves the ship was never where Ziva said it was. So what’s she covering up?

That question becomes even more loaded when Ducky learns Cryer was shot to death, confirming that something other than a storm was to blame for the sinking of the Damacles.

Using the location of Cryer’s body as a guide, the Navy is finally able to pinpoint where it went down and salvage the ship in question … where it discovers that the entire crew – not just Cryer had been shot to death.

Vance presses Ziva for more details, teaming up with Gibbs in a good cop, bad cop bit. As you could have guessed, Gibbs is the bad cop.

Before Vance and Gibbs can get anything out of her, Ziva’s team leader with Mossad, Malachi Ben-Gidon, shows up at NCIS and demands that Ziva return to Mossad’s control, and say nothing about what happened.

He says she’s violating Israeli law if she talks.

Vance agrees on the condition that Malachi debriefs them on the rest of the mission. Malachi agrees and tells them that their cover had been blown and they were forced to enact their contingency plan – “take” (kill) every person on the ship.

Malachi says Ziva personally killed Cryer because he was responsible for their discovery by the gang of pirates on the Damacles.

Gibbs recoils and says that’s it – no matter the circumstances, she took out a U.S. Marine. She has no future with NCIS.

However, all is not lost. Ziva finally sets the record straight and defies Malachi by telling her side of the story.

They did indeed take out the pirates, but she came face to face with Cryer – guns pointed at each other – with neither willing to pull the trigger.

It was Malachi who shot Cryer in the back before asking questions.

They scuttled the ship just off the coast and Ziva went, alone, to hunt down Saleem. The almost took him out, too, before being overpowered.

Vance sends Malachi back to Israel.

Gibbs tells her that she never had a choice – her father, Eli David, raised her to be a ruthless, soul-less killer. She admits that she did not mean to live through it, and Gibbs tells her she didn’t – that part of her died out there.

Through all of this Ziva was trying to get a permanent position on the NCIS team, and after proving her loyalty is accepted as an NCIS agent.

Vance hands Gibbs a letter on official stationary, with “APPROVED” stamped across the top. Gibbs takes it with satisfaction.

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