NCIS: Season 8, Episode 21

Dead Reflection (12 Apr. 2011)
"NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" Dead Reflection (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Comedy | Crime
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 209 users  
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A top-secret archives clerk is murdered inside the Pentagon. Yet the killer on security video, Navy Petty Officer Eric Donner, a crippled special ops veteran, couldn't even be there. The ... See full summary »

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Dead Reflection (12 Apr 2011) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Leon Vance (credit only)
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Commander Nelson Tunney (as Jeffrey S.S. Johnson)
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Navy Captain Jack Painter
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Miles Hogan
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Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Lauren Ross
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Storyline

A top-secret archives clerk is murdered inside the Pentagon. Yet the killer on security video, Navy Petty Officer Eric Donner, a crippled special ops veteran, couldn't even be there. The team soon works out his identity was stolen, including his face, using a top-notch mask like the CIA makes. His own former unit, commanded by Nelson Tunney, also has a mask-artist, who was ordered to make the one the murderer wore. His motive and identity are harder to work out. Written by KGF Vissers

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12 April 2011 (USA)  »

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Gibb's rule no. 12: Never date a coworker. See more »

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The light traffic shown at the beginning of the show is more likely very early Saturday or Sunday, since all roads in the region have bumper to bumper traffic at 6:45 am, Monday thru Friday. See more »

Quotes

Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: Well, Gibbs is giving me grief about sleeping with her.
Special Agent Timothy McGee: You're sleeping with Special Agent Barret?
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: Catch up, Tim. The whole Navy Yard knows about it.
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References Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing intro of new team; be careful or that shark will jump ship
13 April 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

TV series get stale with time, and the usual reaction on the part of the production team is to introduce new characters to liven things up, as witness the upcoming addition of my upstairs neighbor Jonathan Cake to the DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' front line. In the case of NCIS, itself famously a JAG spin-off that outran its predecessor and already has spawned a Left Coast version, the three new antagonistic cast members' spotlight was a turn-off for me.

Sarah Jane Morris is of course a beauty, there to spar with Gibbs and present an unconvincing romantic interest for DiNozzo. There should have been at least some bodice-ripping or other prime-time TV indication of sex between her and Michael Weatherly, but the NCIS masterminds decided on an unsatisfying more cerebral approach to romance. Sometimes taking the high road translates to taking the dull road.

Gargantuan footballer Matthew Willig was stunt casting as the ridiculously intimidating hulk/genius -it's as if Peter Lupus and Lou Ferrigno were combined with a Mensa IQ (the cat even has a photographic memory); result is silly. Having him bonding (at least implied) with Pauley Perrette is flirting with "jump the shark" territory for this series.

Third member of the team made little impression at all, as Alimi Ballard was given neither Morris's cover girl magnetism (boy division) nor Willig's triple-threat imposing status. Add the three together and it seems like a return to '60s tokenism in casting, not necessarily a bad thing (as witness Nichelle Nichols' breakthrough on STAR TREK).

As a long-time fan of the series I found the new characters distracting -of course they're supposed to be, but it got in the way of both the segment's narrative and the ongoing chemistry between the REAL lead characters we know & love. It's different when a guest star shows up -you usually suspect they'll be killed off colorfully or be shipped out of the lives of our favorite players by the final commercial break. But these three klutzes seem to be hanging around for the duration.

It adds up in the short-term to a pandering to the modern audience's alarmingly short attention span, and the pernicious trend to multiple story lines and arcs which make me long for the good old linear approach to storytelling. In the case of NCIS, we have Morris & her minions poring over a serial killer case which just hangs there, getting in the way of the current material and on this episode not advancing itself in the slightest. I know it's blasphemy to the mission of the NCIS story editor, but I would have preferred a one-off episode with just the new team, letting them wrap up their case, and then back next week to our heroes who make NCIS worth watching.


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