NCIS: Season 9, Episode 12

Housekeeping (3 Jan. 2012)
"NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" Housekeeping (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime
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Two boys find the body of a Navy commander in a quiet suburban neighborhood; Gibbs and company investigate. EJ Barrett reappears from her hiatus but remains a target. Another man dies, and the gang protect EJ and find and catch the killer.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Leon Vance (credit only)
Ramesh Sengupta
Cara Barnsway
Annie O'Donnell ...
Agnes Anderstout


Two boys, playing in their quiet suburban neighborhood, respond to the sound of a nearby crash of a pickup truck, and they find the body of the dead driver with a gunshot wound; the victim is a Navy commander, so Gibbs and company investigate. A neighbor tells about a woman and an SUV, and the widow tells about an old friend of the vic from a previous duty station; Abby says that the killer is a careful professional. The gang pursue and find a suspect. EJ Barrett reappears from her hiatus after the resolution of the P2P killer; Tony and EJ bicker with each other. Abby provides a lead to the shooter, so Gibbs, McGee, and Ziva pursue it, and they find him. Gibbs speaks with the SecNav about the Phantom unit and the Watcher fleet, and Tony takes EJ to a safe house, then another man dies. Fireworks break out in a woods, then Gibbs, McGee, and Ziva find and catch the loose cannon. EJ goes to an even safer place, and Ziva receives a phone call. Written by DocRushing

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

3 January 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: [Ziva's phone rings, it's Ray] No...
Ziva David: [exasperated] Yes.
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: Seriously.
Ziva David: I mean, what should I say?
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: [pauses] Say hello.
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References Xanadu (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Too Much Like Port-2-Port
3 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think the NCIS writers are running out of ideas. Several old ones get rehashed in this episode.

Namely, a military Special Forces officer recruited into a secret ops unit to kill bad guys but who then turns on his fellow Americans and starts killing the good guys. Here, it's Stratton (Scott Wolf). Before, it was the P2P killer.

Also, federal agent suddenly can't trust even her closest friends and goes on the run. Here, it's E.J. Before, it's any number of episodes, from both "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles." You can also see it in "Criminal Minds" "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" when Goren went undercover to get his job back and nearly got killed by Eames.

And, finally, SPOILER ALERT: Killer finds NCIS safe house and blasts it only to find the target(s) in question weren't there. Here, of course, it's Stratton again. Before, it was Rivera (Marco Sanchez). The only cliché worse on this show (and its spin-off) is faking the death of bad guys who were forced to be bad because they or their families were threatened.

Anyway, in this episode, Stratton (aka Capt. Wolf) is still hunting E.J. who disappeared from the scene where he gunned down Cage and DiNozzo. Gibbs finds E.J. and puts her in a safe house with DiNozzo while he forces SecNav to get Latham to set Stratton up.

Needless to say, we all should known Latham's fate after this.

Overall, the show was rather average. In some ways, it was below average. There was no real tension. Even when Barrett made her grand entrance, you could see it coming from a mile away.

Abby and McGee really seemed to be wasted this time around. Ducky was almost on hiatus, while Director Vance must have been on vacation (hard to imagine Gibbs being able to interrupt SecNav's lunch without getting an earful from the director).

As for the finale, that was embarrassingly stale. Latham, before meeting his doom, tells Stratton where E.J. and DiNozzo are hiding. Stratton heads there, blows up the house with a rocket and then is herded by Gibbs, Ziva and McGee into a roadblock filled with heavily-armed SWAT and FBI agents. He smugly gives up, thinking Tony and E.J. are dead.

Gibbs then calls them and Stratton blanches to know they're still alive.

I would, too. SecNav and Latham both say Stratton was a top-notch Special Forces officer. A top-notch officer (any SpecFor officer, for that matter) would have cased the house to make sure the targets were there. This isn't some grieving corrupt Mexican cop who thinks his sister is already dead and is going to fire at anything that moves.

But, we should have expected it. The episode began with a Navy commander crashing full-speed into a parked car in a quiet neighborhood. He had been shot in the neck and killed. E.J. had been a passenger in the same truck and Stratton had been in a passing vehicle taking the shot. Two kids hear the crash and arrive on scene in seconds, yet Stratton's car is nowhere in sight on a straightaway street.

Even more puzzling, E.J. is nowhere to be seen either. If the killer was after her, he would have or should have seen her fleeing the truck. At the very least, he should have scoured the streets to look for her until he heard sirens. Yet, he allows her to escape on foot in a suburban area and then loses track of her until the last few minutes.

Finally, at the end, when Gibbs talks to a chained Stratton, he says he and Stratton are nothing alike. He doesn't kill innocent people.

Stratton then says he knows about Mexico, somehow inferring that the drug dealing father of Rivera and Paloma Reynosa was innocent. Of course, one can hope the writers finally got original and are setting us up for something else. Yet, Mexico has been done to death, what with Col. Bell, Reynosa, Rivera and Mike Franks. They need to pick another part of the world.

Perhaps all this time at no. 1 in the Nielsen's has made the writers soft. Maybe Mark Harmon, as executive producer, is coasting on his laurels while he devotes his creative energies to blasé dreck like "Certain Prey" and "Weathergirl." In this episode, the only remotely interesting thing is that Tony and Ziva begin making subtle romantic overtures to one another. Even here, unless it's done carefully, it's liable to come off clumsy (clue: watch the early years of "Cheers" and not the later years of "Moonlighting").

Here's hoping Harmon and company get back to the good stuff quick.

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