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Annual Holiday Feel-good moment....
For the last several seasons, NCIS has made an effort to come up with a normal yet special episode to be shown at some point in December. Homesick was another heart-tugging moment.
The case part of the episode centers around sick children and any fan of the show knows what happens with Gibbs when a child is the case focus. It was extra nice this time to have others on the team have a personal stake in it as well as both Ellie & Tim had friends who were affected. An expected yet pleasant addition was the guest role by PP's (Abby's)BFF to assist.
The secondary plot in this episode gave us a chance to Leon Vance and family coping with the first holiday season without Jackie. The appearance of Jackie's father gave us the personal drama/angst quotient. All ended happily though in true DiNozzo 'It's a Wonderful Life' sentiment.
This year's holiday episode definitely had a different feel to it though. That's gotta be due to the addition of Ellie to the team. Liking her quirks - the food thing & loving the idea that she isn't afraid to sit on the floor or the desk if the situation calls for it. This character is HUMAN and that's a good thing for this show.
PPF - you can't please ALL the fans....
One has to wonder what the original plan for this episode was - how much of it was re-written at the last moment after the untimely departure of Cote De Pablo just days before shooting for season 11 was supposed to begin.
We know from interviews that GG wanted a 2 part finale for the character of Ziva yet she was on screen for less than 15 minutes. Given that many fans loved the character for so long, it's a shame that the actress was unavailable to fully finish the storyline.
This episode though contained the MOST on target writing & portrayal of Ziva in her entire time on the show. It also offered the most logical reason for her decision to go to & then remain in Israel. Kudos to the show for finally giving us a character that made sense and giving us reasons for her departure that were logical given the character's back story.
Tony, on the other hand, was remarkably out of character for the entire episode. In an effort to please the segment of fans demanding a canon romance between the characters, the show came close to destroying the foundation of the character & negated the way Weatherly portrayed him throughout most of season 10.
There's an old saying that I remember most from hearing in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. 'Revenge is a dish best served cold....(the line went on but I'll stop it here for the sake of the different genre)
Cold pretty much describes how I was left after reviewing Revenge, which is the opposite of what I felt after Berlin. Watching Berlin made me angry that such wonderful characters were reduced to a night time soap opera-like storyline. Throughout most of Revenge, which I had hoped would get me excited about the upcoming finale, I found I was bored, definitely more interested in the chat room I was in and not really caring about this 'final showdown' with Bodnar. This is, unfortunately, mostly due to the comic-book type developments in the storyline.
Seeing the direct aftermath of the car accident, we're faced with an unconscious DiNozzo but ziva wakens to see Bodnar approaching them. The tone of the episode is set when an injured ziva is somehow still able to fire her weapon at the retreating Bodnar. The hospital scene shows us two characters who are moving well considering what they just got out of - with little to no visible injuries. The shootout is over the top but was glad to see they had the sense to take other agents with them. LOVED Palmer's little idiotic line about Gibbs actually working at the crime scene (It's SO true, too!).
Thankful to see the next morning that Tony at least is moving slowly - finally a bit of realism in what was essentially a rather farcical episode. But cue immediate Idiot!Tony since he's mostly only still on the show for comedy. The whole insurance plot line was a bit ridiculous. & cue insensitive & rude ziva once again with her demands that phone's be answered since she finds the ringing annoying. Really want to know when she got a promotion to 2IC of Team Gibbs.
The whole side exchange of snarky McGee witching over giving Tony a ride, his car 'rules' and then immediately offering to give ziva a ride in such a concerned manner was straight out of season 4 and season 7. Really thought we were past this nonsense.
Then we have the team working quietly on Bodnar despite the ire Vance is getting from Morrow. Seeing Morrow drop in for multiple visits has definitely become the highlight of this finale arc. McGee, Gibbs & Ziva quietly working on finding Bodnar was eye rolling....even if we've known since Shiva that this would be a major focus of the rest of the season.
Computer genius that he supposedly is, McGee blew it when he failed to check if the video was real. Then we move to the idiocy of the ziva 'training' and the comical fight scene. Some fans (& I believe the show's publicists) wonder why ziva is so often referred to as princess wonder woman victim barbie by many who just don't get or like the character. Every characteristic that the name is meant to describe was on full display in Revenge. In one week's time, NCIS has managed to go from Days of Our Lives to a Jean Claude Van Dam type movie.
Kudos to Morrow, Tony & Palmer for this episode - they're the only ones with their heads in the game so far during this arc. & a very nice reminder that Jimmy's 1st anniversary is coming up soon.
this next comment probably needs spoiler space
so here it is &
Hope that's enough -
Will have to admit - going into Double Blind & Damned if you do, I'm declaring right now that I'm on Team Colin - the actions of McGee, Gibbs & Vance in enabling ziva in this episode were over the top & I'm rooting for Colin's character to ensure that there are major consequences this time around
The hunt continues for Eli & Jackie's killer....
Spoilers for this episode indicated we'd have the heat of season 10's finale arc beginning with this episode. What some might have expected as the team hunting for the Mossad assistant director who is believed to have orchestrated the deaths of two people instead turned into the catering to a small part of the fan base.
Viewers of Berlin were treated to a nauseating and not realistic episode that featured Tony & Ziva as growing ever closer in a relationship that few fans see as romantic. The episode included a dance, a conversation on bed and an even more 'heartfelt' conversation in the car on the way home that ended with hand holding and a cliffhanger.
Is 'Berlin' worth the time of the average viewer? No - it's a present only to those fans who see a romance between two characters.
Daddy David is in town & once again mayhem follows
For the whole of Season X, since this episode was spoiled, I've been dreading it. I honestly can not stand the Mossad story lines despite the fact that I like Michael Nouri as Eli David. So it was with great trepidation that I let the episode DVR and then sat down to watch the next day. I ended up being very glad I did but not for the reasons that had some fans talking all over the world wide web.
First the good - love Eli's reappearance and his seemingly heartfelt attitude regarding his daughter. Also enjoyed seeing his 'friend' from Iran. Jackie Vance has always been a favorite. She's pretty much the only female character who is strong, good and not messed with in canon - well until tonight anyway. Love also the Jackie/Leon relationship & again we saw the good in the Vance/Gibbs relationship. Rocky Carroll did such a wonderful job breaking all of our hearts with his grief at the end. My heart shattered multiple times from when we saw him in the kitchen until he went past Gibbs.
Now the not so good - The crime of the week was so unnecessary & led to a HUGE plot hole when the writer decided to make Eli the killer without explaining Ducky's line of the body being dead for more than a day. Ziva's behavior towards her father was abysmal & she seemed to have forgotten that he called her in the 10x01. The elevator scene with Gibbs made me laugh considering how much she has lied in the past and even lied in the episode. From point of arrival at Vance's house until the end scene, I found myself alternately rolling my eyes and cringing in disgust at the way the character was written. Her 'scream/wail' of grief did not ring true given how she treated her father in the episode & how she turned to give chase instead of checking on the victims.
Overall the episode is worth watching but not for the reasons stated by some. Michael Nouri and Rocky Carroll are magnificent in their range and ability to portray so much when saying very little.
Finally! We learn more information on the character of Abby
Very weak writing....
Everything I didn't want in an Abby origin episode. They really needed to give this all important episode to a writer who understands the character(s) & this writer, in previous episodes, has failed at that.
We got idiot Tony where the humor was just dumb. A case that threw Abby when so many other events over the last 10 years that should have done so, didn't. Then the scenes that could have meant so much were avoided. Abby never found the girl? Even later in life? The bowling nuns made no appearance. Add to that the inevitably stupid line meant to feed a certain group of shippers. Plus we were also stuck with Daddy Gibbs (again) & a Ziva that was bossy to the point where it looked like she was team lead & not Gibbs. Add to all of this, a final scene that was, most likely, supposed to be a balm to the many fans who so wanted to see how Abby got to NCIS & met Gibbs. Yet it, too, seemed to fall far short of the mark. Harmon and Perrette have wonderful chemistry together, as do all of the core four cast members, but are woefully under-utilized in this soap-opera-like incarnation of NCIS.
After having been so excited for this episode, the one and only bright spot was the actress casted as young Abby. She was wonderful - spot on with body language. Unfortunately overall, though longtime fans of the show, the character & the wonderful, amazing actress who portrays this quirky character were let down by this episode.
not so sure about this
I have to admit from the start that I was dreading this premier since I'm most definitely not a fan of TIVA & it's been pushed hard & heavy by SB. And yes, there were parts of the episode that I enjoyed - mostly those in the office. & I did like seeing that McGee & Tony appeared to have gotten to a point where they were both acting like adults again without all of the pointed snark that we saw last season. However the whole Tony in the chair given truth serum seemed very contrived - especially once they brought Ziva in & sat her down. The whole 'I can't live without you' admission really made me want to change channels. If this is what we can look forward to for the season, then I guess I can not plan to be home most Tuesday nights.