This episode wasn't as good as I was hoping for, nor as bad as I was fearing.

Overall I'd sum it up as an average Season Three episode.

It seems though the Gibbs/Ducky, Gibbs/DiNozzo, Gibbs/Ziva, Gibbs/Abby, Abby/Ziva, DiNozzo/Abby, DiNozzo/Ziva, and even DiNozzo/McGee and Gibbs/Jenny, people will be pretty happy - DPB appears to have catered for all.

We have the lovely, but far, far, far too brief scene where Gibbs greets Ducky, and initiates a hug *sighs happily*.

We have Ducky's clear and obvious concern and hurt when for a moment it appears as though his beloved might be dead; followed by the wonderful comments he makes about him, and how, even though they are a corridor apart, and can't speak to one another, Ducky helps play a trick on DiNozzo, and leads him into being fairly insulting about Gibbs. That was a lovely scene all round, about the best of the episode.

For the Gibbs/DiNozzo folk, we have the DiNozzo initiated hug, although to my eyes Gibbs was more than a little taken aback by it and didn't seem overly comfortable, unlike the times we've seen him hug Ducky.

For the Gibbs/Ziva folk, there's the whole fact that Ziva rings Gibbs and basically calls in her favour and the fact that he believes that she is innocent. And we have, already, the inconsistency how Gibbs goes from not trusting her to calling her a friend *sigh*.

For the Abby/Gibbs by the way Abby was staring at the photograph of Gibbs and was clearly unhappy.

For the Abby/DiNozzo people by the ultra-hyper way Abby was acting before DiNozzo appeared and how she flung herself into his arms, and the rather lovely gift he bought her back.

For the DiNozzo/Ziva fans, we have the fact that according to Mossad, DiNozzo visited Ziva once a week.

Abby/Ziva people will no doubt be delighted that Ziva called Abby and swore her to secrecy, albeit to get Gibbs's number, but given how concerned Abby was, then that will keep those folk happy. But again given what we've seen between Abby/Ziva in Season Three, it's another of DPB's inconsistencies. I wish they didn't bother me so darn much.

For the DiNozzo/McGee fans there were looks, exchanges and interaction. I admit that this one didn't come over as clearly as the others, but the subtleness was there to an extent.

And for the Gibbs/Jenny people, we have Serbia - oh, good, another thing to work with.

OVERALL: for the first time ever I really did feel for Ziva and felt that maybe, just maybe, she is finally becoming part of the team and in her words, she is no longer just a killer, but an investigator. Has she really learnt after spending a year with Gibbs and his team? Maybe.

Interesting links with the episode Probie. I do hope that Ziva has now seen how team members behave and that all the team automatically assumed she was innocent, whereas in Probie, she started from the premise that McGee was guilty. And it seems as though Ziva has made a conscious choice and realised that if she is to stay with NCIS, she does have to be part of a team, and learn how to be a member. Ziva is here to stay.

New Probie - hmmm, potentially interesting character. Could go one of two ways, but intriguing. Of course we are meant to dislike her and for being a tell-tale, and I wonder if this is to actually make us like and trust Ziva more?

Nice little team scene in Autopsy :-) But I am worried that we are losing Jimmy :-( Ducky talked about him going to Medical School in a month - now that would be a shame, a great shame. So now I see where the 'mustn't tell the Director' bit comes from.

Is it me or is even DiNozzo not happy with him being team leader? My feeling is that he would actually welcome handing the team back to Gibbs, despite the comment about it being 'his' team; I didn't think he was actually overly comfortable in the role.

Now that may be me, because from the moment I saw him in team leader mode - or rather I should say attempting-to-be-Gibbs-this-is-how-I-think-I-should-lead-the-team team leader mode, I wanted to strangle him. And I haven't felt like that about DiNozzo since PP arrived. How long have we got to put up with him as team leader? Please not long - he's not hopeless, not at all, but . . . He makes a far, far better senior field agent. Actually, if DiNozzo stopped trying to be Gibbs, he'd be a lot better. He does have skills, one that we'd only seen hints of before, but whilst he's trying to emulate and be Gibbs, he's just coming over as irritating.

Didn't PP look dreadful? Of course she was worried about Ziva, but she really looked dreadful, I really thought she might be ill - and no, that isn't wishful thinking. I just wish she hadn't been there quite so much, especially the who Serbia remark, but . . . I've always thought her new elfin haircut did nothing for her, but tonight she looked dreadful. And as always, she did nothing to endear me to her, quite the opposite :-( She is so abrasive and has no concept of team work.

I can't say that Ducky looked particularly well either, not until the moment he was in Gibbs's arms again and he saw Gibbs, other than that the old Ducky wasn't really present. Mind you, to be fair, we didn't see much of him *sigh* Definitely far too little; maybe we'll see more of him once we get into his new role. But apart from him lighting up the whole room when Gibbs appeared, although he was clearly afraid that Gibbs wasn't back for good, Ducky was very lack-lustre.

Gibbs looked dreadful. Please someone take him to a barber's PDQ so that he can have a hair cut, and a full shave - that look does *not* suit him. Plus it makes him look at least ten years older than he is :-( And his clothes . . . Mind you, kudos to MH for being prepared to appear looking so . . . awful.

I do hope that Gibbs comes back permanently sooner rather than later, or else I fear for the future of the show. He really is the glue that holds the team together, he's what they all orbit around, without him there it's very bitty and just another show. If people were coming into NCIS for the first time then, based on this episode, I'm not certain how many would have stayed around and will watch a second one. The team just doesn't really function without him. Okay, so they do, they have survived, but . . . That is all any of them is really doing, surviving.

Poor Mike Franks, don't you feel sorry for him? I do :-) There he is used to a nice, peaceful existence and along come one LJG to mess it up for him.

And said LJG clearly isn't happy living the beach life. He's too busy, and he did too much of the 'just visiting, I'm retired' bit when he came back. 'Me thinks the lady doth protesteth' too much, comes to mind.

Interesting how scruffy DiNozzo and McGee look - given that when Gibbs was team leader they both were in suits and ties or at least smart jackets, shirts, ties and trousers in virtually every episode, now they both look as though they are on a 'dress down Friday' day.

I quite enjoyed the story line, although it does imply that Ziva really is here to say, and I must say we have a marked change in Ziva since Season Three.

But there was far too little Ducky; far too little, i.e. one tiny scene Gibbs/Ducky; far too little Jimmy; far too little Abby; and far too much PP.

So . . .


Good story line.

Lovely far too fleeting Gibbs/Ducky hug and Ducky scene when he's worried that his beloved might be dead/then sees Gibbs.

Not as powerful a start as I was hoping for/expecting, but not too bad a start from which to build. It could have been a lot worse, but . . .

Not as good as any Season One or Two episode; better than some Season Three, but also worse than some.

Storyline: 7.75

Enjoyment: 6.75



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