EPISODES EIGHTEEN & NINETEEN
Okay, so I had guessed the episode really wouldn't live up to the hype and all the speculations flying around fandom, and it didn't - not really. In fact I'm sorry to say I was bored for parts of it. Not all of it, but to my mind it dragged in parts and probably didn't really need a double episode. Having said that, it's a tad unfair to make such a quick judgement, given that I was so wound up for it, that whatever happened (within reason) would have been a tad deflating. In fact I've just told J I won't comment on how good or otherwise it was, as it'd be unfair at this point. So I'll probably even wait until after I've re-watched it to 'grade it'.
Was I throwing things at the screen? No.
Did I find it really shocking? No.
The only things that really had me shocked to any extent were, the revelation about Jenn's major screw up and the final scene - it was rather like end ending of Season Three of House, M.D!
Now we can spend the summer speculating if:
a) Someone else isn't going to come back.
b) How they get back together.
c) That is assuming they are going to get back together.
d) Are we going to have another Director dominate the storylines?
Has it tied up all the loose ends in Paris? No, I don't think so - we still have Gibbs being arrested and Jenny standing across the street and smiling.
Has it tied up all the loose ends full stop? No - we still don't know for certain about La Grenouille's death or about Jasper Shepard and whether he's alive or dead and whether he took the bribe or not. In fact the whole thing was glossed over. And yet Shane Brennan promised us all the loose ends would be tied up. Or just forgotten about, I suspect *sigh*
Was the storyline a really good one? No, I don't think so. It was good, don't get me wrong, but not, in my opinion, 'really' good.
And, as people feared, once again TPTB have screwed up over the whole blood test, things. The blood was meant to be Jenny's but it couldn't have been, as the test showed it was a man's blood *sigh*. Oh, well, why am I not surprised?
So it was the 'classic double bluff'. By the time the episode aired we thought it was too obvious that it was Jenn who was going to die, but it was her. But the build up to it being her was so obvious, that in effect the double bluff had been lost on me; it was signalled so darn clearly that she was going to die. But there you go.
Anyway, onto the review.
We begin with the sight of a sniper's rifle, which then pans to two kids and what is obviously not a real rifle - now that was a jolly good opening, IMO, that did grab my attention. The kids shoot at a woman's mail box and then move on to shoot at a lilo on which a guy is reclining in a pool. They shoot, the lilo starts to deflate, but the guy doesn't move - he's dead - which was obvious from the moment the kiddies turned up, but then they so often sign-post things, so it wasn't a problem.
We then switch to Jenny at a funeral, and it turns out the dead guy in the pool is retired Special Agent William Decker, who Jenny says was a good friend. He died leaving a girl-friend/fiancée - Sasha Gordon (deliberate of first name, maybe? A little 'link' to Sasha Alexander?? or is that me being too weird?). With Jenny are DiNozzo and Ziva, the latter certainly doesn't want to be there (and she makes a comment to DiNozzo googling a girl, cute) and doesn't really know why they are there. DiNozzo starts to quote some rule at her, but she calls him on it and he admits he'd making it up. He also refers to the fact that the Director of NCIS always has two senior agents in attendance for security detail - Ziva is not an NCIS agent, senior or otherwise. And when does she rank McGee? Or is it some weird thing that Jenny had to have a woman 'agent' with her? Or just a plot point as they needed the computer expert in DC? The last of those, but they really should be careful with their words - some of us pay attention to them (yes, some of us are overly anal *g*).
Jenny is going to sign the book of condolence when she hears a man asking for Mr. Oshimaida, and she reacts, she almost freaks. She takes out her compact and watches the man, who is firmly told that Mr. Oshimaida is not there. As the man walks away towards a SUV, she snaps photos of him with her camera - he gets in and a woman is driving. Jenny then goes to DiNozzo and Ziva and tells them to take the rest of the trip off; she takes the car.
At HQ McGee comes out of the lift and is surprised to find first Abby, then Ducky, then Jimmy all in the squad room - cute moment when Ducky puts his feet on the desk. They are there because a random sweep is being done downstairs. Ducky is a tad surprised that Gibbs hadn't told McGee and starts to say that maybe his cranial injuries . . . And then realises Gibbs is standing behind him (hee, Gibbs even got Ducky). So in true Ducky fashion simply says 'Hello, Jethro," and gets a simple, "Duck," in reply.
McGee then hands Gibbs something from Fornell - oh, I was correct Fornell did have a file on Jenny. Gibbs takes it and walks off, at that moment Abby's phone rings with a really weird tone and Ducky decides that it must be time to go back to their respective 'homes'; on the way past McGee he calls him 'Probie'.
On first viewing, due to note taking, I missed the significance of this little scene and the humour and hint of foreshadowing. We have Abby sitting at Ziva's desk, addressing McGee in a very 'Ziva' fashion and playing with a knife; Ducky sitting at DiNozzo's desk, doing DiNozzo 'things' like putting his feet up on the desk and gently teasing McGee and the 'he's behind me' when referring to Gibbs, and of course calling McGee 'Probie'. And we have Jimmy doing a Gibbs when he strides in with a cup of coffee in his hand and goes over to Gibbs's desk - he moves away pretty quickly once Gibbs does arrive. So it was a very nice little scene with the gentle humour - and of course it also did the foreshadowing for what was to come at the very end: three new people sitting at the desks of the field team.
We then move back to Jenny who is meeting someone. The someone turns out to be Mike Franks, and we learn Jenny called him two days before and demanded his presence. She wants some help, and it has to be from outside the agency. He's 'touched' she'd ask him and she explains that Gibbs trusts him and that's good enough for her.
She then begins to explain. She tells him that ten years ago (which later suddenly becomes nine *bangs head on desk*) she spent time in Europe with another agent on a Classified Op. That's all she's going to say, oh really Jenny you can't drag the man from Mexico and then not tell him, until Franks gets up to walk out. So she tells the full story (or not quite).
They were trying to infiltrate a Russian spy ring and Decker was their contact and 'Oshimaida' was their code word, to be used if they were ever compromised. She says only three people knew the word: Decker, herself and the other agent. She isn't going to tell Franks who that is - oh, please, this is getting old, and anyway if we're meant to be surprised when you finally say the name, we weren't - until again Franks says he'll really leave. And surprise, surprise it's Gibbs. She knows that Decker's supposed heart attack was murder and she knows she'll be next. Franks agrees to help, well of course he would, he didn't come all the way from Mexico just to say 'hi there'.
Down in Gibbs's basement he is looking at the file Fornell sent him: it's the La Grenouille file; he looks at the photographs of him dead and also of a shell casing found at the scene. And there's also a photograph of Jenny with a man.
Then we move to Abby's lab (I found the constant swapping of scenes quite difficult to follow at times, you just get into one and wham we move) where she's trying to identify the man Jenny's photographed. She's talking to cut outs of DiNozzo and Ziva and telling them she can't ask McGee for help, because Jenny told her not to. Cue McGee to enter. In the end she does tell him and after a few ideas, all of which Abby had tried, he comes up with a suggestion: find out the exact time Jenny took the photo of the man using his mobile phone, then they can trace the call via the cell phone towers - cunning.
We then go back to LA where Ziva is reclining in her bikini by the pool reading a book, and DiNozzo appears in a flashy shirt (very Magnum PI); again she uses the word 'googling' for him ogling her - that time had to be deliberate. He wants her to go with him and cruise down Sunset Boulevard. In the end she agrees and fully dressed they pick up a hire car (well it's delivered) a very flash red sports car. Ziva says the first film reference DiNozzo makes, she'll take over the driving.
Back to Jenny and Franks, they are breaking into a house. Franks asks her if Gibbs taught her that, she said Gibbs doesn't teach anyone anything, they learn from watching. It's Decker's house they are breaking into, she is looking for something either the killer or Decker left behind; she's sure he left something. They're both armed and suddenly they hear a noise; it leads them to a cupboard where Sasha is huddled up crying. Jenny doesn't identify herself but she says they know, as does Sasha, that Decker's death was not an accident.
Sasha tells them that Decker told her if he died to give someone a message - the someone is Jenny. Jenny takes it and says she'll deliver it and then Sasha also says that Decker told her he had 'insurance'; he has a diner out in the desert, and she was to tell Jenny that as Jenny would know where to look. Jenny asks if she has family; she does in Nevada. Jenny tells her to go to them and gives Sasha the keys to her car. Now we just knew, didn't we, that Sasha would not get to Nevada, that she'd be killed mistakenly as Jenny. That was sign-posted a mile high. Jenny makes it clear to Franks that when she finds the person, there would be 'no paperwork'.
We then go to Ziva and DiNozzo who are sitting in a massive traffic jam and DiNozzo is being his usual juvenile self and messing about, but I suspect a lot of that was just to wind Ziva up. Ziva isn't happy, she feels that something is off about Jenny ordering them to leave her, DiNozzo suggests Jenny has simply found herself a man friend.
In the end Ziva makes DiNozzo call Jenny. Jenny is not, understandably, she did give them an order but then they are Gibbs's team, very happy to hear from them and again orders them to in effect 'leave her alone', during the call Franks speaks and Ziva and DiNozzo hear his voice. Ziva says Jenny is hiding something, DiNozzo agrees and says 'her sex life.' He makes a point of pointing out that Jenny did not use the 'under duress' word, thus she's okay.
This whole thing continues for quite some time with Ziva pushing and pushing and pushing, so much she was really beginning to irritate me. Yes, it was odd, yes, she was concerned, yes, they should have stayed with Jenny, well tailed her, but Ziva was going over-board (I actually wanted to slap her) and the more she pushed, the more DiNozzo was going to dig in - which she should have known. She then does a 'deal' with DiNozzo; if he calls the local police and traces Jenny's car, she'll tell him stories about her sex life.
Back in Abby's lab, McGee is drawing a moustache on DiNozzo's cut-out and Abby comes in. McGee has a hit from the phone towers, ten calls were placed in the time frame and they track it down to: Viggo Drantyeve, a Russian. Jenny calls at that point and we learn that the man didn't exist until three days ago and no longer exists - he must have friends in very high places. Jenny orders Abby to erase the search and tells Franks that she knows who sent Viggo.
We then have a teeny touch of humour when Gibbs goes down to Autopsy and walks in on Jimmy doing CPR on a dummy; Jimmy is shouting at it to breathe. Ducky appears, carrying an arrangement of yellow flowers, and says the didn't remember shouting being part of his instructions. Gibbs asks Jimmy if the dummy is his new girlfriend, another teeny tough of humour. Ducky tells Gibbs that as it's quiet he's had time to update the CPR instructions and run refreshers and get the team 'signed off on the procedure' and asks Gibbs when he can put his name down for his refresher. Gibbs says 'not today, Duck' and at that point Ducky sends Jimmy away; Jimmy, for some reason that I'm sure was logical to Jimmy, is about to take the dummy with him, but Ducky tells him she can stay. And deep, intensive looks are exchanged between Gibbs and Ducky.
Ducky: "I know that look, Jethro. I'm afraid I'm all out of secrets."
Gibbs asks Ducky if he found anything 'odd' about La Grenouille's autopsy. Ducky goes to wash his hands while Gibbs is talking to him, Gibbs follows him and then in a very nice moment for us Gibbs/Ducky fen takes some tissues/paper towels from the dispenser and hands them to Ducky to dry his hands. Ducky basically, after a moment or two of rambling about La Grenouille and Gibbs pushing him, says he didn't. Gibbs goes to leave and Ducky stops him, asks him what Gibbs is after. Gibbs says answers and goes. Ducky calls after him, but he's really talking to himself, "There's a reason why sleeping dogs are left to lie, Jethro."
Back in LA DiNozzo and Ziva come across Jenny's rental car. Ziva is still pushing and says she's going to phone in and report a kidnapping, DiNozzo is still hesitating, still thinks all is okay. And then they see the police car and down on the beach is Sasha's body - she's dead (so, so, so obvious that was going to happen). The cops think she fell, Ziva starts to say more, but DiNozzo drags her away and says they are going to keep Jenny out of it.
Meanwhile Jenny and Franks are at the diner.
In Abby's lab Gibbs walks in on Abby doing CPR on Bert, but with Tony's cut-out face on the floor. Gibbs hands Abby a photograph of a shell casing taken at the scene of La Grenouille's murder and asks her what she can find. She explains she can't tell which gun was used, but she can rule out certain ones. She then sees a notch/scratch on the casing and says it could be a defect in the clip. She carries on talking, but Gibbs has gone. Abby tells DiNozzo's photo that she has a really bad feeling.
Back in the diner Jenny and Franks are searching; Jenny apparently doesn't know what the insurance is - but it's going to be names, targets, dates and photos, that kind of thing. We then get a flashback to her and Gibbs in Paris; he's in a suit looking through photographs and noting numbers, she's sitting in front of a mirror putting on a short black wig (again I thought this was longer in the flashbacks, but maybe I'm remembering her red hair). That jogs her mind and she looks at the photos on the walls of the diner and says the dates are wrong.
Between them Franks and Jenny come up with the right dates and that appears to be a code - but for what? At that point Ziva calls and tells her about Sasha; Ziva gets quite angry with Jenny because she won't say where she is, and in turn Jenny, rightly so, gets angry with Ziva - and tells Ziva that despite that Gibbs has taught her, there are such things as co-incidences.
Ziva still insists something is wrong and DiNozzo admits he does too, but he doesn't want to get involved; he's learnt to stay out of the Director's private wars. It's better for everyone to just stay away. He does have a point.
Franks and Jenny are talking about Sasha and wondering if she talked about them, the diner and the insurance - they surmise she must have done. Thus Viggo is likely to be on his way to kill Jenny.
She says "this ends here."
And after a moment he gives her a gun from an ankle holster, saying she'd need a clean gun; she also tells him to leave - he just sits down.
Back with Ziva and DiNozzo she suggests phoning Gibbs, DiNozzo vetoes that and in the end they compromise and call McGee for 'advice'. He asks if they have lost the director'. They admit they don't know where she is. McGee says that Gibbs will kill them. Ziva says she's worried that Jenny is under duress and McGee asks if she used the word, when he learns she didn't, his reaction is the same as DiNozzo's. However, Ziva wants him to trace Jenny's mobile and he agrees. He finally manages to trace that the last call came from the desert. DiNozzo and Ziva take off after her.
Back in the diner Jenny and Franks are talking. Jenny says at first she was relieved when Decker died of a heart attack, as she's always felt there was a chance the past could come back and haunt them - and says it was her fault. She says she isn't all that proud of some of the choices she made, and confesses letting Gibbs go wasn't really what she wanted - but he wasn't part of her five-point plan. Franks says everyone made choices and she made her bed, she has to lie on it. She asks what if she doesn't want to. He says she's young, she still has time. She should tell Gibbs.
DiNozzo and Ziva pull into a petrol station, and they pass an SUV, still arguing. Ziva is insisting they could have made it, but as DiNozzo points out the tank was showing below empty. McGee calls at that moment with directions to and the address of the diner.
Back in the diner Franks talks about being in love once, with a car. He then asks her if she's told Gibbs - that she's sick (so TPTB did screw up). He says she has a look in her eyes, but then admits he found her tablets. She says Gibbs doesn't know she's sick nor that they messed up in Paris.
Back in Gibbs's basement, he pours an extremely large measure of bourbon into a jam jar and starts to drink it. And he looks at the clip underneath a magnifying glass.
DiNozzo and Ziva are driving along, DiNozzo stops the car turns it around, stops gets out and screams. He makes a comment about McGee telling them to turn at the giant cactus.
And we then move to the diner again (I was getting very giddy). Jenny has found some tea, but no water. But Franks has noticed water out the back and as he has to relieve himself again, he'll get some - more sign-positing time.
We then go back to Gibbs's basement and he's flashing back again, firstly to the scene in Jenny's study when La Grenouille puts down the gun and leaves, and Gibbs sees the clip and then to another time in the squad room when Jenny gives him the same clip - the clip from his gun. So, Jenny shot La Grenouille with the clip from Gibbs's gun, or did she shoot him? See, it hasn't all been wound up. We still don't know for sure! And he's drunk all that bourbon!
Back to the diner. The SUV pulls up, Viggo and three other men get out and go inside and there is a lot of shooting - which finishes with two single shots.
Ziva and DiNozzo arrive, recognise the SUV (um, why didn't they recognise it when they passed it by the garage?) and pull their guns and go in. One by one they find the dead men and then finally they see Jenny's bloodied arm and then Jenny. She's dead. At that second Jenny's phone rings - of course, it's Gibbs. (Episode 18 ends here).
The next scene has Gibbs driving in a silver car on his way to the diner. He gets there as DiNozzo and Ziva are bringing stuff out; he tells them he told them to wait for him. At that moment Vance appears and says it is his crime scene - Sec Nav had called him after Gibbs called Sec Nav. DiNozzo keeps looking at Gibbs and the looks he gets back are quite cold and distant. And at that point we realise Franks is missing. The bodies, Jenny's plus the bad guys are all on their way to Ducky.
Inside the diner Vance goes through what happened and how Jenny took the first man out and then the second, the ones who came in through the front door, but then two more came in from the side and he replays her final moments. He says it was 5:1, Gibbs questions his maths, but Vance points out that they have a shell casing for a .45, but no gun to match - oops. Okay, so it's Frank's gun, but why has he gone? We are, I assume, meant to think that maybe, just maybe, Franks is a baddie and 'in on it' - I didn't, I must say. If only because Gibbs trusts him so much - although I guess that could have been one of the big shocks.
Outside Gibbs calls Ziva over and asks what they've got, Ziva apologies and DiNozzo joins them and admits they should have trailed Jenny. But as Ziva points out they were given a direct order not to.
Vance comes out and says no one is to talk to the papers or anyone: it's going to be a full cover up; he also and tells them to trace the fifth person. Vance then leaves telling Gibbs to oversee 'my' investigation - oh, yeah, Vance, you really think Gibbs is going to stay there? If you do, you do not know LJG at all - or maybe you do. Did you expect him to leave? Did he walk right into your 'trap'? Hmm, now that's a point that has only just come to me.
Once Vance has gone, Gibbs orders DiNozzo to 'oversee his investigation' - with full emphasis on 'his'. There does not appear to be a great deal of love lost between Gibbs and Vance. But then there wasn't in the previous episode either, and yet when they first re-met they seemed reasonably friendly, but now . . .
Gibbs goes to the petrol station where he meets Franks - so Gibbs knew Franks was in America, then. Did Franks call him when Jenny called Franks or was it since then? Hmmm. Franks tells Gibbs died protecting someone - Gibbs.
Back at HQ Abby is very uncalm and stressed out and worrying; she knows something is wrong and tells McGee to ring DiNozzo. He says he has and he's also rung Ziva, Abby demands to know why he'd rung Ziva more than DiNozzo. A nice little 'jealous Abby' moment. And then Ducky appears and Abby asks him if everything is okay, he asks if there's any reason to suspect otherwise. And they admit they have some photographs of a tire prints.
Ducky then tries to reassure Abby saying that "Common courtesy is the first casualty in a Jethro war." He thinks that the reason for the silence is simply because they are working a case. And then Ducky's mobile rings, Abby demands to know who it is, but Ducky looks at the caller display and says it's for him.
He smiles, turns and walks away saying "Jethro?"
There is silence for a moment.
Then there is more silence.
Ducky: "I know I typically dominate the conversation, but as you called me -"
Gibbs: "Jenny's dead."
Ducky thinks it's her illness, but Gibbs quickly puts him right telling him she was murdered in a fire fight. He tells Ducky to tell Abby and McGee as he'll need them.
Ducky: "Jethro -"
Gibbs: "Yeah, I know, Duck."
Ducky does indeed tell a shocked Abby and McGee.
Gibbs and Franks are then in another diner and Gibbs tells Franks to tell him everything. Franks does and says they must have left some loose ends in Paris. Gibbs is adamant they didn't. They talk about the code word 'Oshimaida' used in Paris nine years ago (it was ten earlier on *shakes head*). Franks tells Gibbs Jenny's last stand was to protect Gibbs. Gibbs asks what happened, why didn't Franks help her. Franks tells him he was outside and then describes the small bit he did - it was him who fired the two single shots. He did what he could. Except I did wonder whether in fact Franks killed Jenny - because she asked him to. She was badly wounded, knew she was dying from her illness, so she asked him to finish her and he did. I don't really think it could be this because the autopsy would, naturally, reveal that she died with a .45 shot, but then again her death has been covered up anyway. So . . . It was just something that whizzed into my mind.
In Abby's lab she's in tears and McGee is stoically working on the computer. She drops a pile of CDs she's carrying him and is sobbing. He tells her it's okay; she says it isn't and then manages to pull herself together to get on with the work, but she's trying to work too fast. He then covers her hand and takes over - a very lovely touching, poignant moment. Abby is angry with everyone. At that moment DiNozzo calls re: the tire tracks and he gets angry with McGee for not working fast enough. They do find out that 'Joe Hill' from New Mexico was the person who rented the car from which the tire tracks came. DiNozzo orders McGee to find more and hangs up. Ziva quietly tells him it isn't McGee's fault and DiNozzo says he knows.
Back with Gibbs and Franks, Gibbs is still insisting they left Paris clean. Franks points out there were three agents involved, two are dead. We then get a flashback to Gibbs shooting a man (now I must have misremembered, but I was sure in the S3 flashbacks it was Jenny who shot the man at that point, but I guess I'm wrong).
Franks asks more about the assignment; there were to be two deaths - one each. Franks asks if Gibbs verified Jenny's kill - Gibbs didn't. Franks asks if Decker could have been compromised, but still Gibbs insists they got out clean. At that point it was perfectly clear that the problem was, in some way, going to be linked to the person Jenny had killed/meant to have killed - and the fact that Gibbs didn't verify the kill.
Franks gives Gibbs the code he and Jenny had worked out and Gibbs tells him to go back to Mexico and give his god-daughter a hug. Franks leaves, but it's obvious he won't be returning to Mexico immediately - and I'm sure deep down Gibbs knew it too.
Gibbs calls McGee, who is trying to find a picture of Hill and gives him the code number: 71399-2181-5378; Gibbs wants McGee to crack it. Whilst they are talking the ID on 'Hill' comes up: Mike Franks. McGee tells Gibbs who tells McGee to erase it, after a second McGee does that very thing, even though he knows Vance will not be happy.
Later that evening Vance appears as McGee is looking at the crime scene photos, including the one of Ziva in her bikini. Three of the men had priors and they had money on them - they were hired killers, simple as that. McGee lets slip that Jenny had asked them to run Viggo's photo and admits there is no BOLO. Vance asks about the fifth shooter and McGee lies. Vance says he's only to do another hour and then go home.
Down in Autopsy, Jimmy is looking at the list, looking at Jenny's name. Ducky briefly puts his arm around his shoulders and Jimmy admits he'd never autopsied a colleague before. Ducky says it won't get any easier the next time (this is the third that we've known Ducky to have carried out). Ducky then talks to Jenny's body, saying how she always knew what she wanted and how he saw it as a true sense of duty, but not everyone did the same. He also wonders if in fact her death had been on her terms. There's a nice little touch as when he unzips the body bag, it's not Jenny - Jimmy got it wrong.
Ducky moves over to Jimmy and Jenny's body as Gibbs comes in. Jimmy instantly hurries off to Ducky's desk, leaving Gibbs and Ducky with Jenny's body. Gibbs puts his hands on the bag and the zip and Ducky tells him that she was dying and that it wouldn't have been an easy death and maybe this way was in fact more merciful. Gibbs can't open the bag and just walks out, watched by a concerned Ducky. Another very touching little scene.
Back in the squad room McGee is trying to track down a missing airport security video and DiNozzo and Ziva arrive back. He speaks to DiNozzo, who immediately reacts and gets confrontational, challenging McGee to tell him he screwed up. DiNozzo is really feeling it. McGee however simply tells them it wasn't their fault and Ziva thanks him. Gibbs then calls them down to Abby's lab.
Abby is still upset and saying she'll do her very best work for the director and how she should have told her how well she always dressed because you shouldn't leave these things until it's too late. She throws herself, briefly, into Gibbs's arms. And she then tells him she likes the way he dresses, it's very masculine and that gets her a smile. The others come in and she hugs DiNozzo and compliments him, hugs a surprised Ziva and tells her 'you kick ass' and then goes to McGee. Firstly she strokes his lapels, then just says 'oh, McGee', and throws herself into his arms - another teeny Abby/McGee moment.
DiNozzo addresses Gibbs, who tells him it wasn't his fault. They are though going to find Jenny's killer; he tells them Jenny died trying to end something. Ziva asks if it's still going on and at that second Vance appears and asks the same question. Gibbs leaves with Vance.
They go into the lift and talk, Vance is making it quite clear he knows something more than Gibbs wants him to know. And he then does his 'you can't protect them forever, Jethro, there's already been one casualty, there will be more' speech.
Back in the squad room McGee sees Gibbs and whispers that he has the other security tape. Gibbs asks why he's whispering and McGee bluffs his way out of it (he was whispering because Vance was there) and says he didn't want to shout at Gibbs across the room. The loyalty Gibbs commands in his team is stunning. They see Viggo and they then see a woman getting into the same cab - as Ziva points out a professional killer does not share a taxi. The woman must have been with him; Vance turns to address Gibbs, but Gibbs has gone. Vance orders McGee to get Gibbs back and you just know that as McGee rings Gibbs the phone will ring on Gibbs's desk. And it does; Gibbs left his mobile behind.
Vance asks McGee, Ziva and DiNozzo where Gibbs is and they all say they don't know - and they probably, genuinely don't. The team pull together. But then McGee does tell Vance about the code, and Vance leaves him to try to break it and sends DiNozzo and Ziva off to find the woman. They go down to Abby's lab and McGee emails the photo to her.
Back upstairs Vance asks McGee what he's found and McGee goes through what he's tried and how he's tried to crack it. He doesn't think Vance will follow him, but to his surprise Vance knows about codes and encryptions and actually ridicules some of McGee's efforts. I am not overly fond of Vance - and as for his habit with the tooth-picks *shudder* He was okay in Internal Affairs, but after that I started to go off him, and I disliked him even more in About Face - but maybe we are meant to dislike him, because the man is up to something!
Ziva goes down to Autopsy and there is DiNozzo sitting at Ducky's desk drinking Ducky's whisky. He is in full self-blame mode and talks about not only blowing protection duty but also blowing his undercover operation. Ziva has a small drink and attempt to snap him out of it. He says that Jenny was alone, no marriage, no kids, etc. Ziva says everyone is alone and then they talk about Gibbs and Jenny in Paris, the long days and nights. DiNozzo comments that it was inevitable they got together there, Ziva says 'nothing is inevitable'.
We then go to Jenny's house and Gibbs is in her study looking at her papers. He finds a letter she had started to him.
Back with Vance and McGee, McGee has cracked it. It actually turns out to be an old 1985 case file number, nothing more, nothing less. But the system had changed since then, which is why no one recognised it as a case file number. They don't have the file on computer, it's across in the annex. Vance takes DiNozzo and Ziva with him and as he's about to leave tells McGee he did a good job.
Over in the lock up Vance wants to know who was the last person to look at the file, as the box appears to be empty. The man in charge finally admits he did a favour for an old friend, he went off to the loo. The old friend is Franks - not Gibbs as Vance thought. Vance then sends the man off and asks DiNozzo and Ziva if they knew about Franks, one says 'yes' the other 'no'; he asks them again and they change the word they said. Vance is not a happy bunny.
Vance: "Whose side are you on?"
DiNozzo & Ziva in synchrony: "Gibbs."
They think Franks must be on his way to Mexico and the debt has ended.
The woman is traced she is a Natasha Lenkov - who didn't exist before 1999. And Gibbs must have recognised her.
Gibbs has also taken Viggo's phone and Vance says that's how she'll make contact with him. Vance calls Gibbs and gets Natasha's real name from him Svetlana something, and whilst they are talking Natasha calls. Gibbs puts Vance on hold, much to Vance's annoyance.
Gibbs starts off talking to Natasha in Russian and then switches to English and says he's Mr. Oshimaida. It turns out she handled the man Gibbs shot in Paris.
McGee traces the call to Jenny's house and Vance tells him to erase it and goes off, leaving them behind to, in Ziva's words 'wait for the fireworks'.
At Jenny's Natasha comes in and has a gun on Gibbs. She asks if he killed the man in Paris, he asks what the man was to her; she says 'everything' Ooops. And then we do get a shock. She shouldn't even be alive - she was the woman Jenny was meant to have killed. But when it came to it, Jenny couldn't do it. So Jenny was right, it was all her fault. Gibbs asks Natasha if she can kill him and she goes to pull the trigger at that moment she's shot from behind - by Franks.
Gibbs tells Franks that Jenny couldn't kill her and Franks is surprised, given how good Jenny was with a gun, but Gibbs tells him she wasn't back then. So I guess that in a way Gibbs did also screw up; he knew Jenny wasn't that confident, and also remember she did throw up during her first autopsy - how did that woman become Director of NCIS? Gibbs has to take a part of the blame, he really does - he didn't check up to see if she'd killed Natasha - wow! Franks tells him Jenny cared for Gibbs and had regrets, Gibbs says we all do. They decide Natasha won't be found. And as they walk away we hear fire engine bells.
They meet Vance and Franks said the death was sanctioned nine years ago. He admits to having the file, but says he'll leave it to Vance in his will and he goes. Vance asks what they'll tell Sec Nav and then he hears the fire bells.
In HQ then lift opens on the whole team in black and on the plasma a reporter is talking about Jenny's death, in a fire in her home, and her funeral.
Ducky, moving to Gibbs: "I find this whole thing utterly distasteful." So he has to falsify his report and also make Jimmy lie too. Hmmm, I see his point.
Vance and Gibbs are looking at one another as the reporter says that Leon Vance will take over as Director. But what happened to the man who wanted to get home? He doesn't seem that bothered by the move to DC. Hmmm.
And the final scene.
Up in the director's office Vance goes to the safe and takes his file from it, takes out a piece of paper and shreds it. What was the paper?
He then asks for Gibbs, McGee, DiNozzo and David to go up - they appear instantly, rather too quickly in reality.
And then we get the real shock.
He tells Ziva her liaison is at an end and she's going home.
And before you can really recover from that he's telling McGee he's being moved to Cyber Crimes.
And then with that he little bombshell he tells DiNozzo he's being assigned as special agent on the USS Ronald Regan and to pack his bags as he leaves immediately.
He then hands Gibbs three files - for his new team.
And that is that.
As I said at the beginning in parts I was bored with this.
I thought it focussed far too much on Jenny and Franks and DiNozzo and Ziva, okay it had to that was the whole story line, but it was very unbalance at the expense of the others - Gibbs hardly appeared at all.
I felt it dragged in places and I'm not convinced it needed to be a double episode. I think there was maybe a little too much for just one episode, but it was padded at times.
Some nice little moments and interaction, even some gentle flashes of humour.
Some lovely Abby/McGee scenes.
Some teeny Gibbs/Ducky scenes.
Vance is 'interesting' - just what is he? Good or bad? What did he destroy? And he clearly split the team up as punishment and also because he saw how loyal they were to Gibbs.
I just hope that, assuming we don't lose any of them during the summer, the whole thing pans out better than House did this season. But given that DiNozzo was about to be immediately dispatched and Ziva sent home, it makes you wonder how they are suddenly going to reappear again. McGee would be easier, he's only being transferred into a different department, but the others.
And will Gibbs even stand for it? And what about Ducky? And what about Abby?
Hmmm. Much food for thought and more speculating. Also about what Vance shredded.
So yes, the ending was a surprise - a huge surprise. Plus the fact that Jenny did indeed screw up in a major way was rather shocking, as was the fact that Gibbs didn't check up to make certain she had killed the person she was meant to have killed.
Too much Franks.
Too much Jenny.
Too little Gibbs.
Too little Ducky.
Too little Abby.
Too little McGee.
Too little Palmer.
Still outstanding issues not resolved (La Grenouille and Jasper Shepard to name but two).
However, far, far better than the Season Four finale. However, in a way a disappointment, even when one has to take into account that it was never going to live up to expectations.
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