SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST
This was an episode I was in two minds about pre-watching. Gibbs
on horseback- has to be good; but Gibbs out of the office/DC, those episodes
rarely work for me as well as those centred around DC/Virginia do. However,
given that the out of DC was actually minimal (it just goes to show one should
never believe trailers *g*) I found it was a far better 'ride' than I'd been
expected. Certainly, for me (despite the lack of any real Ducky) I thought it
was the best episode since 'Broken Bird'.
It was a fun episode with some good interaction a case that whilst not exactly overly gripping and with a bad guy that once again came in wearing his 'bad guy black hat' at least kept my attention, even if it was yet another 'dead NCIS agent'.
There was some good humour and . . . and . . . amazingly for NCIS some continuity and references back to incidences in earlier episodes from this season! The whole inheritance thing I have to say, as so often happens, got over-played and laid on with a trowel and got old quickly. Plus, given how it has happened all the way through the season, DiNozzo was never going to end up inheriting a vast amount - I was thinking something small, so the little twist was good in that respect. But it was utterly clear he wasn't getting anything substantial.
I also felt that for pretty much the first time this season although DiNozzo was the 'fall guy' as far as jokes and humour and making an idiot goes, it was at his 'old' level, back to the good old days of S1&2. And it wasn't forced, and so much of his foolishness this season comes across as forced. Maybe it was just having a week free of him being the idiot, but I felt in this one the writers weren't doing him down as they've done in many episodes.
So we begin with a man (who turns out to be NCIS Special Agent Jack Patterson - a minor aside, Patterson is the surname of my two recurring OCs Mrs. Helen Patterson, Mrs. Mallard's closest friend and her grandson Charlie Patterson, which was totally irrelevant but made me blink) running through the streets being pursued by an SUV. He pauses to drop a box into a mail box and is then shot three times in the chest by someone in the chasing SUV. A man then gets out, goes over to Patterson and (predictably) shoots him in the head as well. We then see a shot of Patterson's badge, just before the fade out.
DiNozzo and Ziva are in the office waiting for McGee and they are discussing how McGee has been distracted recently (yes, he has and not himself, well remembered writers). DiNozzo says that Gibbs is on McGee's case. He is holding Patterson's badge and Ziva asked if he knew him - DiNozzo says that he didn't really. He then tells Ziva to ring McGee again, just as McGee turns up saying there had been an accident. DiNozzo has a message on his phone letting him know that there's been a call from a Law firm in London and they want him to call them back. He says it must be related to his Uncle Clive's death - the funeral he went to last month. Ziva is surprised to hear that DiNozzo really went to a funeral, she thought he'd just wanted time off. I doubt, after the whole Jeanne thing, DiNozzo will ever pull that kind of stunt again.
What was also nice about this episode is that this scene broke the 'norm' of pretty much the rest of the season. We get the intro with a murder, the credits, then go to the office where the kids are bickering and conversing. DiNozzo says something 'foolish' or 'unnecessary' or just a feed-in line and inevitably at that second Gibbs appears and verbally slaps him down. So it was really nice to see something different. And nice to see how Patterson's death had clearly touched DiNozzo.
Gibbs and Ducky are at the crime scene and we learn that Patterson was Agent Afloat on the George Washington and returned to Norfolk two days ago. Ducky asks if Gibbs has let Vance know.
Gibbs (looking at his watch): "Yeah. It's well after midnight in Singapore. Sent him an email." That earns him one of Ducky's fond-Jethro looks. (Nice).
Then the kids arrive and DiNozzo tells Gibbs they got caught in traffic - he and McGee then exchange a look. A local restaurateur called the murder in, he heard the squealing tires but didn't see anything or hear the shots. Ducky finds a business card on the body and calls Gibbs over. It belongs to one Bartholomew Lemming from Homeland Security. Gibbs gives it to DiNozzo so he can ring the man. Moments later he tells Gibbs he left a message; Gibbs just looks at him and turns it over showing DiNozzo the mobile phone number, DiNozzo wonders how he missed it. During this McGee also asks DiNozzo why he covered for him - it's what team-mates to, Tim. Even when they are bitching at one another, they also cover.
A cop then comes up to Gibbs and says there's a woman claiming to belong to NCIS, but as she's dressed in a Dracula cape and a dog collar, he doubts her word. Gibbs doesn't; it's Abby. He tells the cop to let her through. Abby tells Gibbs that Patterson was in DC to see her and that it is all her fault. A nice little moment.
In Abby's lab Abby is telling Gibbs about Patterson and the very special phone relationship they had. They'd never met, but he never forgot her birthday; she says unlike Gibbs did last year (which is not really in keeping with what we know about Gibbs and his relationship with Abby. Even when he was mid-bear mauls Marine case, he still remembered her birthday and gave her a present and if that was meant to be the time Abby was referring to that was actually back in S3). She imagined Patterson differently, he didn't look as he sounded, she thought he'd have a moustache and added that Gibbs sounded different when he had one. Okay, why are we once again getting so many Mexico references? We had several last week and now another one . . . Why?
Patterson had called Abby the night before saying he wanted to see her and show her something. Abby had put him off saying she'd see him in the morning and says to Gibbs that if she hadn't done that, he'd still be alive. Gibbs hugs her (a nice G/A or G&A moment, depending on which way you see their relationship).
In the squad room DiNozzo is on the phone with the London Law firm. He's clearly talking to a female as he's flirting in true DiNozzo style. He was indeed talking to Mr. Hubbard's, the man who wants him, secretary. McGee asks if he's in the will and DiNozzo assumes so. He goes over and sits on McGee's desk (cue Di/Mc fen happiness) and goes on about his uncle - Clive Paddington (again with the same sounding names, writers - 'Patterson' and 'Paddington' why?). He had a vast amount of money, North Sea oil money. DiNozzo spent his seventeenth summer in the UK and Uncle Clive was his mentor and he was also clearly a man with an eye for the lady. DiNozzo is talking about how Uncle Clive could close a deal on anything in an instant, when Gibbs walks in and says he's more interested in closing the case.
DiNozzo: "On it, boss." However, he doesn't instantly move away from McGee's desk. Until he suddenly realises he's still there and hastens away.
We learn that Patterson had been in the navy for ten years and had joined NCIS in 1998. He had one setback in 2003 when he was charged with use of excessive force; he's unmarried.
At that moment 'Bartholomew Lemming' (who we later learn is not Lemming, but a man called 'Sachs', for the sake of this review I'll keep him as 'Lemming' until he is revealed as Sachs') arrives and after mistaking DiNozzo for Gibbs, is taken off by the real Gibbs to the conference room. As soon as I saw this man my hackles started to rise and the more I saw of him the more certain I was that he killed Patterson - I had no idea why, but he was one of the 'utterly clear bad guys that NCIS seem so keen on).
Meanwhile, DiNozzo's phone rings and he gets excited (and of course it's utterly clear by now, even if it wasn't to begin with, that DiNozzo is not going to inherit the fortune he is expecting). However, it is just the video store; his DVD is overdue.
Lemming tells Gibbs than he and Patterson worked together fro a while and had a good working relationship. He says Patterson left him a message last night wanting to show him something, but he didn't know what it was. They had good times together and he wants to know what he can do to help. Lemming also says he has a week in the field that will involve working with the FBI. Gibbs smiles and wishes him luck. Come on, Gibbs, where's that famous gut of yours? This was one of the most obvious bad guys we've had - and that's saying something!
In Autopsy Abby, a very upset Abby, comes in, looks around her and begins talking to Patterson. She talks about the phone call and the fact that she hadn't known if Patterson wanted a date when he suggested they met up and she hadn't known what to say in case she was wrong. And that when Gibbs had asked her about Patterson and her she hadn't known what to tell him. She then stops and assumes that Gibbs is behind her. But he isn't; it's Ducky.
Ducky: "You flatter me, Abby." (Nice).
She tells Ducky that she wanted to ask Patterson something.But Ducky in effect very gently but insistently hustles her out of Autopsy; telling her he has work to do and saying he'll let her have the slugs in due course. (And that, my fellow Ducky-fen was the last we saw of our beloved ME).
Meanwhile Gibbs, McGee and DiNozzo are on the George Washington talking to Commander Weidman about Patterson. Weidman had no idea why Patterson was in DC and knew of nothing out of the ordinary that was going on; Patterson knew how over-worked the XO was and so only went to him when he had a full case. McGee calls Weidman over and shows him some photos, they are part of the last file Patterson worked on. DiNozzo pretty much identifies the exact area of the ship where the room will be, explaining he spent four months as Agent Afloat himself. DiNozzo is also fiddling with his mobile trying to get a signal until Gibbs pointedly asks him if he's expecting a call and DiNozzo hastily puts it a way, saying they'll leave a message.
They go down to the relevant storage room and DiNozzo makes the 'mistake' of commenting what a perfect place it will be for smuggling. Gibbs informs his 'boys' that they are to stay there and search the place. When McGee objects, pointing out it's late and a long way back to DC, Weidman says he'll find them bunks for the night.
We then switch to Abby and Ziva (a nice little A/Z scene if you ship them, or just continued evidence of how they have become friends and how Ziva continues to 'gentle' and become far more involved with the team). Roy, the mailroom clerk, drops a box off - the box Patterson had posted. He says there wasn't any postage on it, but when the Post Office saw it was for NCIS they called; it's addressed to Abby. It had been posted in the area Patterson was killed in; so he knew he was in jeopardy and wanted to get whatever it was to Abby. Whatever it was turns out to be a painting of hills, a little girl reading a book and landscape.
Gibbs asks Abby what it means to her; but it doesn't mean anything. He asks if they talked about art and Abby gets a tad upset and says it's as if Gibbs is interrogating her - he says he is. He gets her to zoom in on the book the little girl is reading to see if that helps, it doesn't. However, she has managed to match the slug Ducky gave her to another slug from an unsolved murder of two years ago in Arizona.
Back on the ship DiNozzo goes back into the storage hold looking for McGee. McGee is on hands and knees digging into some storage space. He's found a bag; he is not happy with DiNozzo who has left him to do all the donkey work and he demands to know where DiNozzo had been. Once again (really getting old by now) DiNozzo had been trying to ring Uncle Clive's solicitor.
McGee is really angry and tells DiNozzo "Screw your uncle Clive. You haven't done anything all morning."
DiNozzo opens the bag and there is white powder inside - it looks like drugs. Then DiNozzo tells McGee to chill-ax; McGee says he'll chill-ax when DiNozzo says he's done something. So DiNozzo obligingly tells him. He has been going over all of Patterson's recent emails and case files and has learnt that Patterson had run a background check on Seaman Richard Zell whom he had under surveillance. There's more, Zell has one of the only three access codes to the area they are in. A nice sibling or Di/Mc scene. Yet again DiNozzo turns up trumps without having to do the donkey work - and what was really nice is that it came without the usual 'back-hander screw up'.
Gibbs is once more with Lemming and they are looking at the painting. It is by Dina Risi, an artist who is becoming known. Ziva has put a call into Arizona and they are very happy to hear about the matching slug as they haven't had any movement on the case of the murdered businessman for a long time. We also learn that Patterson and Lemming were stationed together at one time in Arizona.
Back on board ship McGee and DiNozzo, dressed in navy clothes are painting. McGee is doing a good job, DiNozzo is utterly haphazard and, once again, is going on about Clive and his money, etc. McGee is getting more than a bit tired of it; he's also annoyed because DiNozzo isn't painting properly and shows him how to do it. That leads to DiNozzo sloshing paint over McGee's nicely painted area and for a moment you think there's going to be a paint fight - DiNozzo also reminds McGee they are only fake painters. Ah, but you should still be doing a good job, a proper job, DiNozzo, just in case - now if Gibbs were there you wouldn't be just slapping it around.
And then Zell appears; he lets himself into the hold and goes to get his bag. They grab him, he breaks away and punches DiNozzo in the nose and runs, but McGee recaptures him - poor DiNozzo that's at least the second if not more time he's been punched in the nose. DiNozzo comments that he shouldn't have to put up with this kind of thing as he's about to be a very wealthy man. Okay, so by now they had totally and utterly over-played it and it was blindingly clear that DiNozzo was not going to inherit a fortune.
Back with Abby and Gibbs, Abby has only identified two prints on the package: Patterson and Roy. However, she has managed to find something else, she asks Gibbs if he knows how long it takes for a ballpoint pen ink to really dry and tells him four to five days. And because of this she has managed to find traces of the original label - Dani Risi had sent the painting to Patterson.
DiNozzo, with cotton-wool up his nose that suddenly vanishes, is interrogating Zell. Zell says he did not know Patterson, yes, the coke was his; he wanted to make some money. Outside Ziva tells Gibbs than Zell couldn't have killed the Arizona business man as he was on-board ship. Zell bought the coke for $2,000 and can sell it on the street for $20,000 (shakes head in disgust). DiNozzo says he's looking at twenty-five years for murder. However, now McGee comes into where Gibbs and Ziva are watching DiNozzo with the news that Zell has an iron-clad alibi for Patterson's murder. Bank tapes have him in Norfolk half an hour after the murder. He says that even Gibbs couldn't get from DC back to Norfolk in that short a time. That earns him a 'Gibbs glare'.
Gibbs is then with Commander Weidman; he tells him Zell is innocent of the murder but that a new NCIS agent will be joining the ship shortly and will pick up where Patterson left off. He's going to hand Zell over to Weidman.
McGee then tells Gibbs about an email. It seems that Patterson does not see Lemming or their relationship in the same light as Lemming does. In fact he says that Lemming has obstructed some investigations. And we also learn that Dani is somewhat outspoken about ecological issues.
DiNozzo comes over having spoken to Sheriff Clay Boyd and, putting on a really deep voice, explains how Dani has disappeared. He tells Gibbs that is how Boyd talks and that Boyd doesn't know where Dani's retreat it. But McGee thinks he's found it, with Gibbs draped over his chair (G/Mc fen moment) he shows him where he thinks her hideout is. Gibbs pats him on the arm and DiNozzo (who along with Ziva is also behind McGee) also pats him on the shoulder (another Di/Mc moment, re-establishing 'his' claim *g*). Gibbs tells McGee to find out if Dani is there.
On DiNozzo's desk is a picture of a red car - a Ferrari - which interests Ziva, something DiNozzo appears to intend buying when he gets his inheritance (except he won't).
Gibbs is again with Lemming and he's telling him about the case. Lemming says how he knows a local bartender who has commented that Patterson and Dani seemed really close, more than friends. Gibbs shows him a picture of where they think Dani is and Lemming comments it is the 'bad lands' and wishes him luck. Oh, Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs, really. Why are you suddenly 'playing nice' with another agency? You never play 'nice' and the only other agency person you'd trust is Fornell, why have you suddenly become overly trusting with Lemming and telling him everything? I know he had to otherwise the plot kind of falls apart, but it was very un-Gibbs-like to be so overtly 'sharing'. He doesn't play nicely with other agencies and it's not as though Patterson was a close friend of his.
Meanwhile Ziva is watching DiNozzo as he's still waiting on the call from London. She says how the local police thought the businessman had been killed by someone his wife hired. But as it's the same method as Patterson's killing, plus the slug that now seems unlikely. McGee has now managed to get an infra-red heat image of the cabin and someone is there - once again Gibbs is leaning all over McGee.
Gibbs then tells McGee and Ziva to work the case from DC and orders DiNozzo home to pack, telling him they are going to Arizona - DiNozzo is less than enthused about that, commenting to McGee and Ziva that he and Arizona do not get along (as we know from last week's episode, a place he told Ducky he was not going back to).
They meet Sheriff Boyd in Arizona. DiNozzo gets out of the car and we pan down to the really fancy cowboy boots he is wearing and again it is so obvious: DiNozzo is not going to be able to ride a horse, at least not properly or easily and has no idea of what one wears. Boyd seems somewhat bemused and not exactly fond of DiNozzo and indeed comments on the boots asking if DiNozzo is expecting to go to a dance. He has met Dani, he cut her from a tree once when she was protesting. DiNozzo suggests they take the four-wheel drive to find her cabin, but Body points out that's not possible. It has to be horse back. Gibbs is very happy by that prospect, DiNozzo is not! He suggests a helicopter, but then back-tracks saying if everyone did that every time the government would be broke.
Boyd: "Government is broke." :-)
Meanwhile McGee and Ziva are waiting for Lemming to appear and DiNozzo's phone rings. Ziva asks if McGee is going to answer it and he says he's not, because it will just give DiNozzo a chance to have another go at him about his message taking skills. Yes!! Continuity, NCIS actually has continuity with a reference back to a recent episode ('Deliverance'). Ziva says she'll answer it, but it stops before she got there. She then says McGee is jealous that DiNozzo is going to inherit money. McGee assures her he isn't, it's just that it might change him.
Ziva: "Which in Tony's case would be a good thing."
McGee: "Unless he becomes more -"
Ziva: "Tony-ish." And she says she sees McGee's concern. However, she adds that it hadn't changed him when his book sold.
He thanks her but says it wasn't that much and that after the car and some clothes he put the rest into a hedge fund that just crashed. She says she is sorry and asks if that is why he'd been do distracted. He admits it was and hadn't realised it was showing. Another bit of continuity; so we know what has been wrong with McGee in the last few episodes, why he's been very un-McGee-like. Thank you, NCIS writers! Let's hope we now get 'old Timmy' back. It was a very nice scene; the banter about DiNozzo was very much in character and sibling-like and nice and gentle teasing (in absence) and Ziva's expression of concern for McGee was also genuine. A very good scene.
Back with Gibbs he is happily saddling his horse whereas DiNozzo is staggering around with his full saddle. Boyd asks if he's ever saddled a horse before - no he hasn't - and then asks if he's ever ridden one. DiNozzo says yes, but explains that was pony rides when he was eight, than kind of thing. Boyd offers to help him with the saddle, but DiNozzo says he's got it and ends up with the saddle on his head.
A man appears in the squad room looking for DiNozzo as he left a message on his answer-phone, when Ziva asks who he is, he points to his ID badge. Ziva's eyes widen and the next moment Gibbs's phone is ringing. It's McGee calling to tell him that the real Bartholomew Lemming has just turned up - oooops. See, I knew the other one was a bad guy. Gibbs tells him to try to find out who 'Lemming' really is.
They are about to get on their horses, Gibbs does so and happily rides off, whereas DiNozzo goes around the wrong side of the horse and has to be guided back by Boyd. He finally gets on and the horse instantly trots off with DiNozzo calling "He's going. He's going." And then suddenly the horse decides to do it's own thing and DiNozzo has lost control of the reins and is not a happy bunny. Poor DiNozzo.
Back with Abby, McGee and Ziva, Abby has tested the painting and has discovered that the paint, which Dani mixes herself, is radio-active. It's purified uranium dioxide (UO2) and is used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. It appears that Dani must have discovered that and sent the painting to Patterson.
Abby calls Gibbs to tell him this and Gibbs riding one-handed then asks for McGee and wants to know why he hasn't heard from him about 'Lemming'. McGee says so far facial recognition hasn't brought anything up and the print shows he has no record. In true Gibbs style he just hangs up and McGee says to Abby and Ziva "He says 'hi'." Another nice little scene.
Boyd suggests they camp for the night, Gibbs wants to go on. However, Boyd points out it's a dangerous area and with a 'tenderfoot' (looking at DiNozzo) they really should make camp. Gibbs bows to the inevitable. They are sitting around the camp fire in the dark and DiNozzo is groaning and in pain, Gibbs tells him he'll feel worse in the morning, much to DiNozzo's chagrin. Boyd offers Gibbs some beans, which Gibbs accepts and DiNozzo puts on one of his voices and goes on about 'mungo like beans(???)' and finally says it's from 'Blazing Saddles'.
A completely unimpressed Boyd asks: "What the heck is he talking about?"
Gibbs just gives him a 'don't ask me look and shrug'.
Then DiNozzo thanks Boyd for not offering him any beans saying he had an energy bar at the airport and he'll be fine. He then looks at his watch and Gibbs asks what time it is in London. When DiNozzo answers Gibbs asks how much longer DiNozzo will be with the agency and suggest he retires once he gets his money. Then the phone rings; DiNozzo says he would get it but he has cramp, so Gibbs goes to the horses and answers it.
It is McGee and Ziva who have played a hunch that once 'Lemming' knew where Gibbs was off to, he'd want to go there too. And indeed they have traced a charter flight that got in two hours ago; it was registered in the name of 'Sunset Mining'. Gibbs tells them both to get some sleep and then asks Boyd, who has heard of them; he has, they are a slick bunch out of Phoenix. They are trying to get mineral rights, but he says there is no gold in the mines.
The next morning, poor DiNozzo is still suffering and still complaining. They find Dani's place and she shoots at them until Boyd identifies himself. Gibbs shows Dani his badge and she says that Patterson had told her not to talk to anyone but him - he then tells her Patterson is dead; which upsets her. He asks how she found out about the uranium and she explains about how she mixes paint, using local clay and how she'd started to feel ill so had gone to her doctor who said she'd been exposed; she knew then that Sunset Mining weren't after gold, but uranium. She didn't know who to trust and so told Patterson who told her to send him the painting. The uranium would bring Sunset Mining billions. Gibbs says they have to get Dani out of there.
As they are riding along Boyd tells DiNozzo to let go of the saddle horn, saying that riding a horse is like making love, you have to relax and enjoy it.
Meanwhile McGee and Ziva are in MTAC and they have a fix on Gibbs via the satellite and they can see a helicopter overhead - Gibbs orders his 'posse' to run for it, they do. Given DiNozzo's lack of horse riding skills, he manages to stay on the galloping horse.
We see the fake Lemming in the helicopter and he is firing at them. Boyd gets hit and falls off his horse; DiNozzo get Dani off her horse and they go behind the rocks and DiNozzo starts to fire, pointlessly and fruitlessly with his Sig at the helicopter. Gibbs goes to Boyd who tell him he's okay and tells him to get the Henry, telling Gibbs it pulls to the right. Gibbs rides for Boyd's horse and in a near seamless move, grabs the rifle and gets off his horse. He sights and even with bullet fire just in front of him waits until the right second and takes the shot. He hits the pilot and the helicopter crashes and explodes - good old sniper Gibbs. McGee is calling out to him and after a few moments Gibbs assures them they are all okay. DiNozzo then comments that they need to round up the horses and wonders how they do that.
Back at HQ DiNozzo is waiting for his call, which will come at 9:00 a.m. McGee passes comment that he's a tad surprised DiNozzo is able to sit down - so was I! Unlike some of the McGee comments recently, this was not cutting or his harsh tone, this was back to normal banter. DiNozzo even calls him 'Tim' (Di/Mc fen are happy again). Gibbs appears and tells them Boyd is doing well; he's driving the nurses mad and we learn that 'fake Lemming' was a man called Sachs who had a wife and kids and seemed to be a very 'good guy'. However, he's been tied to four unsolved murders and they expect there to be more. And Sunset Mining are being investigated and are expected to be indited in death and the uranium scam.
As Gibbs, McGee and Ziva are talking DiNozzo is on the phone to the London solicitor. He sounds really happy and excited (and still we know it's going to go wrong). He even says 'wow'. Finally he hands up and we learn that Uncle Clive left a huge amount of money £24 million (some $37 million) . . . And he left it all to DiNozzo's cousin Crispian, who apparently looked after Uncle Clive during his illness. And the reason the solicitor was calling DiNozzo was that when DiNozzo was in college, he borrowed £10,000 from Uncle Clive and apparently signed an IOU. Crispian has found the IOU and now wants the £10,000 back plus compound interest over twenty years. (So this seems to tie in with DiNozzo confirming to Kate that he was '32' in 'Split Decision' as his 17th summer would have been 1989 - some twenty years ago. However, it doesn't quite tie in with him being in college - he wouldn't be in college at 17, would he? But it also ties in with his comment in 'Bikini Wax' to the guy in prison that he was in Alpha Chi Delta in 1989. Hey, are we actually getting consistency?)
During this Gibbs smirks and walks off. McGee pats DiNozzo on the arm and says he's sorry for DiNozzo's loss - and it was a very genuine tone. And McGee knows only too well what it's like; well actually McGee is worse hit than DiNozzo as he actually had the money then lost it, DiNozzo never had the money. DiNozzo does end by saying 'it's only money'.
So yes, overall I enjoyed this episode quite a lot. Despite the beyond being obvious bad guy and Gibbs suddenly 'playing nicely' with other agencies and the over-played inheritance story-line.
DiNozzo was always going to: a) make a mess of horse riding and b) not get any (or at least very little) inheritance, but other than those I didn't think the writers made him the butt of every joke and a total fool all the time. When he did do well, re: Patterson's email/cases there wasn't a 'oh, but you screwed up as well'.
I liked the continuity with McGee and the message taking and that we learnt was has been wrong with him. Both of those things made a welcome change.
Some nice banter and sibling moments and lots of team work and caring all round.
Some excellent humour and nice exchanges.
There was a multitude of ship/friendship moments for various pairings:
Gibbs/Ducky (teeny, but there, hey they're my ship, I can get it out of a single look. I'm a good G/D shipper *g*)
Gibbs/Abby (which I always see as Gibbs&Abby)
But the really nice thing is all of these can be seen as friendship, father&son/daughter, sibling interaction, etc.
I see we're back to the 'blink and you'll miss Ducky' moments, with him only appearing for a few seconds, as we had at the very beginning of the series. And for the second week running we've had no Gibbs and Ducky in Autopsy scene *sighs heavily*
I always miss Jimmy, I do wish he had become a regular and that we saw him most, if not all, weeks.
Vance was off being the Director - always good. But we have to have some Vance soon, if only because of the CIA file Gibbs has on him!
A good episode overall. It had its weak points and its annoying points and it's oh-so-obvious bad guy and plot line, but nonetheless despite that (and the lack of Ducky) I enjoyed it.
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