Apologies but this will not be a detailed as my usual reviews. As some of you know I've been sick for a week now with some nasty bug that may have been swine flu contracted when I went to my doctor for a tablet review (I was perfectly healthy when I went!). It has turned into a chest infection, thus I simply couldn't bring myself to get up at my usual time.

I had my doubts pre-episode about the validity and believability of this episode given we know NCIS has back-up generators, so the idea that they'd be totally powerless felt unreal to me. I was hoping they'd find a way to explain the whole thing. I was very pleased to see my concerns were in fact non-valid and it actually did all work very well.

An okay episode with some nice team banter and interaction, some fun one-upmanship games, some good humour with the whole lack of being able to use anything remotely modern, whilst Gibbs seemed in his element as far as non-modern gadgets and 'being prepared' went. Although Gibbs did seem pissed off a great deal during this episode. And we had Jimmy.

Nothing world shattering or overly exciting, but solid.

Just points really, not a full review.

- The whole grid is taken down following a shoot-out at Swift Cast. One guard is injured.

- At NCIS Jimmy appears in the squad room having been sent by Dr. Mallard for a sit rep. He talks to DiNozzo and we learn that the back-up generators are powering the basic lights, communications, MTAC and the Autopsy freezers. A nice little scene.

- McGee and Ziva have been trapped in the lift all night. Ziva is calmly sitting on the floor; McGee not so calm. (I wouldn't be calm either, nine hours trapped in a lift and no loo - eek. My idea of hell). Ziva says it could have been worse, they could have been trapped with DiNozzo. It was all done in such a fun, no bitchiness way, just team and family members teasing.

- DiNozzo goes to talk to them and there ensues some more fun team banter McGee explains the problem is a cascade failure. DiNozzo is just passing a somewhat disparaging remark about Gibbs not really suffering and lo and behold Gibbs is behind him.

- They have a case a Navy Lieutenant has been found dead chained to pipes at Swift Cast. Just as Gibbs and DiNozzo are about to leave, the maintenance man get the lift switched to the back-up generator and the doors open. Gibbs throws McGee and Ziva their gear and they all leave. Again, a fun little scene.

- At the scene Ducky and Jimmy appear somewhat late. Ducky comments how Jimmy has trouble navigating when the street lights are up. Jimmy says it's not his fault, then tells DiNozzo the nav chart was down. Again a nice little moment and consistent with past incidents. Ducky asks DiNozzo and McGee about the body, in very much 'Gibbs style' all they have is her name: Emma Paxton as the NCIS servers are also down.

- Gibbs and Ziva are with the guards and they are told that the place it seems the bad guys tried to break into was a server farm.

- We have a really good Gibbs and McGee scene when McGee is taking pictures, Gibbs is holding a flash light, and suddenly his camera stops; he'd left it on charge over-night, but it didn't. Gibbs then pulls out an old camera from his bag and gives it to McGee. McGee asks if he has any food in there as he missed dinner. Gibbs obliging pulls out a tin of what I think were sardines and offers it to McGee; who passes. A really fun scene; Gibbs the prepared Marine.

- DiNozzo and Ziva join them. The damage is worse than first thought; the entire tri-State areas is down and there may be no power for several days. Gibbs calmly hands out old-fashioned polaroid cameras to them all.

- Emma Paxton worked for AFE, the entertainment division. She was squeaky clean, married High School sweetheart, member of the local Church and no blemishes on the record. So why was she involved? They are using a cork board and pinning things to it. DiNozzo keeps using the clicky thing that normally changes pictures on the plasma on McGee and McGee puts up another thing. More fun and light-heartedness.

- Gibbs goes to Abby who is really not a happy bunny because of the lack of electricity. Gibbs has a tyre track he needs Abby to track down and she'll have to do it all by hand. She annoyed me in this scene, I'm sorry to say. She was OTT, I felt.

- McGee has found an old lithograph machine and makes a comment about needing a brontosauruses to know how to work it. Cue arrival of Gibbs who demonstrates how to use it.

- Mr. Paxton tells Gibbs Emma was third generation navy and the victim in the whole thing. She's been about to go to Baghdad.

- The robbers apparently didn't take anything nor did they leave anything behind.

- DiNozzo appears with a map saying that you can't have a cork board without a map. When looked at by the others he goes on about various cop shows, including Kojak and duly pulls out a lolly-pop. None of them are impressed; he appeals to Gibbs and just gets one of Gibbs's patented looks.

- Then we have another nice sibling scene when DiNozzo and McGee are discussion who'll go to interview Paxton's CO and who'll go through her credit card and bank statements - by hand. McGee wants to toss, but wants to use his own coin as DiNozzo cheated last time. As he's getting the coin, DiNozzo leaves. Ziva follows him. Again, so well done; so free from bitching. Just great team interaction.

- Gibbs goes to Autopsy. Ducky says he doesn't really need the lights as the main tool of his trade does not require electricity. Gibbs comments: observation. The handcuffs have really dug into Emma's hand showing someone tried to free her before they killed her. A strange man appears; Ducky has 'given over' one of his storage lockers to the staff to keep food cool. Gibbs is not impressed! (Nor was I, I have to say). Ducky also has found something he can't explain; a lot of swelling on Emma's legs. Another man appears; Gibbs sends him away. Also Emma has a lot of evidence of previous injuries, but she's never been deployed.

- DiNozzo and Ziva are with Resnick, Emma's CO. She allergic to perfume and thinks it's Ziva. But it's not. DiNozzo admits having no hot water he used Eau de cologne. Emma hadn't been about to go to Baghdad and she's also lied about being sick as Resnick saw her with a man.

- McGee is surrounded by paperwork. He gets a paper cut - another one - and tells Gibbs who throws him a box of plasters, this time telling him to keep it. Another nice little exchange. And again with the consistency as in the past we've had Gibbs throw McGee various things, like travel sickness pills, etc.

- DiNozzo and Ziva turn up and somewhat childishly, but so in character as it was a tempting thing to do, DiNozzo pushes another file onto the ground. Gibbs lets him know he wasn't impressed by it. The credit card and Bank records are all clean.

- Abby appears with the results of tyre track. It's a Chevrolet Impala. McGee had been listening to the PD's broadcasts until the batteries ran out and they'd reported a Chevrolet Impala abandoned.

- They find a blood trail leading to a container and inside is Aladdin's Cave - or the TARDIS as McGee called it. I found it unbelievable, given his vast knowledge of all things TV related, that DiNozzo didn't know what the TARDIS is; you don't have to watch Dr. Who to have come across that reference. There are lots and lots and lots of guns and fake IDs and passports of Emma. Was she running some kind of op? The place has its own generator that comes on for a moment or two making McGee very happy and excited and sure he can find information from the computers, but it goes off again.

- Ziva found blue prints for Swift Cast and the sub-station where the power was cut. And also a fake ID for Emma's husband.

- Gibbs shows Mr. Paxton the IDs and he admits he'd felt something about Emma didn't add up. He thought maybe she was cheating and hired a PI to follow her. But nothing. He'll hand over the tapes

- McGee is in MTAC having fun directing operations to clean up the tapes of Emma. DiNozzo appears and offers to help. McGee doesn't need any help and turns tables on DiNozzo by pointing a clicker at him and using it to make him go away. And also as a match for McGee, DiNozzo, who is hand filing, has a paper cut. Lots of fun and totally bitchy free banter between them. DiNozzo goes. McGee is grinning and there is Gibbs. Gibbs asks McGee if he was rubbing it in because DiNozzo had left him with the other paperwork. McGee admits it was and Gibbs smiles in approval. An 'atta boy' look. Lovely.

- Gibbs sees something on the tapes. A man appears more than once at different locations on different days. He sends McGee to get latent fingerprints from where the man touched the wall.

- McGee brings Abby the latent fingerprints; DiNozzo copies of all fingerprints from criminals and Ziva . . . Lemons. Abby uses the lemons to make her tape recorder work. She hands out plastic boxes, tips all the fingerprint records onto the floor and divides the type of fingerprints up between them. They are there all night but in the morning Abby gets a match: Donovan Graham.

- At Graham's house they find two dead bodies. Resnick appears saying they'd shot one another and also reveals she isn't who she said she was, nor was Emma. They work for National Security Agency. Her iris and Emma's were hand-coded into all iris scanners, thus allowing them to travel around the world under the AFE cover and help all agencies with covert operations. Emma had used the back-door to get into the server farm. DC is in a very vulnerable state at the moment, tactically, and as NCIS seem further ahead than NSA re: Emma she says they need to work together.

- Ducky tells Gibbs the two men were killed elsewhere and moved. And some shots were made after death. Nice little exchange when Jimmy ponders who done it; both Gibbs and Ducky turn flash lights on him and Gibbs calls him Jim and does his hill-billy drawl. Ducky says Donovan spent his last hours digging.

- DiNozzo and Ziva bring in a server found in Donovan's garden. It's from the server farm. It's the main one that links all the Federal Agencies, etc. Another server had been left in its place and bugged, hence the reason for the blackout as it couldn't have been switched with the power on. The bad guys could have found out anything from the Federal Agencies.

- Abby has made a plasma checking machine by hand and tells Gibbs Emma's blood showed high levels of medicine taken for high blood pressure. She thinks Emma had been trying to affect the blood vessels in her eye so that she couldn't be used for a retina scan. It appears Emma was captured and left in a bathroom where she got the tablets And Abby also knows who the tablets belong to as she has blood from the scene.

- Gibbs and Ziva go to the shot guard. He IDs Emma's husband as being at the scene. They 'leave'. The power comes back on. He goes to fiddle with the 'new' server. A voice talk about the innocent. DiNozzo, Gibbs and Ziva appear. Gibbs tells DiNozzo to 'book him, Dan-Ozzo - a play on Hawaii Five-O's ending when McGarett always said 'book him, Danno'. A fun moment.

- Gibbs and Mr. Paxton are looking into the interrogation room at the guard. He was Russian. Paxton had tried to stop him the only way she could as she knew they'd find her body and dig deeper. Hubby says she had no choice; Gibbs says she did and that makes her a hero.

- McGee, Ziva and DiNozzo are saying how 'nice' it was to be power-free and unplugged. Then the electricity comes back on and they are all super-excited and are typing away etc. etc. Gibbs reappears, put his bag of 'old style stuff' away, looks around at the kids. Turns his own screen off and sits back and smiles.


An okay, non-objectionable episode where the main focus was on humour, team interaction, banter and the whole thing was just about fun and amusement and showing how the younger members of the team dealt without all their 'toys' and things that make solving cases so much easier. And proof that, at the end of the day, grunt work can produce the same results albeit in a longer period of time as modern devices can. Nothing to get overly excited about, but not really anything to which I can object strongly.

The case itself could have been pretty much anything and it did seem somewhat of a rush at the end when the various loose ends were tied up and it was solved. But that wasn't the point of the episode.

Lots of team and friendship moments, which could in a lot of case be read as shippy if you wanted to.

Minor irks.

- Abby in her first scene.
- Ducky giving up one of his lockers for staff food.
- DiNozzo not knowing the TARDIS reference.
- The swift solving in the end of the case.

Best scenes:

- Lift scene with McGee, Ziva and DiNozzo.
- Gibbs and McGee with the camera and tin of food.
- DiNozzo and McGee re: who'll go to see CO and who'll go through the paperwork.
- MTAC scene.

Ship of the week:


Character of the week:


Actor/Actress of the week:


Storyline: 8.25

Enjoyment: 9.25

ETA: Now I am not feeling quite so grim as I felt first thing this morning and am rewatching this episode, I must say I am enjoyed it considerably more than I did on first viewing. When J asked me this morning how it was I was 'okay'. And to his 'Did you enjoy it?' again I was 'it was okay'. But after second viewing, it was far more than just 'okay'.


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