SEASON SEVEN EPISODE NINETEEN

GUILTY PLEASURE

I knew a little bit about this episode before I saw it and had said to a friend 'it'll be DiNozzo/McGee heavy and I already had them down as my 'pairing of the week'. And indeed that was the case.

It was a very light-weight episode, the calm before the storm methinks. There was some good banter and exchanges, the whole film thing between DiNozzo and McCadden grew old pretty quickly, but that might be as much because whilst I recognised a few of the films mentioned, I'm not a film buff and so most of it went over my head and I was a wee bit bored by it. It did stop short of going OTT as so many of these things do - just.

Holly Snow: I prefer her to ELC and actually can see a small amount of chemistry between her and Gibbs. Not in a romantic way, more a friendship even fatherly feel, but there is something there and she's an interesting character. Quite whether NCIS would have the power and jurisdiction to do what they did with her, I'm not sure. But I'm not American, nor am I a lawyer or judge.

The case was yes, okay, a case. Once again it was back to the 'oh, look we need NCIS, what shall we do? Oh, we know, let's make one of the victims a sailor/Marine'. I can't say it hooked me that much and the killer was one of those who came in wearing his 'I'm the killer' hats. But have been worse cases and at least it was simple to follow and not terribly convoluted and needing shoe-horning to make sense of it.

We begin with a man (Lieutenant Jason Moss) who looks somewhat dazed appearing by the road. We then switch to a Volvo with three teenage girls (one of whom is driving) and a boy. The girls are talking about Facebook and other things and the driver is not concentrating on the road. Moss stumbles out onto the road, the boy tells the driver to look out and she hits him full on. They get out of the car; she's saying she barely touched him - yeah, right - and they see him, he's dead and his back is covered with blood. The boy tells one of the girls to get off Facebook and call 911.

In the squad room McGee is at his desk and he's picking sprinkles off his doughnut. DiNozzo arrives, calls him Tim, and demands to know where McGee was the previous evening, he goes on to say McGee stood him up. He'd called McGee and texted him, but to no avail. Ziva asks if they are dating and McGee says no, DiNozzo was using him as his pimp as he wanted to meet a girl whom McGee used to go to college with and now works at the museum. McGee says the meeting was for that evening, not the previous one and they bicker.

Then DiNozzo asks McGee why he picks the sprinkles off his doughnut each day and McGee tells him it's his 'thing'. He then blows several times on his coffee and DiNozzo asks why he doesn't just make one big blow. McGee then calls DiNozzo's mobile to tell him their evening is off; DiNozzo calls back, but McGee won't answer. DiNozzo then pulls his gun out and tells McGee they are over. McGee agrees. Ziva suddenly cuts in saying she knows what it is; they have a seven year bitch; DiNozzo corrects her to 'itch' all the time while looking at McGee. Ziva says they are like a married couple; Gibbs arrives (on cue) to say they're not, as they are still talking. And he tells them there is a dead body in Norfolk.

I'm not a DiNozzo/McGee shipper, but if I had been I'd have been squeeing like anything and in seventh heaven over this scene - and pretty much all others involving them in the episode. Talk about laying it on with a trowel! TPTB clearly went out of their way to make the DiNozzo/McGee fen very happy indeed.

At the crime scene McGee confirms the dead man is Lieutenant Jason Moss who worked for the office of Public Affairs; he was married without kids. Ducky arrives and says Moss was killed with a large knife, a hunting knife or even one that Gurkhas used to carry - but he doubts a Gurkha was involved. There are no signs of blood in Moss's house, even though he was close to it and it seemed he was making his way home, possibly, but got 'lost'. Ducky says that's quite comment when there is a significant loss of blood a person can become disorientated. He then tells a story of how a man walked around, went home and woke up the next morning without his left hand. DiNozzo chips in that maybe be was a writer (ouch). Gibbs says that Moss bled to death; Ducky agrees, but Moss wasn't stabbed where he was found as there was no blood around - it is not the crime scene.

Gibbs sends DiNozzo and McGee off to find the crime scene. They go up the hill and McGee makes a poor joke; DiNozzo says he was funnier when he was fatter. They arrive at the crime scene and there is Homicide Detective Philip McCadden (whom we previous saw in Mother's Day). McGee makes a comment to McCadden about what he should do, but DiNozzo, again calling him 'Tim', says McCadden, whom he calls McC, knows what to do. McGee does not look happy - poor Timmy.

They go into a motel room where Moss had been and there is a lot of blood. Also there is a wine bottle and two glasses - it looks as if Moss had company. Then his wife, Emily, arrives; she's there to pick Moss up. And she tells them, much to their shock and surprise, that he was there to meet a prostitute.

Back at HQ, DiNozzo and Ziva are with Emily. She tells them Moss was an investigative journalist who was interviewing prostitutes for a story. DiNozzo isn't convinced that Moss didn't sleep with them, but Emily is aghast that he'd think so. She knows her husband wasn't cheating on her.

In the squad room Ziva is telling Gibbs about Moss. He worked for the Naval Herald as well as his job at the Norfolk Air Base. He has a clean record. McGee tells Gibbs that Moss had withdrawn $1,000 prior to meeting the prostitute and had done so on two previous occasions; the previous meetings had been in a bar. Gibbs sends Ziva and McGee to talk to Moss's editor and tells DiNozzo to team up with McCadden; DiNozzo is happy with that; McGee is not. Yet more DiNozzo/McGee fodder.

The editor says Moss wanted to turn the article into a grand exposť, but so far he'd seen nothing. He said they often paid money for a story, but did seem surprised by the amount Moss paid her woman.

Gibbs goes to Abby and she says he hasn't got any time as she has too much to tell him. The footage near the motel is not great, they see a woman coming and going an hour later, but that's all. However, the footage McGee pulled from the bar is much better. The prostitute's name is Charlotte Cook and she used to work for Holly Snow. Holly is now giving sexual harassment in the workplace seminars as part of her plea deal. Abby says she could never be an escort, because although she likes people and is a good listener, it's just . . . Gibbs tells her to find Charlotte.

Down in Autopsy, DiNozzo and McCadden are looking at pictures of other bodies with stab wounds and are talking about films. McCadden invites DiNozzo to go to see a film with him. They are still in film talk when Ducky arrives; he has no time for joviality and he tells McCadden the three bodies whose pictures he and DiNozzo have been looking at were all killed by the same MO as Moss - they have a multiple killer. DiNozzo and McCadden slap hands over Ducky's head, Ducky manages a very nifty duck and at that moment Gibbs arrives. Ducky calls out 'Jethro' in a very relived 'I am so pleased to see you' voice and tells Gibbs the only thing he has for him is that Moss did not sleep with Charlotte. The four of them talk a little about motives for the murders and Ducky says they shouldn't rule out fetish - and that is the last we see of Ducky in this episode :-( McGee calls to tell Gibbs Charlotte is off the grid and he hasn't been able to find her.

Holly is giving one of her seminars when Gibbs appears and sits at the back. She's talking about how men and women interpret signs like a smile, etc. in different ways and then she calls a short break. As she's heading towards Gibbs one man stops her and shakes her hand and says how interesting it was. She smiles and moves on. She shows Gibbs the 'bracelet' (on her leg) she has to wear at all times and how she can't go more than two miles from her home. He mentions Frank's shack in Mexico - Mexico again, clearly and deliberately put in as foreshadowing for future episodes, methinks, after all there was no reason to mention it other than it's 'Mexico'. He tells her they need to find Charlotte; she says he can't help as she has to stay away from her former employees. He says she's a suspect in four murders and she says Charlotte is not the killer. He wants her help, but she wants something from him and whispers in his ear. He says it's a deal breaker. She tells him to put her back in business and Charlotte will contact her.

Gibbs is with Vance in Vance's office. Not surprisingly Vance is not a happy bunny that Gibbs wants to put Holly back in business. Gibbs says he doesn't want to, he has to. Holly will set Charlotte up, they can arrest her and get her DNA. Vance says it's not going to be as easy as it sounds. Gibbs comments that sex is never easy.

Holly is in the squad room with Ziva and McGee when Abby appears. Holly has been back in business for a mere hour and she's already had sixteen calls - some from Senators. Ziva then goes off to Autopsy and Abby goes over to Holly. Holly can tell Abby is not completely at ease. Abby introduces herself and says she's been following Holly's career. They then simultaneously compliment one another on their shoes. Holly asks if Abby has legal, moral or women's issues about her choice of career and Abby admits to all three. Holly says her too and now she's paying for it and she shows Abby her 'tracker'.

At that moment the phone rings - it's Charlotte. Holly tells her she has a client for her and tells her where to go and to ask for Eddie. She mentions the client wants KB, Mox and half-around. Once she hangs up, Abby shakes her hand and goes. McGee then asks Holly what the things were she mentioned. Holly just looks at him, smiles and leaves. McGee comments about looking them up on the Internet.

In the very sleazy looking hotel room, McGee is setting bugs and Holly is instructing him as to where to put them and where not to put them. Then DiNozzo appears in a red 'smoking jacket' that he thinks is classy (shakes head); he's also put on a lot of after-shave. Holly tells him to take the jacket off, mess his hair up and have a drink to disguise the fact he's used mouthwash. She says Charlotte will recognise it for what it is otherwise. She says to pretend he's done it before; he asks how she knows he hasn't and she picks up a tag from the floor saying he's wearing underwear straight from the packet. She tells him to act like a businessman, he's not faking, Charlotte is. He says no woman has ever known when he's been faking. Then Holly tells him to ask for something she didn't tell Charlotte; Charlotte will try to call her, but won't get her, but she won't want to lose a client, and they can get Charlotte. DiNozzo asks what he's to ask for and she says she'll tell him. McGee gives him an envelope and an ear-wig. Then he and Holly join Gibbs in an adjoining room where they watch.

Charlotte arrives, takes off her coat and slaps DiNozzo around the face, twice, telling him he's been naughty. Holly tells him to tell Charlotte he wants to change the menu and tells him to ask for spicy canton. He does and Charlotte says she needs to make a call; Holly tells DiNozzo to put the envelope on the table and go to the bathroom. DiNozzo then says "Daddy's gonna make wee-wee," and goes to the bathroom. Holly asks McGee if DiNozzo really said that and McGee confirms he did - he was improvising. And I thought DiNozzo was meant to be good undercover! That was appalling really. Charlotte can't get Holly, and walks around the room, picks up the envelope and Gibbs arrests her. Holly tells her it isn't as it seems. As Gibbs and McGee take her away, DiNozzo comments "she'll never know what she missed." In turn McGee says, "Or how lucky she was." A nice little moment. DiNozzo calls to Gibbs he's going to take a cold shower.

Gibbs and McGee are in the interrogation room with Charlotte and her lawyer - Dwight Kasdan. As soon as I saw Kasdan I thought 'baddie; he's the killer'. He says it was entrapment and that Charlotte was going to give the envelope back and he wants her to be released. Gibbs tells him she isn't there because of prostitution, but for murder. McGee shows her the pictures of the four dead men. She admits three of them were clients and says Moss just wanted to talk; no one had ever just wanted to talk and hear her story - Kasdan is trying to keep her quiet. Gibbs asks him who charges more, him or Charlotte and says Charlotte is staying as a witness.

Gibbs brings Holly coffee, exactly as she likes it, and she says she can't be bought. Again she says she knows Charlotte didn't kill the men; she's known violent people and Charlotte isn't one of them. Then she asks if Gibbs is going to ask how a nice girl like her got involved in her line of work. Gibbs says he isn't interested, but she tells him anyway. She was at college, has a huge student loan, was working three jobs and then someone told her how much she could earn. Gibbs then makes a joke about how they say people with a Liberal Arts degree can't make money. She likes the comment and is also surprised by it. He says she doesn't know him; she just thinks she does. Again she says Charlotte is innocent. Then DiNozzo calls, he and McCadden have another body - and he was killed whilst Charlotte was in custody. Gibbs tells Holly she was right about Charlotte.

DiNozzo and McCadden are again doing their film talk double act and talking about favourite endings. McGee then calls them TCad and says he's going to call them that from now on like the other cute couples contractions (argh! hate them, I wish they'd never been invented) and he mentions a few. DiNozzo calls him McBitter, but McGee comments as to how DiNozzo and McCadden are even wearing the same suit. The latest victim is David Green (he has a record) and it looks as if he put up a fight. McCadden comments they are most likely looking for a man then, DiNozzo adds "Or Ziva." He then tells McGee to call it into Gibbs and he and McCadden go off to get something to eat. Poor McGee. Bad DiNozzo.

Gibbs, Holly, Charlotte and Kasdan are now in the conference room and Kasdan is being somewhat sarcastic. Holly starts to talk to Charlotte asking her to help them find the killer, and he keeps trying to stop Charlotte, saying Holly has no jurisdiction. Charlotte says Holly has more courage than her as she got out. Finally, after Holly assures Charlotte that the killer won't stop, Charlotte gives them a name: Nicolas, he's in his 50s, works for the State Department and was crazy jealous, he wanted Charlotte to give up seeing all other men.

Gibbs and Holly leave and Holly knows who Nicholas is. She always remembers the ones who get too close and ask too many questions. She shows Gibbs video footage of her seminar and Nicholas is there; we see his badge and his surname is Everett. McGee passes comment that it was a lot easier than a BOLO.

DiNozzo and McCadden are at DiNozzo's desk and McGee asks if DiNozzo got him his Nutter Butter, but DiNozzo forgot (bad Tony again). Then Gibbs cuts in somewhat sarcastically and asks DiNozzo if he's taking a break. DiNozzo quickly comments that he needed a sugar intake but he's back at work. Gibbs tells him to find out about Everett. And he'll take Holly home. As he leaves with her DiNozzo and McCadden are watching and seem more than a tad jealous of Gibbs and then they discuss the best call girl film.

Down in Abby's lab, McGee is asking if Abby knows about TCad. Abby says DiNozzo has a bromance; at the look on McGee's face, she calls him 'honey' (a very un-Abby word) and tells her it'll soon be over. McGee says he doesn't care how long it goes on, it can last forever for all he cares. She says he needs a hug, but at that moment Gibbs appears. Abby tries to get him to guess where she found blood, but after one guess he demands to know - it was inside the stab wounds, but the person isn't on the database. McGee has found, via Everett's credit cards, that Everett brought a hunting knife that matches the pattern of the stab wounds. He and Abby tell Gibbs how the killers blood got inside the wounds. The knife doesn't have a great hilt, so as the person is stabbing his victim, his hand will slip down onto the blade and he'll cut himself, thus the blood then went into the wound. I have to say that sounds a tad far-fetched to me, to be honest, but there you go. Abby then asks Gibbs to give McGee a hug for her, as he really needs it. Gibbs looks at McGee and appears to be almost offering, McGee, however, tells him he's good, but thanks him. Gibbs goes and Abby gives McGee a look.

DiNozzo tells Gibbs that Everett has a record of domestic abuse and there has been multiple complaints against him. Gibbs tells him to pick him up.

DiNozzo and McCadden are again talking. DiNozzo is saying that McGee does a lot for him and McCadden in effect dishes McGee telling DiNozzo he could do better. DiNozzo comes down on McGee's side and says there is no one better than McGee (awwww, lovely). McCadden, however, doubts that, and then comments about Ziva saying he gets that. As they once again talk about films and DiNozzo puts McCadden right over something, Everett appears. He runs; they catch him; as they are about to cuff him DiNozzo notices a lack of a cut on Everett's hand - he's not the killer. Well, yes, I know that.

Back in the squad room we learn Everett's knife is clean and his alibi checks out. McCadden says that McGee has nothing, but DiNozzo again coming to McGee's defence says "we have nothing." McCadden adds "except five dead bodies." Ziva is watching this exchange and her expression tells how she does not like McCadden.

No one else knew about all five men - except they realise Holly. And Holly's ankle bracelet lets them know she's on the move, she's broken her parole terms. Gibbs tells McGee to go to MTAC and DiNozzo tells McCadden he can go - they've got it. Ziva waves to McCadden as he goes - but it's not a friendly wave.

Vance asks Gibbs where Holly is going, but Gibbs doesn't know. Vance says he should as she's his responsibility. Gibbs said he didn't chain his leg to her, Vance says why not, other men paid to do that. In MTAC McGee is doing his thing. He has a BOLO out and she's heading, in her car, towards Alexandria. Then the ankle bracelet cuts out. However, McGee can track her last few text messages and the last one is from Charlotte asking Holly to meet her as she's in trouble. I was sitting here saying 'that's a fake, that's not from Charlotte'. Charlotte, we learn, has in fact been taken to a DC Emergency Room where she's been listed on the Domestic Violence Protocol (DVP).

Gibbs goes to the hospital and we see Charlotte; she's a real mess and has been badly beaten. He asks who did it, she says she's been lucky over the years, but always thought if she did get beaten it would be a client. This was her boyfriend - her boyfriend who is also her lawyer (yes! I had him pegged). Gibbs tells DiNozzo to put a BOLO out on the lawyer and then we discover (as I thought) that in fact Charlotte didn't text Holly - Kasdan did. Gibbs talks to McGee who has traced Kasdan. He tells Gibbs where he is; Gibbs takes off telling DiNozzo to stay with Charlotte and to shoot anyone who tries to get in - DiNozzo seems happy to oblige.

Kasdan has Holly and he's blaming her for Charlotte getting into prostitution. She taunts him about stabbing her in the back and can't he look a woman in the eyes. He's about to slit her throat when Gibbs arrives and shoots him, he shoots him several times and is very accurate. Holly is on the floor still tied to the chair, Gibbs cuts the bindings, pulls her up and hugs her.

In the squad room McCadden calls DiNozzo because DiNozzo missed their 'date'. DiNozzo tells him the NCIS 'geeks' had been really busy and there wouldn't be another time and he hangs up. Ziva asks if he'd dumped McCadden and his manmance has come to an end. He says he didn't have a manmance. Ziva said he had a fling. He denies that saying they were just hanging out. Ziva picks up on it and comments about it being disgusting they had things hanging out. Then DiNozzo gives McGee a Nutter Butter bar, McGee is clearly very pleased, but isn't letting DiNozzo totally off the hook. He says DiNozzo is feeling guilty, DiNozzo says he won't apologise. McGee in turn blows on his cup in 'his' way. DiNozzo says he's annoying; McGee says he's juvenile; DiNozzo takes back the bar; Ziva winks at McGee; DiNozzo goes to his desk then he and McGee grin at one another - all is well once again.

Gibbs and Holly are in his house eating (we see the bike again). She says it's the best steak she's ever had and asks how he does it; he says he adds a touch of beer just before it's done; she says it's a waste of beer. Then she thanks him for a wonderful evening and for delivering the deal breaker. Gibbs comments that it's not that special. But she says it is; for her to have dinner with no expectations with a friend is great. He asks if they are friends. Then her phone rings; she takes the call and it appears to be from a client. She hangs up, says to Gibbs she knows what he must be thinking, but he doubts that. She says she has to go. She asks if they are friends as she doesn't have many; Gibbs says he doesn't either (which is true, he pretty much only has two: Ducky and Fornell, plus the kids in a kind of fatherly-boss-mentor way). She kisses his temple and goes. He is left alone. My feeling is that she quite likes him, but knows there could be nothing between them and she likes him enough not to want to him in the situation of sleeping with a prostitute/madame.

OVERALL

A so-so episode. Light-weight, kind of fun, the DiNozzo/MacCadden was laboured a wee bit.

I was annoyed at how DiNozzo was treating McGee to begin with and how dismissive he was of him, but loved how he came to his defence. It was very much the 'lioness with her cubs syndrome'. It's perfectly okay for DiNozzo to tease McGee, to dish him even, but no one else is allowed to do it. So actually that worked very well indeed; it was fun overall. The constant film references did tire and bore me, but for once they did seem to stop just short of making me want to throw things.

There were some nice team moments and banter back and forth between them. But a lot of it, due to the presence of McCadden and to a lesser extent Holly, were somewhat disjointed, I felt.

There was a case, right, it happened. It wasn't gripping but nor was it snore-worthy. It was so-so.

I'm still not sure quite how Gibbs could have got Holly 'out' like his did, but more importantly, why wasn't she put back onto her parole once she'd done her bit? How come she was 'allowed' to go back to work in her old job?

Irks.
- Far, far, far too little Ducky.
- Shoe-horning 'Mexico' in to yet another episode.
- The whole 'Holly getting 'out' and seeming to be going back to work for real.

Best scenes:

- The opening squad room scene.
- DiNozzo, McCadden and Ducky in Autopsy and Gibbs's arrival.
- The squad room with Abby, Holly and McGee.
- DiNozzo, McGee and Holly in the motel room.
- Abby, McGee and Gibbs in Abby's lab.
- The final squad room scene.

Pairing of the week:

DiNozzo/McGee

Character of the week:

McGee

Actor/Actress of the week:

Dina Meyer (Holly Snow)

Storyline: 7:00

Enjoyment: 7:00


 

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