SEASON SEVEN EPISODE TWENTY-ONE
This won't be as detailed as my usual reviews, as I got up later than usual
today. It'll be more bullet points than anything else for what happened and my
Another actual naval case, but again more of the investigation was focussed on the man's missing sister than on who killed him. But it was a case again.
An obsessed DiNozzo, who seems to have fallen in love/been extremely attracted to a woman he's only seen on TV and in photos; he acted unprofessionally on more than one occasion. But it was how we've seen him before, and he did find the missing woman in the end. A more mature for the most part DiNozzo this week, which was really nice to see.
There were some good team moments and good banter and some fun moments. Also some major annoyances and the odd worry.
- It began well with an ambulance arriving at a hospital and moments later a car racing into the area. At first I thought the car was heading for the man on the gurney to kill him or the ambulance man. However, it crashes into another car and the driver is dead. Great start.
- The obligatory opening squad room scene was about DiNozzo apparently now being in a committed relationship with a Brenda Bittner who works at Gibbs's coffee shop. There's some good banter between McGee and Ziva about it and then DiNozzo arrives and they mention it to him. He says it was a one-night stand, nothing more and calls McGee over to 'do his thing' to change DiNozzo's privacy settings on his blog. Ziva says DiNozzo is too old for these one-night stands; DiNozzo says he'll settle down one day when he finds the right woman. Gibbs arrives and tells him not to settle; they have a case. A really good opening squad room scene. Great fun and good banter between all three of them.
- The dead man is Lieutenant Jeffrey Wilton Hutton; his parents are dead and his next of kin is his sister. Ziva asks DiNozzo what his ideal woman is and he tells her including professional, independent; she asks what the woman would see in him. Ouch - Ziva is more than a tad jealous of Brenda. Ducky tells Gibbs Hutton didn't die in the car crash, but actually has no idea what killed him (very unlike our Ducky). Hutton's sister is Dana Hutton a ZNN reporter; DiNozzo really wants to interview her; Gibbs sends him and Ziva to do that thing.
- Dana's home is a mess; someone has turned it over and she isn't there.
- We learn the Huttons were Navy brats and Jeffrey worked for Navy Information Operation Command - 'secret stuff' in DiNozzo's terms (nicely done, actually, very helpful). DiNozzo knows all about Dana and her back-ground. Already it's clear that the title of the episode is very fitting for him. He is indeed obsessed.
- Ducky is perplexed; Hutton died from multiple organ failure, but as yet Ducky can't ascertain what caused it. He's talking to Jimmy and Jimmy is worried because Ducky is worried. And that's understandable, Ducky always knows what the cause of death was. Jimmy takes blood and tissue samples up to Abby, but Ducky can't even say what she's to test for.
- Gibbs and McGee are in MTAC talking to Hutton's CO (Navy Captain Austin Sears). He says Hutton was a good officer, smart, hard-working, maybe too smart as he could work the system. He had a master plan and ending his career in the Navy wasn't part of it. He can't tell them what Hutton was working on as it's mega-classified. Only the SecNav can give permission; Gibbs says he'll call him; Sears says to get the director to do so.
- We learn that DiNozzo has a friend in NIOC.
- DiNozzo and Ziva go to ZNN and talk to Dana's producer and we learn a few weeks ago an old friend of Dana - Charlie Bascombe - died in a car crash and Dana has to look after his Estate, including selling his bookshop. He also says that Dana had recently been interested in the KGB. Dana called her own shots. The producer and Ziva are flirting a little and DiNozzo doesn't like it and gets slightly irked - just as he's done in previous episodes when Ziva's been showing interesting another man or another man has shown interest in her. Consistency!
- Gibbs is in Vance's office with Alejandro Rivera, who is Mexican and is liaising with NCIS and of course he mentions 'drugs'. Then Hart appears (yawns) she just happens to be Rivera's legal counsel - Gibbs isn't the least bit surprised. He is surprised and put out that she has temporary employee status, Vance granted her it as she'll be around a lot. Oh, goodie. And she met Rivera when she was freeing Colonel Bell (yawns again). Oh, look, let's shoe-horn Mexico, drugs, Bell and Hart into one little pointless scene.
- Jimmy goes to Abby to ask about the tox screen; she hasn't done it yet and is irritated as she has so much to do, including decrypting a hard-drive for McGee. That's kind of odd as McGee usually does that kind of thing himself. DiNozzo arrives, she and he hug; she hasn't got the fingerprints from Dana's place tested yet and will call him when she has. She orders them both to leave. By the lift Jimmy congratulates DiNozzo and they do an in synch somewhat complicated hand slap. DiNozzo asks what the congratulations are for and Jimmy says on Brenda and then says he and Brenna would love to go on a double date with DiNozzo and Brenda.
- Hart says being at NCIS will be fun for her - I bet it will be. And she's still calling Gibbs 'Mister'. She really is a very unpleasant character and utterly unattractive physically and personality-wise. I do hope once the whole Mexico thing is over, we never see her again.
- DiNozzo is in the conference room watching recordings of Dana and she refers to a bookshop she spent time in as a child.
- When he appears in the squad room Gibbs asks him if he's contacted his buddy at NIOC and DiNozzo lies to him. Then he goes to McGee and demands Dana's phone number. McGee does give it to him. DiNozzo suggests to Gibbs that the bookshop may be of some use and tells about Bascombe. Gibbs sends him off and tells Ziva to investigate the dead owner.
- In Autopsy Ducky arrives to find Jimmy has Hutton out again. Jimmy had been so concerned by Ducky's concern he decided to recheck. Ducky isn't angry, he admires Jimmy. And Jimmy has found something; on the x-ray it looks like a blip on the film, but Jimmy's found the corresponding mark on Hutton's body. He has Ducky's instruments for him, but Ducky tells him to take the lead; he'll assist. Jimmy finds a small metal what looks like ball-bearing under Hutton's skin. Go, Jimmy. It's lovely to see just how much Jimmy has grown and matured during the series, excellent character development.
- Abby is baffled by the ball, as are Ducky and Jimmy. Jimmy leaves and Hart and Rivera arrive. Hart wants Abby to give Rivera a tour of her lab, but Abby says she's too busy. Hart pushes; Abby pushes back; Abby wins (go Abby). Rivera, however, is the 'gentleman' and he and Abby hit it off, he kisses her hand, she simpers and he says he wishes he had someone as conscientious as she is.
- DiNozzo goes to the bookshop and meets Maggie Reed who is helping Dana sell the place. Alarm bells tinkled as soon as I saw Ms. Reed. She says that Bascombe was like a father to Dana and also says the bookshop isn't worth much, as books are a dying business because everyone has electronic readers. No, books are not a dying business; books are wonderful; books are so good to hold; books will not die out.
- Gibbs and McGee are back in MTAC and Sears reluctantly tells them what Hutton was working on. A paper for the Joint Chiefs about Private Military Companies. They are not liked and Hutton was preparing something to say the military should cease and desist from using them. McGee gets a phone call during it and just as Sears is asking Gibbs about Hutton, goes back to Gibbs and says they have to go. Hee. So brother and sister are working on/involved with similar things.
- Ducky is with Abby in her lab; Abby is all excited and tells Gibbs Hutton was murdered. Ducky mentions it was Jimmy who found the ball-bearing. Abby drags Gibbs across from looking at the ball under the microscope to the blown up version and tells him there were small cavities filled with Ricin, one of the most deadly toxins ever. Ducky then gets really, really close to Gibbs and tells him how it was something the KGB used to use during the Cold War.
- Vance, Gibbs and Ducky are in Vance's office; Vance points out the KGB have been the SBR since 1991. Ducky is explaining more about Ricin and how it's used. He tells them about the infamous murder of the KGB dissident in England in 1978 killed by Ricin 'injected' via the tip of an umbrella. He demonstrates, bumping into Gibbs and wielding a pencil. He also says there is no antidote. During the conversation Gibbs only has eyes for Ducky and even when Vance sends Ducky away, Gibbs watches him leave. Somewhat worryingly, Ducky is limping a lot more again in this episode - had he not already been confirmed for next season I would be worried, what with Jimmy taking the initiative and the 'lead'. Unless they are going to pull a major surprise on us and Gibbs and Ducky do in fact both leave. I don't think so from all what's been said, but it would be the shock ending.
- Gibbs is in his basement (yay, we get to see the basement again) working on something and Hart arrives. She comments about having thought he'd started locking his door. He says he wouldn't have a social life if he did. They banter, she knows he's not happy with her being at NCIS. But she then says he knows Dana well - oh, what a co-incidence - and says she'd been upset recently as she'd broken up with her Producer boyfriend, but if he wants more he has to ply her with liquor. And just in case we had failed to catch 'Bell' earlier on, Gibbs mentions him again. We get it; we get it; really, we get it. We got it weeks and weeks ago when Hart first made her appearance.
- A furious DiNozzo goes to ZNN and challenges the Producer, asking why he didn't mention he'd been Dana's boyfriend. The Producer tells DiNozzo Dana wasn't the wonderful woman she appeared to be on screen; she used people. He says she had more tricks off screen than on, at which point DiNozzo grabs him and shakes him - very bad DiNozzo, very unprofessional, totally out of line.
- Abby and Rivera are flirting; McGee sees and doesn't like it (more consistency). Rivera has invited Abby to go to Mexico to speak at his symposium. Abby has agreed. She's decrypted the laptop and found that Hutton was getting into the FBI and CIA and tracking down KGB reports. McGee tells her 1985 was the 'Year of the Spy' as more spies were captured in that year than any other.
- Ziva is telling Gibbs that Bascombe's death was definitely an accident, according to reports. However, she has dug and found that whilst Bascombe's papers said he was born in Canada, actually Charlie Bascombe died aged three. His papers are a fake. She then tells Gibbs about DiNozzo going to ZNN and getting physical with the Producer and that she thinks DiNozzo is obsessed with Dana. Good for Ziva for mentioning it, as Gibbs hadn't realised, that was clear from his face and it's true; DiNozzo was obsessed and he could put the case in jeopardy.
- DiNozzo is at Dana's home; he makes a call to her to say he can help and she's to trust him. Ziva arrives, she calls her 'Dana' and she makes reference to the film Laura about a cop falling in love with a missing woman. She reminds him it's not a film.
- Gibbs is with Ducky asking about Bascombe's post-mortem. Ducky has the report and photos and had blown one up. He shows it to Gibbs and explains the reason the teeth appear pink is down to an old dentistry method one that was used in Russia - he'd stake his reputation that Bascombe was born in the Soviet Union. A nice little moment of humour when Gibbs asks him to speak English *g*
- Vance and the field team are in MTAC. Vance is telling them about an undercover KGB agent known as 'The Banker' named Yuri who funded covert KGB ops in the US. He had a slush fund of some $10 million and Bascombe fitted the description well. When the KGB disbanded, Yuri and the money were forgotten about. McGee suggests Dana and Hutton were working for him; DiNozzo gets very angry. Ziva joins in; DiNozzo gets angrier. Vance is watching with interest. Gibbs asks about the money.
- The field team go to the bookshop, Maggie Reed lets them in. DiNozzo gets a call, clearly from Dana as he hurries off. Gibbs tells McGee to check the vents and Ziva the books. McGee finds nothing and doesn't know where DiNozzo is. Meanwhile Gibbs digs under covering on a shelf and finds a piece of plastic. McGee arrives and Gibbs tells him it's microfiche and explains what that is; he likens it to a memory stick, well he says the thing you stick into a computer, McGee provides the name.
- DiNozzo meets Dana. She's been hiding, but found him convincing. He tells her how her brother died and also about Bascombe. She knew, but only from after he died. She'd found papers in his safe and started to dig and got Hutton to dig too using his clearance. She'd been shocked, but hadn't wanted to go to the FBI until she was sure as she'd been so close to Bascombe.
- DiNozzo takes her back to the bookshop and she shows them where the 'money' is. It's in books. Bascombe had a leather bound 1st edition of the complete works of Shakespeare published in 1623 worth about $6 million. Also the Holy Grail of book collectors - the Gutenberg Bible from 1456 printed on vellum that was apparently stolen by the Nazis during WW2 and sold later. There were other books too. She also shows them a red mark on her arm; she too has been poisoned with Ricin.
- Vance tells Gibbs the FBI are very pleased with NCIS and Fornell says he owes Gibbs a dinner. The microfiche was Bascombe's account ledger. Most of the people involved are dead, in prison or back in Russia, but the FBI are picking up those left. Except one; Gibbs wants that one.
- Gibbs and Ziva go to the bookshop again and meet Maggie Reed who they arrest for Hutton's murder. Gibbs says had she not got greedy and wanted the money, then she'd have been fine. He addresses her in Russian and she says he speaks it well.
- The final scene is a very fanficy scene - DiNozzo goes to Gibbs in his basement. Dana died peacefully; Gibbs gives him a drink. DiNozzo says he's broken Rule #10 again (Don't get personally involved with a case). We get another new rule! Gibbs says that's the one he has the most trouble with too - DiNozzo looks surprised. Poor DiNozzo; he really had fallen for Dana in a serious way.
I enjoyed this episode. I thought Michael Weatherly did a wonderful job. I thought it had some lovely moments in it, some good humour, excellent banter and a nice mix of shippy moments - nothing blatant and OTT but plenty for various ships. Most obviously: Gibbs/Ducky, Abby/McGee, DiNozzo/Abby, DiNozzo/Ziva. And the Brenda thing wasn't over-played; it was a nice bit of humour and popped up a few times, but never became OTT. Maybe DiNozzo will, after all, go on a double date with her and Jimmy and Brenna *g*
I really felt for DiNozzo by the end of the episode. I did get a tad irked with him during it, with how obsessed he was and some of the things he did, but he really did seem to have fallen and fallen hard for a woman based purely on seeing her on-screen and in photos - which seems somewhat odd, but he was touched by her. He really was upset to lose her. Poor Tony that's Jeanne and now Dana, at least he had time with Jeanne. He does seem doomed to fall for women in a case related way and lose them.
We got a new rule! That's excellent. *Wonders if they'll try to get all the missing ones in before Rule Fifty-One airs? I jest *g*
And it's lovely to see Jimmy again and in a really good role this week - no inappropriate humour, but I love how concerned he was because Ducky was worried. Lovely.
A good, very solid episode; nice to see a case, even if, once again, the focus seemed more on finding Dana than the murder of Hutton. I felt they kept popping his name in to remind us he'd died and thus to remind us of the Navy connection and why NCIS were involved.
- Hart and the fact that her and her 'client' Alejandro Rivera (who just happened to be Mexican) were there. Their presence had no meaning to the episode other than to: a) make sure a week doesn't go by when Mexico and 'drug dealers' and 'Colonel Bell' aren't mentioned - do TPTB think the normal viewer has such a short term memory that they can't remember 'Mexico has been mentioned in multiple episodes? b) Set up Abby with Alejandro Rivera and the fact she's off to Mexico in a forth-coming episode. She and Rivera were just shoe-horned into the episode.
- DiNozzo's obsession with Dana and his somewhat unprofessional actions at times.
- Again despite the murder being of a Naval man, it kind of got somewhat lost at times and I felt the 'reminder' of who/what he was were a tad forced.
- Opening squad room scene.
- Jimmy and Ducky in Autopsy re-examining Hutton's body.
- Abby, Hart and Rivera in Abby's lab - simply because Abby got one over on Hart.
- Gibbs, Ducky and Vance in Vance's office.
- Gibbs and Ducky in Autopsy re: Bascombe's PM.
- Gibbs and McGee and the microfiche.
- DiNozzo and Dana.
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