I was looking forward to this episode as I knew Fornell was in it and any episode with him in always gets a high rating for me. I love him as a character (I'd like to see him more often) and Gibbs and Fornell together are just superb; the way they play off one another is priceless. I had avoided spoilers as much as I could for it, but I did know we would get some Gibbs/Fornell moments - well we always do.

And I wasn't disappointed at all. We had another extremely good episode with a very good main plot, a couple of twists, a fun 'main' sub-plot, again with a nice twist at the end, super banter, good team interaction, no one was OOC or made me want to slap them (well not of our team) and another honest to goodness case! Two in a row (and a bonus mark). If the rest of Season Eight goes on in this way it will be challenging Season Five for third place in my ranking of the seasons.

It was a good episode that although had some obvious points; i.e. there was no way Dempsey just shot a burglar, from the off I guessed he was there to kill either her or Mr. FBI man. Sadly, I had a major problem with Dempsey, I didn't take to her, she annoyed me with her whole attitude and behaviour and so whilst I did understand her motivation for doing what she did and really felt for her brother, I couldn't take to her. My reaction when she got blown up on the ship was 'serves you right'.

I also felt she was a major plot error; they kept referring to her as 'young' and 'hot' thus there's no way she'd be attracted to Mr. FBI man - well she was neither 'young' nor 'hot'. She actually reminded me a little bit of Hollis Mann. So although I did guess there was something more to the whole her and Mr. FBI man, it wasn't because of her looks/age.

The bomb on the ship I didn't really see the point of; it seemed to be a filler-in. There wasn't any real need for it, just a chance to show us what kind of person Dempsey was, to provide good material for the sub-plot and momentarily make us think there was something more involved and another twist. I felt that was an unnecessary addition.

However, neither Dempsey nor the bomb sub-plot, thankfully, interfered too much with my enjoyment of the episode.

I love the sub-plot of Tony and the whole 'poster boy' thing. I thought it was perfectly in character from beginning to end. MW in particular must have had great fun doing that part of the episode; ditto all the other main characters who were involved. It fed Tony's love of attention and his self-believe in his good looks and just worked perfectly. And I mean no disrespect at all to Tony or MW - but this was the canon Tony we've seen from day one who would lap this kind of thing up and do it so well. And the twist at the end, I hadn't expected that at all. Once the PR man started to procrastinate I guessed it wasn't going to be a shot Tony approved of or one of his best shots, but I wasn't expecting Gibbs. Lovely how Ziva pointed out his shoulder was in the picture and how chuffed he was. MW played a superb part this week, above and beyond what he normally does. It was a lot of fun without showing Tony was an idiot or the comic turn, just subtle and well played.

The Gibbs/Fornell scenes were as always wonderful, superb, excellent and the ultimate fodder for Gibbs/Fornell shippers. So homey and domesticated, two meals - the latter of which Fornell was cooking, in Gibbs's kitchen with a pinny on. So good, so very, very good. Good humour, a good look at their friendship and 'old married couple' just fits perfectly.

What was wrong with Abby this week? Did anyone else notice how 'odd' she seemed? She was slightly 'off' and 'ratty' and just made me wonder what is going on and what's troubling her.

Apart from Gibbs/Fornell there were a couple of lovely Tony/Ziva scenes in the viewing room outside interrogation when Tony leans on the wall with his arm above her and she says she likes some older men. That fitted nicely with last week's episode when she let us know she was a reasonable bit younger than Tony with her 'I am a younger model' comment. Also in the squad room when he leans over her to look at the computer with her. Nice scenes for Tony/Ziva fen.

There weren't really any Gibbs/Ducky scenes to speak of as such, but pretty much whenever they are in contact there is always an element of closeness and fondness and looks and lack of personal space.

Jimmy again - so enthusiastic, so much a member of the team. I do so love him and his scenes with Ducky. I know not everyone agrees, but I'm so delighted to be seeing more of Jimmy this season. Now if only BD can find his way 'properly' into the credits, that would be superb.

And there was some excellent banter (not just between Gibbs and Fornell) between the team members, in particular Tony and Tim.

No one had centre-stage the entire time; no one really lost out (of course I would have liked a wee bit more Ducky, but having Tobias made up for that); it was very well balanced between the main six team members - plus, of course, the lovely now debearded Fornell.

The case was a good one and a real NCIS case - I'm still finding it a tad odd to get back to them. Not that I'm complaining, quite the opposite. This is more the NCIS of Seasons One and Two, which I loved. Although there were overall elements that were obvious, overall it kept me guessing pretty much from beginning to end and threw in some surprises as well.

The whole main plot where Dempsey used Mr. FBI man to get information on the ex-drugs man who had shot her brother in the back and was responsible for him being paralysed, the same Mr. FBI man who had arrange for the ex-drug dealer to walk away with a new ID once he gave up his buddies, so Dempsey could use that as leverage it worked well (apart from the whole she wouldn't be attracted to him because . . .). That alone would have made a darn good story. But the then extra twist that the ex-drug's man had hired a hit-man to take out Demspey who then went after him was very well done and an excellent addition.

Minor irks:

- Dempsey.
- The bomb on the ship.

Favourite scenes:

- The opening squad room scene with Tony being photographed and lapping it up and the wonderful banter he, Tim and Ziva have. No bitchiness, some little digs from all three, but only in the sibling way. Nothing nasty at all. Just right.
- Ducky and Jimmy in Autopsy with Ducky telling Jimmy all about removal of fingerprints and how enthusiastic Jimmy is and how he listens and clearly takes great delight in being with Ducky and hearing his stories. And Gibbs's arrival with his 'am I interrupting something, boys', when Jimmy is scratching Ducky's nose with a cotton-wool bud was lovely. Ditto how Ducky gives Gibbs all the information, then starts on about stories again and Gibbs gives one of his Ducky indulgent exasperated looks and goes - much to Jimmy's surprise, but then Jimmy has Ducky to himself again and more stories.
- Both Gibbs and Fornell eating at Gibbs's house scenes. Great banter, the way Gibbs 'reminds' Fornell they'd agreed they didn't like that particular take-away, showing that this was something they'd done before and the whole trying it and turning to cereal - lovely. Plus, Gibbs ironing when Fornell turns up and telling him he was late. And the second scene with Fornell already there at home, in a pinny, cooking - what can I say? Just so wonderful.
- Abby, Jimmy and Ducky in Abby's lab when she told them what she'd found out about the dead look-no-fingerprints man, how she'd done all the agents' work for them and even knew his name.
- Gibbs head slapping the model Tony and Tony wincing - so well done.
- Tony making a film reference that as much as he hated doing it Tim agreed with. So well done with looks and tone and words.
- The final squad room scene, with Tony trying to find out which photo Vance has approved, the PR man looking shifty and trying to get away and then the revelation that Vance wanted Gibbs. Poor Tony's face when he realised he wasn't going to be the total poster boy, but lovely when Ziva showed him his shoulder and how he brightened again. Very well done though, we've had things 'back fire' on Tony before that really make him look a fool and just don't work, but this worked really well. It was nicely done.

There were some nice little throw away touches too:

- Gibbs taking a plastic bottle out of the main bin and putting it into the plastic recycling bin stood out.
- Abby's comment to Jimmy about going back to the duckpond. Gibbs calling McGee 'Tim'.
- Jimmy asking Tony to help him with the gurney and the look Tony gave him - lovely. As with last week when Jimmy smoothed down Tony's lapel, it's showing us subtly that there is friendship between Jimmy and Tony. Nice to see it so subtly done.
- Ziva's hat was great - it really suited her.
- Gibbs mentioning the lack of Fornell's beard and Fornell's comment back to him. It never ceases to amaze me how TPTB can be so good at consistency for the little things, but mess the big things up.

Ship of the week:


Character of the week:


Actor/Actress of the week:

Michael Weatherly

Storyline: 10.00

Enjoyment: 10.00


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