SEASON NINE EPISODE THREE
THE PENELOPE PAPERS
I was in two minds about this episode before I saw it. It was
going to be Tim-centric as as Tim (along with Jimmy and Fornell) is my favourite
character after Gibbs and Ducky I was looking forward to it. However, on the
other hand, I knew we were going to meet his grandmother and NCIS sadly has a
history of bringing in family members and then thinking about the case and often
messing it up by shoe-horning the family member into the case. I feared this was
going to be another shoe-horn job.
However, I was wrong. Penny's reason for being involved actually totally convinced me; it didn't seem shoe-horned at all because she had a long history with the original company and project, plus a history of bring forth-right and determined. It wasn't a case of her just having met someone two minutes ago and wham she's involved in the case, this went back decades. Thus for me it actually worked.
I also felt that the interaction between her and Tim didn't over-shadow the case or the rest of the episode, I thought it fitted in very well. Again the episode was reminiscent of a S1 or S2 episode, whereby the case was front and centre and personal aspects took second place. For me this was the best 'let's meet a family member' episode NCIS has done. This was partly because of the believability of Tim's grandmother's involvement, but also because of the fact the relationship didn't over-shadow everything else.
There was some great humour in it, subtly done, not slap-stick, not forced, not done at the expense of anyone (even the story about Tim wearing Penny's red pumps and Tony and Ziva's response wasn't running Tim down in anyway, not at all). It was all just good old-school humour - I loved Abby's comments about the photocopier being 100 years old and how the 50s and 60s for her were ages and ages ago, but for Gibbs not so long ago. I like Jimmy getting so wound up over the wedding (just chill Jimmy, the wedding is about what you and Breena want it to be and it's meant to be fun for you two, it's your day).
Tony was back to being the real Tony, film references, some teasing, some humour, but also caring and on the ball - much better than the Tony we've had for the last two weeks, but he wasn't idiot Tony so it was win-win on that front.
I find it interesting that we are getting more and more three-handers involving Ducky, Gibbs and Jimmy. We often had them in Autopsy but now we're getting them at crime scenes too and it's working well.
The case was intriguing and not straight-forward. I knew the dead guy wasn't 'just' having an affair that it had to be far more involved than that. The poor man but I did like the parallel that ultimately he died for something in which he truly believed, which tied in with his oath to serve his county. I thought that was quite poignant actually. And the 'project' was very scary indeed; it definitely should have been buried and should never be released or tried. *Shudders*
J guessed it would be Ducky who was taking Penny home.
I loved the episode. I really did. And I am daring to hope that after last week's and now this the season is going to be far better than I'd feared. But then that is quite dangerous to hope for. I must try to temper it somewhat.
- The opening squad room scene. Again great banter between Tim, Ziva and Tony, lovely interaction, great fun, no nastiness or bitchiness or 'I'm better than you'. Just superb sibling, friendly interaction. I love the idea of Tony organising and paying for his father's birthday party.
- Ducky and Jimmy in Autopsy and then Gibbs, Ducky and Jimmy in Autopsy. I loved Gibbs telling Jimmy just to give Breena what she wanted and Jimmy's honest 'I don't know what that is'. Bless. And the little 'Jim Boy reference' was nice too.
- The Gibbs and Abby scenes were lovely.
- The scenes involving Tim and his grandmother were excellent. They really were so good together, so much love, affection and caring.
- Gibbs and Tim in the hall outside the Interrogation room was so good and again we see how much Tim has developed. I loved the look on Gibbs's face when he watched Tim go back into the room, it was a 'that's my boy' look. He was so proud that Tim had a) stood up to him and b) was determined to be the one to 'break' his grandmother.
- The final scene in the squad room with Penny saying goodbye to Tony and Ziva and Ziva saying that it was she and Tony who were the lucky ones to be working with Tim. And it was so honest; she wasn't just saying what she thought Penny wanted to hear - but then Ziva wouldn't. That kind of thing isn't part of her character. It made me smile to see how 'hot' Penny thought Tony was. And it was a nice final scene between her and Tim and then the gallant Doctor arrives to take her for cocktails.
We learnt some interesting things too:
- More about Tim's father (either I'd forgotten or we didn't know before that he was an Admiral! We knew he was navy and Tim had grown up on base, but I don't recall his rank being mentioned before). Poor Tim, what father tells their seven year old he can do better when said seven year old had spent hours making a birthday card?
- Tim's grandfather was also an Admiral.
- Tim and his father have also been estranged. Hmmm, is that part of being a male NCIS agent, you have to be estranged from your father?
- Tim's father is a lot like Gibbs.
- It was Penny who taught Tim so much, taught him to be the person he wanted to be and not the person his father wanted him to be.
- I'd have liked a bit more Ducky, but then for the most part I'd always like a bit more Ducky.
Pairing of the week:
Tim and Penny
Character of the week:
Actor of the week:
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