I was hoping for an episode akin to 'Silent Night' and 'Faith' but from what little I knew about the episode beforehand I feared it wasn't going to happen and that it was going to be fanficcy from beginning to end. For me it wasn't quite as good as the aforementioned two episodes but I did enjoy it a great deal and got caught up in the main story and the sub-stories. Yes, there were fanficcy bits, but not to the extent I was fearing.

It was so wonderful to see so much Jimmy - bless him for wearing that jumper because Breena gave it to him. His future father-in-law needed a jolly good shaking and wake-up call! He's lucky all Abby did do was to lock them in the 'time out' room! I did love how the team generally were very supportive of Jimmy and got more so as future father-in-law got more and more obnoxious. I loved Ducky telling Jimmy that Breena will be happy as long as Jimmy is happy.

I really loved Jimmy finally snapping and standing up not just for himself, but also for the team. In fact it was Ed's put down of Tony and Tim going off to help/find/rescue Gibbs and Ziva that finally did make him snap. It was a case of it being 'okay' for Ed to disparage him, but when he turned on the team that was quite another thing. It was a nice touch Ed coming round at the end and actually being interested in the case and seeming to have really come to terms with Jimmy marriage Breena and remaining with NCIS. I got the impression, actually, that rather than be annoyed at Jimmy snapping at him he actually at that moment began to respect Jimmy and see him as the young man we know him to be.

Tony's sub-story was also intriguing; the writers do definitely seem set on getting him settled with a woman one way or another. I thought it very interesting that Gibbs told him he'd made the same mistake twice - i.e. walking out on Wendy - and telling him not to do as Gibbs did, but in effect to find someone and settle down and that he can have both family and a job. It'll be interesting to see where this goes, whether they will bring Wendy back (although as he stood her up on Christmas Day as well as leaving her when he joined NCIS I somehow doubt it; I do think that as Tony said at the beginning Wendy his Christmas past) or what they will do. It does leave the door open for Tony/Ziva ditto it leaves the door open for Tony/OFC.

I actually really liked Marine Lieutenant Emma Reynolds, she showed that the writers can actually write a woman well. I found her very believable, a strong Marine who had always known where she stood, who loved being a Marine because it came with all the rules and standards, etc. But also a woman close to having a baby alone and being hunted down, a woman who despite her Marine stiff upper lip was scared and rightly so.

I think the way she latched onto Gibbs and indeed wanted him to deliver her baby rather than Ziva was completely believable. He represented everything she had always known and she felt safe with him and I did love the way she finally did ask for special treatment - just this once. She was an excellent character. Putting aside how unbelievably fast the birth was *g* I really thought the main story-line was excellent. And it all turned out for the best insofar as the baby was a girl so her father's family won't be interested, thus Emma and her baby would be safe. A tad clichéd, but it is Christmas. Okay we had the 'do you have children, Agent Gibbs?' question - but for once I actually did believe in it being asked. It was a logical and natural thing for Emma to ask, it made sense rather than in the past when it's been just put it so Gibbs can do his 'long suffering' look.

I really liked the scene involving the birth and Ziva fighting with the baddies and the choice of music being played. I thought it was incredibly well put together and the changes from Gibbs and Emma to Ziva and the fight were so well timed and well done. I liked how at one point Gibbs glanced at his gun, but knew his duty, his job was to deliver the baby safely and besides if the bad guy had got past Ziva, it was Gibbs's job to protect Emma and the baby.

It was very much a feel good episode with a fairly strong case, some excellent sub-stories, a good family feel to it. A really good Christmas episode. I really enjoyed it.

Favourite Scenes:
- The opening squad room scene when Tim and Ziva were talking to Tony about Wendy. It's interesting that Tony told them about her - he must have done because they knew about her.
- Jimmy bringing Ed into the squad room to introduce him to the team and Gibbs's comment about Jimmy's work ethic.
- Ducky, Jimmy and Ed in Autopsy.
- Gibbs arriving in Autopsy and seconding Ducky's instruction that Ed and Jimmy should leave.
- Ducky talking to Jimmy.
- Tim and Tony interrogating the Russian - such a fun scene and it was lovely to see how well they worked together.
- Jimmy standing up to Ed.
- Ziva taking on the bad guys - superb.
- The birth/fight scene with the music and the switching. Absolutely first rate.
- The final squad room scene.

We learnt and had some things confirmed too:
- Tony left Wendy.
- Gibbs thinks Tony made a mistake walking away from Wendy twice.
- Gibbs thinks it's time Tony stopped trying to be Gibbs and settle down with a woman.
- Mike Franks daughter-in-law and grand-daughter are living in DC.
- Jimmy's father was always proud of him.
- Tony knows he wants/needs more than just work in his life.

Minor Irks:
- Not enough Ducky.
- The fact Ed kept calling Jimmy 'James' we know 'Jim' is his given name, but he didn't like 'Jim Palmer' so became 'Jimmy'.
- It's time Ducky called Jimmy 'Jimmy' and not 'Mr. Palmer'.
- Not enough Abby.
- Gibbs just assuming Tony wouldn't keep his date with Wendy and thus accepted an invitation for him to join Mike Franks's family for Christmas lunch. Totally not on!

Pairing of the week:
Team Gibbs.

Character of the week:

Actor of the week:
Brian Dietzen

Storyline: 9.75

Enjoyment: 9.75


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