The title implied there would be several lose ends tied up in this episode - which was indeed the case.

Anyone who regularly reads my reviews knows that I don't like EJ - and not because of her relationship9p with Tony. As you know despite shipping Tony/Ziva I actually rather liked his weeks were EJ, I though they were good for one another for what was only ever going to be a fling, very alike and probably more open with one another than either have been with other people. I just never like EJ for EJ; I thought she was a poor character and a bad agent, far too nosey and just overall unlikable and episodes with her in them tended to be poor episodes by virtue of her being in them.

Thus, I wasn't expecting much from this episode as I knew she was in it. Imagine my surprise when I not only thought it was a cracking good episode but I also didn't dislike EJ, I'd even go so far as to say I liked her in this episode and I certainly felt for her. I didn't think any scene she was in was spoilt - not at all.

I liked how they dealt with the whole 'still up in the air' Tony/EJ relationship; I loved Tony's anger with her - like Gibbs Tony tends to shout and get angry when someone he cares about is in danger/hurt - it rang very true to me. Not because he'd worried about her, but because she'd hurt him too; she had left him lying in the alley and hadn't been in touch. He did care about her, a lot. Not in the way he cared about Jeanne (or even in the way he cares about Ziva) but he and EJ connected and it blew up, but it ended without really ending as such. In this episode both of them found closure; both of them got in effect to say 'goodbye and let's stay friends', both of them were left knowing the other person would be there for them if needed, but both knew the chances of them running into one another again were low, but both knew the other was safe. I liked how it was wound up, I really did.

I also enjoyed the Tony/Ziva theme and it was beyond just friendship in this episode - not that either of them would admit it and maybe it will never actually come to anything on-screen, maybe the writers will just continue to play with the viewers as they have for some time. However, I don't think that will be the case (sorry to those who actively hate or dislike the idea of Tony/Ziva) I don't think they can push it as far as they have and then leave it dangling. Even if they get together and it all ends, or it doesn't happen until the final episode - I think it will happen. Too much has been said and hinted at for it not to - but that's just my take.

I liked how EJ was pushing Tony about Ziva and telling him she cared. And I really liked the final squad room scene - even if it was so obvious that Ray was going to call once Tony and Ziva started their 'talk'. And yes, Tony is in Ziva's life even if only as a colleague, just as Tim, Abby, Jimmy, Ducky and Gibbs are in Tony's life - the whole team are all in each other's lives. EJ's friend being willing to do anything for a friend is exactly what any of Team Gibbs would do for anyone else. We know that all four members of the field team would give their lives to save another member of the field team - and if somehow Ducky, Abby or Jimmy ended up under fire or able to give their lives (and we've seen the former) they would. That was a very nice parallel.

I liked how Tony started to open up and say how he'd messed up before realising that EJ had fallen asleep. We know one of his 'doozies' was Jeanne; I'm guessing one of his others relates to Ziva in some way and quite possibly to his father and their relationship.

I liked how Tony picked up on the Naples reference and the name of the first woman to run for President and how Gibbs clearly knew Tony knew/suspected something, but just let him be rather than push him.

I thought Tony showed his caring side a lot in this episode with both EJ and Ziva.

I liked the SecNav in this. His character has been toned down just a wee bit to make him a strong SecNav, but not an overbearing or cocky one. A man who knows who he can trust and who will back his 'people' all the way. I liked how he trusted Gibbs, how he was prepared to believe Gibbs and how he was willing (I won't say happy because how can you be happy when you are deliberately playing someone you once liked and trusted?). It was so obvious that the SecNav wasn't 'talking out of turn' and that he deliberately fed the information to Latham as to Tony and EJ's whereabouts knowing that he in turn would tell Statton - thus Stratton would go to where he thought they were (it was also obvious they weren't going to be there) and would walk into Gibbs's trap. (Yes, it was very similar to the set up in 'Spider And The Fly').

I wasn't too happy with the Mexico reference. It wasn't just because as you know I hate the story-line and hoped the word beginning with 'M' and the infamous 1991 wouldn't appear again in this season. I also wasn't happy because it potentially set up yet another Mexico story-line. Assuming Stratton wasn't referring to Gibbs killing the man who killed Shannon and Kelly but referring to someone else, someone apparently innocent, then we do have Mexico all over again, hanging over our heads, possibly about to appear again. Or, could it be even worse? Could in fact Gibbs have got it wrong? Did he kill the wrong man? Was Hernandez actually not the person who killed Shannon and Kelly? Okay, so he was a drug dealer so he clearly was guilty of that, but was he guilty of murder? Is my mind just going far too far into the fictional world? I really hope that isn't the case because if so we are going to go down another angst-fest with Gibbs. Maybe Stratton was just playing with Gibbs - but I hate to say it he didn't seem that kind of man to me.

Overall it was a jolly good episode - just as for the most part (the opening episode and 'Ducky's episode aside) this season has been. I really enjoyed it; I liked how the outstanding EJ story-line was brought to a close; I liked how they dealt with Stratton (even if I'm not totally convinced he won't be reappearing) and I really liked the Tony and Ziva possible set-up.

Favourite Scenes:

- The opening squad room scene - the new year's blues was fun.
- Gibbs and Abby in her lab.
- Tony and Ziva with 'crazy cat lady'. It was so hilarious the way she kept saying she didn't get involved, yet clearly did. Clichéd, but it really worked.
- Abby and Tim in her lab.
- Tony and EJ's first night in the safe house scene and Tony starting to talk and EJ just falling asleep. I imagine that was the first real night's sleep she'll have had since she fled after being shot. Finally she was with someone she trusted and someone she knew would keep her safe.
- Ziva and EJ's scene in the safe house.
- Tony and EJ's parting.
- The closing squad room scene with Tony and Ziva.

Minor Irks:
- Not enough Ducky :-(
- No Jimmy :-(
- Mexico being mentioned *rolls eyes*
- The fact that Latham's dog just sat their calmly whilst his master was murdered. He didn't react to the scent of blood at all and then happily trotted off with Stratton. Sorry, I didn't buy that at all. Even if he was used to being walked by other people, he would have reacted to the scent of blood.

Pairing of the week:

Character of the week:
Amazingly EJ Barrett

Actor of the week:
Michael Weatherly

Storyline: 9.50

Enjoyment: 9.75


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