I'm not going to waste my time (or yours *g*) by turning this into another rant about Dr. Ryan, I will just say:

- I'm sorry she wasn't a baddie.

- What the heck was her point in this whole story-line? Absolutely zilch! Her being involved would have given her constant and annoying presence a point, but as it was, it was as I've said all along: she was simply shoe-horned into episodes with no point whatsoever.

- Parker is very odd.

- I truly hope this is the last we see of her.

- I'm just glad she went when she did, as she'd spoilt all the scenes she was in as it was, given she had no point and no darn right to be there.

- I still don't understand the pseudo-Gibbs we've had for the last few weeks. The Gibbs who put up with her, her mind games, her lies, her keeping secrets, her dismissive attitude, her lack of respect for Gibbs and his team and anyone who wasn't her.

- And given she had no point to play in this episode other than to reveal Parker's father had been imprisoned for hurting people and was now free probably due to Dearing buying the judge, so she's now taking Parker and running away, it makes it all the more irksome that she was front and centre so much. However, that is all I shall have to say about her.

I still find it hard to believe that Vance's security detail would just let him toddle off alone. Okay, so he wanted to get his SUV from the Navy Yard, but why didn't they go with him? Why didn't they insist on following him at the very least? I know we needed him to go alone so Dearing and unbeknown others could capture him, drug him and leave him to escape once the drug wore off whilst they planted the bomb in his car - but I do call it poor writing, to be honest. I'm sure with a bit of thought they could have found some other way to write it.

Poor old Vance though - imagine waking up next to a decaying corpse!

The episode was very team orientated, which was excellent. We had some wonderful team scenes and pairing scenes and the whole two story-lines of the case and Jimmy's wedding worked really well and was woven together extremely well.

Let's look at the case first: It's obviously far from over. Dearing is free; he's getting rid of a lot of loose ends and believes that some people can learn (implication is that Gibbs is one of those people) but others like Larson can't. Dearing is not exactly sane I would say - his son's death pushed him totally over the edge. But it seems he wasn't totally 'right' before that given his son was his whole moon and stars and his reason for being. As Gibbs said to his ex-wife, it didn't leave of time for her. And I don't think we still totally know the rationale behind why he is doing that he has done. Yes, we have answers, but we also have a lot of questions still to be answered, including who else is involved?

Right that's dealt with the case *g* Let's move on to the whole wedding - and we still don't actually know for certain if it happened or not - and the team.

The little scene in the squad room when Abby asked Gibbs if they could go to the wedding and Gibbs didn't say anything, he just looked at Jimmy who understood fully what Gibbs was trying to say, how sorry he was, but how they couldn't go was so moving, that (unlike the final scene) did actually have me blinking back tears and sniffling a bit. Jimmy's little speech whilst the others just watched, it was really, really lovely. And his parting words about going back to Autopsy because that was where Dr. Mallard was was lovely. So very, very good and moving.

I adored the wonderful scene in Autopsy with Jimmy and Ducky when they are performing the autopsy on Larson and Jimmy starts to talk about love and whether he should cancel the wedding because the team can't be there. I liked how he snapped at Ducky a couple of times, how he made it clear when Ducky said they had to find information as it was on his shoulders to protect those who protect us, that it wasn't just on Ducky's shoulders that responsibility rested, but also on Jimmy's too. That was wonderful. And when Ducky talked about loved ones not being taken for granted and Jimmy not understanding at first what Ducky was telling him and then realising that Ducky was telling him that no matter what, he would be at Jimmy's wedding - loved the 'with bells on' comment. And it would have been right and proper, if only one person from the team could be there, it was right it would have been Ducky as he was the closest to Jimmy. And the wonderful, wonderful hug at the end of the scene - that was such a perfect scene.

I loved the squad room scene when Ziva, Tim and Tony gave Jimmy presents and such thoughtful ones from Ziva and Tim. I loved that Ziva bought Jimmy and Breena special sheets that would be lovely for sleeping on or making a baby on. And Tim's wonderful gift of the long range monitor so that Jimmy would know Breena was okay at home when he had to work later and could turn into a baby monitor - mind you, poor Jimmy, he's not even married and two of the team are talking about him and Breena having a baby! I loved Jimmy talking about being a little nervous about the whole thing and expectations, etc. So very Jimmy. As for Tony's gift, well it was typically Tony, wasn't it? I would like to think it was just a gag gift and that he had got them something else; or that he was actually lying about what was in the parcel and it was something more personal and fitting and not a recycled gift. I know they say it's the thought that counts and Jimmy actually seemed quite happy about it, but . . . It was Tony to a tee. I really loved the group hug with Jimmy, Tim, Ziva and Tony - it was so lovely to see how much they all care about one another. And how important Jimmy actually is to them.

I also really enjoyed the Tony and Ziva squad room scene when they were talking about weddings and how they went through all the negative things first and then moved on to the vows, the ring and the kiss and clearly both of them were thinking of the good things about marriage and a wedding. I liked how Tony admitted he wasn't sure what he'd do all about all those things and Ziva suggesting 'elope' and Gibbs appearance to comment it had worked for him (I wonder which of his four marriages involved eloping?)

Poor Jimmy understanding that the team couldn't go, but clearly unhappy about it - well as he said to Breena in her hotel room his family are back in DC; the people he cares about are there trying to keep people like Jimmy and Breena safe and Jimmy should be with them. I thought that scene between him and Breena was wonderful; so very touching and moving and it showed how important the whole team are to Jimmy; so important he'd give up his big wedding just so he could go back and be with them. And Breena clearly does love and adore him because she was quite happy to also give up the whole shindig and marry Jimmy that morning (could they actually do that?) and let him go back to DC and once the world was safe they could have a party and their honeymoon. A very moving and tender scene indeed.

I also liked the wee scene between Abby and Ziva in Abby's lab when Abby was talking about it being a happy time for the family. I liked that she was upset and focussing on the wedding for a moment or two rather than the case even though she knew how important the case was and how they had to catch Dearing and prevent any more deaths. It was very Abby and very believable - it wasn't as if it was interfering with her job, it was right and well timed and not over done and once Ziva focussed her she was back on track. I did like Ziva and Abby's hand clasp.

I also liked the scene with Tim and Tony once they'd located the case file and we learnt exactly what the prank was the young sailors had played on some officers! Again it was so Tony that he wanted to see the video of the two people having sex - just so Tony. A very nice brotherly moment between them.

And I liked the scene between Gibbs and Vance when Vance was talking about having all these agents willing to take a bullet for him, but he can't tie down one bad guy. I loved how Gibbs said if it makes Vance feel any better then he wouldn't take a bullet for him and the look they exchanged when it was clear that Gibbs was lying and Vance knew he was lying and Gibbs knew that Vance knew that he was lying and Vance knew that Gibbs knew that Vance knew that Gibbs was lying. A small moment, but an important one to re-establish how close Gibbs and Vance actually are.

And the first Autopsy scene with Ducky and Jimmy and then Gibbs joining them and Gibbs saying it will be NCIS that suffers next. And Ducky managing to get in a wee mention about the psychology if it.

Cole is another interesting character, it's nice to actually see some bad guys with some character. He makes no excuses for what he did; he did what he did, his reason - not the danger, but the fun. It didn't surprise me at all at the end when Gibbs trusted Cole to go with him to Vance's car and try to disarm the bomb before it went off. As we know Gibbs knows people so well, he reads them perfectly, he knows when they are lying and he knows when an offer to help is genuine. Cole was being genuine and in the end I guess it comes down to there is some good in at least most baddies, the fact he told Gibbs to get Abby out and he'd do the final bit of disarming. I really liked the touch when Gibbs handed Cole his knife - that was symbolic, because we know how important Gibbs's knife is too him; very touching he would give it to Cole (and I guess he won't be getting it back again).

Cole came through in the end; okay he didn't get to disarm the bomb as Dearing was again several steps ahead of everyone had had the phone he'd left for Cole rigged because he knew Cole would offer to disarm the bomb - Dearing is a scary man and a highly intelligent one; very dangerous indeed. It was an excellent scene and I don't actually think Cole offered to disarm the bomb to give him leverage (assuming he did it) with Gibbs over his sentence; he offered for the danger and for the fun - and for him fun came from danger. I thought that was another excellent scene.

I thought it was also interesting that Cole knew Dearing wasn't interested in vengeance but in justice. Hmmm.

And then we get to the final scenes:

- Tim insisting on copying files rather than getting straight out, even though ordered to do so by Vance. Very Tim; just the thing he would do.

- Tony telling Ziva to get out, but Ziva insisting she won't go without him - very typical of both of them.

- Abby putting things together in her lab, before she got out - including grabbing Bert.

And then as Cole is about to disarm the bomb the phone rings simply saying 'For Evan' and boom.

- Gibbs dragging Abby to the ground whilst the windows explode around them.

- Tim finally trying to get out and being hit in the neck by some flying object.

- Tony and Ziva in the lift (although I have to question any NCIS agent who would risk using the lift) and being thrown firstly against one another and then to the ground.

- And then Ducky on the beach, just walking before he gets the phone call to tell him about the explosion and he asks how many are dead and says he's on his way back and no one must touch the dead and then he has what looks like a heart-attack (even though not that long ago he said his heart was fine) and just collapses on the sand and in some water with his mobile still in his hand (and clearly still open so the person on the other end must know something has happened) and with his eyes open. Will it be Jimmy who finds him? Given they are in the same place, I'm guessing so - the person who called Ducky isn't just going to shrug and hang-up and not call someone else, are they? Or is Jimmy already on his way back to DC? But I can't believe he'd just up and marry Breena and toddle off back to DC without actually telling Ducky he was going. Surely he wouldn't do that? How could he do that? He was so chuffed Ducky was going to be there and they flew there together so it'd make sense they would fly back together.

Shocked? Sorry, no - too much had already been released beforehand about the explosion. We'd seen some of the final moments at NCIS, so no, not a shock at all. Was Ducky collapsing a shock? Again, sorry no. They again foreshadowed that something was going to happen with the whole will thing and his comment about having blood pressure added to the fact he was alone on the beach, it all just screamed that something would happen.

Was it edge of seat stuff? Again, sorry, no. GG had told us too much about putting the team in danger. Am I going to spend the summer worrying about who (if anyone) might be dead? Er, sorry again, no, I'm not. Okay, so it does leave it nicely open should SM, PP and/or MW decide they don't want to come back to kill one (or more of them off) or injure them severely. We know MH and CdeP have a year left to run on their contracts, plus we know NCIS won't be NCIS without Gibbs. And unless TPTB are super clever and devious and the release of the news that DMc has re-signed for two years was an amazing red-herring, played by all concerned, with DMc's agreement) then he'll be back too. Maybe in an even more reduced role (could it get even more reduced?) I honestly don't think TPTB have the cunningness to play the red-herring card. Or maybe Ducky will die and come back to visit Gibbs as a ghost as Mike Franks did.

So to sum up: an excellent team heavy episode - in that respect it was probably 'the' episode of the season; they clearly care about and love one another so much. The case aspects were good and I was quite pleased it wasn't entirely resolved, that would have been too neat; I still can't hate Dearing (sorry) and actually didn't hate Cole. Questions have been answered, but there are still many more to be answered.

However, if the ending was meant to shock and surprise me and set me up for worrying and wondering all summer - I'm afraid it failed :-( But to be honest I went in expecting not to be shocked or stunned or surprised, so at least I'm not disappointed that it didn't deliver - but I did dare to allow myself to hope for a wee moment or two that it might for once. Ah, well.

Favourite Scenes:
- Abby & Ziva in Abby's lab.
- Tim & Tony going through the case files.
- Gibbs & Vance when Gibbs says he wouldn't take a bullet for Vance.
- The squad room scene when Abby asks Gibbs if they can go to the wedding.
- The present giving squad room scene.
- Ducky & Jimmy in Autopsy when Ducky talks about loved ones.
- Tony & Ziva talking about weddings.
- Jimmy & Breena when he asks her just to marry him so he can get back to DC.
- Gibbs & Cole searching Vance's car.

Things we learnt/had confirmed:
- Gibbs apparently eloped for one of his marriages.
- As well as always being a Marine, Gibbs believes once you're an NCIS agent, you stay an NCIS agent.
- Tony's retirement plans are typically Tony. A tropical island with topless girls looking after him *g*

Minor Irks:
- Dr. Ryan.
- Tony & Ziva talking the lift - they should have known better.
- Still with Vance's detail letting him go off alone.
- Abby taking so long to do whatever she was doing in her lab before getting out.
- Tim & Ziva assuming Jimmy & Breena would have kids. Why would they assume that? Maybe one or the other of them couldn't have kids. Maybe they don't want them. I hate the way people just assume when a couple get married they'll have kids - it makes me very cranky.

Pairing of the week:
None - the whole team.

Character of the week:
None - the whole team.

Actor of the week:
None - the whole team.

Storyline: Later

Enjoyment: Later



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