2012 Dec 11 Critique of NCIS episode “Devil’s Trifecta”

What an exciting opening scene with FBI agent Tobias Fornell being targeted and almost killed. His bullet proof vest saved him because he was “too tired to take it off”. Why was he targeted? We’ll get to that in a moment. First, because David is often asked if the NCIS show is anything like the real NCIS., he points out that in five years as an NIS agent (before the name was changed) he investigated two homicides. The show portrays a murder case almost every week. His other criticism of the show is that on the TV version of NCIS, Gibbs and crew are always interloping into other agency’s jurisdiction. In real law enforcement that’s a huge No-No. After leaving NIS to join DEA, David was involved in a shootout resulting in a dead gang member. An FBI informant claimed to have evidence about the case, so the FBI began questioning DEA agents, even though DEA’s internal affairs did the same. When the smoke from the inner agency brawl cleared, the FBI withdrew. Two FBI agents were demoted and transferred by FBI management, while DEA agents were all cleared of wrongdoing by DEA internal affairs and the prosecutor.

So David’s reaction to tonight’s episode began with the same response: “Here we go again. NCIS is sticking its nose in the FBI’s jurisdiction.” Yet what began as a hokey script and ended with a not so believable smuggling of cell phones and bath soaps to China and North Korea in frozen fish, turned out to be a very clever story about Jethro’s and Tobias’ ex-wife Diane.

She shows up on the scene with her usual quips about Jethro the “woodchuck” and using “Tobias Cheap” as her computer password. To Gibbs’ and Fornell’s surprise, she is their equal in that she is now a badge carrying IRS agent and demonstrates that she can even carry off an undercover role, posing as a CPA to a tax cheat. Fornell had a funny line when he said, “She’s never sick. Even germs don’t like her.” If you missed tonight’s show, there were numerous gag lines like that. Even finding her and McGee asleep on his sofa gave us a hearty laugh.

In the end, Gibbs saves Diane from the armed check cashing merchant. She returns to Gibbs’ basement to talk over his renewed proposal of marriage. Of course, this gesture saves her life and they relive their past. Gibbs is touching and concerned when he cautions her to “give Victor a break”. Diane is perplexed and asks why. Gibbs tells her, “Because he isn’t someone else”. Gibbs shut everyone out after Shannon died and he doesn’t want to see Diane travel the same lonely road. Diane realizes that she didn’t fail Jethro; she just couldn’t replace Shannon. The show was named appropriately… Trifecta, Win – Place – or Show

Winner: Gibbs
Place: Diane Sterling, aka Diane Gibbs, aka Diane Fornell
Show: Tobias Fornell
Be Blessed,

Diane and David Munson

By |2012-12-12T03:34:02+00:00December 12th, 2012|NCIS|4 Comments


  1. B. Smith December 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    I was a special agent with IRS-CID and enjoyed last night’s show. It was more accurate than some TV shows; at least they got the badge right, and the problems IRS is having with identity theft and refund fraud. My former agency (Army CID) is often shown on NCIS and other shows as commissioned officers working cases. In reality the cases are worked by enlisted agents and warrant officers; commissioned officers are the commanders. Nonetheless, NCIS is entertaining and one of the few cop shows I watch.

    • danddmunson December 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      “B” Thanks for sharing of your experience. As you probably know, all NCIS agents are civilians, under Naval command. You might enjoy reading our second and third novels “Confirming Justice,” and “The Camelot Conspiracy” as there is an IRS CID agent on the tash force in those two novels. You will find this interesting. I shared in this blog about a shooting that resulted in an inter-agency squabble. During a previous arrest, an IRS-CID SA working with our task force, shot out the defendants tire as he drove directly at a DEA agent. CID then warned the CID agent to quit working with our task force on arrests. During the shooting I mentioned in the blog, the same IRS CID SA was present and radioed through IRS comm center for an EMT’s and reported the shooting. He was summoned to his HQ and action began to reduce him a grade. The next day, he was ceremoniously hired by DEA. He is one of the best I ever worked with. You may remember that in one of the early episodes, Kate was hired by Gibbs from the Secret Service, after a similar incident. Thanks again for your comment and keep watching.

  2. Buzz Todt December 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    I just watched “Devils Trifecta”. WOW. Very entertaining but I am afraid
    that if this show lasts another two or three years Gibb’s will find
    himself married to her again. OR she may take over as his boss!

    • danddmunson December 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      Buzz is an example of the insightful NCIS viewers and subscribers to this blog. The writers of NCIS might do well to read this blog. Buzz and others have warned Gibbs against the likes of Dr. Samantha Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis) and now Diane, his ex-wife. Diane did impress us as being Gibbs’ and Fornell’s equal. If the writers are coming here for ideas, we might see more of Diane as the IRS agent, or like Kate, she could transfer to NCIS and become Gibbs’ boss. Wouldn’t that be a hoot. What do the rest of you think? Thanks, Buzz

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