Though we’ve never given out stars on our NCIS blog, in our view tonight’s performances earn four and a half stars. In this Christmas episode, NCIS writers give us a touching and heartwarming family story. Occasionally the producers feature a popular Hollywood star, which generates excitement among certain viewers. When Jamie Lee Curtis appeared on past shows, we expected viewers would be pleased. Many were, but some didn’t approve of the chemistry between Doc Ryan and Gibbs, like some moms don’t approve of the gals their sons bring home.
Then there is Robert Wagner. We are interested in your reaction to him tonight. We always enjoy his appearances as Anthony DiNozzo Sr. In “You Better Watch Out”, his sudden arrival for Christmas provides us with a first time look at Tony’s apartment. Tony Sr. is appalled at how sparse the place looks, unlike a real home. He goes to work baking cookies and putting up a Christmas tree. Tony balks at his dad’s attempts at closeness, which results in confusion for father and son. When Sr. shares with Ziva his desire to make up for past Christmases, her tender response strikes a happy chord. Tony, who does not share her enthusiasm for his father, is hurt because he’s never received the family heirloom, a signet ring. He grows increasingly impatient with his dad. When Sr. violates Tony’s house rules, he is asked by Tony to leave the day before Christmas. To us, this is an extremely sad scene. Why is life so hard for so many? Love is the answer….
What about the murder case, you say? Okay, let’s get to it. A Naval commander finds her husband dead after she’s been in the Persian Gulf for six months. The theft of flawed hundred dollar bills from the Bureau of Printing is well written and portrayed. Jurisdictional conflict between NCIS and the Secret Service and their eventual collaboration is authentic. The teams’ investigation takes a funny turn when Leroy Jethro Gibbs tries to foil Secret Service Agent Ashley Winter at every turn. In the end, Agent Winter takes full credit for solving the case, and gives no kudos to Gibbs. He shrugs off the slight and is ready to celebrate Christmas.
So far so good. But wait. What about the bar scene, where Ziva, Tony, Tim, and Gibbs confront the bar owner? David couldn’t believe they kept questioning him when he was behind the bar with his roving eyes. Why the angst? Because he knows every bar owner keeps a gun hidden under the bar. Every NCIS agent and cop knows that too. For Agents Gibbs and Winter to boldly accuse the guy of murder while he’s standing behind the bar is a huge blunder. In reality, they would have removed him from behind the bar before accusing or handcuffing him. This mistake keeps the episode from receiving our coveted five star rating.
We loved the ending, which brought everything we hoped for. After Tony Jr. discovers the signet ring beneath his tree, he’s chagrined to have been so harsh with his dad, but it’s too late. He already sent Dad packing. Leave it to Abby to save the day by retrieving Tony Sr. and bringing him to the Christmas party. Did anybody else notice how Ziva relates to Tony’s dad in ways she cannot with her own father? As we finish the blog, our courageous NCIS team is watching a movie we both love—“It’s a Wonderful Life”. Will any of you be watching it this year?
May His Great Love surround your heart and home this Christmas!
Be Blessed,
Diane and David Munson