Before critiquing last night’s episode, let us encourage you with fresh news: Diane Neal will be returning in more shows. You might remember her as the U.S. Coast Guard Agent Abigail Borin. She most recently appeared on NCIS last October in “Safe Harbor.” You may recall the team dubbed her a “perfect match” for Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Is her hair red enough for him? Let’s wait and see.

Now on to last night’s show. “Restless” first aired by NCIS in September 2011, just as we started writing our Two ExFeds blog. Had it been our first critique, we may have quit, being totally discouraged. There’s a game groups of writers play, where one writer begins a manuscript, then passes it from writer to another, each adding to the story without knowing where the story is going. With its corny plot lines, “Restless” seems to have been written by such a group. It’s the worst script we’ve seen on NCIS. Viewers are thrown down a number of disjointed rabbit trails. It begins with a Marine being stabbed when he comes home to be Grand Marshal of the town’s homecoming.

In real life, if the Marine’s eyes were closed when he died, they’d still be closed when Ducky showed up. What a technical error! Here’s another one. In the real life of NCIS, Gibbs would never permit his team to investigate the death of Private Hill. He would insist the local police take over, since NCIS has no jurisdiction in last night’s scenario. In real life, the team would complain about doing the local police department’s work. Usually the writers anticipate that jurisdictional problem and write in a conceivable justification, but not in this ineptly written script. We will say that Private Hill seemed to be a man of honor who deserves to live.

The only redeeming part of this story is Tony DiNozzo’s flawed recollection of bullying a classmate in boarding school. After enlisting McGee to locate the classmate so he could apologize, Tony discovers he was not the bully, but the victim. Even though Gibb’s doesn’t think it necessary for Tony to admit his flawed memory to McGee, Tony decides he should. That’s because McGee and the others on the cast are really family to each other. This little glimpse into the relationship between team members saves an otherwise lackluster script.

As today is Independence Day, let us wish you all a happy one. We thank the Lord for blessings of Faith, Family, and Freedom. We pray for our troops that strive to keep us free. May God Bless you and your families.
Diane and David Munson