2012 Nov 20 NCIS Critique of “Shell Shock” Part 2

Even though this episode is Part 2 of two episodes, it had its distinct personality from Part 1. Tonight the marvelous NCIS team tackled an all too common result of U.S. battles against terrorists in the Middle East. Too many of our soldiers are coming home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or what was known after WWII as “shell shock”.
Unlike WWII where our troops were sent to fight an enemy that had attacked us and our allies, today’s warfare is many times a “police action” where commanders insist our soldiers travel about in urban areas. They are encouraged to mix with the population that might really be the enemy dressed in civilian garb. Our troops are told to leave their armored Humvees, engage people, and expose themselves to booby traps, suicide bombers, and IEDs. More troops are coming home with PTSD. Is it because they are constantly in the presence of the enemy?
Tonight Gibbs, a former Marine who lost his family, invested in helping Captain Joe Westcott. The ever so playful Tony DiNozzo teased Ziva about her intentions to attend the opera with a guy. Later, Tony discovers Ziva really wanted to go to the opera in honor of her late sister Tali, who was killed by a terrorist. By the end of the episode, Gibbs and company had tracked down the terrorist from Captain Westcott’s past, saved a group of Congressional representatives from a planted bomb, and helped Westcott to learn he had acted as a hero during combat. What a beautiful thing it is to regain trust in yourself after living through trauma.
In keeping with the producer’s intention to develop deeper feelings between Tony and Ziva in Season 10, the show ends with Tony using McGee’s office surround-sound to create an opera complete with Puccini for Ziva’s mental health. We found this a very touching scene.
As a demonstration of the seriousness of PTSD, Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette appear in a public service announcement at the end of the episode, encouraging vets and their family members with symptoms of PTSD to phone an agency for assistance.
All in all, Mark Harmon scored a home run in his portrayal of Leroy Jethro Gibbs “catching” a fellow Marine in trouble. Kudos to Brad Beyer, the actor who played Captain Westcott, as we think he has given one of the most compelling performances by a guest on this show. We pray tonight’s drama will encourage many brave soldiers and their families to reach out for needed help.
Did you enjoy this two-part series as much as we did? Gibbs used a new command to his troops when he said, “Saddle up”. That was fun. Do you think Brad Beyer will return for future shows? We’d like to see him and his brother again. David thinks that Beyer should someday play the part of Dale Earnhardt Jr., of NASCAR.
May you all have a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving!
Diane and David

By |2017-05-19T13:10:25+00:00November 21st, 2012|NCIS|3 Comments


  1. Teresa Hanger November 21, 2012 at 4:23 am - Reply

    I agree about Brad Beyer. A good performance. This episode was touching. I was about in tears twice. Once for Captain Westcott, and once again at the end for Ziva. Score a big one for Tony.

  2. Deb -- Pennsylvania November 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    We thought both shows were very well done. It is about time that the relationship between Ziva and Tony begin to show some maturity. Gibbs embodies the ideal agent. In his case, I would love to see real life imitate TV. And I was glad to see the little blurb at the end encouraging others in need to get help. Now, if only our gov’t agencies would step up with the needed help instead of entangling people in years of red tape. And who can’t but love Abby’s zest and enthusiasm? Or Ducky’s gentle words that prick the heart and soul of Gibbs? Or McGee’s simple honesty?

    • danddmunson November 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      Deb, you are becoming an NCIS aficionado. You may already know that in real life, Mark Harmon is involved in humanitarian causes, one of which is a baseball team that raises money for orphan (some on Indian reservations). It must be that kindness that shows through the eyes with which Gibbs so often speaks. We love seeing comments from NCIS fans.

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