On most nights, NCIS investigates incidents that are not too far-fetched. Until tonight at least. While most NCIS Special Agents very seldom meet and work with a medical examiner (because not that many sailors or marine are murdered), the writers created a character who is the medical examiner. As we all know, this squad of agents work closely with Dr. Donald Mallard, aka Ducky. We’ve all grown to enjoy David McCallum’s character, and believe that the medical examiner really plays an integral role in NCIS cases.
In tonight’s episode Phoenix, we must suspend reality a whole lot further, and David has coined a new name for Ducky, to wit, “Quacky”. At a time when the team is still healing from the bombing of their HQ, we need an episode to make us all feel good. But Gibbs allows Ducky to play the role of an investigator, assume leadership, and direct the real special agents in the investigation. As a real agent and supervisor, David sees him as a real quack instead of a viable agent. Quacky assures the daughter of a long deceased Navy Commander that he would avenge her father’s killer, something which Gibbs would never do.
Diane is intrigued by the title, “Phoenix”, when a cold case leads to solving the murder of Sgt. Hill. So is this the Phoenix, rising from the ashes of a dead soldier to find the true murderer? Diane thinks the writers are being more subtle. In the first show, they bring Ducky back from the dead on a lonely beach. Last week and this evening, he questions the reason for his life because he is deactivated from duty as the ME. Under Gibbs’ Rule #38, Ducky rises to a special agent with a chance to interact with the living. Turns out, he is a brilliant interrogator, going right for Del Rocker’s jugular so to speak, and is able to cajole from him the key piece of evidence. The Rocker had bought a fake moon rock, which leads to the crazy murderer of Sgt. Hill.
In the end, Gibbs happily informs Ducky of the good news: He is cleared for autopsy. Ducky acts perplexed. Why? Like the Phoenix, he has just learned to fly in a whole new life. Palmer is thrilled to have Ducky back, yet we are left wondering if the writers have more for Ducky in the future ala Sherlock Holmes.
The best line in the entire episode is Ducky warning, “There is evil afoot that must be cast asunder.”
What do you think?
Be Blessed, Diane and David