2013 Feb 05 NCIS Critique of “Canary”

Former NCIS Special Agent Leon Carroll Jr. is the technical advisor for the show. It is his job to advise the writers and producers about how things are actually done by special agents of the real NCIS. He usually does a superb job. Then there are episodes like tonight’s, which usually follow after some deeper and realistic episodes, where they give Leon the night off and the crew produces a spoof (Remember Jimmy Palmer’s seventies tuxedo from Season 9?) Tonight, Leon was obviously on vacation in some warm spot, sipping lemonade under a palm tree.

But the show does have its merits. Welcome to “old school” taking down out of control neo-hackers. Mark Harmon, as Leroy Jethro Gibbs, shines in the opening scene as a ragged homeless man. Only he is leading the NCIS team on an undercover assignment to nab the “slippery” suspect who hacked in MTAC, leading to the torture and death of a special agent. The stakes are high as the most watched law enforcement team on TV discovers the hacker has sold his soul to the enemy—terrorists who will stop at nothing to kill Americans.

Tony and Ziva enter a warehouse with guns drawn and flashlights. They pan from side to side alert to a possible trap. Unlike what real NCIS special agents would do, Tony jabbers about nonsense. Also, he and Ziva are walking so close to each other that a shooter could have gotten them both with one shot. Leon Carroll should have told the director that was a no-no. Then the duo finds am ugly surprise: a dead Ebola victim. Yikes! What a gruesome way to die. This throws the whole team, including the deputy director, into a tizzy.

This all sounds real enough, but is their scheme to take the hacker to Gitmo in Cuba, real or not? Right as the C-130 takes off, David said to Diane, “I think they’re heading to a training center like Quantico and will just be pretending that they’re taking the guy to Cuba.” Turns out the opening scene foreshadows the exciting interrogation of the hacker. Ebola virus is on the loose, which could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. This causes Deputy Director Craig to say good-bye to his safe political ways and throw his weight behind Gibbs. This is a great call as Gibbs gets his way in the end. Also, McGee proved he is the smartest computer geek that ever lived! It is fun entertainment, even though not as scary and realistic as usual.

This episode is a trifle surreal, just like Abby’s spiky hairdo. Still, there is nothing funny about terrorists who are plotting and planning to have their way, by ending freedom as we know it. However, we have read the last chapter in the Book and we know how it all ends.

We leave you with exciting news! Mark Harmon has signed another one year contract and CBS has extended the show into the 11th Season. How great for all of us fans! NCIS is now the most watched show ever, with more than 22 million viewers each week. Do you think that next week the writers will drop some clues into who killed Mrs. Vance and Eli David? We are anxious to begin solving that mystery.

Have a great week and be Blessed,
Diane and David

By |2017-05-19T13:10:24+00:00February 6th, 2013|NCIS|6 Comments


  1. Anna February 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Sorry for putting this here – do not know how else to pose the question….

    Being that you were both agents, can either or both of you touch on the educational requirements to be an NCIS agent? We’ve read, thru research, that a bachelor’s and a master’s are required to be at the level that Gibbs and DiNozzo are at. Wondering if educational requirements would have been different when Gibbs came aboard? Wondering also about Ziva’s status as an agent versus education?
    thank you!

    • danddmunson February 7, 2013 at 3:43 am - Reply

      Anna poses an interesting question and others might also be interested in the answer. While it’s true that David was a Special Agent, (commonly shortened to Agent), Diane was a Federal prosecutor, a position that requires a law degree. Each of the branches of the military have Special Agents, which investigate felony violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Only NCIS and the Navy use civilians in that position. The entry level Special Agent requires a Bachelors Degree in any of the disciplines, although Criminal Justice or Police Science majors will have an advantage. When there is a glut of applicants, many times the openings are filled by applicants who are already employed in law enforcement (remember Tony was a Balitmore Homicide Detective). Unlike some other professions, an applicant with an advanced degree would still begin at the entry level and would be expected to work his/her way up into command positions along with those with bachelors degrees. David once supervised a rookie Special Agent who possessed a law degree, and had served as a military/officer/pilot, and that rookie didn’t last through the probationary period. So, education and military service do not always produce the temperment and experience needed. At a time when there are more applicants than available positions, David recommends that graduates with a BS/BA consider the job position of “Intelligence Analyst” or in some agencies they are described as “Intelligence Specialists.” Most Federal, State and Municiple law enforcement agencies have such positions, and they involve analyzing evidence and intelligence to help support the Special Agents.

  2. Buzz Todt February 9, 2013 at 1:32 am - Reply

    When the hackers enemies were attempting to break into his cell and Ziva was holding them back with a mattress and her strength (?) the hacker gave up and talked. Why? His enemies were still at the door and wanted him ( in his mind ) and anything he said was not going to change that. He could see the two agents would not be able to protect him. And he was very intelligent. Intelligent enough to see talking was not going to save him. A very strange scene.
    I also said to Jeanie when Tony and Ziva entered the warehouse, “One shot will get them both” something I say whenever I watch a movie and see a group of soldiers or agents bunched together. Marine training.

    • danddmunson February 9, 2013 at 2:10 am - Reply

      Buzz, you’re right. Somewhat strange show. We all owe Marines like you a debt of gratitude. Semper Fi

  3. Susan Christensen February 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    I thought “Canary” was one of the best NCIS shows ever. Even though you said it wasn’t very realistic I was on the edge of myseat throughout the show. This show is about entertainment not realism. I wish in real life we coud do ‘old school’. Terriosts are the bad guys and are government should remember that, forget about being ‘politically correct’. They are always concerned about repercussions.

    • danddmunson February 11, 2013 at 12:22 am - Reply

      Susan, thanks for joining in on the discussion. We are glad you enjoyed the show. We all agree that compared to everything else that is available on the TV each week, the NCIS show is a nice divesion. We like the old school too.

Leave A Comment