Even though tonight’s gruesome episode was about a serial killer, it had its moments of levity. People might get tired of hearing us talk about (or seeing us write about) how well the writers of NCIS do on a particular episode. Let’s face it; the clever writing is what keeps this show as the most watched of the broadcast networks. The day the writers quit their string of good episodes, will be the day the show will go into syndication, like others we’ve seen. Hopefully, that will not be any time soon.
Tonight, we were treated to kindness and joy when Leroy Jethro Gibbs tries to help his barber and friend, Frank, who is concerned his son might be responsible for murdering a string of girls who are intravenous drug users. Gibbs sets about trying to eliminate the barber’s son as a suspect. This story thread is dramatic and suspenseful as we wonder if Gibbs will have to arrest his friend’s son.
Another subplot unfolds and NCIS Special Agents exhibit their idiosyncrasies. A Navy paymaster steals a ton of money and runs off to the Bahamas to meet up with his girlfriend. Tony DiNozzo scams a trip to Nassau to do surveillance. But because Gibbs caught Tony hassling McGee, Gibbs sends Special Agent Dornigan along to cramp Tony’s style. Tony is at his comedic best when he plays a dirty trick on Dornigan, by informing him NCIS is reinstating the comprehensive examination to be elevated to the journeyman pay grade level of GS-11. Tony points out that it has been twenty years since Gibbs and Vance were required to pass the exam. I (David) found this revelation almost as frightening as did Dornigan. Why? Because when I was with NCIS in its early days, we all had to pass that test. It required lots of study.
Back to the show. Vance confides in Gibbs that he’s bothered by Abby’s constant attention since the loss of his wife. Gibbs points out to Vance that Abby is gifted with compassion. In the end, the writers wrap the whole package up neatly, as both cases are solved. A touching scene is when Vance asks Abby to help his daughter with her science project and he accepts a hug from Abby. Wasn’t that tender? When Director Vance discovers Tony tricked Dornigan and Ziva into studying for the nonexistent GS-11 exam, Vance helps them find revenge by ordering an audit of Tony’s expense voucher for the Bahamas trip and for the previous two years. Remember what happened when Tony demanded an audit of his pay checks? He had to pay money back to the government.
All this fun, plus justice is done in part due to Abby’s good work. We do wonder why neither Vance nor Gibbs has mentioned tracking down the killer of Eli David and Jackie Vance. While ultimate judgment may be coming toward the end of the season, we think it would add real suspense to at least bring it up. What do you think?
Diane and David