“Seek”, the eighteenth episode of the tenth season of NCIS, is directed by Michael Weatherly. In this episode, Michael had to play his role as Tony DiNozzo in front of the camera and then step behind the camera as the director. What great experience and we wonder where it will lead for him.
This episode offers all the ingredients to serve up a tasty drama. Leon Vance interviews applicants to act as nanny for his kids while the team investigates the death of a marine dog handler in Afghanistan. This time, the death of the Marine is really in NCIS’ jurisdiction. Ted is deployed to Afghanistan with his black Labrador Dex to search for explosives. They save the life of a young native boy who nearly steps on a land mine. Suddenly Ted the hero is shot by what appears to be an Afghan rebel.
The Marine’s wife complains to Leroy Jethro Gibbs that she thinks something is amiss about her husband’s death. She shows Gibbs a video clip she received from Ted. His message is chilling: “I did something stupid. I may have to blow the whistle to get out of it.” Gibbs hurries to investigate the Marine’s death. Meanwhile, Leon Vance is having trouble finding the right nanny to care for his two children. The new kinder and gentler writing comes to the fore when Ziva pulls Vance aside from her computer with a suggestion, telling him that she does not want to opine if she is out of line. He sits on her desk and says, “I hope you will be as forthcoming with me about what you are investigating as I am about to be with you.” Ziva swallows hard and says, “I will try to be.” So the two of them discuss their emotional bond they share over the death of their loved ones. Vance’s tough veneer is breached when he admits to Ziva that he is afraid to hire a nanny because it means he is moving on with life without his wife Jackie. Ziva suggests he not be in any hurry and Leon agrees.
What the writers do not reveal is who Ziva is searching for on her computer. A name flashes across the screen so quickly and if we had been watching a DVD, we could have frozen the screen! But, we believe she is on the trail of the killer of Eli David and Leon’s wife. This is why Ziva has no time to play sleuth with Abby. More to come on this in later episodes we are sure.
Ted’s murderers are found by Gibbs, McGee, and Rex. Military contractors who used the dogs to clear buildings and search for bombs were mired in smuggling Afghani treasures. Because Ted stumbled on the scam and refused to be bought off, he is killed. This episode resolves in a tender way, leaving viewers with a sense of goodness and hope. Of course, Gibbs does the right thing as always, to comfort Ruby, Ted’s widow. When Tony says he is thinking of getting a dog, Gibbs fires back, “Dex is no dog. He is a Marine.”
On a final note, our hearts and prayers are with the grieving families of the Marines who lost their lives in the training accident on yesterday, March 18, in Nevada.
Diane and David Munson