Tonight was a milestone. We’ve had two weeks in a row of really great drama, and neither of them depended on the departed Cote de Pablo acting as Ziva. The one-liners kept us laughing, (e.g., Detective Dockery tells Tony to tell Gibbs, “Hickory’s son says hello) and the way the evidence was revealed piece by piece kept us on the edge of our seats.

Last week we saw an emotional and well acted episode in “Better Angels.” Tonight we saw good old fashion “gum shoe” police work, which resulted in the unraveling of a three way conspiracy to commit contract murders. In some episodes, the writers stretch believability in the ways Gibbs crew catches their guy (or gal) in the end. Tonight, we saw McGee, DiNozzo and Abby each use realistic methods and techniques. The only flaw we noted was when Marine Sgt. Dunn refused to talk and hired a lawyer, Gibbs’ team felt shut down. The writers made it appear there was nothing else the team could do. In fact they could have sought a search warrant at that moment. They could have seized the sergeant’s boots to find the boot with the distinctive heel that was missing a chunk. Eventually, Gibbs confronted the driver of the truck about his heel, causing an immediate confession.

This was genius in action from our point of view. The team solved one crime, leading them to discover who murdered the cigar-store owner, ala the classic film “Double Indemnity” starring Barbara Stanwyck from 1944. While Gibbs and his team work to uncover the evidence, they must evaluate the truth of several alibis, balance protecting the informant (a former FBI agent turned defense attorney), and work with local law enforcement. We have both dealt with all of these issues, including the sticky area of “attorney-client privilege.”

Bravo to Tony for going to a men’s group twice a week to move forward with his life. It is refreshing to see a pastor in a TV show serve as a positive role model as so many of them are.

On another note, there’s been a Cote sighting. This past week, she moderated a fashion show in Puerto Rico, featuring a new collection men’s fashion by actor John Malkovich. Over the weekend, Mark Harmon appeared on a telethon to raise money for wounded warriors.

Next week will bring more changes to the team. Are you ready?

Be Blessed, Diane and David