Are we the only ones disappointed by this episode? As the NCIS team still chases Parsa, the drama seems disjointed. The writers brought us a show with everyone mired in PTSD. The whole thing smacks of Alice falling down a rabbit hole. Bishop chomps on cheese curls and celery to think. Gibbs races down the hall asserting he has “to think.” Even sweet Ducky looks a bit odd when Gibbs asks him to review old video of a decades-old interrogation.

Events of last week’s episode, “Kill Chain” remain resolved. A big question of the night is why Gibbs goes easy on Malik, the “mover” of all things explosive. Oh wait. Malik claims he’s not a terrorist. Right. He just transports bombs, and the creeps that plant them. Well, he helped an abused woman so he can’t be all bad. In the end, Malik tells Gibbs what he wants to know—Parsa squeezed into a hidden compartment in a vehicle on a train. So perhaps Gibbs didn’t need Ducky’s profile after all and figured out the workings of Malik’s twisted mind on his own. The problem is Malik has no idea where Parsa will get off the train. David says this is not a realistic method of hiding Parsa for the long haul, with lack of food, water, and you can imagine other necessities. These hidden places are meant to smuggle people from one side of the border, to the other. Thus, Parsa will probably not be on the train for long.

In the same way that Malik hides in a compartment, McGee compartmentalizes his emotions in the aftermath of Delilah’s surgery. His burning desire to return to work to catch Parsa is understandable, but he’s so bottled up Dr. Cranston persuades Gibbs that McGee is not fit for duty. McGee has much angst to work through. He failed to protect Delilah from the attack and now she is paralyzed. It is touching how Tony wants to console his buddy by cooking a casserole, which he learned in his “Men’s Group.” Gibbs is acutely aware of the torturous feelings McGee is denying he has. Gibbs hurries to the hospital after getting Tim’s text, only to then simply sit in the hall with him. It is haunting how neither of them utter a word, reminding us of the Biblical account of Job, where his friends sit with him for days and say nothing.

The only humorous moments come when Tony meets Martinez, the NSA analyst who shares his love of sarcasm, movies, and nicknames. She nails it when calls him “DeNoz-it-All.” Okay. Tell us what you think of Bishop. Is she growing on you yet? To us, she is like a puppy. Diane’s puppy used to love pork chops, as does Bishop apparently. She is eager, but untrained. Please, can she stop sitting cross-legged on tables and floors? We were glad to see Dr. Cranston, Kate’s sister, back on the show. Cranston’s interaction with Bishop, who doesn’t’ feel she can fill the shoes of those who came before her (Kate and Ziva), was well written. How many of us have been there? When we lack confidence, a mentor or friend comes alongside, encouraging us on to the finish line.

At the show’s end, we waited for a preview. When we saw none, we got busy finding out why. Could it be that with rewriting scripts to adjust for a major character’s untimely exit, the writers can’t rewrite fast enough to keep up? Or, maybe they’re waiting to show us their most impactful episodes until the February sweep weeks. The next episode isn’t until February 4th (Men & Monsters). So, prepare yourself for some stand-in shows on CBS, or possibly rerun episodes.

Be Blessed,  Diane and David