2014 Jan 14 NCIS Critique of “Double Back”

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

By |2017-05-19T13:10:23+00:00January 15th, 2014|NCIS|9 Comments


  1. Deb Ragno January 15, 2014 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    We fully expected this episode to end again with “To be continued. . . .” The story isn’t complete yet. Abby is becoming increasingly endearing, while Bishop is simply annoying. To borrow a line from an HGTV show, “This just isn’t working for me.”

  2. Ken & Lois Barron January 16, 2014 at 1:02 am - Reply

    We too felt the same way as you – the program was disjointed and we wonder why Bishop doesn’t get trained before being put into such an important and dangerous job. It was really quite unbelievable last night. Enjoy reading yourat comments.
    We do tire of all the movie stuff that Tony comes up with.

  3. Audrey Roberts January 16, 2014 at 1:26 am - Reply

    I can’t say I am a fan of Bishop. I don’t think she adds anything to the show. She doesn’t click with Tony or McGee. Gibbs acts like he tolerates her.

    • danddmunson January 16, 2014 at 3:03 am - Reply

      Based on Beb’s, Ken’s, Lois’ and Audrey’s comments, Bishop should remain a probationary rookie for some time to come. Appreciate all the comments.

  4. Pat Pelosi January 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    We were very disappointed with this season so far. They really need to cut their losses and replace Bishop. There is no place that would put up with her antics where so many peoples live hang in the balance . It seems like they are preparing us for the last season.

  5. Caroline D. January 17, 2014 at 3:59 am - Reply

    Underwhelmed. That was how I felt. It was supposed to be a big show because the McGee/Delilah drama but it wasn’t for me. What was meant to move me just felt sappy and soap opera-ish. Gibbs was off. Bishop was off. I’m tired of the new girl being the go-to super agent. She was fresh for half a minute but now I want my veteran agents competently back in charge. They were so good when it was just the 3 boys after Ziva but before Bishop. When Kate left, she left a team of capable partners so the void was a more proportionate chunk of the cast. When Ziva left, the team no longer existed since it had become the Ziva show and their roles had been relegated over time to supporting background players. Ziva’s void was bigger because the writers had made her the center of the show, a bigger portion of the cast to be empty. There wasn’t a team in place to continue on. Only bit players. Now they’ve tried the fill the void with a probie who they’re trying to insert in the star spot rather than letting the original cast reclaim their starring positions from ealier seasons. Gibbs and Tony appear neutered and Gary Glassberg appears to be in a bubble.

    • danddmunson January 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      You’ve heard … ‘couldn’t have said it better myself? Caroline has said it best. Couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope the producers of NCIS are using ‘focus groups’ and let’s hope they see things like Caroline. Well done!

  6. Lorna P. Baker January 18, 2014 at 2:46 am - Reply

    This is my favourite show so I am hoping things improve and none of the major players leave. Bishop adds nothing, and I think ‘juvenile’ versus ‘rookie’ when I view her actions.Thanks to Diane and David for this blog.

  7. lee February 5, 2014 at 12:58 am - Reply

    NCIS writers Please replace Bishop with Abigail Borin

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