2014 Mar 18 NCIS Critique of “Rock and a Hard Place”

2014 Mar 18 NCIS Critique of “Rock and a Hard Place”

If one likes subtlety, tonight’s show lobbed all sorts of trivia below the radar. This episode offered a veritable buffet for those who enjoy rock music. An aging rock star named Manheim, as in Steam Roller, becomes the center of attention when he is to perform at a Navy benefit concert. That is until an explosion occurs in his dressing room. Did anyone catch any song titles woven into the dialogue? When Bishop arrests Mr. Mustard, the man who was Manheim’s first manager, she blurts, “I got you babe.” Did we miss any others?

Perhaps the writers should have saved this episode for the week of Father’s day. Of course, we say that tongue in cheek as that special day happens in June. So much of the plot showcases fatherhood. Early in the episode, Tony’s dad calls, asking Tony Jr. to plan his Dad’s wedding (and as McGee suggests, maybe pay for it too.) What a hoot. Then, Manheim is stalked by a young man trying to meet his father. Isn’t that a surprise? Great writing! Throughout the show, the junior medical examiner Jimmy acts like a nervous wreck about the impending birth of the child he and his wife plan to adopt. Some of the lightheartedness came to a screeching halt when the adoption falls through. Gibbs really knows what it means to lose a child, and in a tender moment, he encourages Jimmy with a fatherly pep talk.

You may notice we’re more engaged in the human interest side of this show. That’s because in our opinion, the teams’ investigation into the bomb blast turns out to be secondary to the characters’ lives. Ellie fits in nicely with the others. Our favorite scene occurs after Tim announces all hotels are booked: Leroy Jethro Gibbs beams at Tony, his smile saying in effect, “Yes, Manheim will be bunking with you at your elegant apartment. Like it or lump it.” Tony goes on high alert because of the washed-up rocker, and the results are funny. On a final note, we really expected that Tony would be forced to substitute for Manheim when he got cold feet. In real life, Michael Weatherly does play guitar, has a great voice, and even writes music­­­. We think the producers missed a chance to showcase Weatherly.

On a final note for suspense fans, today Joel Rosenberg releases his WWII novel, “The Auschwitz Escape,” which combines true events from the war as we did in our WWII novel, “Stolen Legacy”. We had the awesome privilege of listening to and meeting Joel twice over this past weekend. He is a tremendous author and Christ follower. We also met a subscriber to this blog, who has read all 12 of Rosenberg’s books as well as all 8 of our books. It’s pretty amazing.

Be Blessed, Diane and David

By | 2017-05-19T13:10:22+00:00 March 19th, 2014|NCIS|5 Comments


  1. Lorna P. Baker March 19, 2014 at 3:01 am - Reply

    It was a good episode. I also thought Tony was going to perform, even though I was not aware of his singing/songwriting abilities. I also thought Gibbs was going to hug Palmer, but that might have been too much out of character.
    Re Mr. Rosenberg, I also enjoyed hearing him speak and I bought a book each for mom and me. His intro on Sunday morning immediately brought to mind “Stolen Legacy”.
    Enjoy the remainder of the week. Lorna

  2. Deb Ragno March 19, 2014 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Abby shined again. I am so glad they are giving her character an increasing role. You can’t help but love her! I was glad this wasn’t another all-about-Bishop show and that she was relatively in the background. My heart broke for Jimmy.

  3. JOYCE B. FROST March 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    The writers are ‘all over the place’ – it just doesn’t flow like it used to – yes, Bishop isn’t Ziva, but…………sometimes she talks so fast that you really wonder what point she is trying to make. I don’t miss the program and the repeats, but the stories are not as good as they used to be – saw the interview of Rocky yesterday and happy to see they will be back for the 12th season, but please make some better plots……………….have all your books, and love them……

    • danddmunson March 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      Thanks Joyce, for your nice comments.

  4. Cheryl March 20, 2014 at 3:11 am - Reply

    I do agree with Joyce that the writing is all over the place. However, I, respectfully, disagree that the stories are not as good. I found this episode very enjoyable until the end when I cried with Jimmy. Very well written and Brian Dietzen should get an Emmy nomination for his performance. It was great.

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