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