First thing we did while watching tonight’s show was to find who wrote the script. His name is Christopher Waild. Initially, we concluded that he wasn’t a good writer because the beginning was mostly meaningless college frat-type trash talk. Things did improve though, especially the ending.

As suspense authors, it was fun for us to see how they used an important Federal agency active in events of today—the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Special Agent Leia Pendergast, the FBI agent is assigned to the JTTF, which is a group of agents from many federal agencies, maximizing intelligence to stop terrorism. We use the JTTF in many of our thrillers as the vehicle for ICE agent Eva Montanna and FBI agent Griff Topping to work together. We chuckled about her name too, because the judge nominated to the Supreme Court in our second novel, “Confirming Justice,” is Federal Judge Dwight Pendergast (no known relation). However, we found her banter with Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, lacking and silly.

Christopher Waild followed up on his risqué innuendo, with a series of Russian scientists being murdered using motorized garrotes. Sergei, the rogue Russian militant/terrorist from the first episode, tries to kill Nelly Benin, a Russian scientist who wants to defect to America. To us, the blood-soaked scenes evoked the pain of the recent beheadings of American and British journalists. It was difficult to watch. The show was somewhat of a disappointment as we (and probably most of you) felt our government was too willing to return Nelly Benin, the Russian laser technologist, to the Russians in spite of her plea to defect and seek asylum in the U.S. The excuse they gave—she is too low-level to start a war with Russia—is all too familiar as our country faces issues like Ebola and extreme terrorists. Gibbs saves the day once again, refusing to succumb political correctness. He makes the other agents, and the SEC/NAV, look like a “JV” team.

We end Episode 4 of Season 12 with “Wow!” Gibbs and Pendergast deliver a shocking twist, one of the best we’ve seen in a while. We won’t say more, in case some of you have recorded the show and will watch it later. Suffice it to say, Chris Waild redeemed himself. We like surprise endings, because that’s the way we write our thrillers.

NICS: New Orleans offered a tightly written episode with crisp dialogue. Lucas Black continues to shine. “The Recruits” also tackled a troubling subject matter, but we enjoyed being introduced to Agent Pride’s college-age daughter. The ending was a nice touch.

Next week, keep a sharp eye for Abigail Borin, who resurfaces with the U.S. Coast Guard on NCIS when a mystery envelops Leroy Jethro Gibbs. We are looking forward to it. Are you?

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson