2014 Oct 14 NCIS Critique of “Choke Hold”

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

By |2014-10-15T02:26:40+00:00October 15th, 2014|NCIS|12 Comments


  1. Cheryl October 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Totally agree with your critique. Tony’s childish antics are way past getting old. Let the man grow up! I was also thrilled with the ending. Starting to get into NCIS New Orleans, but I struggle with catching all the dialogue because of the strong accents. Was that really necessary? Abby is from New Orleans & she never has an accent. Oh, well.

    Blessings to you, as well.

    • Diane and David Munson October 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Cheryl, you bring up an interesting point about the accents on the New Orleans show. At first David thought that Lucas Black, who plays Special Agent Christopher LaSalle, was trying too hard on the accent. We’ve discovered that Black grew up a Baptist in Speake, Alabama, where he played for the Speake Bobcats. He’s now married to a contract lawyer. Maybe our ears and brains are just not used to the Alabama accent.

  2. Deb Ragno October 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Christopher Waild did not redeem himself with the ending unless you believe a bunch of wrongs on so many levels are erased with one right. Hubby sat here and said, “This may be the last time we watch this show.” We were disgusted by the adolescent banter between Tony and McGee, but even more disgusted when whats-her-name (sorry, really did forget her name) joined in. This was lower than college-frat guy talk and totally unnecessary to the show, especially one that airs before 10:00 p.m. The degree of gore presented in the show was also something that should not have been aired before 10:00 p.m. And with the current issue of beheadings by ISIS, airing this show was not just untimely, it was tasteless and cruel and disrespectful. I went to the NCIS page to “interact with the show” and was shocked at the level of childishness there. I guess most viewers must be middle-school age. Didn’t waste my breath commenting there.

    Two seasons ago, we thought Tony was finally going to grow up. Instead the writers have continued to dumb him down. And for this season, they have been dumbing down McGee also. I wish the actors would man up and say, “Enough!”

    • Diane and David Munson October 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Deb: Have you noticed that most TV programs are being dumbed down. Maybe the producers and advertisers know that the national IQ is dropping, as result of our suffering education system and decline of the intact family structure. What’s even more scary is the fact that the people for whom they are dumbing down TV content, get to vote and choose our government leaders.

      • Deb Ragno October 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm - Reply

        We watch very few TV shows. There just isn’t very much on that appeals to us. And yes, the education system is not what it used to be, and as you said, families are not what they used to be. And yes, it is scary that people who can’t write a proper sentence in English or answer a simple historical question correctly are able to go into the voting booths and cast a ballot. Worse yet is that some of those very people will be the ones being voted into office or hired into other government positions.

  3. Fred Scott October 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Who am I to argue with the guys who’ve been there! However I chuckle every time Tony gets into his “banter” with someone, like Leia, who is his equal in “bantering” or should I say at “bantering!!” He definitely is very good at his job, as Gibbs told his Tony’s dad some time back, and without McGee the “banter” would probably still be funny especially the movie citing’s, just saying I like all the characters in all the NCIS shows.

  4. Fred Scott October 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    The New Orleans accents are dead on, and ole “Alabama” is too!!

  5. Fred Scott October 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    TV shows are “dumbed down” because our country is full of “Numbed Downed” people who not only vote but reproduce too!! Also remember Tony and McGee are probably half of most of our collective ages! So go with the flow, after all this is only partly a reality show!

  6. Jiesheng October 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Oh My Gosh! Brody can fight! NCIS and NCIS:La and go away! NOLA all the way!

  7. Teresa Hanger October 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Good! I like the character Abigail Borin. I’ll look forward to next week’s NCIS episode.

  8. Cindy Baden October 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Totally agree with Deb Ragno! I started watching NCIS because it wasn’t as gory as other show of this type. The banter at the beginning almost had me shutting this off. I think it was very unnecessary. If this type of show continues, they have lost me as a viewer. Loving the New Orleans NCIS!!

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