2015 Jan 6 Critique of NCIS episode “Check”

We’re beginning to wonder if Mark Harmon and his staff of writers and producers are schizophrenic. One week they produce a really great show and the next it’s terrible. We previously asked, “Did Harmon move all of his good talent to support the NCIS NOLA show, with interns running the original NCIS show?” Only the last ten minutes of tonight’s show sizzled. Everything else was a total disappointment.

The trash talk is getting bizarre. Even the acting was not precise. Gibbs claimed his doctor ordered him off coffee and caffeine for seventy-two hours. Then two of Gibbs’ ex-wives show up at a crime scene. It would be highly unlikely for them to find Special Agent Gibbs at the crime scene at the diner, and it was never explained. Duh … Why not show up at his office? The wives discuss Gibbs not wearing underwear while married. That inappropriate and gratuitous comment did nothing to advance the plot. Gibbs looked and acted like he was in a daze. We certainly were, having to put up with the juvenile antics. Thereafter, Gibbs’ entire team behaved like silly kids at a high school party. Even Harmon’s rendition of Gibbs was sloppy. He wasn’t the stern leader we are used to. If the writers were intending to make Gibbs appear inept due to a lack of caffeine or because he was stressed by the arrival of two ex-wives, it didn’t work. Bishop reminds us of a seventh grader with her gossipy ways. We cry, “Help!”

In the end, Sergei is an enemy to contend with. He is on the run again because Gibbs blasted after him without backup. Gibbs figured his team did not have his back so he went alone. Perhaps next week he will replace them all with some serious agents who know how to do their jobs, such as Coast Guard Agent Abigail Boren. No wait. She is going to be on NCIS New Orleans next week.

Harmon was redeemed by the New Orleans show, “Baitfish” that followed. It was better, with crisp dialogue. The scenes involving the use of confidential informants were excellent. The sting operation where NCIS and DEA tried arresting each other was too real for Dave. He’s been there and done that. One scene lacked a bit of realism—when the NCIS agents and the fire department are working the second bombing scene. Only the local police have jurisdiction and there was no visible local police presence. Once again, Lucas Black shone in the role of Agent LaSalle. The end leaves a dramatic twist.

On a side note, a new movie version of the “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” releases in August. Henry Cavill plays secret agent Napoleon Solo, and Armie Ammer will appear as the Russian-born Illya Kuryakin. Most of you know Ducky played Illya Kuryakin in the TV series. Let’s hope the movie is better than tonight’s episode.

Let us know what y’all think. Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

By |2015-01-07T04:05:28+00:00January 7th, 2015|NCIS|12 Comments


  1. Chris January 7, 2015 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Completely agree. Oh Brother. Schizophrenic is right. Steve Binder was the writer and he’s no newbie but this mess was unrecognizable. Why do they feel so compelled to go to the juvenile for humor? Didn’t they prove in Grounded that humor could be done well in other ways? At least keep it in character. I don’t know where Gibbs was tonight but he didn’t show up until about 43 min mark.Rebecca wasn’t believable as an ex either and I’ve read fanfics about Gibbs off of coffee that put this to shame. Yes the last part was a better ride but it was overall awful. And it really pains me to say that because they have done some very good work this year.

  2. Deb R. January 7, 2015 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Agree! The juvenile behavior written into the shows more and more often is absolutely ludicrous. They are destroying the credibility of the whole team. If they want to end the show this season, they are well on their way to doing so. I think the writers must be reading FB posts on the NCIS page and writing down to the level of those posts. Holding up a standard of excellence in our society is falling by the wayside.

    We’ll be watching NCIS NO later today. I’m looking forward to it. The writers are a whole lot more mature for that show.

    I think I noticed a mistake in the show. When the lawyer / fiance enters the interrogation room, he appeared to take a seat on the left side of # 2. But when the camera comes back, he is sitting on her right side.

  3. Jiesheng January 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    It’s Borin and I wonder where Joe Spano is? No Fornell for so long.

  4. Patti Schriver January 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Looked like a rerun to me. I’ve seen the exact scenario with Tim finding Gib on the couch with someone. The rest all played out as last night with everyone speculating, and Gib not saying anything but “What?”

  5. Joy Avery Melville January 8, 2015 at 12:51 am - Reply

    The one night I FINALLY get to watch an episode of NCIS and wished I’d let my husband watch reruns of American Pickers – UGH – how UNprofessional can they get? Did not make me happy to see what I used to LOVE turned into a sitcom – a poor one at that.

  6. john January 8, 2015 at 2:23 am - Reply

    I believe they have sent the good writers to LA or NO preparing for the end of NCIS.
    Harmon has too many irons in the fire and cannot put his full efforts to NCIS. I also think than when the current contracts are up NCIS will end going out on top like MASH did. I wanted Cote back to carry the show to the end of the contract, but now I hope she stays away. The end is close.

    • Deb R. January 8, 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

      John, I think you are right. When do they start announcing contracts for the next season? We will have to wait and see if they happen or not. The dumbing down of NCIS is very sad.

      • Chris January 10, 2015 at 6:41 am - Reply

        As to the contracts, what I could google says that Michael Weatherly, Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum and Rocky Carroll last upped with 2 year contracts in place which secured seasons 12 and 13. So at least it seems 13 should be a given.
        I think Harmon and Dietzen (and Cote) were on the odd schedules that put them renegotiating for 11 and 12 which obviously Cote didn’t sign. So Harmon’s the one to watch for 13 to see if he signs on for the normal 2 year contract or if it he changes it to 1 year to have it sync up with the others ending after S13. (Found some of this info on TV Guide article dated May 5, 2014 and the rest on an article on deadline dated May 16, 2014)

    • Chris January 10, 2015 at 6:33 am - Reply

      Apologies for the length and my own shizophrenic contradicting thoughts.
      As to it coming to an end: I have been reading some suppositions that this storyline is tying in Michnev as Ari’s half-brother (Michnev having a Palestinian mother) and with the repeated historically significant tableaus recreated are laying the groundwork to bookend the series to end by neatly tying it up in a way that ties back to the beginning affording wrap up in a neat little bow. And that the supposed Ari adjacent storyline would provide the opening to bring Ziva back at the end to save the day. And with the closure Gibbs sails away and the team pairs up for their happily ever after. But this is purely a few fans trying to connect dots where connections may not exist.
      And aside from spreading himself thin Harmon is 12 years older than when they started and I can easily see that the beating the “fans” and Cote gave them in 11 could have easily worn the cast down and encouraged them to want to call it a day. The bit of rebound experienced in season 12 would give them some vindication enabling them to walk away on a high. After all, the ratings are still very, very good by any standard even if suffering some slippage when the fans that were Cote only fans left. And the writer tweeted that they had to hold a gun to his head in order to make him put the literal gun to Diane’s head. So this is greater picture grand plan stuff.

      And speaking of Binder, he’s no filler writer so I don’t see him fitting as the “good” ones are being redirected. He’s one of their long-term heavyweight go-to workhorses.

      And Weatherly did ink his production company (Solar Drive) deal this past year so he’s looking to other irons as well.

      Then there are the disparate receptions this ep has received. This is the only review I have read that gave a less than gushing assessment and it is representative of my initial gut reaction. But the other sites I have read give absolute glowing reviews followed up by glowing commenters. It seems many, many fans liked this. Which doesn’t feel very doomsday. Maybe the end is not so close and this is just their way of trying to infuse the OMG factor to draw back up the higher ratings.

  7. Jiesheng January 8, 2015 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Don’t like NCIS: LA due to its fake NCIS work–especially in cases with no Navy/MC crimes or people at all. But yes, all the characters there are stronger, esp compared to Bishop.

  8. Karen Abbotts January 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    Boy do I agree with your assessment. It was strange and sad to see this episode. And don’t know where they will go next week but hope they get the better writers back by then.

    • Diane and David Munson January 8, 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      We agree with Karen and each of you that have shared your thoughts. Let’s hope this episode was an anomaly.

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