2015 Oct 6 – Critique of NCIS episode “Incognito”

Tonight’s episode was a fun romp through an undercover assignment. David was amused by the fact that Tim and Ellie were forced to pose as husband and wife. This happened because both Gibbs and Tony had already met and questioned the suspect, Lt. Dean Hudson (played by Bart Johnson who appeared on JAG) who may have killed a marine at Quantico. The dead marine had just called Gibbs asking to meet. Unfortunately, Tim and Ellie are involved in a real-life conflict before taking up their undercover roles. Tim causes Ellie angst as he picks up a phone call from her husband Jake. During their conversation, Tim manages to spoil her surprise trip to the Virgin Islands for their anniversary. So Tim and Ellie are posing as a couple sharing a home and bringing with them a “marital” dispute.

The undercover assignment proves challenging for Agents McGee and Bishop in some ways. Tim eventually elicits from her what’s really going on with Jake. Apparently things are not the “same” with him. Will this have an impact on future episodes? Why do we even mention these personal issues? Real special agents working undercover face similar issues. It’s not always easy to put these aside during tense times away from home. The writers reveal this struggle of agents when Jake phones Ellie in the undercover home and she takes his call.

Some viewers might wonder if it’s legal for NCIS to place listening devices in the suspects home and then photograph the suspects from the undercover home used by Tim and Ellie, across the street. In reality, when sufficient evidence is developed, one of the agents goes before a judge (no doubt with the assistance of a JAG lawyer) to issue a warrant authorizing the ‘bugging’.

As viewers know by now, the NCIS show truncates the process, which normally would take days and sometimes weeks to have enough evidence to obtain warrants. That being said, Tim and Ellie are watching and listening. A strange conversation happens between “Mr. and Mrs. Hudson.”

One flaw in the scene is when neither McGee nor Bishop follow-up on what they learn, such as notifying Gibbs. They split up different tasks, which leads to a dramatic solving of a second murder. Abbey, Ducky, Gibbs, and Tony all work together as a team used to winning as they sort through the evidence and uncover a few surprising twists.

What did you all think of Tony’s admission to Gibbs that he has few family members that he cares about other than Anthony DiNozzo Sr.? So he is going to England to search for his ancestors. It was a deeper moment between them, and it comes back full circle when Tony discovers his DNA testing is not all it’s cracked up to be. His family member is not only famous, but a notorious criminal. Ouch! Too bad for Tony.

Ellie should not have gone to the suspect’s home alone with no backup and no cell phone. This unbelievable turn of events is nearly fatal for her. She is able to fight her way out of trouble (so much like Ziva did many times). Do you think she is edging closer to the agent she should be?

Next week, Mark Harmon and Rocky Carroll will team up in “Double Trouble.” Should be fun to see these two great actors handle the bad guys. There are still way too many out there!

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

By |2017-05-19T13:10:08+00:00October 7th, 2015|NCIS|6 Comments


  1. Jie Sheng October 7, 2015 at 2:52 am - Reply

    The fighting was crappy and the scissors in the back is cliche. And yes, she broke protocol

  2. Jie Sheng October 7, 2015 at 7:44 am - Reply

    D & D,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if this was real, the suspects could sue or charge NCIS for unlawful entry without a warrant right? Ok, the tables would be turned since they/he assaulted a federal agent but Bishop had no legal warrant to enter the premises.

    • Diane and David Munson October 7, 2015 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Jie Sheng raises an interesting and very complex legal question. Here’s a brief answer. When a judge signs an order permitting law enforcement officers to make a surreptitious entry into a suspects home, the order provides that the officer can enter and install listening devices and they need not leave behind the usual copy of the search warrant. It also provides that they can reenter the home to service and make repair, and/or retrieve the equipment. So, Bishop might claim that she was re-entering to maintain the equipment. The homeowner could be charged with assaulting the NCIS agent, even if the homeowner didn’t know that Bishop was an agent and acting pursuant to a search warrant. Isn’t the law complicated? In the end, a jury of the homeowner’s peers would decide about the guilt of the homeowner, who is this case was a murderer. Juries usually take those facts into consideration also.

      • Jack October 25, 2015 at 11:10 pm - Reply

        I don’t know that the scope of the warrant would have included opening and searching through sealed boxes would it? I don’t think going through the boxes is necessary to service or check the listening equipment.

        • Diane and David Munson October 26, 2015 at 1:15 am - Reply

          Jack is absolutely correct. I noticed Bishop opening boxes while she was snooping. Even if a warrant permitted the installation and maintenance of a “Bug”, her opening boxes would not be covered. Good eye, Jack.

  3. Mary-Elizabeth Garcia October 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    I thought this episode was boring.

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