2015 Sept 22 NCIS Critique of “Stop The Bleeding”

Have you been waiting for the beginning of Season Thirteen of the NCIS show as we have? One of the key questions was if and how would Leroy Jethro Gibbs would survive the shooting at the end of Season Twelve. Since he and others of the cast had already signed their contracts for the new year, it was a safe bet Gibbs would survive to fight another day.

We can’t ignore the irony of the title of this episode, and wonder if this episode and the next few will be an effort to ‘stop the bleeding’ of the show’s ratings, which have been dropping of late. The producers have already hinted coming episodes may include at least an appearance by Cote de Pablo who played the beloved Ziva.

What do you think of tonight’s episode? Here is our take. The star character, the hero by far and away is Dr. Cyril Taft, a Navy Reserve Captain, Gulf War veteran, and famous surgeon from Walter Reed Hospital who performs a dramatic surgery to save Gibbs’ life aboard the U.S.S. Daniel Webster. This military surgeon leaves his assignment at Walter Reed to return to where the action is. He is as unorthodox as Gibbs with his “Mo-Mo” (a mix of Mozart and Motown) music in the operating room. It turns out Dr. Taft needs to be saving lives of others because he couldn’t save the life of his son who died from leukemia. His therapy turns out to be a blessing for Gibbs.

Using brilliant editing, we the viewer are allowed into Gibbs’ unconscious dreams of his past “ghosts”, including Mike Franks his deceased partner and his daughter Kelly. This may be an attempt by the writers to capitalize on the several books and movies of people who claim to have glimpsed Heaven. Not only are those touching scenes, they should also help the show’s ratings. We also enjoyed the scene where the rest of the team is staring at their phones waiting for an update on their leader. You can imagine what it was like for them to discover he’s fallible. Can they continue to do their jobs without him?

Once healed, Gibbs returns to the office where Director Vance ordered him to maintain a low profile. True to form, Gibbs refuses to be bridled. Soon he visits in prison Mathew Rousseau, a member of “The Calling”. Rousseau was arrested in last season’s episode. Was anyone else shocked that when Rousseau refused to cooperate Gibbs stabbed his pen into Rousseau’s hand? Vance accuses Gibbs of visiting Rousseau and stabbing a pen into his hand. Gibbs makes another of his classic comments, “Oh is that where I left my pen?”

Okay, we hear you asking, what about the plot zooming over to Shanghai with Tony leading the effort to bust Daniel Budd, the evil mastermind behind Gibb’s shooting. He joins the CIA to stop Budd, who has somehow taken over a laptop from a former agent killed last May to make it look like North Korea is about to launch a nuclear strike. It seems farfetched, but in reality, it’s too close to what could happen with the computer hacking actually going on by China and Russia. No doubt NCIS is monitoring many hotspots and tonight gives us a glimpse of their difficult mission to keep us safe.

Welcome back Leroy. We need you to be truly back and not behind a desk. Do us a favor and get on a plane and bring Ziva back from wherever she has been working with Mossad. Please don’t let us down!

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

By |2017-05-19T13:10:08+00:00September 23rd, 2015|NCIS|7 Comments


  1. JieSheng September 23, 2015 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Not excited by the summary–haven’t watched it yet. New Orleans episode was much better.

  2. Jane Ramirez September 23, 2015 at 5:33 am - Reply

    I always enjoy your NCIS critiques, and I agree that the hacking scenario is a very real possibility. The crises hackers could create would most likely be beyond the skills of even a Timothy McGee to resolve in the few seconds shown on screen–but of course, we have to allow for the reality of 42-minute shows, so I don’t quibble about that. I like when Tim’s a hero!

    However, I must differ strongly about the desirability of bringing Ziva back. It’s not that I don’t like her; in fact, I’m a big fan of the Ziva we saw in seasons 3 & 4, and most of the time after that as well. My concern is with the effect on fans. Feelings about Ziva are so strong on both ends of the spectrum that the character unfortunately became a polarizing influence among fans. I don’t want, ever again, to see the discussion boards get as ugly as they were during Ziva’s last 2 or 3 seasons. I was sorry to see her go, but she’s gone, and I think it’s best that she stay gone.

    • Darlene September 24, 2015 at 2:32 am - Reply

      The farther we get away from Ziva’s last appearance on the NCIS, the harder time I have seeing her fitting into the current show’s dynamics.

  3. Deb Ragno September 23, 2015 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    We didn’t watch last night. Dh felt that with all the juvenile behavior last year, the show is no longer appealing. After reading your review, and not seeing any comments about adolescent humor, perhaps we’ll watch it On Demand.

  4. anna September 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    The producers have been adamant that cdp is not making an appearance on the show. Not sure what spoilers or interviews you’ve seen…everything from notable souces have said the opposite.

    Please tell me the reviews this year aren’t going to focus on the idea of Gibbs or someone else bringing back ziva. That’s not the reason most fans read blogs. Cote *chose* to leave the show. Her decision should be respected by fans of a fictional character.

    As far as the ‘bleeding’ of the ratings – only those who think cote/ziva was the reason for the show’s success buy into your reasoning. Anyone else watching ratings knows the truth.

    I’m disappointed in the tone & topics addressed in your ‘review’. There was so much more to the episode that deserved to be addressed rather than wasting space on yet another ziva whine.

  5. john September 24, 2015 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Third in the ratings for the time slot. Worst ratings in the last three years for a opening season show. No surprise there, it is only going to get worse.

  6. Lorna P Baker September 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    As always, Thanks for your insight. I often wonder about them going off and conducting business in other countries. I hope the elimination of Rousseau and Budd means this particular theme will not drag on for the season.
    I knew Gibbs would survive, but I also get the feeling we are being prepared for him not being there or as active. I loved the Ziva character, but agree with the comment that her return would affect the show’s dynamics.
    Gibb’s one-line about his pen was classic, but my favourite line had to do with finding the person who made the guns and shooting him!
    Thanks again.

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