2016 Apr 19 NCIS Critique of “Return to Sender”

We begin our critique of this episode with a warning to those who have recorded it. This is one of those rare episodes that is continued. Personally, we didn’t care for the plot, the writing, or the dialogue. We’d like to “Return to Sender” every minute we watched with the gore and gruesome scenes. Thus, even thinking about a continuation has no appeal. None, zip, nada.

After several weeks of great NCIS nights, the writers and producers served up a loser to its loyal fans. “Return to Sender” reveals what happens when a British citizen escapes prison, and finds his way to America in a shipping container. He was imprisoned in England due to a joint investigation involving NCIS and British MI6, the British foreign intelligence service. MI6 is similar to our CIA. We’ve included a recurring MI6 agent in four of our novels (Facing Justice, The Camelot Conspiracy, The Joshua Covenant, and Stolen Legacy). While the idea of a British citizen escaping from the British prison and coming to the U.S. to extract revenge against federal agents is intriguing, the means of presenting the story in this first installment is totally lacking.

Perhaps when writing the script, the writers discovered they had too much material to fill a single episode, and therefore split the script in two. Irrelevant side issues about FBI Agent Tobias Fornell’s (portrayed by Joe Spano) new attempt at computer dating, and McGee and Bishop’s prolonged side investigation to learn why Di Nozzo pays so little for his monthly rent are ridiculous. Especially given a killer is on the run who kidnaps Director Vance in the process.

In reality, federal agents risking their lives to bring the guilty to justice is serious. We understand lighthearted moments are often necessary when facing danger. However, tonight’s failed attempt at humor with one bloody victim after another appearing on screen, is not only unrealistic, it is over the top. This could have been an important episode with the subject matter and Tony preparing to leave the show. The writers and producers ruined it. Enough said about this subpar episode. If you don’t see us next week, you’ll know we found it equally bad.

What do you think? Will Tony have a decent send-off?

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

By |2016-04-19T22:17:25+00:00April 19th, 2016|NCIS|19 Comments


  1. Jeanie Todt April 19, 2016 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Buzz & I also said we didn’t care for this episode!!

  2. Jim L. April 19, 2016 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    I agree, it was subpar and disappointed my wife and I both.

  3. Teresa April 19, 2016 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    I have to agree with you too. Tony’s character did not fare any better in this episode either. One note: There was no “stay tuned for scenes from next wee’s show? announcement at the end (unless I missed it) .

  4. Donald L. Clark April 20, 2016 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Chris and I agree. This part 1 of 2 may be the only one we watch. What a waste of Tony’s limited time left on the show. The last few have been worthy entertainment, but tonight’s was a waste of time. Only part I liked was when the case was leaped to NCIS.

  5. Judy Via April 20, 2016 at 8:32 am - Reply

    According to CBS.com website next Tuesday’s episodes of both NCIS and NCIS New Orleans are rerun episodes? In the middle of a two part episode? I can’t figure out CBS’s schedule, they seem to be alternating NEW episodes one week followed with RERUN episodes the next week? NCIS is not the only CBS show with this type of scheduling.

  6. Buzz April 20, 2016 at 9:01 am - Reply

    So right. I fully agree.

  7. Louis April 20, 2016 at 10:49 am - Reply

    I have to agree with your critique of the show. It continues from episode to episode to reflect the left leaning hypocrisy of the writers. Remember when Di Nozzo and Abby were discussing the weapons that were in the possession of the lady who owned that Tazer Tag business and how they from their own direction seemed to think that she owned too many weapons despite the fact that they were legal.
    This left wind and side story phenomenon was absent the first few years of the series. Back then truly government detectiveing at it’s best. today after going from writer staff to writer staff they rapidly depend on fluff and music and improperly placed humor. I love humor on this show but …..where are we going with this. I am glad that we have ended that stretch of NCIS where DiNozzo was paid to sleep with however many women…..On a side note. Last night I watched Summer School circa 1987…..I highly recommend it.Yes I agree. That there was not enough plot there to do a continuation.

  8. john April 20, 2016 at 11:26 am - Reply

    I agree another fail at everything They are getting rid of all the old players/ When and how are they going to kill off Ducky? You know it is coming. The liberalism is getting to be to much. Hollywood and Cali are a waste land for everything any more. .

  9. Deb R. April 20, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    My husband immediately commented to me at the show’s end that he just can’t take all the dead bodies and gore any more. It sounds like he isn’t alone! As for Tony’s apartment — the writing is on the wall for this one. McGee and Delilah are getting married and they are looking for a new place to live but everything is too expensive. We know Tony is leaving the show. We now know his apartment is dirt cheap. He will sell it to McGee. Repeat show next week possibly because of so many elections Tuesday that will pretty much sew up the nominations? I bet they are expecting for the show to be replaced by news.

  10. john April 20, 2016 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    I think we are going to be terribly disappointed with Tony’s exit show. the writers sure seem to be botching everything along the way to getting there.

  11. M April 23, 2016 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Why would a famous author like McGee have difficulty buying a home?

    • Diane and David Munson April 24, 2016 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      This past episode (Return to Sender) resulted in many comments, including this one about Tony’s apartment. It’s fun to see how many people are watching and to learn of their opinions. Some mentioned too, that maybe the producers are preparing for McGee to take over Tony’s lease, when he leaves the show. Having served and lived in Washington, DC, we know that affordable housing within commuting distance is hard to find.

      • Deb R April 24, 2016 at 9:27 pm - Reply

        I don’t think Tony had a lease. I do believe it was said that he had a mortgage.

  12. john April 25, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    In a question and answer session about her new movie Cote said she will NOT be part of Tony’s farewell show. It was on the yah home page this morning

  13. john April 27, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    WELLESLEY, Mass., April 27 (UPI) — Cote de Pablo is opening up about her departure from long-running CBS series NCIS.

    The 36-year-old actress discussed her exit during an appearance at Babson College this week and confirmed she won’t reprise the role of Ziva David for Michael Weatherly’s final episode in Season 13.

    “Unfortunately, because of political things and the scripts not being good enough, I chose not to [continue],” de Pablo said of her much-mourned departure.

    “I love this character. I worked eight years in crafting this character and loving her, so when I felt or I perceived the character was not being treated with the respect that she deserved, all the money in the world [couldn’t make me stay],” she explained.

    “They were going to send her back to Israel and make her an unfortunate, miserable woman,” the star revealed. “I didn’t think it was fair. So I said, ‘Until someone can really write something fantastic for her, I won’t come back.'”

    CBS Entertainment president Glen Geller previously said there are “not currently” any plans for de Pablo to return. Showrunner Gary Glasberg, however, did recently reveal Ziva will influence Tony DiNozzo’s (Weatherly) decision to leave the agency.

    “Tony’s relationship with Ziva absolutely will have an impact on his reason to depart,” Glasberg told E! News. “There’s no part of Tony DiNozzo that Ziva David isn’t a part of.”

    “She’s a huge aspect of who his character is, so it would be unfair and wrong to write this episode, to produce this episode and not have her character be a part of it,” he added.

    Weatherly announced his exit in January and will last appear on the Season 13 finale May 17. NCIS cast Sarah Clarke and Duane Henry following the news, and will feature first lady Michelle Obama on the May 3 episode.

    • Diane and David Munson April 27, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      We had seen this article which John has shared. So, finally, Cote speaks up. Does it make sense to everyone?

  14. Deb R. April 27, 2016 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Well, yeah, to me it does make sense, and perhaps it also explains why Weatherly is leaving. The have spent years dumbing him down and making his character act like an adolescent.

  15. Jie Sheng April 29, 2016 at 3:04 am - Reply

    Terrible episode. I miss Season 1 and 2.

  16. Judy Via April 30, 2016 at 9:02 am - Reply

    It happens to most shows that last many years, the writing gets old, they get new writers, long standing characters leave the show, and story lines have been done several times over.
    Sad but true — it is happening to NCIS. There have been to few good shows since Ziva moved back to Israel. Most episodes just haven’t had the GREAT quality that we came to expect. It can’t just be because Ziva left the team (Cote left the show). I don’t think there will be a Season 15.

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