It is so refreshing to be able to write the critique of an episode and say that we liked it. We really liked it!

We could be critical and point out that the civilian mastermind of the kidnapping scheme, who was shot by her cohorts, would never end up in the NCIS morgue. Still, that’s a minor complaint when viewed as a part of the whole. Our hat is off to Jennifer Corbett, the writer of “React.” It was a great action show that highlighted all the techniques of the NCIS team, plus each agent and support person had a chance to shine. We got to see the human side of Tim McGee, as NCIS Special Agent Valerie Page “happened” to be at the office to provide Advanced Tactical Training to Gibbs’ group. She and McGee were childhood friends as both were Navy brats on the same bases. At first, Leroy Jethro Gibbs won’t permit Agent Page to be involved on the case. It turns out, though, that she is essential to stopping the kidnappers from whisking off the victim to who-knows-where.

We always enjoy seeing FBI SA Tobias Fornell (played by Joe Spano) on the show as he and Gibbs have so many things in common. Fornell put a stop to the office banter by Ellie over the multi-colored band-aides he and McGee were forced to wear after being in an explosion. Gibbs is spared, but also has cuts and bruises. Joe Spano and Mark Harmon are an excellent pairing of talents, with each quite realistic in their roles as federal agents.

The most compelling drama occurs between Gibbs and his ultimate boss, Secretary of the Navy (SecNav) Sarah Porter, played by Leslie Hope. In past shows, she has always rubbed us the wrong way, seemingly a typical power-mad bureaucrat. We can sympathize with her after her daughter is kidnapped, and she becomes more of a real person, a real “Mom” who has to juggle taking care of her child with a demanding career, much like our ICE federal agent Eva Montanna who stars in our thrillers. You can see in Gibbs’ eyes the torment he is reliving over what happened to his own daughter. He is quite willing to put his life on the line to save Megan Porter.

If you haven’t already seen the show, you will enjoy the final scene where Gibbs and SecNav discuss her future. Should she stay or should she go? When Gibbs simply tells her, “Family matters,” she is disappointed that he didn’t try to convince her not to come “off the wall.” “Well,” Jethro replies with his blue eyes sparkling, “There’s your answer.” He is so typical Gibbs—powerful yet understated. His hair is even back to his Marine cut. We also learned that SecNav is divorced and noticed she has red hair. Hmmm….

What do y’all think?

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson