2016 May 10 NCIS Critique of “Dead Letter”

As usually happens at the end of each season, NCIS is wrapping up with three or four episodes, which are related. The story arc continues into the next week. In our opinion, the two previous shows were messy and mediocre at best. Tonight’s show is a vast improvement bringing in several elements that work well together.

FBI Agent Tobias Fornell moves his big toe when his daughter’s in his hospital room. It must mean he’s going to live! For now anyway. In previous years, when one of the characters is killed, it’s usually because they’ve not signed a contract to return for the new season. We’ll have to wait until next week to see if anyone besides Michael Weatherly won’t be returning. From interviews with Cote de Pablo, we already know she won’t be appearing live on next week’s show entitled “Family First”.

We can all imagine what is taking Tony away from the Navy Yard and his NCIS team: Ziva David. The writers dug in deep to create a plot that involves her character and for the most part this other element is plausible. David found the interrogation scene quite credible between Gibbs and former agent Jacob Scott, who claims he is being framed for several murders. Who could be the culprit? The moment CIA officer Trent Kort appeared on screen, David said he’s the guy. Must be his former NCIS agent instincts are up and running. Go David!

That being said, we viewers are introduced to two new characters. Tess Monroe is the FBI agent who worked with Fornell, and seems to already have an obsession with Gibbs, i.e., she wants to best him at everything. Sarah Clarke is the actress who portrays Tess. The other is Clayton Reeves, a British MI6 officer. MI6 is the Brits’ foreign intelligence service, like our CIA. Duane Henry plays Clayton Reeves. Would you like to see either or both return in Season 14? We have our preferences, but are interested in your opinions.

Anthony DiNozzo is pushed into a small part this evening, which is unfortunate. It would have been terrific to watch him conduct one last interrogation scene using all his skills. But no. Instead, Tess Monroe muscles her way into the interrogation room without Gibbs’ permission. She exhibits conduct that is over the top for a professional. And although MI6 officer Reeves’ questions aren’t as hard hitting, his portrayal of a British intelligence officer is more believable. Oops. Did we just give away our preferences between the two newbies?

Tony, Tony wherefore art thou? Is it too soon to say we will miss you Michael Weatherly?

We don’t blame him for leaving the show. His character has been dumbed down to make way for a younger character. Breathing life into Ellie Bishop has taken all of the writers’ attention and creativity over the past two years since Ziva’s departure. During a recent interview, Michael Weatherly said that after Cote de Pablo left the show, his character was left to flounder. Is it any wonder he’s leaving? It’s disappointing to say the least, and also surprising Mark Harmon didn’t do more to resuscitate Tony. We can only hope Gibbs, Abby, and Agent McGee don’t also melt away into mediocre plots next season.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,

Diane and David Munson

By |2017-05-19T13:10:07+00:00May 10th, 2016|NCIS|10 Comments


  1. Louis May 10, 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    I have nothing to add to your critique. I felt as we went through the entire program from time to time we kept expecting something to happen. How about a little more continuity, how about a little more meat to the plot, more substance. I hope none of my friends who are currently working for government agencies were not watching. After all of these years.

  2. Kristi Jo May 11, 2016 at 8:05 am - Reply

    I don’t like Tess and I hope she goes away. Would have liked to see more of Tony but I didn’t get to write the show…will miss Michael greatly. Wonderful actor.

  3. john May 11, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Looks like to me they have killed Ziva to end her from ever coming back and ending that story line. I guess Gibbs is going to be playing second fiddle to Tess from now. Unforgivable that she did not wait before questioning the lady.

    As lousy as the writers have been just how are they going to handle another character in the mix? Michael and Cote have both complained about the writing and so have posters to this blog. This show is only going to get worse by leaps and bounds.

    • Diane and David Munson May 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      Based on the previews for next week’s show, we think John has it pretty well figured out. The show continues it’s slide toward mediocrity.

      • Louis May 11, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

        further into mediocrity

  4. Deb R. May 11, 2016 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    I agree with John. It appears that they have killed off Ziva. I think they would do this to silence all those who want her to come back. Hopefully Tony leaves alive (the previews look that way). I don’t see Tess or Clayton actually becoming part of the team unless Gibbs also leaves the show.

    • Louis May 11, 2016 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      If Gibbs leaves so will many , and I do mean many of his viewers. they lost viewers when Ziva left. they will loose viewers when Tony leaves. TV death by suicide by Corporate greed and ignorance.

  5. Louis May 11, 2016 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    I guess it wants me to post more of a comment. so here it is……………………Ditto

  6. john May 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    It is not going to be the NCIS we have enjoyed in the past .I think many fans are going to be looking else ware With Tony leaving only one of the original cast of agents will be left Gibbs the Boss, McGee was not part of the original cast.. Long time viewers should notice that they have killed off Kate, Jenny, Diane and now it looks like Ziva all female. Is there a problem at NCIS production with it’s female characters behind the scenes?
    Does bringing in a new sharp female agent mean that they have given up on Bishop and is soon going to be shown the door by getting killed? Hmmm

    • Louis May 13, 2016 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      I hope your wrong. My wife is already getting a little edgy and she has been hardcore NCIS from the beginning. When that 60 minutes is on beginning at 8PM EST or EDST not even heavy breathing is allowed in our house. Again, to reiterate. I hope you are wrong.

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