In tonight’s episode, we were treated to the NCIS team investigating the suspicious death of a Marine Sergeant who allegedly fell from a roof. When Dr. Grace, the female ‘Shrink’ who is a friend (and pseudo-practitioner) for Gibbs and FBI Agent Tobias Fornell, tells Gibbs they should investigate the death as a possible homicide, we watch the team as they eventually focus on a thief who lived in the same building as the victim. It wasn’t a memorable episode. The writers may have set a record for the number of irrelevant characters, including an animal, which added nothing to resolving the plot.

We wonder if the actors each are guaranteed in their contracts they will appear in a given number of episodes whether or not they are needed. The more we write our “factional fiction” thrillers, (The tenth, “The Looming Storm” was just released) the more we realize it is essential to weave in fewer characters besides our two main federal agents so readers can keep track of them. At least we have a book with 320 pages to develop these characters and their roles. In this NCIS episode, the introduction of a talking parrot with no connection to the investigation or resolution made no sense to us. Unless possibly focus groups have proven our society has a greater interest in animals, than people. Might we expect more episodes about military and police service animals, or victims and NCIS team members’ pets?

Are you all enjoying Joe Spano, the actor playing Agent Fornell, having cameo performances in the last few episodes? He added spark and humor to tonight’s show.

Did everyone wonder why the car window washer was hassling McGee? It was he who yelled ‘POLICE’ and frightened off the gold thief who was about to meet with Gibbs acting as an undercover gold trader. It is always fun for us to see Gibbs in an undercover role. That things went askew so quickly reminded David of how in his many years as a Special Agent he has had his share of botched arrests due to overeager agents or others involved. It is something every agent seeks to avoid. Also, we must point out that when Agent Nick Torres, (while wearing a hoody) chased down and tackled the thief, he stuck his semi-automatic pistol against the thief’s head. He was not trained to do that. In fact if Agent Alex Quinn were still a training agent of Torres, she would have reduced his evaluation for that stunt. It’s a very dangerous move for an agent. Getting his gun within the reach of the thief’s hands could have resulted in a struggle for the gun, which could have resulted in Agent Torres being shot with his own gun. It sure looks like Torres needs a trip to Quantico for extensive field training.

See y’all next week.

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson