Our last blog was long because we shared a Washington Post article about a real live NCIS case. We wanted our readers to get an idea of how much work goes into a real case. So we thought that tonight’s episode of “Willoughby” would be a simple one-hour episode of a simpler case. Wrong! Instead we saw a pretty good spy thriller, which will most likely continue for one or two or more episodes. That is just what we’ve complained about in the past.

Without giving away too much of the plot for those who have recorded the program to watch later, we found the thread about Ellie’s concern that British MI6 agent Clayton Reeves has no friends was a metaphor for Leroy Jethro Gibbs, who is also a loner. Interesting too, that Gibbs encourages Agent Reeves and even coaches him how to close his eyes and remember good thoughts when he becomes sad. Reeves then shares this pearl of wisdom with Ellie when she really needs it. Agent Reeves also confided in Gibbs why he signed up for such a dangerous case.

Other reasons this episode seemed realistic to us were the scenes with Agents Alex Quinn and Nick Torres. In the first amusing scene, they’re trying to maintain a surveillance location without becoming too obvious. Their solution, to watch from a scummy bathroom in a nearby bakery, brought back many memories and some smiles for David. He was once on surveillance in a residential neighborhood when an elderly lady reported them to the police as being very suspicious. Having heard the call go out on their police scanner, David and the agents moved. Upon returning to the neighborhood after police left, they were spotted by the lady again. The surveillance had to be terminated because she called the police three times, and resorted to driving her car around the area searching for the agents. Far too much coffee has been drunk and burgers, fries, and even sugar donuts, as in tonight’s show, have been consumed on surveillance.

Overall, we felt the story line was excellent. The writers revealed how difficult it is to maintain an operative undercover as well as the inherent risks of an agent assuming another identity to track down the guilty. The relationship between characters is improving, but we thought Abby’s repeated marching on bubble wrap was a bit much. We offer that criticism with some trepidation, as we know she has a huge and vocal fan club.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Did you enjoy having the intrepid NCIS team back? The next episode airs on January 17th.

Blessings in the New Year, Diane and David Munson