4/10/12 NCIS Critique for “The Missionary Position”

Each week we prepare our critique for CBS’ weekly episode of NCIS examining the show through our filter of experience in federal law enforcement—David’s as a former Special Agent with NCIS and DEA and Diane’s as an attorney and former Federal Prosecutor. At times we are so impressed by the writers and producer that we write mostly praise. The most recent episode does not easily fit into that category. The very title, “The Missionary Position,” appears to be a twisted effort to sound risqué. The title, so loosely tied to actual facts of the episode, seems as tacky as Jimmy’s tuxedo. The horrendous blue and pink number foreshadows the creepy show to come. Diane imagines Alice dropping down a rabbit hole, but Cartagena is no Wonderland.

The writers reveal the CIA is using a missionary group as cover. Not really immunizing villagers near Cartagena, Colombia, the CIA is extracting blood to map the DNA of drug cartel members. Instead of offering a solid and believable plot, the writers interject a romantic role for Doc Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis) that eats up precious screen time. Monique is the biggest part of the “shtick” element. The camera films her to heighten the goofiness. When Ziva, Tony, and the Navy chaplain share coffee with Monique, (former Interpol officer who is to Ziva “the big sister I never had”) at an outdoor café, her face appears huge as she warns, “We are in trouble.” Oh really? By then we already see the cartel killer blasting his automatic weapon. Is Monique the Cheshire Cat with her phony grin? Then who is Alice? Ziva?

Tony is so right to criticize Monique to Gibbs. Thank you, Tony for giving us a shred of realism. The Navy chaplain inserting herself into the case to help find Commander Wade, the missing Navy chaplain, due to guilt over not taking the assignment herself is feeble. In the real NCIS, Gibbs would never allow her to accompany Tony and Ziva to Colombia. Also, he would nix the operation until he was more confident about Monique. Ziva vouches for her though, being blinded to her faults. Gibbs is irritated by Doc Ryan’s continual head games, but he plays along.

After flirting with failed leads and relationships in the episode, Tony and Ziva find Commander Wade. In an off-scene event, Tony and Ziva force the CIA officers to blow up the building that served as Wade’s prison. We surmise with Doc Ryan being added, the writers had no time to show the viewers what really happened.

The most realistic of the supporting characters is the DEA/FBI informant who acts as a mule for the cartel while informing to the federal agencies. Also, Commander Wade’s challenge coin is similar to one we just received at a book signing on Saturday from a Chaplain, asking us to pray for our troops. This is an interesting connection, and a powerful reminder. Our bottom line: Jimmy, find a new tux; Jethro, find a new girlfriend; and Tony, keep growing your character. You may fill Gibbs’ shoes yet.

Be Blessed,

Diane and David Munson

By | 2017-05-19T13:10:27+00:00 April 11th, 2012|NCIS|3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Deb Ragno April 12, 2012 at 1:42 am - Reply

    I commented on the NCIS FB post about the show earlier today saying that this episode was more like a soap opera. I would like to think that Gibbs is manly enough to be moral but they have now portrayed him in a different light. I agree with you about “the off-scene event.” It seemed the writers or editors chopped out a very important part of the storyline. We felt cheated. Disappointing episode.

    • danddmunson April 12, 2012 at 3:02 am - Reply

      Thanks. Did you think Dr. Ryan’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) appearance made the episode stronger?

  2. Linda Whitmer April 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    While I usually like Jamie Lee Curtis, I don’t think her romance with Gibbs helps–I liked thinking he was a stronger moral figure, besides, she is always up to something devious it seems.
    I do enjoy your comments about the show–it is one of my favorites. About the Christmas episode–I really thought that was a good one, and appreciated the parallels to the birth of Christ. Having a baby girl was the right thing 🙂
    Now, about the Missionary Position–it seemed that the story was somewhat weak, with so many things going on. This wedding that is coming up sounds like a strange one–I have always preferred traditional, rather than unusual.
    Appreciate your comments on the show, and your insight to a great show.

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