“A Man Walks Into a Bar”
We don’t usually comment on reruns, but tonight’s episode was a new one to us, so we’ll share a few observations. The show had hardly begun and David was ranting that psych evaluations were very rare and only occasionally permitted after incidents where there was a shooting/killing. But then he reconsidered, maybe the young NCIS Special Agents of today have less metal. When Dr. Cranston was permitted access to the squad room and permitted access to the crime scenes with the group, David had enough. If that were permitted in real life, there would be a major revolt and there would be no Special Agents left for next week’s episode. The fact that the writers used a redhead tinted psychologist to make us wonder if Gibb’s fifth prospect had arrived on the set, was not lost to David. In this case, the good doctor used her influence with SecNav to wiggle her way in, without Vance knowing her real identity.
That said, it was cleverly written to permit the viewer to review the complexities of the team’s relationships. Diane analyzes it this way: The hunters became the hunted and they were all uneasy about the change in status. Ziva was forced to replay the events involving her father and deceased brother, who she killed to save Gibbs’ life. Ducky, although he basically told Cranston she’d get nothing out of him, succumbed to her charms and admitted he gets melancholy being enclosed with the dead day and night. Yikes!
McGee was let loose without Tony and put on the hot seat about his lack of a permanent relationship. Maybe the one woman he kind of like who ended up being an assassin put him on his guard. You think? Abby had some great banter including, “I’m not a Goth. I’m a scientist. Now leave me alone and let me get back to work.” She is weird but precious, which is what makes her so popular. Tony avoided being “shrink wrapped” for the longest. The scene where his candy bar stayed hung up in the vending machine alluded to his giving up the head job in Spain. Then at the last second, the candy fell down to illustrate that he indeed has what he wants being on Gibbs’ team. But the scene with Tony looking at the dead commander, who it seems, took his own life in desperation, gave Tony pause about his life. It was then that he realized Cranston was sister to deceased Special Agent Kate Todd’s sister.
Gibbs picked up on this at the end. He took Cranston to his basement and showed her where Ziva shot Ari to avenge Kate’s death, telling her, “This is closure.” In this season, watch for more depth to the characters as each one of them searches for new meaning in their lives. Once again, the writers crafted another subplot about the ship’s commander who took his life, after arguing with the Korean journalist. What happened to the spy? Most NCIS episodes have several subplots to keep the sophisticated viewer involved in following the threads. We do much the same thing in our novels, where we provide one or two subplots to challenge our readers before we unite all the strands in the thrilling conclusion.
The Christmas season is a joyous time for many. Yet, for some, the celebrations can bring loneliness and a sense of loss, just as Tony felt. We pray for those who are sad or lonely and want you to know that Jesus came as a baby, the perfect gift, to bring you to Him. Jesus is our best friend on whom we rely for guidance, comfort, and peace.
Be Blessed,
Diane and David