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Thirty Days NCIS Meme. Day #15 - Your Favourite Case
I saw this quite some time ago on dinozzoitis's journal and finally got around to doing it.

Day 01 – Favourite season
Day 02 – Least favourite season
03 – Favourite episode
Day 04 – Least favourite episode
Day 05 – Favourite male character
Day 06 – Favourite female character
Day 07 – Least favourite character
Day 08 – Favourite villain
Day 09 - Best story arc
Day 10 – Favourite rule
Day 11 – Favourite DiNozzo movie reference
Day 12 – Favourite Ziva-ism
Day 13 – Your OTP (one true pairing)
Day 14 – Favourite quote
Day 15 – Favourite case
Day 16 – An episode you’ve seen more than three times
Day 17 – Best kiss
Day 18 – Saddest moment
Day 19 – Funniest moment
Day 20 – Two characters you wish had met properly
Day 21 – Something you wish you could go back and change
Day 22 – Saddest character death
Day 23 – An episode you wish you could have been in
Day 24 – Favourite friendship
Day 25 – An ‘OMFG did that just happen?’ moment
Day 26 – Most shocking/unexpected season finale
Day 27 – Episode you shed the most tears in
Day 28 – Favourite cast member
Day 29 – First scene that comes to mind
Day 30 – Anything NCIS related

Day 15 - Favourite Case

For me the cases are really important - far more so than the heavy personal stuff. I don't mean the personal interaction and the banter and family moments that go hand in hand with the case, I mean when the episode is more personal stuff than case related. Or the navy aspect of the case is pure chance, i.e. the crime could have involved anyone, but they just throw a navy/marine person is so NCIS can investigate.

That is why for me Seasons One and Two are far superior to anything that has come after it, because almost without exception the case in each episode was of high quality, one hundred percent 'naval' and the team interaction and any personal stuff was centred around the case - the balance was perfect. Sadly since Season Two, the balance has generally tended more towards the personal, with the case being secondary at best. We obviously have had some excellent cases in Seasons Three - Eight, a lot of them, although I would have liked more. Thus, for me, if we're talking really strong cases then we are looking at Seasons One and Two.

So it won't come as a surprise when I say my favourite case is from Season Two. It's my second favourite episode overall and is:

The Meat Puzzle.

It's a stellar case, it's gripping, it's intense, it keeps you guess all the way through, there are a nice lot of red herrings and it's a culmination of a small arc whereby body parts, making entire bodies, have popped up and it has been up to Ducky and Jimmy to start to figure out what becomes a meat puzzle. It's personal against Ducky but the fit is perfectly done. The actual case is not secondary to Ducky's personal involvement, that's probably because the personal involvement comes from a previous case.

It's a Ducky-centric episode and a Gibbs/Duck (or Gibbs & Ducky if you prefer friendship) centric-episode, but not at the expense of the rest of the team. Tim, Abby, Jimmy, Kate and Tony have important parts to play - in fact it's Jimmy and Abby who figure it out. And we get to meet Mrs. Mallard for the first time and see gigolo-furniture-moving-dog's-hairdresser DiNozzo.

I love angry Gibbs in this. Wow, his threat to their suspect about pulling all his teeth out if Ducky is hurt, was not an idle threat - it was meant. The ending it quite shocking, actually, probably one of the more gory and shocking things they have ever done. But it's not sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism. The baddies are real baddies, one hundred percent black hat baddies, there is not even a hint of 'oh, well, I can at least understand why you did what you did'.

It's an episode I love to watch and even though I know how things are going to turn out, it's still gripping enough not to be boring no matter how many times I see it. It really is a first rate case.

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Current Mood: optimistic optimistic

11 Notes or Leave A Note
aries11 From: aries11 Date: 15th June 2011 15:20 (UTC) (Link)
I think you're definitely right about seasons 1 and 2 being more case-driven than driven by personal issues. Those were its newer years, so that made sense. We still didn't know the characters very well, so it wasn't time yet for things to start getting personal.

"The Meat Puzzle" is definitely one of my favorite S2 episodes. The fact that it's Ducky-centered is a major bonus. There definitely aren't enough of those. I always enjoy the episodes with his mom. You're so right about angry!Gibbs, too. He really didn't hide his emotions on that one, and the villains are indeed pure evil.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 15th June 2011 15:41 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, they were and that was the NCIS I fell in love with. I still love NCIS, it's still my main fandom, the show and characters I'm obsessed with. But it's nothing like the show I fell in love with. I long to go back to the 'good old days' when the cases were cases and we didn't have all the personal issues to the depth we have had them. To my mind if we were going to learn things about the characters to the extent we have done in some cases, it should have started early on, not now in Season Eight.

There are time when, as much as I love the show, it's become a soap opera, not a crime show - but given the viewing figures, that's what people want *sighs* It's never going to go back to being a crime driven drama.

It's my second favourite S2 ep and my second favourite overall. We do need more Ducky-centric episodes and it's a great shame we only saw his mother once more :-( Angry Gibbs is a sight to behold, it really is! *Shivers*
kytivafan From: kytivafan Date: 15th June 2011 16:21 (UTC) (Link)
This was a good one... and angry Gibbs (hot and scary)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 15th June 2011 17:06 (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you like this one.

Oh, yes, very much so!
honeybearbee From: honeybearbee Date: 15th June 2011 21:09 (UTC) (Link)
Ducky's mom was amazing! I always wished they showed her more often!
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th June 2011 12:26 (UTC) (Link)
She really was.

It is a shame we only saw her twice :-(
honeybearbee From: honeybearbee Date: 17th June 2011 03:07 (UTC) (Link)
Is it because the actress died? Or they just never found any use for her?
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 17th June 2011 10:34 (UTC) (Link)
The actress died a while back and I don't know if they had been planning on using her again.

I wish they had used her more, she was so good.
honeybearbee From: honeybearbee Date: 18th June 2011 22:05 (UTC) (Link)
They could always get another actress, it has been done before. Or, wait, did they kill Ducky's mom when she died? I can't remember. :/
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 19th June 2011 09:52 (UTC) (Link)
Some time after the actress died, they did indeed kill her off.
honeybearbee From: honeybearbee Date: 19th June 2011 20:13 (UTC) (Link)
:( I really need to catch up on it. I only see episodes here and there.
11 Notes or Leave A Note