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-hairdresse
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.