My thoughts behind the cut.
Poor cast, half of them seemed to have colds or something. I do hope it didn't last too long for them.
I didn't really have any expectations, concerns, feelings about this episode except for the fact that I knew Ziva would either turn Ray down or she would accept/seriously consider accepting and something would go badly wrong. How right I was.
I've never taken to Ray from the beginning (and not because of anything to do with Tony/Ziva) he just seemed more than a little slimy and too secretive and never truly seemed to care. However, even though it was clearly the right thing for Ziva to walk away, I really did feel deeply for her in the way he hurt her and couldn't see why they couldn't just go back to how it was. Well done for hitting him - he deserved it!
Had it been just breaking CIA 'rules' and taking out the man he was meant to have taken out overseas whilst on US soil, then she could have forgiven him. She could have and even would have understood; in fact I think she did understand that side of it. He was right when in effect he said she'd done the same. So that in itself wouldn't have been a problem; whether the CIA would have let it go, I don't know. However, the fact that he not only killed a completely innocent woman but didn't really seem to be troubled by it - he seemed to see it almost as a victim of war, of an acceptable cost of ridding the world of a real bastard.
He seemed untouched by what he'd done, yes, it was a shame, but it came over as if it he was talking something completely non-important, like a restaurant not having his favourite dessert or something. The ends were not worth the cost, but he didn't get that and he didn't get why Ziva couldn't just dismiss it as 'an acceptable cost' and thinking he could simply go back to the person he was before he'd killed an innocent woman was unbelievable. He really, truly thought it was okay to have killed the Lieutenant Commander because in the end he killed the person he was meant to have killed and thus saved a lot of lives. Gibbs calls himself and is called a bastard - and he is at times, ditto Fornell - but Ray took the term 'bastard' to a new level, and the worst thing was: he didn't get it.
I strongly suspect when Ziva told Burris that Ray would never hurt anyone again, she was speaking the full truth. The CIA can't 'afford' to put him on trial for murder, instead in a short time a CIA agent/boss will be making a call to Mr. & Mrs. Cruz in Miami telling them how sorry they are for the loss of their son, a man who died serving his country, doing a job that saved and helped many US citizens. Yes, I believe the CIA will clean their own house and take him out. He'll suddenly and silently disappear. He may have got a desk job had he just broken protocol and worked in the US, but killing an innocent woman who just happened to be a Naval Lieutenant Commander was the end of it for him. I'm sure Ray will soon be dead - he won't hurt anyone any more.
And yes, Ziva was right to tell Burris his name. That's all Burris wanted: a name; closure; the kind of closure he gives (tries to give) to other families. He didn't need or want details of the arrest of of the man, he just needed the name. And Ziva telling him the name makes me even more certain Ray will 'vanish'.
Interestingly all the attempts Ray made to contact Ziva calling Tony, Tim and even Gibbs spoke of desperation (so Burris wasn't the only 'desperate man'). I'm still not convinced he really loved her as such. I think he loved the idea of her; the idea of a wife, a big home, a garden and kids, he was in love with the idea of being a husband and having a normal life. The episode title was a jolly good choice. Even Ray's proposal, such a public one, and the fact he'd told Tony he was going to propose, struck of desperation; he's meant to know Ziva, he should have known that she'd have hated something so public.
Again the Tony/Ziva vibes were pretty strong during this week's episode, there is definitely a connection between them. Do I think it will go anywhere? Yes, but not yet; Ziva is hurting too much and isn't going to trust her heart to someone for quite some time and Tony knows that. As Burris said they need to cherish one another every day. Friendship and knowing the other person will be there no matter what, be it to watch your back or hold your hand or hold back your hair when you're sick or all the other things close friends do, is what is so important at the moment.
Also the scene on the roof when Ziva confessed to Tony about Ray standing her up and showing how hurt she'd been by it and expressing her feelings, the glint of tears in her eyes. I do like how she finally seems to have realised she can be vulnerable and that despite their digs at one another she actually does trust Tony with her inner feelings. And not only how hurt she'd been by Ray standing her up, but how it reminded her of her father and how he always left her waiting and how she was never as important as his job, etc.
And again in the squad room when Tony wants to know where the 'rock' is and talks about his own proposal to Wendy and how he'd really nailed it so well. I liked how he told Gibbs to get ready to take Ziva up the aisle, because I'm sure that is what will happen. The Gibbs & Ziva father & daughter bond came over nicely then as it did in the car after Ziva had walked away from Ray. I loved how he put his hand on the back of her neck/head and asked what he could do. And Tony's comment about Jimmy and Ziva having a double wedding was so amusing and so very Tony.
I thought the conversation between Tony and Tim about Tony looking for love and him bemoaning the fact that all it seems to be is an endless possession of waitresses and veterinarians (interesting choice!) was great. It was a nice brotherly, bonding moment and nice to see Tony be serious over the subject. He really is growing up and he is looking for someone to settle down with. He's realised he can't go on as he has been doing; he can't go on playing the field and sleeping with every woman he meets. He is ready and wanting to find love with the right woman. And I liked the hug in the opening squad room scene.
It was obvious all along that Burris was the red-herring (unless he was going to be the double red-herring) and that became clearer and clearer as it went on. I did at one point have a vague idea that maybe it was Flowers, but I hadn't got any idea why it might be him. I'm really glad my vague idea was so wrong.
The moral from this seems to be: just get involved in things outside of your remit; don't go it alone; don't take chances you don't have to take; remember what you have back at home. But then again had our Lieutenant Commander done that, I guess she wouldn't be the woman she had been.
It was nice to see Ducky and Jimmy talking about the wedding, I loved Jimmy's ideas of changing the 'til death do you part' line for something more upbeat - my understanding is he could do that anyway if he wants to. Isn't writing your own vows common-place in the US now?
I really do hope he asks Ducky to be his best-man; I just think it would so right for him to do so. I know Ducky's a lot older than Jimmy, but they work together and are close. I think it would be a lovely gesture on Jimmy's part and Ducky would do it so very well. I actually think it would be rather insulting if Jimmy didn't ask Ducky - even if Ducky declines, which I hope he wouldn't do.
I really liked all the main characters this week and had no desire to slap or shake any of them. There was some superb banter between the team and some nice touches of humour - in fact there was a great deal of emotion over all and it was really well balanced and done. There was some great fun moments and some very moving ones. I can't fault the characterisation at all. There was no bitchiness, no nastiness, no digs or even hints of anything that could be seen by some as an insult, even Tony's 'I'll get you to tell, but I won't tell you' with Tim was toned down and far different from the Tony who would have laughed at having caught Tim out. Yes, Tim is wise to him now as he pretty much said, but it was so good to see how balanced it was.
I really liked the supporting characters too (Ray aside) it was such a well rounded, well produced, well acted, well written, well put together episode.
In short it was another really superb episode - this season really is on the whole so very good. The case was interesting and the sub-plot of Ziva fitted in very nicely actually, it wasn't shoe-horned in and it didn't take over the case; it worked really well. The fact that she decided (almost) to say 'yes' and to fly to Miami with Ray to tell his parents was, as she said, because of the case and because she'd seen Burris and how he'd just wanted one more day and she didn't want regrets. The tie in between the main and sub plots was excellent.
- The opening squad room scene when Tony and Tim are talking about 'dry spells' and Tony in true fashion (as Tim says) got Tim to talk without ever intending to 'spill' himself. And Ziva wanting Tim to block a number and telling Tony it was none of his business - but both of them knowing who she was trying to avoid. And on cue Gibbs enters and apparently Ray had called him too - I do have to wonder quite how Ray got all of their numbers.
- The crime scene with Jimmy being in full Jimmy mode and talking about his old High School friend thinking it odd he works with dead bodies and Ducky's 'or worked' comment. Oops, it was lovely to see Jimmy and not just have him making idiotic comments as he has done in more than one episode.
- Ducky and Jimmy in Autopsy talking about Jimmy's upcoming wedding. Ducky is quite right: Jimmy should enjoy this time of his life, not be stressed out and worried about it. If you can't enjoy your own wedding and the lead up it is a huge, huge shame. I also liked how Ducky let Jimmy tell Gibbs about the injuries and Gibbs listened. It's really good to see Jimmy used so well and see how much he's developed over the years. Now if only he could become a main star!
- Tim and Tony's talk about Tony wanting to find love.
- Gibbs and Abby with the dummy - a lovely scene.
- Tony and Ziva on the roof.
- Tony and Burris, another really solid, mature Tony scene that showed depths.
- Tony and Ziva in the squad room when she gets back from seeing Ray.
- Tim and Abby coming into the squad room and saying that what they had to tell them was more important than anything.
- The final scene between Ziva and Ray. It was a really poignant scene, so moving and I really felt for Ziva and it showed just what an amazing actress Cote is.
- The little scene with Gibbs and Ziva in the car.
- The final squad room scene between Tony and Ziva and Burris coming in and then all of them ending up in the lift with Burris saying they should cherish one another every day.
We learnt and had some things confirmed too:
- At the moment I can't think of anything - but as I add to this as I mull things over, I may well do.
- Not enough Ducky :-( But I think we are really going to have to expect that all the time now.
- The fact that the show has definitely become the Gibbs, DiNozzo and Ziva show. Everyone else is being side-lined. McGee does nothing than geeky, computer and help Abby things and Abby, Ducky and Jimmy (when he's there) are lucky to get two short scenes these days. And in truth a lot of the time I'm not seeing the point of Ducky's scenes as they don't really seem to add/give anything to the case.
Pairing of the week:
Character of the week:
Actor of the week:
Cote de Pablo
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR 200th EPISODE AHEAD.
This is nothing to do with this week's episode, but I've just clicked on the link from EpGuides.com to 'Life Before His Eyes' (the 200th episode which will air on 7th February) and was so sad and annoyed to see that Jimmy isn't listed in the Guest Stars :-(((
That is just so very wrong. Jimmy's been with the show since Season 1 (and Brian Dietzen still isn't a main cast member) you'd have thought that he would be in the 200th episode, wouldn't you? Maybe they haven't listed them all yet? Maybe he will be in it - I really do hope so, but it doesn't look likely.
Maybe this isn't a full list of guest stars. After all it is missing at least two people I had heard were definitely going to be in it. And given it is all about Gibbs's past, I would expect them to be in it *rolls eyes* Plus, I've heard there are rumours of others. So given Brian was at the 200th party, maybe he will be in it after all and this listing is incomplete. Except, given he is a recurring guest star, I would have thought he would have been the first person to be listed. Hmmm.
*Fingers crossed it is incomplete*