This will be of my shorter reviews, because despite having watched the episode I can't say I know much more about it than I did before watching. The main thing I knew was we had the return of Dr. Samantha Ryan of the DOD PsyOps Division.
I found it a very strange episode, a very forced episode, a shoe-horned episode, yes the whole thing. It just didn't have an NCIS feel to it at all. It was weird. And I was bored for most of it, my attention kept wandering (which probably didn't help).
It started well enough, well once we got past all the babble in Wickes's Board room. In fact that pretty much set the whole episode up, to be honest. It was so waffly and drawn out - I kept waiting for something to happen rather than them just talking. And that was really what happened for virtually the rest of the episode, it was very waffly and nothing really happened. It struck me as an episode that had to have a lot of fill-in stuff because it was way short on actual content and had all the waffle been cut out it could have been done in about half an hour - if not less.
The SecNav being shot was a make you sit up, but the first thing J and I said to one another was 'why did Gibbs and Tony react so slowly to the shooting; why weren't their guns in their hands; why did the do the first aid'? Okay, that was explained shortly afterwards when it was all a fake from beginning to end, but actually for all of Dr. Ryan's 'well done', it wasn't. Anyone who knows Federal Agents would have wondered at their slow reactions.
It was obvious from the off that Dr. Ryan was going to be wrong when she fixated on Wickes as being the killer and blackmailer. Gibbs came out of the interview saying Wickes was innocent, we know Gibbs isn't wrong. And she was so annoying the way she kept trying to get Gibbs to interview Wickes her way - I'm amazed he put up with it for two hours. I wasn't the least bit surprised when he pulled the ear-wig out and did things his own way.
Interestingly the only time I had a momentary doubt that maybe Wickes was involved after all was when Gibbs and Ryan went to his house and showed him a photo of Amanda Baylor and he was asked if he knew her. His reply of: "I don't recognise her," did make me pause and think he may be involved after all, because he hadn't denied knowing her, just that he didn't recognise her. I wondered if they simply had never met and if so he wasn't lying in what he said. But that was the only time I doubted him. That was a well written line.
At least Ryan knew she had to reassess herself as she said when she left Gibbs. She knows she'd not only been wrong, she'd been badly wrong and too fixated on one person she couldn't and wouldn't see beyond that. Dr. Ryan has never been wrong before, but she fell into the trap that people who have been doing her kind of job for so long often fall into. She didn't seen beyond the person she was convinced was guilty and everything he did or said or the way he looked at something, had to be proving him to be guilty. So yes, in the end she was right about the tell, but not about the person. Clearly she was very shaken by that revelation that she had not just been wrong, she had been badly wrong and so focussed on one man she couldn't, she wouldn't see beyond him.
And clearly she has problems with her ex-hubby and Gibbs can help with that and she has concerns about her son. Is she afraid ex will try to snatch him? Has son got some kind of disability mental or physical? I found it interesting (as a follow on from how upset she was that Gibbs had tracked down his school) that she didn't show Gibbs any photos of him that all she showed was a picture he'd painted for her apparently some years ago. I don't believe her concern and what could be seen as over protectiveness about Parker is just because she fears her ex will snatch him. I do think he's a child with a problem or more than one problem, but that's just me. And she wants to stop running, but she doesn't know if she can - which does point to an abusive/controlling/frightening/threaten
I'm sorry to say I find her annoying but that has nothing to do with her and Gibbs, it's because I always do and always have found that kind of forceful female character annoying. There were many times I wanted to slap her.
Having said that I did enjoy the scene in Autopsy with her, Gibbs and Ducky when she started to talk to the body. That was really well done and I loved how Gibbs kept looking at Ducky who was watching and listening to Dr. Ryan - so very good.
And I did like her calling Tony 'Game show host' and poor Tony's reaction to the 'title' was great fun and very Tony.
But really she's so OTT. I would hate to work for her or with her and have to wonder if really she goes around interacting with people the way she was interacting with everyone in NCIS all the time.
And I hate to have to say it, but it's yet another woman with whom Gibbs is meant to have great chemistry and I got virtually zilch. Mind you given how much I dislike the character, that may have had something to do with it. I just can't see Gibbs and her as a couple, she's just too OTT and too 'lets use my skill at all times in all situations' which to me is completely unbelievable. Now were she 20-something and freshly qualified or even qualified for a few years I could understand it, stars in her eyes and all that. But this is a mature, professional woman and she has to bring her skills into every conversation? Sorry, I just don't buy it.
I did like the way the kids were focussing on whether there was a connection between Gibbs and Dr. Ryan, with Ziva saying there was a bounce in Gibbs's step and Ryan's assistant talking about the look in Ryan's eyes when Gibbs turned up. It was well done and spot on in the way we've seen them be interested in Gibbs's relationships in the past. It really is a case of 'what is Daddy up to; does Daddy like this lady'. Fun to watch.
I really liked the SecNav in this. I liked his loyalty to his old friend and I was glad his belief in Wickes was justified.
The final scene between Tony and Ziva was nice too as the conversation seemed to be on more than just one level. It seemed to be focussing on Gibbs and Ryan, but I think it had another level to it as well.
But overall, I think for me this is the weakest episode of this season and the one I enjoyed the least. I'm certainly very 'meh' about it. It was a filler episode and far too drawn out. I think the purpose of the episode was simply to bring back Dr. Ryan and to show us a developing relationship with Gibbs and hang the case and the rest of the episode. I really did get the feeling no thought had gone into why she was coming back, just that she'd been signed up for two episodes and ooops, we need to find a reason to bring her back.
And I don't like bringing the actors into it on a personal level, but I really do worry more and more about Sean Murray, again he sounded really awful - even J commented on it.
- Gibbs, Ducky & Dr. Ryan in Autopsy
- Abby and her Bermuda triangle
- Final scene with Tony and Ziva
- Too little Ducky
- No Jimmy
- Too little of our team
- Very un-NCIS
- Too much Dr. Ryan
Pairing of the week:
Gibbs & Ryan simply because the whole thing was about them going pretty much everywhere together.
Character of the week:
Actor of the week:
Jamie Lee Curtis (I didn't like the character, but it was certainly well acted)