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NCIS: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Well, what a storyline the season 11 premiere of “NCIS” delivered! This arc started all the way back in January when Eli David was killed, and there are still many questions that needs answers.

I have to say this episode is not at all what I had expected it to be, and the title, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” is very accurate. I almost yelled those three letters at my screen a few times.

It’s mostly Parsons, played by Colin Hanks, who confuses me. In the first scene of this episode, Parsons questions Tom Morrow, ex- director of NCIS and now working for Homeland, about Gibbs’ mission. He doesn’t understand why Gibbs is able to continue his work while he was under investigation. However, throughout the rest of the episode, I got the feeling that Parsons knows much more than he’s let on so far. I was surprised by how much he knew.

Ever since he first showed up at the end of season ten, Parsons was being kept in the dark about many things, and I got that same vibe in the first scene of this episode. Morrow didn’t want Parsons around and didn’t want to tell him much about what was going on. Then, Parsons suddenly starts turning up everywhere, knowing more than others. Is he friend or foe?

Nobody liked him at first, simply because he was going after our favorite investigative team. Now, he doesn’t seem so bad. He saved Gibbs’ life and gave him new information. He also told Tony about a secret safe house where Ziva might be staying. This is where I started feeling a little apprehensive again. It’s a little odd that he would know about it when nobody else besides Eli David and Ziva knew. Sure, a few others, people who were very close to Eli, might have know about it, but it doesn’t explain how Parsons got the information.

Adam is the second person to raise questions for me. Maybe that’s because I’ve been watching this show religiously for quite a few years. I think you learn to question everything and everyone. I do hope that he’s one of the good guys. It would be refreshing if one of Ziva’s Israeli contacts is actually someone who can be trusted. At the moment, however, I am not so sure about him.

In my opinion, he was a little arrogant and unpleasant towards Tony without reason. It gave me a bad feeling. It wasn’t as bad as with Michael Rivkin back in season six, but it did remind me of that. But let’s be fair. Him being a bit unpleasant doesn’t make him one of the bad guys.

The main problem for me was when Thomas Mendes (Board of the Public Anti Terrorism Coalition) showed director Vance a picture of the man they think is in charge of the terrorist cell that is behind the deaths of Eli and Kazmi, and now also SecNav Jarvis. I could be completely wrong here, but for a second, I thought that might be Adam. The sunglasses made it hard to judge, though.

Let’s go back to the safe house where Ziva was staying. When Adam gets there, it’s obvious that he isn’t the first one to come looking for her there. The place is trashed and three dead men, three of the terrorists, are on the living room floor. How did they find her?

My first thought was that they tracked her phone, like they did with McGee, but that doesn’t make sense. Ziva, when she went into hiding, would definitely have thought of that possibility. I think somebody must have told them. But who? Was it Parsons? Is Adam playing games? Or is it someone else entirely?

One other main question I have about this episode: Where does Bodnar fit in? Last season, it was already established that he was behind the murders of Eli David and Arash Kazmi. But now it turns out that they are dealing with a terrorist cell. If Bodnar was involved with this cell, does that mean there are other Mossad officers involved?

So many questions! We still don’t even know what that final scene of season ten was all about. I now assume that Gibbs is in Arizona in that scene, but what was going on with agent Fornell there? Did he get shot? We will have to wait at least a week longer to find out.

About Fornell, who is played by Joe Spano, isn’t it always such a delight to have him around? He’s one of the very few, if not the only, recurring guest star since the very first episode of this show, and I really must say I’m always glad to see him.

A new guest star is Margo Harshman who plays McGee’s new girlfriend, Delilah. We haven’t seen much of her yet but I quite liked her. It was a little awkward with Abby, but isn’t it always? I know people worry about Abby’s reaction to her, but throughout the whole series, Abby’s never been great at dealing with new people. I’m not worried (yet), and think they’ll probably be fine.

Now, a possible future guest star … Cote de Pablo. I will admit, for those who don’t know yet, I am a huge Ziva fan, and I don’t even really want to think about her departure. However, the season has now started and it is a reality that needs to be faced. (I am still keeping my fingers crossed that she will come back, though.)

One of the most surprising things about this episode was that Ziva was not in it. Sure, she was sort of there, talking to Tony on the computer, but we didn’t see her at all. I had not expected that and, to be really honest, I am very disappointed and also very angry about it.

Just a week before they started filming, we were suddenly told that Cote de Pablo would be leaving the show and would only appear in the first two episodes of the new season. That’s not a lot but at least we would still get two episodes with her. I think that’s what all her fans thought. And now, as it turns out, we only get one. Maybe I missed something, maybe I misunderstood, but I don’t think this is what we were told and what we were expecting. It really does feel, to me, a little bit like we’re being screwed over.

To end with something relevant to the storyline, I thought it was very interesting that Ziva sends Tony that picture of herself and Ari. I have been thinking about that all day, and I can’t think of a reason why she did that.

I am both excited for next week’s episode, as well as dreading it. Six more days to prepare! Thoughts on the season 11 premiere of “NCIS”? 

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