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NCIS Double Back
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ncis-s11e13-640To be honest, I am not sure where to begin. Somehow, this episode of “NCIS” leaves very little and very much to discuss at the same time.

Let’s just start with McGee and Delilah, or else that will get lost due to the Parsa case.

READ: All “NCIS” News & Recaps

We’ve seen McGee shaken up before. (When Kate died, for instance.) But we have never seen him like this. He seemed fine, right? But then Dr. Rachel Cranston (yay! she was back!) found out McGee was in denial about Delilah being paralyzed. He wasn’t telling anyone about it and kept pretending everything was fine. He wasn’t even only telling other people that he was fine, I think he was trying to fool himself as well. Poor Tim … He just couldn’t deal with it.

But finally (it’s been a while) we got to see that our team is a family, still. Tony, Gibbs, and Abby (and Dr. Cranston) helped Tim through this, helped him to deal with it. And Delilah, thank goodness, understood and wasn’t angry about Tim not staying with her for a day or two.

I think I’m a fan of the McGee/Delilah relationship. I hope they will continue with this storyline!

Now. The Parsa case. Still, I wonder where I should begin. There are so many thoughts going through my head.

Okay, this case was picked up again last week. A lot happened. You can read about that here.

This week, I was ready for a lot to happen again. But nothing did, really. It seems like a lot happened. But we’ve only gotten about half a step further in the case.

We got distracted by NSA’s Sofia Martinez, who has been monitoring Benham Parsa’s sister since 2007. A lot of phone calls from unidentified callers, speaking in code … she seems to be helping him as  much as she can.

We also got distracted by Bashir Malik, Parsa’s get-away driver from last week. We basically got his whole background, but in the end, he didn’t know anything. The only thing he could tell Gibbs was that Parsa got on a train to Miami, but that he was not going all the way to Miami. Sure, yes, this could possibly lead somewhere. But we got nothing from this episode.

I find it odd. It’s uncharacteristic for “NCIS.” There’s not really any progress. There’s still no answers to the many, many questions. Questions that I’ve mentioned before and that, for the most part, still revolve around Ziva.

This case revolved around her so much, and then they had to write her out of the show while this story was far from finished. This case is still very interesting and intriguing, but more and more, I am getting the feeling that things are messy. They need to finish this somehow, but I can’t see how they can accomplish doing this properly without Ziva. And after this episode, which really did not make any sense to me apart from the McGee part, I think the writers are lost too. There are too many unfinished bits and pieces just floating around.

They are stalling. That’s what I felt like after watching this episode.  It had better be because they are working on getting Ziva back.

[box type=”shadow” align=”alignright” width=”200px” ]”Something is missing. That something is not only Ziva’s character, but also what she brought to the team.”[/box]I am aware that there is a (small) group of people out there who did not like Ziva and do not want her back, but really, has this show been as good since she left? I promise I have tried my hardest to look at this as objectively as I could, but in my opinion, the answer to that question is no. They’ve tried to go on as usual, but apart from the Parsa case and episode ten (Devil’s Triad), I have not enjoyed “NCIS” as much as I used to. I have often felt bored. Something is missing. That something is not only Ziva’s character, but also what she brought to the team. The team, as it was, was good, was complete. I always felt that if you took one part of that puzzle away, it would have a big effect. And it does. The whole dynamics have changed.

Emily Wickersham’s character Bishop said in this episode that she’s “looking at some gigantic shoes. Unfillable.” I think they got that right. There’s nothing wrong with Bishop, but she has not been very interesting so far. I thought she might be, after the first time we saw her, but I have not been very impressed with the character. She doesn’t add anything special to the team, to the show.

Please feel free to write down your thoughts below!

6 COMMENTS

  1. […] He wasnt even only telling other people that he was fine, I think he was trying to fool himself as well. Poor Tim He just couldnt deal with it. But finally (its been original site a while) we got to see that our team is a family, still. Kim Tony, Gibbs, and Abby (and Dr. Cranston) helped Tim through this, helped him to deal with it. And Delilah, thank goodness, understood and wasnt angry about Tim not staying with her for a day or two. Kardashian news I think Im a fan of the McGee/Delilah relationship. Full story http://www.reellifewithjane.com/2014/01/ncis-recap-double-back-11×13/ […]

  2. Diane, you are absolutely right. There is no direction, no focus and no sense of emotion on the show this season. It is like everyone is just going through the motions, writers lost, actors phoning in the show (except for the very rare story line).
    And what strikes me the most is that NCIS has made EXACTLY the wrong move to reach that new demo that they want so much to reach. In fact, they are losing steam in the key demo. Last season’s Shabbat Shalom and Shiva episodes through the flashback about Abby and the stories about Vance’s attempts to deal with the loss of his wife are the template for reaching that new demo. They were the highest rated shows of the season — and in two cases the highest rated in the history of the show.
    I get frustrated with people who want NCIS to “get back to the cases” — this show at its best is NOT about the cases. It is about the psychology of the team and the individuals using the cases as a backdrop for that exploration. I also get frustrated when I hear people complain about multi-part story arcs. What exactly is a television series anyway but a multi-part story arc?
    What is really missing is the emotion — the “pah.” And that is the saddest thing. I feel like I am watching a show slowly lurch to an inglorious end when it could have been the biggest series finale since MASH.

    • Hi Terry,
      Thank you so much for your comment! I absolutely agree. NCIS is (should be) about 65% about the team, about the characters’ personal storylines, and 35% about the cases.
      I think through the years we got to know the caharcters better and better and the show revolved around their personal stories increasingly more. And it thrived on that. There may be a group out there who feel it should focus more on the cases but I’m pretty sure that’s a minority. I think the ratings speak for itself.
      Like you mentioned, last year’s Shabbat Shalom and Shiva were the highest rated episodes NCIS ever saw. (Season 10, as a whole, was the highest rated season.) That’s not a coincidence. This show was headed in the right direction. And Ziva was a big part of that, whether people like it or not. Those two episodes specifically revolved around her a lot. Season 10, more than any other season, I believe, revolved around the characters’ personal storylines. Psychology, indeed. Especially on Tony’s part. It was so interesting to see him grow. And again, Ziva was an important part of that. And all of this has kind of stagnated. And I don’t think they can really get back on that path that they were on.
      It’s very upsetting. It’s easy to say it’s just a tv show, but when a show runs for so long, as a viewer, you care, you are invested. And it’s upsetting to see things go downhill.

  3. You raise some really great points here Diane. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say it feels as though the show is going through the motions. That’s exactly how it comes across to me too. I have held on with hope this season that this feeling of being stalled was in fact intentional, that it was building to a moment of resolve and, to some extent, release. A release of this seemingly pent up tension or whatever it is that makes the show feel a little off. Yet I fear that is not the case. The basis for the season, the Parsa case, while interesting, was not set up in such a way that continuity or suspenseful development was really possible without Ziva. The entire premise was that he wanted the team dead, Ziva being almost at the top of that list, yet after she left it seems that suddenly the urgent need to target each member of the team suddenly evaporated. And as a viewer, this is where the pull of the storyline was gone for me.

    Obviously there are many factors, including the personal feelings of the writers, actors and producers, that influence the show going forward, but I do feel a little disillusioned by the way the show has dealt with (or, to a large extent, not dealt with) Ziva’s exit. It’s as though the fear of stagnating the storylines and character development by bringing her up has in fact done exactly that – stagnated the show to a large extent. For a show that has in the past provided some great moments of follow through and continuity, it’s strange that there appears to be great effort not to continue with anything that could possibly result in the mention of Ziva. And I cannot help but feel that whatever did or did not happen that resulted in this character exiting, those involved in creating NCIS really did owe it to the viewers, who are the reason this show is number 1, to follow through with a little more consideration.

    • Hi Cath,
      It’s funny how you mention that they really seem to try to avoid the “Ziva-subject”. To be fair, they did sort of mention her shortly after she left, and, through Bishop, in the latest episode. However, these were only vague references, without actually pronouncing her name.
      You know, the same thing happened with Kate. For years, she was never mentioned. And it just doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s not realistic. If somebody dies or leaves, it’s only natural that the people left behind still mention that person every now and then. It’s not like in some magical way, the person is completely erased from everyone’s memory.
      I honestly did expect the show to handle this better then they did with Kate.

      I have to say though, I don’t know how much of a say CBS has in these things. I have never made it a secret that I strongly suspect them of playing a huge part in Cote’s (and therefore Ziva’s) departure. And Sasha’s/Kate’s too, for that matter. And I do also believe that the silence was also due to CBS. I mean, how vague was everything in those first few months after hearing about it? CBS wasn’t exactly keeping their story straight. They basically said Cote didn’t want to do the show anymore and had been thinking of leaving. That, in itself, was strange and hard to believe since this whole thing happened like a week before they started filming the new season. Yeah… really seemed like this thing was planned… And then they had their lie thrown back in their face when the Latina Magazine article came out with an interview with Cote that took place before her departure and in which she was talking about her excitement for season 11.

      Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if CBS is keeping them from mentioning Ziva, and that they are, consequently, the cause of this screwed up storyline. They probably want people to forget about her and hope that the viewers are stupid, that they won’t notice that this storyline was not resolved at all. I just have trouble believing they writers are the ones who ruined this. They are usually quite brilliant and brave.

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