NCIS Recap: Once A Crook – 11×5


Very solid “NCIS” episode this week. That was my first thought. My second thought was how emotional it was.

The case was great. Everything made sense in the end. It was smooth. Nothing rushed, nothing forced. In my book, this was a very good episode.

It was wonderful how there seemed to be lots of random little things like grape-scented gum, a Baltimore PD case from 15 years ago, laptops that were messed with, and spyware, and throughout the episode it all starts coming together and turns out to be about the Russian mob in Baltimore. And, of course, it was nice how the bad guy, Anton, turned out to be a pretty good guy after all, wasn’t it? I love that kind of thing.

I was especially happy to see Delilah again, and to see her and Abby get along. I remember in week one, I mentioned how some people were worried about Abby/Delilah/McGee. It started with Abby a bit awkward again and not really willing to let in someone new. That’s the Abby we know, right? I think it’s part of the charm. But Delilah is a nice girl, and a little geeky as well, so Abby is fine with her now. I’m glad. I’m also glad that the Delilah/McGee romance is not being thrown in our faces. We’re being given time to get to know Delilah as her own person, to get used to her.

I want to talk about Tony for a bit. That’s the emotional part of this episode, and it was a big part. The poor guy is really suffering because of Ziva’s absence. We now know that Tony’s having trouble sleeping. Moreover, it seems like he has even stopped going home. He misses her and, being Tony, he worries that he made the wrong decision.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Tony over the last few years, it’s that he carries around with him the pain of others and that he blames himself for everything that has gone wrong for those close to him (and, occasionally, those not so close to him) even if there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. Now, too, he somehow feels guilty.

Another interesting aspect is the struggle we’re seeing between ‘old Tony’ and ‘new Tony’. The two are, of course, the same person, but there is a difference in how he acts. ‘Old Tony’ is the Tony we saw mostly in the earlier years of “NCIS,” but has always stayed around. He jokes around and tends to act weird and, sometimes, a bit unprofessional. He hides his emotions. He puts on a mask. ‘New Tony’ is the Tony who wrote on his bucket list “let friends get closer.” This Tony has always been there beneath the surface, but he’s becoming more apparent.

At the beginning of this episode, I felt that Tony was wearing his old mask, though it wasn’t on very securely. Before long, the mask had slipped and he did not really try to adjust it. When confronted directly, though, it depends on the other person whether Tony puts his mask back on or not. I felt like he did with McGee. Maybe not completely, but he’s still having trouble being vulnerable in front of McGee.

When alone with Gibbs, he’s very honest. I loved that he told Gibbs exactly what was bothering him. And I loved that Gibbs, in his own way, acknowledged Tony’s feelings. He listened, he silently communicated that he understands, and he gave Tony a little boost by telling him that he always trusts him (and so he shouldn’t worry that he made the wrong decision).

I think it’s a very good thing that we see more of ‘new Tony’ but the best thing is that, even though he’s more mature and more serious, he’s still also the Tony that we’ve always known and will occasionally put his mask back on as well. Very realistic, really great character writing. And I also applaud Michael Weatherly’s acting.

I very much appreciate that the writers of “NCIS” are so respectful to the Ziva character, to Cote de Pablo, and to the fans, by dealing with her departure in this way. They are showing us that she is missed, giving the fans the opportunity to miss her as well, but still going on with the show at the same time.

It’s a lot nicer than trying to make her disappear by photoshopping her out of old pictures (“NCIS” facebook page) and making fans feel like they should just forget and move on.

Your thoughts on this episode of “NCIS”? Leave comments below.  


5 responses to “NCIS Recap: Once A Crook – 11×5”

  1. tonyfan31970 Avatar

    Thanks for the great review, Diane!! Agreed with everything you said, which is something i never say about tv reviews:)

    1. Dianne Lodder Avatar
      Dianne Lodder

      Thank you so much 🙂 That means a lot.

  2. RT @ReelLifeJane NCIS Recap: Once A Crook – 11×5

  3. […] in this episode, was partly putting his mask back on and partly opening up, like I talked about in week five. When it turned out he had joined a men’s support group because of everything that had […]

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