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NCIS Review: Teddy and Rabbit

by at . Comments

Just when you think the writers of NCIS couldn't get any better than their last two episodes, they bring us "Hit and Run, and knock every aspect of the hour out of the park. 

This episode was poignant and touching, as it revealed some of Abby's sad back story in a memory from what she considered her first "case."

Abby and Tim Image

This episode centered around a dead Lance Corporal and his girlfriend, both of whom were victims of a scam artist that wanted their money for his Ponzi scheme. 

His attempt to pass off the murders as a car accident fell apart once Ducky observed some inconsistencies with some blood spatter and airbag deployment. Abby noticed the cracked windshield and the air freshener that hung from the rear view mirror - and this mirrored a similar cracked windshield and air freshener she had seen as a child, thereby bringing back a host of recollections that effectively threw her off of her game.

Ziva's grief over her father seemed to be gone. I'm glad the writers had Tony and McGee talk about that, rather than just having her continue on as if nothing had happened - that would have seemed too forced.  Some time has passed, and Ziva's had her time in Israel, which kind of makes you wonder what else she did while she was there.  Perhaps there's a story in the making.

Tony, of course, was back to his old comic self. It might have been good to have seen the scene where he made a comment about the deputy director's hair - rather than just talk with McGee about it.  From that conversation ,we can gather that the deputy director is still the unsure and fairly meek guy he portrayed in "Shiva." But is he really?

The star of this show was obviously Abby. What an amazing character: we got to see that she had always been a highly analytical and caring person, looking out for those who were hurting. You had to admire the portrayal of her brilliance in fashioning a crude sort of magnifier with the plastic bottle and water. 

In many ways her perceived failure to help Ricki with her father and grandfather seemed to have help form her determination to find and do good for others, no matter what. It seemed that the obstinate acrimony between the parents of the dead couple in this episode mirrored the intractable anger between Ricki's father and grandfather. The twin dynamics of those relationships were too much, serving to confirm for her the uselessness of her efforts as seen by this dialogue:

Abby: Have the bad things been outweighing the good things all these years and I just ever noticed?
McGee: What do you mean?
Abby: All I ever wanted was to help people with the truth. And I've done that, but then bad still won sometimes. And I just want to file it away, like it never happened so I can go back to being happy.
McGee: There's nothing wrong with that.
Abby: Yes there is McGee because sometimes the Cutwrights and the Dunns, they just keep fighting no matter what the truth is. And sometimes Ricki never gets to see her grandpa again. If the bad outweighs the good then that means that I'm not enough.
McGee: Abby listen to me...
Abby: And if I'm not enough, McGee, then why even try? | permalink

I was amazed at the subtle and careful scene between Gibbs and Abby at the end. Gibbs made exactly the right move when he saw her sitting on the floor, trying to compose apology notes: rather than stand and talk with her, he got right down beside her, becoming the caring father she needed at that moment. 

We had seen her handle that little cloth heart throughout the episode; hearing her talk about it being from the teddy bear she had tried to give back to Ricki was heart wrenching. And there was Gibbs. Silent, almost unemotional Gibbs... who happened to still carry around a fortune from a fortune cookie that Abby gave him on the first day they met.  A fortune she had given him because she wanted it to be about him, not her.

These last three episodes have set the bar high for the writers of NCIS: it's hard to imagine how they can top them. We haven't seen Palmer for a while; we still have the story of ex-Mossad deputy director Ilan Bodnar to deal with and director Vance isn't back yet, so there's still lots of material with which to work. 

Before opening this up for your views and comments, I'll leave you with this heartwarming exchange between Abby and Gibbs (there are more NCIS quotes for you to check out too):

Gibbs: You do something good now, you're not always around to see the difference it makes later.
Abby: I don't know Gibbs.
Gibbs: Abs, first day we met.
Abby: It was a Thursday, seventy degrees, mostly sunny. What about it?
Gibbs: What did you give me?
Abby: I had Chinese food, and I gave you the fortune from my cookie.
Gibbs: Because?
Abby: Because I wanted it to be about you.
Abby: The fortune. You kept it.
Gibbs: The things you do mean something to people. | permalink

What are your thoughts? We always knew that at heart Abby was an amazing woman - did you foresee an episode as touching as this?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (301 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe is a staff writer for TV Fanatic Follow him on Twitter

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@Michael Continued: To your last post: And don't even get me started on this. Let me point you to established facts. For three weeks in a row, NCIS has been seen by over 21 million people. It is now home to the most watched episode (Shiva) and the third most watched episode (This one actually). It currently has an average viewers ship of 21.48 million, which put it over two million over season 7 and 100,000 viwers short of being two million over season 9. This also makes it the most watched show in the United States out of all the others. Are you trying to say that over 21 million people are non-NCIS fans? So, tell me now. How is this as bad as season 7?

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@Michael This is to your third-to-last post: I don't know what the hell you are talking about. NCIS has and always will be like family. It has been called that by fans and reviewers alike. It has been like that since the beginning or at the very least since season 3. And what do you mean by the writers being treated bad? How would you even know that? It is clear to me that you are the non-NCIS fan and you are disgracing the real NCIS fans, including myself. To your last post: And don't even get me started on this. Let me point you to established facts. For three weeks in a row, NCIS has been seen by over 21 million people. It is now home to the most watched episode (Shiva) and the third most watched episode (This one actually). It currently has an average viewers ship of 21.48 million, which put it over two million over season 7 and 100,000 viwers short of being two million over season 9. This also makes it the most watched show in the United States out of all the others. Are you trying to say that over 21 million people are non-NCIS fans? So, tell me now. How is this as bad as season 7?

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I love the fact that Gibbs has a sort of father like relationship with both Abby and Ziva. He just has to sit and be quiet alot of times to help them. He seems to understand just what they need. I would like for them to explore Abby and McGee getting together again as they did when McGee first started on the show. I love all of the characters except the new Assit Director and I'm still not crazy about Vance. He had something in his file that he shred the day he replaced Director Shepherd and I have a feeling that will come to light eventually.

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Very touching episode. McGee talking with Abby saw him get a little emotional.
Every time when Abby is scared or upset she sits on the floor and if Gibbs see her he does the same thing. That father figure he gives her all the time when she is down. I even cried on both McGee & Gibbs conversation with Abby.
Has usual Tony is my favorite. Ziva is cute.
This episode was about adorable Abby.
I look forward to Tuesday to watch NCIS.
Don't like NCIS: Los angles.

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I knew while watching it that this would be an episode which you loved or hated. I loved it, my husband hated it. I'm into the characters and their history as well as the crimes and solutions - it's why I watch NCIS. All sorts of family dynamics here, in the families involved in the crime to the family Abby tried to help in her childhood, to her family at NCIS. We know a lot about why Gibbs is the way he is, we're expecting to learn more about how a similar experience will change Vance - why not learn why Abby is so passionate about what she does? Hope we get to see more about how McGee became who he is.

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I stopped watching this show a long time ago because of the Abby character. She is without one of the best actors on the show but they made her into a person no one wouuld hire, especially at such a tech job. She FINALLy got to do some acting in this episode. I hope they keep her this way and moore people will watch including me.

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You think NCIS would pick up their game with talk of a other season starting soon but it feel like they dont care anymore Season 10 might go bad as one of the worse season since season 7.

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Also, I'm sure the critics of NCIS being called to a car accident are correct that nationwide some murderer's have gotten away with it due to bad police work -- so one has to accept the drama and suspend belief in this case to approve, sure, which, I think, viewers do or don't based more on their overall impression of any episode where it's questioned. If lots of the ep threw one, this would. If one was drawn in, one would accept it. Since I loved the episode, I had no problem imagining the locals immediately saw the air bag failure and the odd blow on the side of the head, splatter pattern, and backed off and called in NCIS.

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cont. In a culturally classic movie from 1950, meaning it was likely seen by every "American" kid and made an impression, "Cheaper By the Dozen," the original film, when the father dies at the end, the mother says to sell the car since only the father could ever get it to run. Maybe they should have gotten it fixed instead, but it's touching the way they play it. This episode was all about Abby and I think it was meant to be as touching as that. The equipment won't run without Abby, might as well close the lab down because she's irreplaceable!

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It's been too long since I watched all the episodes in order to be able to point out which episodes involved the cranky mass spec -- but, in the past, Abby has gone over the top yelling at people to get away from it, to not touch it because it has to be coaxed to work. Why do they have a machine that is in sub par condition? I don't recall them stressing budgets, but a normal government bean counter would tell her to send her samples to a lab, I would guess -- but, since it is fiction, no matter the cost of a new machine, they likely keep this machine for the "humor." Doesn't anyone else remember references to this machine?