NCIS Review: The Agent and the Admiral

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Number-one on the list of Things We've Learned About Becoming NCIS Agents? Have a bad relationship with your dad. 

Ziva? Father murders man who might recognize him while on U.S. soil. Check.

Gibbs? It's a little better now. But both men are still a bit crusty with each other. Giving it a check.

Tony? I suppose if bedding Tony's neighbor on Tony's bed is any indication, then... check.

And now we've learned that Tim has a "son of a bitch" father who thinks his son is an "overpaid paper pusher". Big time check.

Gibbs With Tiva

At least this paternal dynamic gave the NCIS team an opportunity to show its family colors as Gibbs, Abby and even Tony (in an awkward way) found ways to encourage Tim to face his dad. Tony struck a real note when he said that fathers start out as heroes but then later on disappoint. Maybe, in a way, Tim's dad was weirdly correct when he and Tim had this exchange:

McGee: Your family was the Navy.
Admiral McGee: Still is, boy. | permalink

"Squall" introduced us to Tim's father as the Admiral of a ship on which a doctor was killed. It took the full episode to discover that Admiral McGee was suffering from stage four cancer (we're not told what kind), and that his advancement to a cabinet level post at the White House would be in jeopardy should anyone find out about his illness. 

So he was keeping the diagnosis a secret from everyone except his aide - a man with ambitious hopes, who was worried that the doctor who was treating the Admiral might spill the beans, thus impeding his own parallel advancement to the White House. Therefore, of course the only logical response was to kill the doctor. I suppose a late night conversation over some wine and cigars never occurred to him.

There were two rare dynamics in the show tonight, both involving Gibbs. One, his laughter at McGee's choice of movie outings with his "little brother" Adam. Gibbs' laughter is such an unusual event: when it happens, it's worth noting. If we had a drinking game around that, we'd all be teetotalers.  

The second was Gibbs' paternal instincts and defense of McGee. I have to say: it was enjoyable watching him defend Tim against his father, especially with an NCIS quote like this:

Admiral McGee: My relationship with my son is none of your damned business.
Gibbs: You make him think he's nothing. You're the one with nothing. | permalink

Almost makes you want to stand and applaud doesn't it? We know McGee is the salt of the earth - anyone who would try and negate a Big Brother like him the way his father did would not only be disrespectful, but as wrong as he could be. I don't care if the one doing the disrespecting was sick or not - wrong is wrong. Period. Full stop.

Having said that, you have to admire the work done by Jamey Sheridan as McGee's father: his portrayal of a charismatic boor was outstanding. I think that when an actor can portray a character which affects the viewer the way his did, it speaks loudly of his ability. 

When are the writers of NCIS going to stop teasing us with the Tony/Ziva deal? First, we have Tony making remarks about the weather girl (to Ziva's annoyance), and then we see Tony getting a little irritated at Ziva's brief flirtation with Agent Stan Burley... until Burley mentions that he's engaged. In real life, guys would need to either make a move or move on; you don't keep this tension going (generally) for this long and expect the girl to remain interested. 

Or maybe you do. What do you think?

Final notes:

  • Where the heck did Petty Officer Wyath think he was going when he fled from Tony and Burley while the ship was on lockdown? He was going to run away to... where, exactly?
  • ADHD cocktail? I don't think that's a thing, actually. Any one of the meds will do it. You don't need five of them to achieve the purpose for which they were intended in the story.
  • It looks as though the next episode (titled "Chasing Ghosts") will be airing on April 9.
  • Our NCIS roundtable is up!

Your turn. Do you have a higher opinion of Admiral McGee, now that that he and his son are talking?  What's your take on Tony and Ziva? 


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (249 Votes)

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



Gracia Kendall..... habia entendido, que ya no renoovo contrato Cote.


let this be a fiasco. He will handle it with dignity and respect in regards to all the characters.


Exactly how did Tiva make Tony look like a dumb ass in season 7? I really would love to hear your explanation. NCIS has been on for 10 years and a big reason for a lot of people tuning in is because of the Tony/Ziva relationship. Now realize I did not say ALL people or that it is the ONLY reason people watch it. So please don't accuse me of that. This show has extremely talented writers that will not run it into the ground or make it the "TIVA" hour every week. I have full confidence that a Tony/Ziva relationship will be handled with the utmost care so that the majority of fans are satisfied. Yes, I do realize that the Tiva/Ziva haters will never be happy. However, Tony and Ziva fans have waited patiently for 8 years for the two of them to have a relationship. Why shouldn't we be rewarded for that patience? I don't think that there are going to be 8 more years so why can't the Tiva fans have the few more years that are left of the show? Gary Glasberg will not let this be a fiasco. He will handle it with dignity and respect in regards to all of the characters.


There is only one show that I know of where there was obvious fan shipping of a couple and the writers were never going to give the fans what they wanted... that show is Law and Order:SVU with the Elliot-Olivia relationship.
Most procedurals have the shipping undercurrents; it's what makes people coming back week-to-week. Now, some shows handle it well and others don't but to discount what makes most cop shows work doesn't make sense to me.
If I say Morgan/Garcia, what comes to mind? Criminal Minds.
Lanie/Espo? Castle. (or it should)
Benson/Cassidy, Benson/Hayden or Fin/Amanda? Law and Order:SVU.
Tony/Ziva? NCIS.
It's not a bad thing that part of the reason NCIS is still so popular is because of the Tony/Ziva shipping. And it doesn't mean that the show will go "down hill" when they do. The reason most procedurals last more than a couple of years is because of shipping.
Here's a challenge for you: name one procedural that doesn't have shipping.


@Kim Hampton but the different between CM and NCIS is CM writer are smart enough to end the shipping before it take the show down hill, Look at CSI and X-files or Covert Affairs all show that have gone down hill soon hooking up the characters. Now I know a lot of show it hooking them up have made the show better Burn Notices Pyshc and Castle but when it come to NCIS it wont work the writer have proven that with how they treat Tony do we really want more of season 7 where Tiva made Tony look like a dumbass.


You know you might be on to something............ Drugs may be the reason you make stuff up all the time and have no idea what you are saying. May I suggest rehab. I know of a nice facility own by Wake Up to Reality INC.


You write, "Why that is true I just don't want to see a other cop show go down hill because of shipping..."
I guess that depends on what you mean by "go down hill." If you mean ratings, then Castle has done the opposite. You might have a slight point about Bones, although Bones has always been more of a critical hit than a ratings hit. And if you think CM doesn't have shipping, then we're not watching the same show; there's Morgan/Garcia, Reid/JJ (unrequited), Rossi/Strauss. They even flirted with Morgan/Prentiss or Hotch/Prentiss for a while.
It's ok if you don't like Tiva; nobody's making you. But to say that the show will "go down hill" before it happens doesn't make sense to me.


hey gabriela cote todavia no renueva su contrato pero todavia hay tiempo o al menos eso me gusta pensar.


@Kim Hampton Why that is true I just don't want to see a other cop show go down hill because of shipping it has happen so many times I stop watching cops show for the longest time heck if it was not for NCIS and CM I would of never gotten back.


As a fan of both NCIS and Castle, I think it should be pointed out that, at least ratings wise, Castle is having a bumper year. "Target" and "Hunt" (episodes 15 and 16 of the season) have been universally praised as well as "Hunt" being in the top 3 ratings-wise for the show. And aside from the ratings, there hasn't been much discussion of Caskett messing up the mojo of the series.
If last night's episode is any indication, Caskett being together opens up wide new areas for the writers to explore.
So don't knock Tiva before they happen. I'm thinking the writers know what they're doing

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NCIS Season 10 Episode 19 Quotes

Admiral McGee: My relationship with my son is none of your damned business.
Gibbs: You make him think he's nothing. You're the one with nothing.

McGee: Boss do you think I made the right decision with my father?
Gibbs: To be the bigger man? Maybe it's time he learned from you, McGee.