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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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (249 Votes)

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



@chellemaria So where did you learn what the big three are? Was it in an episode?


Newsflash: Doug, good job on the article. I guess a lot of people liked it. McGee is indeed a better man than his father ever was. I agree with that previous post. Newsflash #2: There is NO couple on TV right now MORE "Compatible" than Tony & Ziva - even a blind nun driving backwards can see that. Anyone who says they aren't stands ALONE. Even CBS agrees - they have made MILLIONS off of this "Tony & Ziva" cat/mouse game. It has brought them historic ratings success, and has helped to give EVERY SINGLE ACTOR on that show fat paychecks and extended contracts. So...sorry, but the Masseses do NOT agree with you. Tiva is a money-making machine because they have THE best Chemistry on Television.


I see Gibbs' treatment of McGee as an attempt to make him a more focused agent. His character gets caught up in details that HE finds fascinating, but are besides the immediate need. I see a lot of myself in McGee .. but I'm a lot less likely to take abuse from someone, than he is. I kinda hope the Tony/Ziva dance keeps going. They are NOT compatible, folks. That wouldn't work well .. and it's great to see Jamey Sheridan back; he did great work on L&W. Marina Sirtis as replacement for Eli? Hmm .. that could work. And I'd like to see a story that brings Vance back to Chicago .. filmed on location, of course!


The big three are impromptu dancing in the rain, beach picnic, and the opera! I have never heard of them either, but I guess it doesn't mean it isn't a known fact among some people. :) I'm curious if others have heard of them.


???? If anyone knows, please tell me what "The Big Three" are. Opera is one. What are the others? Never heard this expression before. Have you?


(My first two posts came at 8:19 and 8:43. Then I realized that I wasn't logged in. So this is a continuation. Sorry for any confusion. And even now I'm getting error messages about login.) When Gibbs said at the end to "show him who you are" I found that to be really touching. That conversation which was about Adam and the Admiral at the same time was great. I liked it that Gibbs didn't say to "tell him what you do" but instead to "show him who you are." Gibbs sees Tim as more than what he does and he feels that the person Tim is worth seeing.


Guest..I stand corrected the reviewer did ask for feedback. I'm just gald that McGee held his own.


The only reason people have made Tiva comments on this page is because the reviewer of this episode asked for them. I think we have maintained a civil conversation, despite one person's efforts to make people angry. If the reviewer asks for Tiva comments, you can be sure that people are going to give them.


I loved the episode. Prior to seeing the episode I thought it was going to be boring however, I was happy to be wrong. McGee can hold his own. I like how the team is one big family. Mess with one you mess with all. As for all the TIVA remarks... maybe its just me but it is possilbe that people like to stir the pot just to keep the conversation going? I think these people are called Trolls? Just saying.


I've never seen Gibbs as being a father figure for McGee. McGee has always called him "boss" and is the only team member who has never showed up in his basement looking for help, advice, or comfort. Gibbs is his boss and McGee has looked for his approval in the way that you want your boss to be pleased with your work. Over the past few months, I feel that Gibbs and McGee have gone through a change in their interactions. It seems like they actually have conversations with each other. There's the unseen conversation which they had about Diane in the Devil's Trifecta. And Gibbs' laugh at the end of this episode was priceless. I loved it when Gibbs said that he kind of liked him - "the little guy." And that Adam was depending on him. Great casting and work by that young actor. He embodied the geeky and awkward kid who is kind of hard to be around, even if you are a grown-up. But McGee is mature enough to handle this kid as a loving father might. It was so touching when Gibbs told McGee to "show him who you are." And McGee avoided three traps. 1) Getting into a huge fight and yelling at his father about all kinds of stuff from the past. And 2) Becoming defensive and listing all of his achievements - like negotiating a hostage crisis in a maximum security prison. 3) Running away and avoiding the situation altogether. McGee was McGee. He is a kind, gentle, sweet person who is brilliant and hard-working. God knows the last thing that the team needs is another alpha personality, which is something that McGee's never been. But in this episode we see him as well-respected by Vance and Gibbs - his superiors see no need for him to change. Just show him ... not what do, but who you are. Show him who you are. I found that to be extremely beautiful.

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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.