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NCIS Review: The K9 and the Nannies

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You can never go wrong putting a dog into the star seat in any TV episode. And Dexter filled the role especially well in "Seek," a NCIS story about a K9 expert who was killed by a sniper after saving a child from a Taliban mine field in Afghanistan. 

As it turned out, the murdered Marine's widow was correct in her suspicion that he was not killed by the Taliban, which the NCIS team was able to figure out with the limited number of clues it obtained.

Gibbs and McGee on the Case

The dead Marine - Ted Lemere - had been using his canine to help some contractors clear some empty buildings of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), not realizing they were searching for loot left behind by Afghanis who had previously fled from the Taliban.

When he discovered what they were up to, they offered him a cut of their take - and when he refused, they killed him.

In the midst of Tony's hilarious commentary, Ziva's secrecy and Vance's search for a nanny, Dex stood out as the top dog for this show, gathering good will and love from everyone right from the start when he settled down beside his murdered handler. 

The chemistry between Dex and Ted's widow was apparent from the get-go, and despite her acceptance of the fact that Dex couldn't stay with her because of his continuing commitment to Marine services, I couldn't help objecting just a little bit: surely the companion deserved to stay with someone who obviously loved him, especially after he lost his handler. 

The writing for this episode (kudos to Scott Williams) was clever.  Even the name of the episode - "Seek" - served to bring the themes together in a collage of purpose:  Vance was seeking a nanny; Ziva was seeking Bodnar; the NCIS team was seeking Ted's killer; and Dex... well, Dex's purpose was to seek out mines and IEDs.

The writing set up a cool sequence as well, starting from Tony's quip about Vance's search for a nanny:

Tony: If Vance is waiting for Robin Williams in drag to come floating on some magic umbrella, singing "Do Re Mi", he's going to be waiting a long time.
McGee: Wow Tony, three movie nannies in one reference. That's impressive. | permalink

This was followed by the character of one of the prospective nannies who encapsulated at least two of those same movie nannies: Mary Poppins (complete with umbrella) and Maria from The Sound of Music:

Maria [prospective nanny]: It was so very nice meeting you, Director. And I do hope you'll do me the honor of being governess to your lovely children. We'll play games and sing songs and...
Vance: Well that sounds great Maria but I do have a few other applicants to meet...I promise I'll let you know soon. Thank you. | permalink

Tony was in full joker mode in this episode, too, as he showed when he and McGee went to meet Mr. Pitt:

Pitt: My sister's kid. Useless.
Tony: Useless. Well with a name like that, what do you expect? | permalink

It's rare to find him and McGee sharing the same head space, as they did when commenting on an obvious point:

Pitt: Me, I'm not the coddling type.
McGee and Tony: We've noticed | permalink

Additionally, they shared a fear of dogs this time around. In fact they had more in common than not in this episode, even agreeing that Pitt should be charged for "assault with a deadly Dobie."

As it turns out, we may have an explanation for Ziva's mistake from the last episode, where she didn't realize her notes were being read by a detective: she's been working late at night continuing her search for Bodnar.  I had forgotten about him, and so when Abby questioned Ziva's recent unavailability, I thought maybe Ziva had a romance going or something. It wasn't until Vance interrupted her investigation that it was apparent that Bodnar was still on her radar. Vance seemed to know this, too, but chose at this point not to address it. 

(See the rest of our NCIS quotes for more details and clues)

There was a lot of concern from last week as to whether Vance was back to form after losing his wife, so Ziva was able to help him figure out. I thought her advice to him was dead-on and practical. Seems like the moment he figured out that he was sabotaging his search for a nanny, he was able to see a little more clearly, such that when the right person came along, he was able to recognize her as a good fit for his children.  Mind you, that other Mary Poppins character was too weird for words, regardless of Vance's motivation. 

The end of the day belonged to Dex. That magnificent animal so loved by his original handler Ted, Ruby and Gibbs. I knew that when he was shot he would live (prime law for animals in any episode: don't let them get killed off), and was pretty sure he'd be retired from active duty. Still, it was a relief to see him being left with Ruby at the end. More than a relief, really: it was a little overwhelming. That, or I got some dust in my eye. I'm not sure.

Final notes:

  • This episode was directed by Michael Weatherly. The continuity with the other episodes was dead on and the acting and interchanges were lively and entertaining - I think he did a great job with it.
  • We know the Bodnar plot will now go on  It seems likely that Vance will confront Ziva about it at some point.
  • Tony took note when Abby brought McGee - and only McGee - a coffee. Hmm.
  • It's only been a few weeks/months and Vance is still in mourning and still misses his wife but... the new nanny is interesting, isn't she?
  • Check out this week's NCIS Round Table

What are your thoughts? Did you like Dex (bearing in mind, the only acceptable answer is "yes")? Where do you imagine Ziva's search for Bodnar will go? Here is next week's promo:

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (220 Votes)

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

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I personally, do not believe in this so called TIVA thing, and if TPTB do deceided to put them together then I pretty sure NCIS sad to would be over.

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And everyone is entitled to their own opinions, just don't be a jerk to other people's opinions.

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@Everybody (And I'm guilty of this sometimes too)
In the immortal words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"
I mean seriously. I can't read comments without people say Ziva sucks or Ziva rules or Tony's being written badly or Tony is just fine and so on and so forth. What do they have to do with this episode? Everyone and I mean everyone needs to realize that the writers aren't going to change the way they are writing and that this is a consistantly excellent show that balances mystery, comedy and drama. And that it has more viewers now than it ever did. Season 10 is the best season ever as proven using actual data and as long as that remains true, the show will continue to go in the direction. You can like or dislike a character just fine, but you have to realize that all the characters are equally likable and dislikable. Every character is equally imperfect, but hey that's what it means to be human.

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So, if we want to make these characters accountable for their actions then we should start at the top. Gibbs, Vance and Abby all should have been fired at the end of season 7 for suppressing evidence and hiding the report that clearly showed that Gibbs had assassinated the man who killed his wife and daughter. I don't believe any action was taken against any of them for that offence. There was also the episode where Gibbs switched the evidence that would have proven that a soldier had a kidney transplant. Have any of the characters really been held accountable for their actions? Not really. It is called dramatic license. The writers exaggerate everything and they get the response they want. What is that? That response is the fans passionately defending their favorite characters, arguing their points with one another on fan pages and continually coming back for more because we want to know what is going to happen next. I for one am enjoying the ride very much.

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I don't think anyone wants to censor anyone. I think we just want to talk about the show, not just one character faults or otherwise, of said show. Hardly 'bullying' really.

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First of all reading all this Ziva bashing is giving me a headache. As fans of NCIS I hope you realize that it's not the actors or acresses who write the episode it's the script writer, the actor or actress is just projecting what is writing on paper on to screen, so if you do not like the fact the Ziva has broken "rules" "orders" tell the writers do not attack the actor or actress.
I loved "Seek" I loved "Dex" and I throughly enjoyed the Tony and Tim scenes. I was glad that Gibbs took Tim overseas.
Really, looking forward to next week.

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It's hard to know where to start. First you proclaim yourselves the "real fans", because you love every character. Bully for you! You attempt to mask your obvious intolerance for different points of view by attacking REAL PEOPLE in a most self righteous manner and insultingly implore us to stop posting our views because you find them so repetitive and boring. Yet you write post after post congratulating yourselves on your true fan status and suggesting that us non Ziva lovers stop watching because our dissatisfaction squicks your delicate fan sensibilities. You spend more time defending your desire to censor posters and insulting them, than talking about the show. Your need to censor who should post and what they should post about, indicate a strong sense of entitlement and intolerance for views other than your own. This is a discussion forum about the show. I see your tactics to limit other peoples views as nothing more than bullying .

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The Rpeblican party? I've never heard of that sort of party, are there drinks? ;) Do I get a 'The Tiva Shipper' badge when I arrive? (We'll ignore the fact I've explained that I'm not quite a few times shall we?) Oh and Matt/Michael, every post you make makes it more obvious you're the same person by the way. Most reasonable people don't hate anyone on T.V shows, due to the whole 'its not real' thing. Maybe you should just find another show if this one causes you so much upset? Then you will be happy, and the rest of us can go on enjoying the show we really like just the way it is. Everyone's a winner!

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@Matt
Obviously you did not read the definition of what trolling is. And I have explained why I accused them of trolling. They fit the definition. I do not bash other characters and see that you overlooked my explanation where I said that. Perhaps my words were too big for you to understand. I didn't say they didn't have a right to their opinion nor did I tell them they were wrong. I stated that they need to stop filling these pages with the same diatribe over and over and to try and state a new idea. I didn't ask them to change their old ideas but perhaps express others so we don't have to continue to read the same things over and over again.

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@guest
I was talking about you and the Tiva shipper, you guys are a lot like the Rpeblican party if someone does not share your views and your opinnion their idiots or troll or their not a real fan if they hate Ziva but its okay to hate EJ or any other character just not Ziva.

NCIS Season 10 Episode 18 Quotes

Vance: I worry that the act of hiring a nanny means that I'm moving on. And if I'm moving on, I worry that Jackie's death will....it'll feel like...
Ziva: It's a bit more final?
Vance: [nods]
Ziva: Well then I suggest you take your time, Director. Hire a nanny or do not hire one. But do not let anyone tell you when you're ready or should be ready to move on. That is entirely up to you.
Vance: You may be on to something.
Ziva: I have some experience.
Vance: Yeah? Where were you a week and a half ago?

Tony: You know, I've been thinking about getting a dog.
Gibbs: He's not a dog. He's a Marine.

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