Last night's NCIS ostensibly revolved around an assassination attempt and a pair of Saudi princes, but it was really about fathers and sons. Specifically, ones named DiNozzo.
The show's 150th episode certainly did not disappoint. Check out our episode recap for the basic plot details if you missed it, then read our review of "Flesh and Blood" below ...
A Saudi Royal family member in a flight training program organized via the U.S. Navy was the target of an assassination attempt after his SUV exploded, killing his driver.
But an assassination attempt it was not. NCIS learns the bomb was triggered by mistake from the vibrations of a jet - and that the driver himself planted it the night before.
It turns out the prince's older brother, Abdalla, who also lives in D.C. and works as a Deputy Minister, was ashamed of Sayif's wild lifestyle and orchestrated the entire thing.
Anthony DiNozzo with the original Anthony DiNozzo.
Just when NCIS goes to make an arrest, however, Abdalla returns to Saudi Arabia with diplomatic immunity after his father, Prince Omar, arrives in a royal jet to ensure it.
It is through Prince Omar that the investigation ties in to the surprise arrival of Anthony DiNozzo, Sr. (special guest star Robert Wagner), who comes to pay Tony a visit.Tony Sr. is not exactly a fixture in the life of Tony Jr., so Gibbs is naturally suspicious about why he's there at all - and trying to communicate with the Saudi royal family.
The thing that really riled up Gibbs, though, was not the investigation, but Tony Sr. blowing it as a father. Gibbs looks at Tony Jr. like his own son more than he lets on.
Even while trying to discern what this guy is up to, Gibbs makes a heartfelt plea with the elder DiNozzo to get to know Tony, something Leroy wishes he could with Kelly.
After originally wanting to bust him, Tony bailed out his dad.
We eventually learn that Tony Sr. is shady, but not quite how we imagined. Dude is broke. McGee hacked his computer and revealed that he has serious financial problems.
The former investor came to D.C. to reveal to his son that he's been living a lie, but got wind of Prince Omar being in town and shifted quickly back into dealmaking mode.
Tony planned to bust his dad's charade by watching him try and fail to pay his hotel bill, but ended up comping it for him and making it look like it was Prince Omar's doing.
It was a terrific resolution to an episode that revealed a lot about younger Anthony. Strained as their relationship is, he didn't need revenge. Just his father's appreciation.
Did the old man realize "Junior" (as he called him all night, like Sean Connery did Harrison Ford in the Last Crusade) bailed him out? Maybe, but it remained unspoken.
- The DiNozzo father-son dynamic is semi-autobiographical for Michael Weatherly, himself disowned by wealthy parents for dropping out of college to pursue acting.
- Tony always thrives on having the upper hand, making movie/TV references and generally being the class clown. His dad threw him completely out of his element.
- LOL moment of the night: Abby sneaking around the building, trying to witness Gibbs' interrogating of Tony Sr. so she can determine if Tony Jr. is just a "clone."
- Subtle touches such as Vance asking Ducky about his mother remind you what a strong, character-driven series this is, despite its military procedural pretense.
- For a series that gets better with age, is the 150th episode a halfway point?