NCIS Review: "Moonlighting"

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Tuesday's NCIS, "Moonlighting," featured a (possibly) familiar face from the office who's been working a side job as a polygraph specialist at a private security company.

Yup, McGee's girl. The one who made him re-take his test countless times just to keep seeing him. "Moonlighting" is also a fitting title as it applied to the case at stake.

The murder of a Navy petty officer turned out to be merely a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but soon led Gibbs to mob informant Stefano Delmar.

Gibbs and his FBI counterpart Fornell, who is always great, started following clues, many of which led to the aforementioned, slightly nutty polygrapher Susan Grady.

An explosion outside Cooper's Hawk Security, where she worked, as well as her own admission that she stole data from the company, were suspicious to say the least.

Gibbs and Fornell

CRIME-FIGHTING ODD COUPLE: You could say Gibbs and Fornell act like a married couple ... although as Gibbs pointed out, that couldn't be the case, as they're still on speaking terms.

The great twist was that as odd as Susan's behavior was, and as frightening as the explosion looked, neither related to the murder mystery in the way we were led to believe.

Introduced for just one scene earlier, the judge was not a suspect we saw coming at all, but through his reasoning and process of elimination, Gibbs tied her to the murders.

It turns out she couldn't live with the fact that mob witnesses were allowed to effectively walk for murder just by ratting out bigger mob figures, and arranged their demise.

Judges being put through polygraphs as part of the judicial confirmation process makes sense, although it was surprising that she consented, especially with Gibbs present.

With a little trickery to unnerve the redhead (of course), they got their killer.

Totally unexpected, yet it fell into place extremely well. As for Susan, she remains an oddball, an enigma that even Tony can't figure out. Not that Tony is an expert, but ...

Self-deprecating one minute, evasive the next, then totally forward and ultimately playing hard to get, she was a puzzler for both Tony and McGee, her supposed love interest.

Speaking of McGee love interests, Abby was far from pleased to let Susan crash in her lab while NCIS held her ... could there be something there? NCIS needs to explore this.

The best scene of the episode was Gibbs' own polygraph, which he refused to continue the test when asked if he had ever committed a felony. Rather than lie, he walked away.

In his mind, he flashed back to killing the man responsible for the tragic deaths of Shannon and Kelly - not Saleem in the Season 7 premiere as we erroneously posted earlier.

Thanks to the readers who pointed out this mistake. The flashback definitely made us wonder if there were other instances where our man simply did what he had to do.

If so, Leroy Jethro Gibbs would rather keep them to himself.

Random thoughts and observations:

  • Does McGee seem a little too cool to be obsessed with video games? Sure, he's got a nerdy side, but he's a cool dude. This seems more like Palmer's domain.
  • Speaking of Palmer, there was a heavy dose of Jimmy last night. Things seem to be going well with his girlfriend ... though that henna picture was frightening.
  • Top lines of the night go out to Ziva mixing up "Shamu" and "snafu," and Tim saying he'd rather "get a lap dance from a nun" than take Tony's dating advice.
  • Fornell's comment on Gibbs' extreme coffee intake was great. We thought no one noticed! Gibbs returning the favor with the beard jokes? Also priceless.

What did you think of last night's NCIS? Comment below!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (38 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Oh please...we all knew Gibbs was going to have the famous vigilante flashback of revenging his wife and daughter. We also knew something (or someone) would save his a** just at the precise moment and everyone would drop the third degree questioning. In this case it was his little darling, Abby to the rescue! Yet isn't it hypocritical how Gibbs uses the very thing that almost fried him to fry the REDHEAD judge, including all the bells and whistles?! His father once told him he was vengful and angry. He had only changed after he met Shannon. After her death he picked right back up again. Think about it. Ciao


Don't worry. Sorry if I was a little dry, too.
I found the episode Okay, not a great one, but pleasant to watch. However, I expect the tension to gain new highs for the finale. :)

Steve marsi

Thank you for pointing that out, and my apologies for the error, this was watched in a slightly sleep-deprived state. Of course, it makes sense as he would feel no such reservation about taking Saleem out on a military mission, but the moral gray area regarding the vigilante justice he doled out to Hernandez was much murkier.


However! I did find it highly hipocritical that he couldnt get through 4 questions on his polygraph (which is required! howd he get around that? even vance since he'd been dodging for years) but he made a big production out of using it to get a confession from the red head.


The scene Gibbs flashed back to when asked about having ever committed a felony was when he sought out and sniper shot the man who was responsible for the death of his first wife Shannon and their daughter Kelly. It was not on the show per se but it was explored in earlier seasons. I do not believe the real truth of what happened has ever been officially noted (for NCIS), therefore Jethro feels guilt knowing that one was in no way justified by his job as a marine or an agent.


And there was a big difference; Saleem was a sanctionned kill, and to protect his partners. Pedro Hernandez, it was a murder on foreign soil, by vengeance.


In his mind, it was not Saleem, but the drug dealer Hernandez, the one who killed his wife and daughter. Come on Tvfanatic...


He wasn't thinking about killing Saleem, he was thinking about killing the man who killed his wife and daughter.

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NCIS Season 7 Episode 20 Quotes

In high school, I was actually voted least likely to take a hint.


Ziva: We hit a shamu.
Susan: Did she mean a snafu?