NCIS Season Premiere Review: Let's Go Fishin'

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Gibbs is his father's son. Executive producer Shane Brennan drilled that point into our heads all summer, but true fans already knew it beforehand. Jackson Gibbs said it best Tuesday on NCIS' season premiere, "Spider and the Fly," when told that he's just like Jethro:

"No, ma'am, he's just like me."

Despite the precarious situation we left him in last May, you knew the elder Gibbs wasn't going out like some punk. About thirty seconds into season eight, he proved us right.

Gibbs and Mike Franks

You knew Mike Franks would turn up at some point, too.

After Jackson thwarted Paloma's attempt to kill him in the store, we fast forward several months to find him still living with his son under around-the-clock security detail.

Jethro suspected Reynosa would return to finish the job, and he was right. Having gone rogue for months, Mike Franks had the same gut feeling and showed up to help.

Watching Gibbs, his father and his mentor all plotting together was a real treat. Their line reading is always pitch perfect and we learn much about our hero through them.

Together, they devised a plan to draw out and trap their adversaries, and with a little help from Vance and Alejandro's lust for revenge, this fishing expedition was a success.

Paloma's hot-headed brother must have been delusional to think he could pull one over on Vance, and sure enough, the team used his own bug to funnel misinformation.

The bogus note Tony handed Vance, then left for Alejandro to find was the final clue. Well executed by NCIS, but a bit far-fetched that he'd fall for it hook, line and sinker.

"Spider and the Fly" refers to Paloma walking right into Gibbs' trap, in this case a safe house. Again, how would they know Alejandro would shoot the place up from outside?

In any case, we liked that Gibbs & Co. never had to shoot anybody. Gibbs already killed Pedro Hernandez. Merely outfoxing his offspring was a fitting resolution decades later.

NCIS Director Leon Vance

Vance often clashes with Gibbs, but he has his back.

In addition to Mark Harmon, Rocky Carroll was terrific in this episode, particularly when Vance got in Alejandro's face, then carried out the team's incredibly risky ruse to snare him.

Vance remains a complex, intriguing character. If there were any questions about where his loyalties lie, however, they were largely answered in the closing sequence Tuesday night.

His burying of Abby's report on the Hernandez case in the warehouse was reminiscent of the classic ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and hopefully keeps Gibbs' secret safe for good.

With nuanced acting, sharp writing and some high-powered action, this was a solid episode of NCIS, wrapping up last season's long-running story arc appropriately and dramatically.

Next week, we'll hopefully return to more traditional episodes with heavier doses of Tony, Ziva, McGee, Abby and Ducky, all of whom were great, but in ancillary roles last night.

Random thoughts and observations:

  • How intrigued was Tony by Ziva's lack of tan lines, and how jealous was he about her new "friend"? This guy does not know subtlety; watching him squirm is always fun.
  • What will the return of Eli David entail? Who/what did he find?
  • Remind us, if we're ever trying to establish a drug pipeline across North America, to wear bug spray and only eat at Chili's, TGI Fridays, etc. Then we could be anywhere!
  • When did Abby get that car?
  • Poor Tim, always out in the cold.

What did you think of last night's NCIS season premiere? Were you happy with the resolution? What did you like and/or dislike the most? Comment below!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (123 Votes)

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


OMG, Sean who plays McGee looks sick. This is not normal. And p lease I am European, dont tell me it the European diet. They eat healthy but they're not anorexic. Thats what he looks like. I hope he is not seriously ill. I guess men can be anorexic too. It certainly is not attractive.


Please tell Tim to stop dieting - he is WAY too thin and looks sickly.


i would to know what the text message to Leon was about. at the end of the show


No, Tim is NOT sick. He's quite the opposite of sick, actually. His weight loss is due to his healthier eating habits. He's said so in interviews. He went to Italy, saw how healthy everyone eats over there, and decided to convert to healthier eating habits when he got back to America. I congratulate him on his decision to leave behind all of the junk food this country has to offer. I don't think I could really be that strong. Ha.


Awesome awesome episode,but i'm not sure about ziva's new friend thing see I'm a huge Tiva fan and also the first time i saw aby drive that car was in season 5 episode 13:Dog Tags also I don't think Sean aka mcgee is getting sick he looks the same to me just thinner anywho on my last note they really just need to kill Eli off i'm so tired of him and all the drama he brings to ziva/the whole teams life.Again great epi can't wait for next week :D


It was a great episode with a lot of questions. I'm wondering who is Ziva's friend..


Sean is looking very sick, he is getting too thin.


I wonder too if the actor who plays McGee is seriously ill. He looks like he's aged so much.


um...can someone please tell mcgee to stop losing weight. he looks sick....and I'm 1 of his biggest fans.


Thought it was a great episode! btw, Abby's had that car for ages! Remember the case when she went out to the base to try to clear Jethro the dog's name? She drove that car...

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NCIS Season 8 Episode 1 Quotes

Mike: Do what you have to do for family.
Gibbs: What rule is that?
Mike: The unspoken one.

Gibbs: Dad, I can stop this. I need your help.
Gibbs Sr.: Whatever it takes.
Gibbs: Okay, let's go fishing.