NCIS Review: "Freedom"

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This week on NCIS, the team investigated the case of a dead Marine whose wife became the prime suspect, but whose killer turned out to be someone else entirely.

Elsewhere, McGee hilariously had his identity stolen.

As far as the murder mystery, "Freedom" was fairly boilerplate stuff, lacking a bit of the urgency and some of the lightning-quick twists we've grown accustomed to.

By accustomed, we mean spoiled of course. As they say (or at least I do), an average episode of NCIS is still better than a good installment of almost anything else.

Identity Theft Victim

BLOWING UP: McGee's secondary storyline made this episode.

The dead Marine's wife was not only a Marine herself, but a better one than he. Georgia Wooten excelled, earning promotions and training in martial arts, while he was average.

Her unemotional reaction to his death, coupled with a shady non-alibi and apparent disguising of domestic abuse she suffered at Travis' hands, made her an easy mark for Gibbs.

You kept feeling there would be an unexpected turn, however, and there was. Yet it felt a little too obvious by the time it was revealed. Who else could it have been? Just one guy.

With the mistress ruled out and the wife a sympathetic figure, that left bar owner Len (Melrose Place's Thomas Calabro), who had feelings for Georgia and wanted to protect her.

The murder weapon was a pool cue, as determined by Abby's analysis of the size, dimension and unique varnish. It seemed like they would have figured that out sooner, but hey.

What was most intriguing about the case was not the evidence or the unfolding mystery but the fact that this powerful woman, a Marine martial arts trainer, was an abuse victim.

Sounds like someone we know. Ziva opened up to Georgia about similar abuse she suffered and made some inroads, although this could have been extrapolated upon further.

It seemed like a prime opportunity for Ziva's character to shine - relating to a suspect similarly strong, powerful, yet vulnerable - but the plot quickly moved in other directions.

Flashes of the old Ziva are better than nothing, I guess.

Grab Your Gear

THE MAN: Gibbs always gets his, even if it takes longer than expected.

Like Georgia killing Travis, Tony being responsible for McGee's identity theft seemed obvious and maybe too sinister. Not that he didn't delight in McMiserables' woes, of course.

Thanks to DiNozzo's fine detective work, the culprit was brought in on charges ... of spying on and punking Tim. That kid had to be about 10. McGee's landlord's son of all people.

The pre-teen had Tim's routine down, so he knew how and when to strike. The funniest part was his telling Tim to get a life. We all know he needs to, but coming from a 10-year-old ...

Maybe he should be glad he doesn't have much of a life outside work. Tony brags that he does, but he's the one who knew exactly how to deflate that blow-up doll. Just saying.

Other thoughts and observations from "Freedom" ...

  • I can see Palmer's friends calliing him worse than "Black Thumb."
  • Tony will never have a better opening to launch into McNicknames.
  • Gibbs catch of the week: Georgia's "get to" vs. "have to" remark.
  • Ziva-ism of the week: "pool dolphin" instead of pool shark.
  • The kid was right. Ziva is kind of a smokin' hot chick.

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


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (48 Votes)

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


You do know Tim storyline was a real event right?


I did like the episode wasn`t the best but it was good. I liked how it showed that a strong marine woman can look happy in a marriage on the outside world but behind closed doors you don`t know what happens. And McGee needs something to stop his identiy stolen 1st was in season 3 2nd a girl he knew and 3rd is this little brat who should pay back every dime back. happy to hear NCIS did good ratings and was picked up for season 9.

Sue ann

I agree with Fish. When the kid got away with stealing, which is what it was, and they all just laughed, and went out to have a good time, I was frowning. That is no way to raise a child, and it was not funny. It left a rather bad taste in my mouth over the episode. So, the kid has to pay Tim the $50.00? And who gets to pay the insurance company or the bank the other $9950.00? It was STOLEN! He is not going to be giving it back. I also thought that having McGee's identity stolen yet again was tiresome. A computer genius who's been burned before would take better precautions. I like seeing Tony in his suits; no problem there. I would probably never notice if the actress who plays Ziva gains weight, but it would be interesting if her character does. I thought it was an acceptable episode, as good as usual, but nothing special. The female Marine kept bothering me -- it took me about 18 hours to figure out why I did not like her, and it was because she did an excellent job playing a murderer on Dexter. I think I watch too much TV. The best-ever rating for the episode I would take as a criticism of the programming offered by the other networks, rather than as any great improvement in NCIS. They are already excellent, but this was not better than usual, in my opinion. Just better than everything else.


it was a nice episode but not one of the best.mgee looks like a summer breeze would blow him over,tony looking good as always wish he wouldnt wear suits all the time,now ziva looks different shes seems to have put a bit of weight on dont know if im wrong on this.


I did`t like the kid did but at 1st I was thinkin the person who stole McGee card and stuff someone older that what I ment was funny not the stealing part and the kid was awesome when he told mcGee to get a life thats all sorry i didn`t make my self clear. And Yes that guy always plays the bad guy


I disagree that Tim having his identity stolen (for the THIRD time in the course of the series) made the episode. It was stupid, recycled and the result of some punk kid charging $10,000 worth of crap was...what? To have Tony, Tim and the soon-to-be felon going off for a night out? Sorry, but not only is identity theft NOT's REALLY not funny when it's been done twice before. Having it be a bratty little kid does not somehow make it okay. I liked the other side of the episode much better, even if I knew that the wife didn't do it from the get-go. I didn't predict the abuse nor did I guess the culprit right off (apparently, I don't watch enough TV because I was told that actor always plays a killer).


Yes this was a bland show, but any NCIS is better than nothing! We had bad weather so I missed a portion of the Tim situation, but Tony knowing how to deflate it was the best line of the show.


That was funny when Tony told McGee Tim McGee meet McGee and he didn`t get for a sec then he he know the who kid was. that kid was awesome who did a bad thing but was funny tellin McGee to get a life. I know who killer was not at frist but after the talked to Len Feeney the 2nd time I know he was the killer. It looks like we know what Ziva will be talking ot thinkin about next week for the psych evaluation I was just thinkin when she was talking to Greogia how she knows how she feels I just have to see if they go any where with that. Glad to see Palmer this week how he was telling the story about his friends callin black thumb he start to act little like Ducky with the storys agian maybe it just me. well can`t wait for nest week show.


The Kid was awsome remind me of of little tony and little gibbs a few seasons back

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NCIS Season 8 Episode 13 Quotes

(Tony, McGee and Nick enter the elevator)
McGee: You know you still owe me that fifty bucks.
Nick: Talk to my mom, bro.

Tony: In fact, I was champion of my Baltimore precinct in the late '90s.
Ziva: (laughing) 'Late '90s?' That makes you sound...
Tony: What, old?! Don't say old!
Ziva: I didn't say it, you did.