NCIS Review: I Hate Computers ...

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NCIS delved into the world of video games, torture devices, dismembered digits and high-stakes hacking last night in what was certainly an interesting episode.

While it was difficult to invest in the action taking place largely virtually on computer screens and some plot details bordered on hokey, it was an entertaining ride.

The title, "Kill Screen," took on a dual meaning after the climactic scene. As much as you knew that was coming, it was fun to watch Gibbs unload on that thing.

Dismembered Victim

It had to bring our fearless leader such satisfaction to put a dozen rounds into the mainframe, punctuated by the coup de grace after it threatened to crackle back to life.

How did we get to the point where Gibbs navigated through a maze reminiscent of a 21st Century Legend of Zelda labyrinth to take down a computer? Let's review:

Marine Corporal Troy Amstrong is found dead with his fingers and teeth gruesomely removed. He was also tortured to death, all stemming from a credit card purchase.

One, it turned out, he didn't even make.

Maxine Edwards, played by Leverage star Beth Riesgraf, was recouping money he owed her by using the credit cards and playing video games, at which she's amazing.

Naturally, she was immediately pegged as a love interest for Tim, despite his efforts to take time off from dating after last week's debacle. Fortunately, that didn't stick.

After an attempt on her life, we learn Maxine reached the kill screen - where a game simply shuts down because it can't handle your awesomeness - of a popular game.

That screen revealed a set of codes that someone was clearly after. But who put them there and for what purpose? This is where it got a little confusing and out there.

The programmer was identified but also found dead, leaving Martin, DOD advisor and private security guru, the prime suspect, something that should've been obvious.

After all, he had been hovering in the office throughout the episode, under the guise of investigating NCIS security issues, and talking in a really creepy, raspy voice.

Either one of those should have been tip-offs, and you'd think Gibbs would have been wise to that sooner. In any case, he did figure it out, but it went beyond Martin.

The reason he whacked two people was that the Pentagon nearly was cyber-bombed and extremely vulnerable, which would've resulted in millions of lost contracts.

But the programmer set it up so that if he didn't check in one day, the virtual attack on the Defense Department would commence, sparking a race against the clock.

As NCIS episodes go, this will never be considered among the best, and as climactic scenes go, Gibbs was running through a maze a la James Bond was a bit silly.

Just the same, it was suspenseful and fun enough. Not every episode can hit the nail on the head, and this was certainly a departure from the norm if nothing else.

It became clear after a minute or so that the McGeeminator could only go so much and only Gibbs' last resort would suffice. The man hates computers, after all.

Best of all, Tony set McGee up with Maxine for a laser tag date. Here's hoping she recturns and this actually goes somewhere besides Tim getting his identity stolen.

Other thoughts and observations:

  • Vance's absence felt strange when the Pentagon was being hacked and the stakes were this high. That revelation came about quickly, but nevertheless.
  • Think Maxine could take Barney from How I Met Your Mother at laser tag?
  • Ducky's encyclopedic knowledge of zombie lore? Amusing and unexpected.
  • Palmer spotting a knockoff Chanel purse instantly? Yeah. Don't even ask.
  • McGee thought Gibbs might relate to Pong. Even that was a stretch.

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


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (71 Votes)

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


I Thought That This Episode Was Totally Awesome Seening McGee Telling Gibbs Where To Go & How To Destory The Device & In The End With Gibbs Shooting Up The Place Was Fun Seen Him Do So Just At The End Gibbs Wanted To Blow Him Montor Up By Shooting It !


If you look the laser tag in NCIS is the same from How I Met Your Mother, and I was really hoping Barney would make a cameo!


I just hope and hope someday Tony gets what is coming to him, such as>> destruction of gov, property, theft of same, action unbecoming of federal officer, sexual haras. not following orders and list goes on and on


I like Tony and Ziva. Though I like less and less Tony. But he was okay in the epi. I really enjoyed the episode, funny and entertaining. Gibbs and McGee were totally funny. And I loved this wonderful feeling of a team.


Am I the only one in the world who dislikes Tony but loves Ziva? It would be nice to see McGee have a friendship -- long or short, platonic or not -- with a girl who didn't steal his credit cards. And didn't Abby seem a bit perturbed about the possibility of his having an outside interest? Or is she just keeping control of her team?


This was a silly episode, but fun to watch. Of course, hitting the monitor doesn't do anything to fix a computer and from the first scene you know Gibbs is going to wreak mayhem on a BIG computer before the episode is done and he did. Huge plot holes and silliness, but I hope McGee gets the girl and Tony is nice to McGee for more than one episode. Ducky and Abby make the show with their small asides this episode.


Its was pretty good not the best but hey can`t always be the best. I did like how Gibbs shot the computer was good and how Tony made the date for McGee was good. and yes Tiva had a moment when Ziva was b***** trapped three hours and Tony said you Know you loved it she so does. I can`t wait until next week`s episode will be great with Michael Weatherly as director can`t wait to see it.


Every episode cannot be outstanding. I thought it was okay.It did have funny parts with Gibbs and the computer. The end was funny. Abby was trying to collect money for McGee. The case was ok another arms dealer that the team had to deal with. I think next week's episode is the episode that Michael Weatherly directed.


I thought it was a great episode! I hope this girl is a "good" girl & sticks around for awhile. As much as I support McAbby, since they aren't together McGee needs a real love interest & real love. The last few episodes haven't been giving us but a smidgen of Tiva... barely there... if you don't like Tiva you probably didn't even notice it & tonight was not much different. We got the occasional closeness & looks we've come to love but it wasn't until the end after they were locked in for hours together & he smiles & says she loved it. It's true. She did. & so did he.


not one of the best episodes it had some moments like when gibbs shot the computor,and a nice ending,think next weeks will be better.

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