NCIS Review: Just Get a Divorce ...

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The case of the week was both different and intriguing, especially in light of WikiLeaks, but this episode of NCIS was most notable for a series of character moments.

This isn't to suggest that "Tell-All" short-changed the crime-solving element of the show in favor of funny, lighter scenes. In fact, it blended these elements seamlessly.

Only NCIS can focus on terrorists, arms dealers, interdepartmental squabbling, leaked classified info, and a murder investigation and not even feel like a procedural.

By now, we know the agents so well, making scenes like this priceless:

Tony and Ziva in the Bathroom

From the onset, Tony was surprised that someone would invite Gibbs - Gibbs! - to a wedding. Naturally, he stole the invite out of the recycle bin and stole away to open it in private.

In the women's shower.

Ziva was fascinated at Tony's fascination with Gibbs' back story, as are we. She was also curious as to why she busted him there of all places. Then she made the E.J. connection.

We know Tony has a thing for bathrooms, but come on. Not the way to keep your relationship clandestine, DiNozzo. Ziva's onto him, and watching him try to explain himself in the shower provided one of the night's genuinely hilarious moments.

Another such moments came from Gibbs' old "friend" Tobias Fornell.

Fornell's latest appearance coincided with the murder mystery and the wedding invite. Their ex-wife Diane was getting remarried and invited both Tobias and Gibbs.

I laughed out when Tobias mused to Jethro that "without Diane, we wouldn't have the same ... relationship that we do now." Definitely a glass half-full kind of guy.

He cracked himself (and me) up at the end when he told Gibbs that her new husband was Homeland Security, too. Watching these two as friends is always a treat.

Joe Spano's visits as Fornell always bring a lighter element without sacrificing the integrity of the show. Diane's ex-husbands are both great at their jobs, after all.

Gibbs in the Shop

Gibbs and Fornell both showed little appreciation for the DIA, with the former even calling out a high-ranking admiral he felt was standing in the way of justice. He was right.

Vance may not like it, but that's the way Gibbs operates, and Fornell was a great wingman for Jethro on this night, with an FBI agent killed alongside a Naval Commander.

The only connection between the two victims was Operation Birdsong, or a book by that name. The DIA wanted it destroyed because it exposed its illegal arms dealings.

The trail was surprisingly complex. A publisher who wouldn't reveal her author. A morally bankrupt college girl who brokered the deals. A killer who got the wrong guy.

And you wonder why Tony always thinks the wife (or in this case the husband) did it. In this case it was almost disappointing, but the mistaken identity was a nice twist.

The husband of the slain FBI agent killed the Navy commander because he thought they were having an affair. She was indeed sleeping around, but with the book's author.

Not the best resolution to a case we've seen, but a thoroughly enjoyable episode. It looks like things get more serious again next week with E.J.'s return. Stay tuned.

Some final thoughts and observations ...

  • Ducky's totally right about the element of mystery being stripped away by 24/7 communication. Sage advice for a digital age. Leave a little to the imagination.
  • Gibbs' happiest memory of Diane is her shutting her finger in the car door. Suffice it to say, Diane and Tobias parted on more amicable terms.
  • DiNozzo referenced the movie The Ring and its Japanese original version Ringu.
  • Of course, McGee only smiled when asked about Maxine. How about an update, Tim?!
  • Abby steals every scene she's in, even when relegated to the background.

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


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (79 Votes)

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


I got really confused in the final minute of this episode, when Fornell brings up his daughter. . did she get married that same day!? Please clear this up by emailing me at GregLamb2009 at please!
I'd really appreciate it :)
Call the Subject NCIS, incase it goes in my spam.


I saw pictures from the last episode Gibbs is a pallbearer with some marines makes me wonder if the next victim of the port killer is Mike Franks wasn't he a marine? The victim is close to there team.


@Matthew Markovich what your deal man if you watch the DVD of season one you would know that they had these plan all along you want to see a show with Real continuity issue watch Law and Order SVU


@Nickie and Elaine: Fornell remembered his time with Diane much more pleasently than Gibbs... to the point of feeling like they could reconcile. His "I just gave away the bride" was his way of admitting they were over. The "bride" was Diane. Gibbs, very warmly, stated that Fornell still has his daughter as a way of keeping his memories of their relationship happy.


@Elaine My mom and I are also trying to figure this out. It seems like based upon the rest of the episode Diane is the one getting married but the ending lines confused us both. From what we remember there was an episode with Fornell's daughter but she was still a little girl and couldn't be old enough to get married. We would really love an answer to all the confusion brought on by the last one minute of the episode.


Matthew, you right in Yankee Whaite Gibbs and Fornell acted like they didnt know each other but I like them as friends. It was a good episode Im glad none Vance episode


what was the meaning of the comment Fornell made at the ending- I gave away the bride- Gibbs- you have a beautiful daughter.


@matt, it is called a RETCON, they wanted Fornell to be more then just a one time character so they changed his background. BTW his name was TOM in Yankee White so as you can see they completely remade the character. Oh and what you just ranted about has been known for the past 8 is nothing new. Hopefully next episode is just as good.


The show is always most enjoyable when Gibbs has a wing-man. Tony last week. Fornell this week. Or even wing-woman (CGIS Agent Boren). The writing just rocks.


Good episode but it brings up the most annoying thing about this series - continuity. Setting aside the original 2 part pilot on JAG (ICE QUEEN/MELTDOWN), in the series pilot "YANKEE WHITE" which brought Kate on board, Gibbs and Fornell didn't even know each other. A couple episodes later, Kate is still trying to learn the ropes and Gibbs and Fornell are old pals seemingly for years having both married and divorced Diane, the same woman. How they could screw up continuity this badly I don't know. How about it Mr. Bellisario, were you off your meds or what!

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