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NCIS Review: DiNozzo Digging Deeper

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Rule #6: Never say you're sorry.

This week's NCIS was a good one, with the team back working together and trying to piece together the mystery of a U.S. Marine who arrived for homecoming, only to collapse dead in the foyer.

The investigation led us to the Marine's foster sister, who it turned out was awfully confused about who she is - something to which one of Gibbs' team members can increasingly relate, it appears.

Tony Digs Deep

"Restless" was a conventional NCIS episode in the way the plot unfurled, but certainly didn't pretend the events of the spring and summer, culminating in last week's premiere, didn't exist for Tony.

DiNozzo is still affected by the events of last week's episode - not just because Gibbs' head slaps hurt more when you're coming off a concussion. Tony's starting to reexamine his entire existence.

Throughout the case, which conjured up high school memories for all the NCIS agents, he grew increasingly fixated on a classmate he humiliated back in the day and felt he had to make amends.

Ever tell a lie, or at least alter some details of a story so many times you start to believe it? Well, when Tony went to apologize and "Stinky John" towered over him, you knew something was amiss.

Tony was really the one hanging from the flagpole in his underwear, not this guy (a humorous, yet disturbing visual). At some point, he flipped the story, and can't blame his recent bout with amnesia.

My favorite scene of the night was the last one, when Gibbs suggested he could keep this to himself, but the solemn DiNozzo knew he had to come clean. For his teammates, but also for DiNozzo.

What else do you think he's embellished over the years, and to mask what insecurities? A question for another time, but Tony himself probably doesn't like the answer and what it says about him.

I think we all love the class clown version of Tony, but his maturation in scenes like this is neat to see, with Michael Weatherly brilliantly portraying a character in flux, in search of who he is.

Nice Dress Abbs

As for the week's murder investigation, it took the obligatory turns before leading to a satisfying conclusion. The fact that it centered around foster children and parents offered an unusual angle.

PFC Hill was the man, by any measure. His adopted military family said so. His military superiors said so. So the fact that he was hacking into the Virginia Social Services database seemed off.

That and someone injecting him with a sedative prior to killing him, of course.

The team ultimately found that Hill's foster sister Lindsay, 17, is actually 27 and has a history of being taken in by foster parents, fleeing just before 18th birthday, then relocating and starting over.

While most of us would likely not want to keep reliving high school until we're 27, Lindsay's mental scars cause her to habitually continue this pattern of deception so she can never leave childhood.

Tragically, it was Lindsay's theft of money from her uncle's robbery "business" that indirectly got PFC Hill killed. But in spite of that and the lie she'd been living, the family didn't turn its back on her.

It's great to see there are people like that in this world, taking in troubled kids and standing by them come what may. Gibbs, of course, was the unsung hero in making sure this reunion happened.

Overall, the episode returned to the show's team-oriented, murder-investigating roots while providing the character exploration and exchanges we love. Pretty much why we tune in year after year.

A few quick notes and observations on "Restless" before turning it over to you:

  • Abby had three homecoming dates because she couldn't say no? Somehow it makes sense. How much do you wish you were one of them (guys)? How much do you love her (everyone)?
  • Maybe Tony can open up to McGee during the mud wrestling match?
  • “This seemed like a much better idea in the shower.” Don't they all?
  • Ziva saying they were trying to "get your sheep"? Awesome.
  • Gibbs' glares at Palmer will never get old.
  • Episode head slap count: 1. Season: 1.
  • Gibbs' rules mentioned: #6. Season: #3, #5, #36.

What did you think of this week's NCIS episode? Comment below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (150 Votes)

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

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@janet - yep, i just felt like i had to say something (you know, from a man to another man sort of thing). as expected, that didn't help. haha but now that that's out of the way, i can start ignoring her. yep, HER. a real man in his right mind would never say such hateful things. :) On a much lighter note, its almost Tuesday! Happy NCIS day, everyone!!! Keep up the good work, team Gibbs!

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zivaplsmarryme michael has many names he writes all the negative comments about ziva best thing to do is to ignore him afraid thats something i cant do.

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Well, zivaplsmarryme, considering your name, I don't think you can say anything. But no. I am just me. And I don't know this Michael dude. Ziva is a Mary Sue. She's highly skilled in a dozen ways of killing people. Speaks God only knows how many languages. Is supposed to be sexy, kinky, sexually liberated, and sexually desirable. And yet the writers would ignore her negative characteristics, such as her emotional immaturity and fragility and how swiftly she resorts to violence, even potentially deadly violence, the moment she comes under emotional duress. These are not the kinds of things you would want in a cop. A LEO, especially a federal LEO, should be controlled and professional. Why? Because he or she has a gun. And guns should not be in the hands of those who are liable to snap under the slightest emotional duress. And the problem is, people like that kind of thing. A Mary Sue is something people can latch onto and live vicariously through. But a Mary Sue isn't necessarily good writing, or good character construction. And I frankly feel that we could do better than a Mary Sue.

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I am very interested in seeing where this story thread with Tony goes. It is logical to think that a "jock" is never tormented and run up a flag pole. Also, it is disturbing that he did not recall the actual event, but instead recalled it totally reversed. This indicated deep emotional trauma and stress. There are definitely bigger revelations to come.

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I was thinking the samething Trip Nines your a really smart person.Something I really want to know is back in season two we saw Tony at Spring Break Alone what if he had no friends because of his dad. Also what if these little boy wasn't Tony what if he had a brother remember he say he had no sister we never hear about a brother and at one time that was imply

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This episode definitely does a number on the DiNozzo character. Ask yourself, since "Stinky John" was not the one hanging from a flag pole, was it Stinky DiNozzo or self-proclaimed jock DiNozzo? How does a college jock wind up hanging on a flagpole in his underwear? How many of Tony's college exploits are we to now believe. Will we eventually find that he was a bigger nerd than McGee? Note, in this episode McGee denies Tony's assertion (twice, I believe) that he may have been picked on in his earlier life. It could be Tony's attempt to find solace in knowing McGee suffered similar torment.

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i think there's only one person saying negative things about ziva around here and he/she just changes his/her name. its almost funny. pathetic, really. LOL. look, man/lady, with all due respect, Kate is dead, you can go watch her in her own show which is pretty good by the way, and leave ziva alone with us and her team in NCIS. i could negate everything you said about her with video proof but then again that would just be a waste of time because you already have your biased judgement. if the producers/writers/her fellow actors wanted her out, she would have been booted out a long time ago. remember what happened to their former honcho d. bellisario? so please, leave us real NCIS fans in peace. if you really hate ziva so much, please stop watching the show for your own sake. stop punishing yourself, really. :) shalom and world peace!

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Mel loved your comment agree with everything you said.

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Remember Ziva was snarky and self righteous and did nothing but look down at Tony and question/LIE! to Gibbs. Plus betrayer NCIS not Once but 3 TIMES she has done these. She Invited the whole team escape Tony to her house for dinner which is a Big No No in the government world she should of been fire for doing that She KNEW her boyfriend KILL that Ice Agent just like she KNEW Ari Kill Kate. She Blow her undercover Mission as Tony Wife That dude Boyfriend and A stripper, She Though that boy was Guilt without proof and did the same thing with Mcgee.Plus she get away with breaking Our Nation Law having her boyfriend in these country Illegal. She has no respect for Tony always snooping around his desk almost Coast him his life when he was undercover,Plus other then wanting to have sex with every man that walk into her life was Good thing has Ziva done. Look at the the proof Ziva is Outdated and has run out of gas time to set her free

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according to Lauren Holly Ziva was only brought on the show to flirt with Tony and to Help Ari Kill Kate