NCIS Review: The True Meaning of Family

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Comparing NCIS episodes can be a difficult task, since almost all of them range from very good to excellent, but this one definitely falls into the latter category. "Enemy on the Hill" had it all.

DiNozzo was at his clowning, and investigative best. He may want to lay off the caffeine for his health, but being even more wired than usual didn't hinder his ability to crack the case, or crack us up.

Serving as his foil or directly engaging him, McGee was by his side throughout. Ziva actually got to rough some people up. Gibbs, once again, served as the team leader in more ways than one.

Most significantly, Abby made a discovery that rocked her world, but warmed our hearts.

Abby and Friend

The fact that Abby would donate a kidney - not blood, not bone marrow, but a kidney - to a stranger just for the pure goodness of it somehow didn't surprise me. Okay, it did, but if I had to select one television character who could believably think up such an idea, Abby Scuito would top the list.

The consequences of such a decision, such as the risk of any major surgery and long recovery time, did not faze her in the least. But she wasn't prepared for one shocking result.

How could she be? When another exact match turned up as a donor - one also doing so out of the goodness of his heart, fittingly - Abbs realized the impossible. They're related.

The actor who played Kyle, Daniel Louis Rivas, was superbly cast (and used to date Pauley Perrette, according to at least one online source, if you can believe that one).

Between their facial resemblance and the way the actors played off each other, that scene was both wonderful, in that he is obviously just the type of awesome human being who could be Abby's brother, and sad in the sense that it only led to more unanswered questions for our girl.

That's when it hit her. Her parents never gave a child up for adoption, but ...

Someone else's did. Her biological parents. Coming to grips that she's adopted - confirmed by a DNA test on her mother's hair - was understandably upsetting for Abby, or at least left her reeling. But there to reassure her and remind her of true meaning of family was her rock, and father figure, Gibbs.

Anyone would be thrown for a loop by this revelation, but for such an openly emotional person, you just know it will be particularly hard on poor Abby. Hopefully she comes to grips with it down the road, through some soul searching and perhaps by reaching out to Kyle again.

No matter what, she has Gibbs and the NCIS team. That's no small factor.

Gibbs Calls the Shots

This episode was the third in a row to conclude on a touching note, having explored the past of one of the characters and unearthed a difficult subject. All have been very well done, relegating the night's caper to secondary status. That said, the mystery on "Enemy on the Hill" was a good one.

The killer dying in the first minute was a different wrinkle.

Instead of a manhunt for a wanted assassin, the team (with Metro PD Det. Sportelli) were tracking the person who solicited his services, believing he was going to murder Lt. Commander Geoffrey Brett.

As legislative fellow to the House Armed Service Committee, Brett was influential with overseas government contracts - a fact that played a role in his actions later, but wasn't why he was wanted dead.

His accountant, Drew Turner, wired money to an account under the name of George Kaplan, to paid 25 grand for the hit on Brett. Only Kaplan was a bogus individual ... crafted by Brett and Turner.

It turns out the attractive, female accountant created the Kaplan account to help Brett receive kickbacks from companies he helped secure government contracts. This was secretive and very illegal.

Turner wanted Brett dead because she needed the money to pay off her gambling debts. Brett found out she ordered the hit, with his own money, and beat her to the punch, killing her in her home.

Tangential and it bit hard to believe at times, but certainly enough to keep you guessing. From the way he tried to shake Ziva (when he wasn't flirting with her, that is), it felt like something was seriously amiss with that guy. But who knew he would kill to safeguard his laundered money?

Clearly, the rest of the episode took a back seat to Abby's storyline, and Perrette deserves credit for stealing every scene she had in what was a very strong episode overall.

Between this and the two previous installments focusing on Tim and Tony, NCIS has given us some terrific character moments interwoven with the weekly mysteries. So well done.

A few closing thoughts and observations before turning it over to you ...

  • Could any homicide ever be made to look convincingly like suicide?
  • Where was Palmer this week? Wedding planning with Breena?
  • Episode head slap count: 1. Season count: 2.
  • What's Abby's next move?

What did you think of last night's NCIS? Leave a comment below!


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (222 Votes)

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


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however, whatever NCIS stil ROCK. so love it, n i hope u all actress always be healt. so i can see u in my all life. GBU, Mr.gibbs, Mc gee, Dinozzo, Abby, Ducky,Palmer, Directur vance.


I don't like cheap manipulation. And that is exactly what I felt when I watched the concluding episode for this season. Continuing Jamie Lee Curtis's character is a waste of time. It contributes nothing to the plot line and is extremely contrived and unconvincing. That's too bad too....because she is a fine actress. She should be given a more convincing part in the series or just lose her altogether. The ill-advised used of music/sounds to signal how we're supposed to feel at the end of a 'dramatic' scene is cheesy...particularly since those scenes were not overly dramatic.


Could Abby really be Kelly. Since the drug cartel was not finished off until last two seasons, it might have been possible if Kelly survived the accident, she was kept hidden or allowed to be adopted by someone that Gibbs knew to keep her safe. That way he could keep in touch with his daughter from afar but still keeping her safe until all of the drug cartel was either rounded up and in prison or killed. Not sure how that story line would be carried out or how Abby would feel about knowing the one person she loved like a father figure really was her father. I have also noticed McGee's character looking like a cancer survivor. If he has cancer in real life, I wish him the best.


I am just going to parrot all previous comments. I love this show and always have, it seems to getting better and better. I have to say it has taken me a while to like DiNozzo. I find he is so irritating, yet likeable. Abby ROCKS. It was really errie to see the actor playing her brother, he looked like he really could be her brother. McGee grandma (Lily Tomlin) hope to see more of her along with Robert Wagner (DiNozzo dad), I like when they make cameos. Storylines on all segments are really good. Miss Abby's hippo.


NCIS has consistently been a favorite show from Day One. People you wish were in your life and surprises and story arcs that draw you in. It must be hard to find new ways of saying "Grab your gear, dead Marine/dead petty officer"! I also think, as has been said, that the show is in its last season, maybe one more; just because it's always best to go out on top.
The only negative, and I know I'm gonna get ripped for this, but I wish I had Pauley Perrette's agent...she is everywhere. I ADORE the character, yet, especially the last 2 seasons, even if it's a DiNozzo episode, she's got the attention on her, or she's standing with Gibbs (Harmon, the star) when you cut to commercial. Now there's a new brother and she's adopted. Powerful storylines, and yet, more Perrette. "Child's Play", Ducky's T-day gathering? Abby is center in the toast, with the two senior actors, in the brightest outfit. I say again, Abby ROCKS! However.
That said, Tuesday night is just simply NCIS night. "Semper Fi".


I think it's more likely that abby's family will be some poor people that get drunk, if they are decent, why would they give up their daughter? and even if they are decent and nice if gibbs knew, I think he would have told. I can always be wrong but I hope I'm not.


I loved this episode I like how Abby was going to give the kidney and found out she had a brother then she found out she was adopted that was such a heart warming scane at the end.
it nice to see Tony sense of humor back but hes a little more mature I liked when that Landlady wanted Gibbs to go with her and Tony called her a Turkey vulture and she heard him lol that was funny.
I hope we get at least two more season of the show.


why is it when ever a character other then Ziva is given focus the fan want the show to end


I liked it Abby find out that she was adtoped and Tony was funny

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