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.


Great episode - loved it when Tony and McGee looked at each other like they were in a duel and then racing to call Gibbs. I too was disappointed with Tony not getting the George Kaplan reference. As a mother of an adopted child, I take offense to the fact that Abby thinks she doesn't know who she is now that she found out she was adopted. Thankfully, Gibbs told her that her family means the people who raised her not who gave birth to her.It's fine that Abby wants to find out about her birth parents, but i hope they don't draw it out. It was too weird seeing what a resemblance Abby has to her new brother. What about her other brother? They need to bring him in.


Loved the episode but I gotta say I could not believe Tony did not immediately recognize the name "George Kaplan" from "North by Northwest" given that he can rattle off the most obscure movie trivia. It took me about two seconds to recognize the reference and figure out who "George" was - or wasn't. Loved the Abby "who am I?" plot.


loved this episode and it had everything in it.i can't wait to find out more about abby and her real family and i hope we see her brother was nice seeing toney back to the old him messing around but he was alot more mature now but it was still really funny.i also liked how abby was going to give up a kidney to a stranger just because she wanted to.when abby met her brother i thought they kinda look alike and they are alike in alot of ways like he likes to help rescue puppies and in a few episodes abby was helping a puppy or helping a dog be proven innocent they were also both willing to donate a kidney to some stranger just because they wanted to.can't wait for the next episode.


So if abby was put up for adoption then they should have a Doucment on her or something on file so I wonder what her real name is Also I was worry about them taken Tony back to where he was a few season ago but I was shock that they let him keep some of his mature. I love When NCIS get along with the local cops it always full


loved this episode it had everything and more.

Uncle jackass

I was more curious why the Actor Brett Tucker was called Lt Commander Brett?

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