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NCIS Review: Searching For the Next Mrs. Gibbs

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Who is the perfect woman for Leroy Jethro Gibbs?

Much of this week's NCIS was amusingly dedicated to this very topic, with the team motivated by two factors to find that elusive female. They believe Gibbs is lonely and they like their boss a lot, sure. But they're also just working absurd hours lately and feel he needs something to occupy his time.

With Tony heading the search committee (obviously), this plot was introduced during the opening credits of "Safe Harbor", along with a head-scratcher of a case that gave NCIS and CGIS joint jurisdiction.

Tony, Ziva and Borin

The Coast Guard's Gibbs equivalent, Abby Borin (Diane Neal), is always fun to watch interact with the team, and was obviously a top-tier candidate right away as far as DiNozzo was concerned.

Like DiNozzo, I would be all about Team Bibbs if they decided to give it a shot, but she negged that idea from the start. They are awfully similar, but isn't that more of a good thing than not?

I loved that Borin came on board both missions, however, lending NCIS her black book of sorts and even checking their progress from time to time. Even if she's not personally in the running, there had to be a strong, successful, Borin-like Renaissance-woman in her list of contacts, right?

Yes and no. Through their sleuthing, the agents narrowed their search down to one ideal woman Gibbs HAD to meet ... only he already had, and dated her, and acknowledged she was perfect.

The problem? There's nothing more boring than perfect.

Pretty great conclusion to the team's quest, as was Gibbs' closing scene with Ziva, in which he responded point blank to her concerns of his loneliness by saying you can't be alone when you have kids.

Throughout the ninth season so far, we've seen again and again how Gibbs views the younger NCIS agents as his family. This has always been the case to a degree, but never quite so overtly.

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

His "kids" are growing up before our eyes, and like any good father or father figure, he's letting them take the reins more and more, while still being the backbone they've come to depend on.

It would have felt too cheesy if Tony and Tim set Gibbs up on a blind date or something. Gibbs has his own rules (which he shares on a routine basis) and probably has one barring blind dates.

Gibbs is the man, plain and simple. His definition of happiness is just different than most. If he says he's not lonely, it's probably true ... although if he wanted to have Borin over for a romantic evening of fireplace-grilled steak and black-and-white television, I would wholeheartedly support that.

The case of the week found Ziva connecting with a woman in a very different way. Through Miriam (Shohreh Aghdashloo), the wife and mother of the Lebanese refugees aboard the abandoned vessel, we got a glimpse of the mother our special agent always yearned for.

There were parallels with Ziva's life as far as the complicated lives their men lead. Miriam was a terrific character, bolstered by the fact that her only shady behavior was trying to protect her family.

The rest of them had other ideas. When NCIS learned that the father, Farid, was linked to a 1984 bombing in Lebanon, they rightly expected something was amiss. Then they narrowly stopped his young, unassuming son from blowing up the ship and half of Norfolk's naval base.

Ziva and a Mother Figure

Was Ziva's mother just being a mother, as Gibbs put it, by shielding her from Eli David's life for so long? Did Miriam turn a blind eye to her own husband's political views for the same reasons?

For a mother, there are no blueprints for these things, but they do the best they can. Luckily in Ziva's case, she ended up with a great second family in the end, thousands of miles from Israel.

Another interesting component to the investigation was the role of SecNav Clay Jarvis. The episode would have flowed just fine without him, but NCIS is clearly setting up something bigger here.

Following his major role in the season premiere, we saw Jarvis' tactics openly questioned by Vance this week. On one hand, it's good that Vance will even say he's overreaching when he sees it.

You have to wonder when this dynamic will manifest itself again, though, and how Gibbs will be involved. Those already inclined not to trust Vance likely won't be comforted by this friendship.

Overall, another quality episode with plenty of laughs and moments to make you stop and think, too. A few closing thoughts and observations before turning it over to you:

  • Vance's reaction upon walking in on the fiasco involving Tony's pants - on which a stain provided a clue to the refugees' intentions - was priceless.
  • Abby really will stop at nothing to crack a case. Criminals of the world, just give up now ... or steer clear of Naval bases.
  • "Pitt. Fincher. Soap. Stuff blows up." - Tony's synopsis should've been the official tagline for Fight Club
  • How cool was Ducky's discovery of the Morse code on deck?
  • Second straight week with no Palmer? What gives?

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

Review

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

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (166 Votes)

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

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I love this show....but the nagging question I have every week is why isn't Jimmy Palmer part of the opening credits? There is no mention of his name and no picture of him. How come? His part may not be big but it's truly part of the show. Anyone out there have an answer?

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Nana L - Jimmy is just likely 'planning' his wedding now.
He isn't getting married until the Spring.
That will be another good episode I think. He is likely off getting fitted for his suit or writing his wedding vows. But, like a lot of you - I so MISS Jimmy when he is not there.

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Walter - I sure can see your point for sure, but part of the joy of NCIS is using your 'suspension of disbelief'... don't really look for the small stuff and enjoy the story and show while it is on the air.
NCIS is far better than a heck of a lot of other shows on TV. That's part of the reason they pull in 19 - 20 million per episode I guess.
I thought this was a wonderful episode and I think that Agent Borin is very well liked and not likely to be killed anytime soon or ever. As someone said, she fits in with the gang so very well. I enjoy the show whenever she is on.

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Superb episode..I said it before, Boren & Gibbs have chemistry. I also do not want Gibbs to play daddy to the three..but I do like the fact that he is not afraid to show he cares. Especially to Ziva. For Michael: Yes, Abby did identify the stuff oon Tony's pants; that is what sent them all back to the ship just in time to stop the "big bang". For Walter: I, like you, sometimes get too caught up in the unrealistic aspect of a show and am constantly being reminded by my daughter or my husband that it is only a TV show (or a movie). For Jimmy Fans: Perhaps he is on his honeymoon...

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janet you are absolutely right, it's a TV show. As I said I love the show. I accept the factual errors ( NCIS Hq. is onboard Quantico not the Washington Navy Yard ), the fact it is filmed in SoCal ( the mountains in the background,tall buildings- none in DC by law, recognizable SoCal landmarks, etc) but the idea of an old rustbucket freighter sailing from Beirut to Norfolk by itself with no crew by just being aimed in the right direction as Poppa Terrorist said is a bit too much for me.

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does anyone feel like Diane Neal character is going to be like Paul Cassidly was at the begging of the series appear in a couple of seasons then get killed off

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I don't know if anyone else answered Michael's question, but, yet, Abby discovered what it was, which is what lead to them knowing about the bomb. This episode was fantastic - I love Diane Neal and think she is perfect for this role - I wish she were on more often - and Gibbs is definitely the father image for them all and has been for many seasons. This show gets stronger and stronger each year.

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Love the show--don't add in too many new characters. We like the dynamics of the original group as it is!

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@l-empress Kate was different she was on good terms with her dad Kate was more like the sister Gibbs never had and that how they played it

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I did not know these but did you know it was base of of a real story these like happen back in 2000 and AKA Norfok is right outside of DC its when the pentgon is