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!


Editor Rating: 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.


After watching every episode, I think I have found a boo-boo! These writers are so good at military procedures, it shocked me to hear Abby say that US NAVY warships were in port FULLY LOADED WITH MUNITIONS! Unless the Navy has changed procedures, and this would be one hell of a SAFETY NO NO, ships leave port and stop at a munitions island/ship to load up on munitions! They stop before entering port and off load munitions! So, like I said, unless they have changed procedures - altho it added to the seriousness of the possible explosion - it is not real! But, I love this show, it's stories, and especially it's actors!!!! I think I and my buddy almost have all the dialogs memorized - hee hee hee!


I've had the feeling for sometime that Gibbs is the father figure to all four members of his team (beginning with Abby). They need him -- and he needs them, because family is important to him, "more than DNA." I don't think that dynamic existed with Kate. Kate was a story attempt that didn't work in that department. I understand this substitute for a family. Though I have my own family, you'd be surprised at the number of strangers who call me Mom.


i LOVED the eppy....and i LOVE the idea that gibbs is a father figure to these people....abby's parents are BOTH dead....ziva doesn't really have a relationship with her father....tim's relationship with his is iffy at best....and the same with tony....their a FAMILY....other wise, jethro's leaving for 4 months would NOT have bothered them so much.....i too like boren....hell, i LOVE her compared to hollis....GOD, i HATED her.....she was overly bossey...and the team, didn't really seem to like her either. i LOVED THE was fun. alisa


NCIS makes me happy and frustrated at the same time. I love Gibbs and the team together and individually, but I hate the politics most of the time. Not every Arab (apart from the mothers who forgive) is not a terrorist who blames the USA for his plight and losses. Like another poster, I wondered how this family made the passage to the USA on their own, nice sailing for amateurs. Also, on ALL TV shows and I mean ALL TV shows, time and distance has no meaning - so getting from DC to Norfolk can be just a mile on the highway. Sigh, that is a pet peeve of mine, it wouldn't actually hurt the plot to occasionally mention that they were on the road for hours no matter how fast they drive. The new SECNAV is a conniving bastard and there will be fireworks because of his arrogance sometime this season, I'm sure.

Heather moyer gendeloff

I loved the end line about Gibbs having kids so he s never lonely. He has three after all. I count Palmer being more to Ducky than Gibbs. Both times Tony with his pant down being wiped was to funny. Hope Jimmy will be in the next episode. I miss him and Ducky together.


I generally enjoyed the episode. I laughed out loud when Gibbs walked in on the team's research and Tim lied to him to cover up what they were really researching. Tony and Vance, and the pants were really funny. The only scene that felt overly contrived to me was (sorry I know lots of you liked it), but the ending scene. I really don't want Gibbs to be "daddy" to these adults. Boss, friend, mentor - yes - surrogate parent, no. It feels OoC on Gibbs part, and makes the team members look rather needy. I don't like seeing these characters portrayed as eternal victims. They have been writing Ziva this way since Aliyah, and I don't think it strengthens the character, or makes those who aren't crazy about her in the first place, like her more.


by the way anyone notice no jimmy for the second week NCIS needs him.


walter walter take it easy its not real life doesnt have to be exact


Love the show and the characters, but the writers need to put a little more effort into the case of the week. This ship supposedly leaves Beirut, the crew jumps off and the ship somehow continues across the Mediterranean, through the Straits of Gilbralter, across the Atlantic to Norfolk by itself?Also these ships have diesel engines, diesel fuel will burn but doesn't explode like gasoline. Also how do they get to Norfolk so fast from D.C.? It's 200 miles. Yes I know Ziva and Gibbs drive fast.


Outstanding episode-complete with the unexpected "family" moment at the end-something Ziva needed after all the emotional ups/downs. Michael, the substance was the residue of explosives that the one son had concocted to blow up the ship Ziva and the family were on to revenge the death of his sister. Abby saves the day again!

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