NCIS Review: Thirsting For Something Better

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Poor Ducky.

I doubt I'm the only NCIS viewer who, if asked to sum up "Thirst" in two words, would pick those. It looked like things were going so incredibly well for our favorite philosophical medical examiner, too.

This was an unusual episode of NCIS, and despite some fun moments, not one of my favorites. The resolution seemed far-fetched for several reasons, and a pretty big letdown to boot.

Ducky and His Girlfriend

At 78, David McCallum is a living legend, a screen gem and loads of fun to watch. Ducky-centered episodes are few and far between, so you have to cherish each one, something he makes so easy.

Who didn't love seeing him dancing and putting the moves on Mary during their dinner date, talking about how the opus of Dr. Mallard is a lengthy one, but with the best chapters yet to be written?

What a smooth operator!

The cast of NCIS is perennially underrated, and this week was McCallum's turn to shine. Week after week, the stars' personal scenes are rarely wasted, and this was no exception. Ducky is brilliant.

It's a credit to McCallum and Cheryl Ladd (looking incredible at 60) that I was too caught up enjoying their interplay to realize something was amiss with her ... until it went on too long and too well.

Suspicions began to sink in that Mary was being set up as the killer, and indeed she was, with clues scattered far enough back that in hindsight, maybe it was more obvious than I initially realized.

One reason I was fooled, and why I wasn't a fan of the twist, was simply loving Ducky and Mary together. After all this time, Dr. Mallard is positively smitten with a woman, only to have this happen?

After such a strong string of recent episodes, this one looked to be following suit ... until it wasn't. Would anyone have complained if the guy smuggling and selling weapons was behind the killings?

You can't help but feel Ducky was short-changed a bit. For his sake, and ours, it would've been preferable to see him in a normal, romantic relationship arced over several episodes, but alas.

Gibbs, DiNozzo, David

On the flip side, Penelope may still be available. There's still time for a second date. Palmer's wedding is coming up, Duck ... bet you she'd be your Plus-1. She's a peace-loving hippie, too. Think about it.

Disappointment aside, though, I just didn't buy Mary as capable of such a thing. All because Ducky had reflected upon how unlikely it was to see something new these days? That's how she responds?

Had he never made that comment, would these servicemen still be alive? How did Mary conceal her obvious mental problems from coworkers in related professions for so long? It's all very puzzling.

It also seemed - and I know this is bordering on nitpicking - that NCIS had few leads about the men who drowned trying to quench an unquenchable, ecstasy-induced thirst, then nailed it in 15 seconds.

To an extent, it had to be written this way to deflect attention from Mary. Nevertheless, Gibbs' instincts eventually kicked in and saved the day with convenience in this case, rather than deduction.

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

  • Gibbs, grossed out by human brains. That was a first.
  • How long until Tony pokes around on Scholar-Date?
  • How hilarious was the scene with Tony, McGee and the security guard? They were almost at a loss for words dealing with that guy, a long-haired numbskull but a sticker for policy.
  • It was great to have Palmer back after his two-week absence. How excited are you for his wedding? How much do you want Brian Dietzen's name added to the opening credits?

What did you think of last night's NCIS? Discuss below!


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (180 Votes)

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


This wasn't their best ep, by far. Wasn't that tight or believable and what have they done with the overall plot for this season with the "Phantom 8". Would love to see Dietzen's name as a regular. When I origianlly saw Cheryll Ladd's name up there I was thinking about a girlfriend for Gibbs. It's been too long since he's had one. Would be nice and unusual to see HIM smitten for a change. Would really be nice for his character to develop and to have some real luck in that area, for a change and to deepen his character development.


I really loved Ducky and Jordan together (Seasons 5 and 6). They seem perfect for each other not only because they seem to have the same mindset, but also, the only time we see Ducky cry is in the presence of Jordan. I really hope they bring her back.


I felt bad for Ducky. I would love to see Brian Dietzen in opening Credits.


i have watched this show ever since it came on and i love it.


Personally, I don't want to see more of Penelope with Ducky. Nope, he can do better. I didn't see that the episode was so unbelievable: In fact, I enjoyed it! Yes, I want Ducky happy, but what a classic NCIS twist. I didn't see it coming and moaned out loud when she threw that wineglass down! The only part I didn't see as feasible was that Ducky hadn't stayed at the hospital with her. Even though she was a wacko, I think he would have been concerned enough to be with her. Now, who could we find for Ducky?


Hi: I agree that Ducky should have a relationship without the women being murderers. I'm glad Palmer is back and I have to say I love the part of Ziva's character and hope they don't water her part down. With all the characters I figure they have to space out the attention they give each one. I like all the them.


Two lunch dates with Ducky and his lady friend, an attractive, educated, do-gooder social worker, becomes a killer? The motivation: he's getting bored with his job. (When has Ducky ever seemed bored?) Moreover, if he was getting bored at work, he'd be more likely to need her, not less. Even by "NCIS" standards this plot made no sense. If Cheryl Ladd head had exploded it would have been more believable. While it was wonderful for David McCallum to have so much screen time and he looks great, why oh why couldn't he just have a regular girlfriend? Bring back Lily Tomlin for him! Maybe the two of them would even have some screen chemistry.


It wasn't one of my fave eps - another member of the team falls in love with someone who turns out to the be the villian? Been done several times before, I thought it was hackneyed. And poor Ducky, he deserves better. Saw Mary as the villian right away. The actual crime part of the plot was lacking, almost disjointed, could have been tightened up considerably. Someone mentioned the woman on the computer screen at the end was David's real life wife? How fun, didn't catch that! It wasn't all bad though, there were some very fun moments of banter amongst the team, and that was very enjoyable. Next week's ep looks good, looking forward to it, and also to the NCIS LA ep, which looks very good (I enjoyed that ep much more, this week).


While I didn't think this was the best episode ever, I still enjoyed the heck out of it! I loved getting to see Ducky with a romantic interest and Tony and McGee's scene with the guard was hilarious! Count me as one who would love to see Brian Dietzen on the opening credits. I love Palmer more and more every time he's on. He's just so cute! This was a good week for him!


NCIS still does good in ratings now this wasn't the best episode but that's ok Next week looks really good. I hope NCIS goes for atleast two more seasons

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