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NCIS Review: Thirsting For Something Better

by at . Comments

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!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (179 Votes)

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

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Yeah, I concur: poor Ducky! They need to bring back Lily Tomlin's Penny to console him, pronto. He needs some happiness in his life. I knew from the moment Tony and McGee slapped their badges against the security guard's window that I'd love that scene. Their big brother/little brother-partners relationship is always fun to watch.

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Love seeing Ducky in a romantic situation. He's still got the looks and the moves to find someone nice out there. Did any one else catch that the picture on the computer screen in the last scene was of his real wife, Katherine?

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NCIS is still one of my favorite shows, but must admit, the writers seem to be trying too hard to give each member of the cast their own problem/storyline. Hopefully, they'll settle down and find a storyline (or two) that keeps running while solving other USN/USMC (and not civilian, which police would do) cases. Was putting Gibbs in the background because he was off doing an upcoming movie of the week? Don't know, but put back the formula that the show is noted for....it was a good one. And finding a normal love interest for any of them, would only be right!! Mid-30 year olds (except Ducky) not having someone to go home to is not right! But as for this episode, glad to see Ducky found a companion that made him shine....only problem is, you know it wouldn't last...none of his ever do. Is Jimmie the only one to have a life outside of autopsy, or will his nuptials be called off, too? Hopefully, the writers will get it, and go back to what wasn't broke!!!

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I agree with gigi's comment. The energy of NCIS is a bit distracted. Could it be that MH is working on the USA movie to show in November? Hope he gets back to full swing. I don't want to think that--just maybe--he wants out. And, the writers are trying to build around the other characters? As for Ducky--gotta love him! I, too, never missed him on The Man from UNCLE! (He doesn't look 78!) I was hoping Cheryl Ladd would be added to the cast as Duck's significant other. She would have been an asset to the show! Love NCIS and all it's cast!

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It is simple, NCIS has JUMPED THE SHARK, it has been a bad season that started off from the bad ending of last season, it is time for one or more to have someone in their life.

Tiva

it was ok wasn't the best but they all can't be the best. I knew that it was Mary as soon as I saw her and poor Ducky always get the killer its a little diffrent this time the one girl he didn't remember and the other girl in season 2 tried to cover that her patient died form some do with his surgery. so it's a little diffrent from his last bad dates. I think Ducky and Penny should get together. I agree Brian (Palmer) need to be in the beginning.

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We should not be shock these is what happen when you let one character for the main fouse of the show for many years(Ziva)

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Very disappointed in last nights episode. 1) rehash of an old story line. 2) Ducky deserves a nice relationship, even if it is just a companionship relationship. 3) I've had a crush on David McCallum since his U.N.C.L.E. days, and at 78, he's still got it! He deserves a decent relationship!!!

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I thought it was a rush to the ending, 15 minutes to go we need a killer hurry up!!! Gibbs really reached for that one with the therapy straw. I think there could have been better writing on that one. But otherwise, I loved it. The Gossip train is running amuck!!

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Please! Ducky's new romance a crazed murderer--but she only kills because she loves Ducky? Right. And of course she presented no krazy-killer symptoms either to Ducky or to any of her professional colleagues. Uh huh. And then we have poor Abby, who just found out that she must have been adopted!!! So she now has a brother who takes care of stray puppies and kittens!!!!1! Awww! And McGee and his nutty gramma, who is an aging hippie/spy/do-gooder/lunatic who, back in the day, helped create a big bad thing that "they" swore would only be used for doing good, but turns out it was a WEAPON!!!111!!! I'm sorry, what do these episodes have to do with my favorite show, NCIS, and when is THAT show coming back?