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.


So, I really wasn't surprised about Mary. We're two for two here with Ducky's love interests, aren't we? I'm sure you could weaponize him: just set him loose among the population, and whoever he manages to pick up will probably be a criminal. Also, McCallum sucks horribly at pronouncing "paella". Seriously, two of your castmates got it perfectly. It's not hard. I was kind of hoping that the writers would show some acknowledgment of continuity and have Tony be reminded about a certain somebody associated with Spain. Especially because this somebody is part of the season (or at least Fall Sweeps) story arc. Alas, this was not the case. C+, for the episode. It just wasn't all that good.


I'm not sure what's going on, but the rhythm ,pacing,or SOMETHING is just off lately. The energy is just not there. The scenes are so dark and slowwww. Also, has this particular writer ever actually WATCHED the show?? Gibbs queasy about looking at a brain?! Tony interrogating the chief suspect instead of Gibbs?! MH seems to be taking a supporting role and that's NOT the dynamic that's succeeded all these years!
It seems they're so enamored of getting these big guest stars involved that they've lost sight of the successful formula...the fast moving, energetic dialogue with a bunch of talented character actors, and a case with some twists and turns.
The best part of last night's show was the promo at the end with ex #2 calling Gibbs "Mr. Woodchuck". I'm hopeful for next week.


I think it would do us all a treat if my man Don Bellisario would knock if off with these anti-romantic, anti-marriage elements and let his NCIS characters have some normal love lives. We see enough of this anti-romantic, anti-marriage nonsense in real life. Did you feel like the rug was pulled out from under you? I sure did. My name is Thomas Tarwater, and I thank you for reading this review.


I knew she was the killer why else would she be on the show


Not one of my favorites either. I thought it was obvious it was Mary - the fact that they had Ducky talk about the lack of photos of her father and there was something else I cannot remember, made me suspicious of her. Love Palmer and yes, he needs to be in the opening credits!


I didn't like this episode. the story would have worked hadn't it been used before in a earlier episode (i think about 4 seasons back), when ducky was also dating a murdering b*tch. I hope they won't keep recycling storylines like this

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