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NCIS Review: Cherish Each Other

by at . Comments

Looks like Ray Cruz is officially out of the picture, and out of a job.

In his surprising return to NCIS, the oft-discussed, rarely-seen CIA agent boyfriend of Ziva David was thisclose to whisking her off to Miami and celebrating their engagement (!?) with his family. Not so fast.

There was a slight problem: His killing the victim of the week.

Quite the unlucky romantic run for the team of late, isn't it? Ducky and Ziva have both unknowingly been involved with perpetrators this season, and while Ray was following orders, he went rogue.

In doing so, he gave up any chance of a life in Virginia with Ziva.

Gibbs and Team Members

Put simply, Ziva dodged a bullet. She may long for the stability she's never had, and she was clearly moved by Ray's touching public proposal. But her cautious instincts saved her in the end.

Even though we knew Ray would be back this week, I did not expect the titular "Desperate Man" was he. In fact, his connection to the slain Navy commander was revealed rather abruptly.

Ray's target was not Commander Burris, but a former officer she'd been tracking who was selling state secrets. Ordered to eliminate him in Pakistan, Ray did so, against orders, on American soil.

Burris was collateral damage, and for the bulk of the episode, we were led to believe that her D.C. cop husband was involved. Showing up at the crime scene, and that boat didn't help his cause.

He turned out to be alright, however, after Tony - the star of the episode on many levels - got him to settle down a bit and trust NCIS. The two bonding over life as city cops was very cool.

It was interesting that Wendy, who we will soon meet, was brought up again. Just as soon as Ray exited stage right, might another obstacle be thrown in the way of Tony and Ziva's courtship?

Calling it a courtship may be a stretch, but it certainly has felt that way at times over these past two episodes. The looks, the banter, the surprisingly vulnerable exchanges. They're hot for each other.

Whether they ever admit it and pursue it, or whether fans even want them too, is another story. But this week and last were a lot of fun to watch, and the reason why can be summed up in one word:

Tiva.

You have to love that DiNozzo will simultaneously be Ray's confidant and Ziva's friend, all the while harboring his own strong feelings for her. It speaks to the complexity of their relationship and what a good guy he is at heart.

Ultimately, he wanted her to be happy, to believe Ray could make her happy.

With that mistake out of the way, what's next for them? Only time will tell, but there is no doubt they've already been taking the advice of Detective Burris - not the first one to observe the palpable Tony-Ziva chemistry I might add.

Friends or more than friends, these two will always cherish each other.

Our Fearless Leader

As for the case itself and Ray's role, it was fairly well done, albeit a little haphazard. Ray's history of shadiness with the Company made it more believable that he could be behind such an operation.

From his first appearance on, Enrique Murciano's character was cloaked in mystery, and left plenty to be desired on the communication front. CIA guys. Perhaps this was the only logical conclusion.

Running point on the investigation and keeping watch over both of his "kids" in typical fashion - sometimes reaching out, sometimes pulling back and letting them take the reins - was my man Gibbs.

His unenviable marital history came up again, but there are few better when it comes to running a team. He let Tony take charge of Burris but always kept an eye on Ziva and her situation.

It seems like an understatement when discussing the lead actor and executive producer of TV's top-rated show, but Mark Harmon has been quietly great this season, even when he's not a focal point.

Another solid episode overall. I'd like to see the team members involved in more steady relationships - either with each other or outsiders - that don't involve murderers, but no complaints.

A few closing thoughts and observations before turning it over to your comments:

  • McGee hasn't gotten any since "Kill Screen"? Sad, but not entirely surprising. Maybe Maxine just set the bar too high. Beth Riesgraf can make a cameo appearance again perhaps!
  • Tony was in rare form tonight. Two of my favorite moments were him hugging McGee to make himself feel better and giddily exclaiming "you and Jimmy Palmer, double wedding!"
  • Abby's crime scene reenactment was elaborately awesome.
  • Gotta love the random Steve Urkel sighting at the onset.
  • Ray uses a conventional 202 cell number in the field?
  • BOLO = Be on the lookout ... right?
  • Vance? Hello? You out there?

What did you think of tonight's NCIS? Comment below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (286 Votes)

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

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@Michael
If you don't like Tiva don't bash it then! Some of us love it! And no, they don't get a lot of scenes. Only the last two were the ones where you could clearly see something's happening between them.
And if you hate this show now, then, why are you still watching it? It's quite dumb to comment under Review and trash the episode just because you don't like ONE character! I mean, what has Ziva done to you? And Tiva? Viva la Tiva! :)

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I love this show. I don't think a Tony/Ziva hook up would be good. They are a team. Whenever the TV writers put two characters from the same team together its usually because the series is coming to an end, its the kiss of death. I don't understand hate for a character (Wendy) who has not even shown up yet. I want Tony to have a relationship and become more mature. He can still be funny. This is a long running series and I think they have more years to come. I'm looking forward to the 200th episode.

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I think once NCIS ends (god forbid), the writers should produce a spin-off. So for those TIVA lovers (like myself and the majority) can see what life is like after - maybe Tony gets to lead his own team after all? Then NCIS can end on a suggestive but inconclusive Tiva note where they say they are going to be together but we never see how it unfolds... then everyone is happy! I would gladly watch a show just dedicted to tony and ziva and their work on the field - solving cases as a pair (professionally) and also being a couple outside of work. I also think it will actually survive as a show! Meanwhile, i'm happy with the steady build up of their relationship as well as the team working together to do what they do best - as long as their relationship is a steady build up to something and we're not just on a rollercoaster ride only to come back to where we started.

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Love this show. Love all the team!

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I'm not saying that the show isn't doing anything right. I am quite grateful that Tony is no longer being portrayed as the butt of every joke this season and that others have at least gotten a one and done. I'm just saying that it would be nice for fans whose favorites aren't Ziva or Gibbs, if their favorites could get action scenes and hero moments too. Before the power shifted from DPB to SB and now GG, Tony was portrayed as dangerous and quick witted in the field. These episodes were fun to watch. They never write him that way anymore. If there is any danger to be handled, the scene goes to Ziva and/or Gibbs. It used to be fun to see Tony switch gears from being the teams funny guy to being dangerous. Casting the same two in every exciting scene is just disappointing and boring and has become quite predictable.

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they must be doing something right over 21million viewers well done to all.

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You know that bring up a good question when the hell did Tony last fire his gun or do anything beside being assisted by Ziva

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I like Gibbs too Michael. But to me, Ziva and Gibbs have been a central focus and key players in all of the really long term big stories for the last several years. They are also the only ones cast every time in each weekly episodes most exciting scenes. I'm just tired of the focus and dramatic story arcs centered around these two. The fact that Tony, who is supposed to be just as skilled and dangerous, never gets to shoot a gun, avoid an explosion, go undercover, be involved in a physical altercation, or be the hero in any episodes most exciting scenes, is boring and predictable. Doesn't being senior agent actually mean anything, or is Ziva the new SA? If Ziva and Gibbs get all the hero moments each week, do they have to be the feature players again in the season finales as well?

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I do not mind if its gibbs because mark like to share screen time with the other actors and give them time to shine its when Ziva the start that I have issue with

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I don't know if the season finale will be Ziva centered or not, but it wouldn't surprise me. They tend to give her and Gibbs all the multi episode, suspenseful big stories. If it's more Mossad or CI Ray returns, super/tragic Ziva season finale, I'll skip it. I'm already really sick of the increasing focus on Ziva, and the fact that no one but Ziva and Gibbs are getting the exciting, danger filled and hero moments this season. It's just ridiculous and so disappointing if these two are not your favorite characters. And I know this will be hard for some to believe, but some of us like Tony, or McGee, or Abby, or Ducky, more than the two who are always pushed forward week after week.

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