NCIS Review: A Bounce in His Step

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This week's NCIS episode saw the much-anticipated return of Jamie Lee Curtis' Dr. Samantha Ryan, not as an adversary but as a partner - in and away from the field - for Gibbs this time.

The joint NCIS and PsyOps operation was compelling from the start, and even though things dragged toward the end and meandered into less interesting territory, it was enjoyable overall.

It was clear the show wasn't reprising the time-honored assassination attempt on the Secretary of the Navy when it happened with Gibbs standing right there AND he didn't catch the shooter.

Instead, it was all a mole hunt for one man's "tell" and the secrets it could reveal.

While extremely elaborate - that a government agency would go that far to root out the leak of classified information seems a bit dubious - it was an appropriate vehicle to reunite Gibbs and Ryan.

And reunite they did. That's what it's all about, right? The "bounce" in his step was obvious to his team members (and hers), as we were frequently reminded, even as they clashed professionally.

Gibbs and Ryan Photo

Throughout the episode, Gibbs and Ryan tried every trick in the book, making veiled threats, twisting arms, misleading and lying by omission to get to the bottom of a crucial blackmail scheme.

When it came to brain gaming Phillip Wickes (William Russ), Gibbs was off his game and couldn't hide his disdain for Ryan's tactics, voiced via that tiny little earpiece, in the interrogation room.

Rarely do you see Jethro get that flustered, and not even at the suspect.

Wickes is a personal friend of the SecNav, and the fact that the Navy's new Green Initiative meant fiscal doom for his steel company gave him obvious motive to blackmail the Navy to keep his contract. But he did not.

Gibbs was right to trust his gut about Wickes, who was innocent all along, but Ryan wasn't completely wrong about "The Tell" she spotted toward the end, which indirectly led NCIS and PsyOps to their man.

It turns out the blackmail was a diversion, and the hacker's true goal was not to secure Wickes' contract or to release of classified info but to steal Autec's off-book government funds, earning interest in a nine-figure account.

This felt out of place, like it should have been an entirely different episode (a McGee-centric one, perhaps, given the cyber warfare angle). The investigation even took them back to that same secure server encryption facility!

The Tell Photo

Body odor and all, Amanda Baylor would've been a worthy adversary for McGee, and as for the real mastermind, Wickes' half-brother? That also came out of nowhere, though it did explain Wickes' inner denial about it.

Cobbled together and full of unanswered questions as it was - why didn't Wickes bat an eye after being conned by Jarvis? - the case kept you guessing, and provided the obvious vehicle for Gibbs' personal dance with Ryan.

I like that Gibbs has an age-appropriate love interest, and that more of Ryan's personal history and vulnerability were revealed this week, making her more than your stereotypical "strong woman" love interest.

They enjoy some of the same things - breakfast at 4:00 a.m., charades (as the kids call it) - and have a nice rapport. Both have complicated pasts and are surprisingly complex individuals despite their tough exterior.

Of course Gibbs would state point blank that he can help with her ex - it's one of the many reasons we love him, unconditional and unwavering support for those close to him - but will he get the chance?

Jamie Lee is a good actress and I liked the character more this time around, but Gibbs is a man that leads from the gut, not the head. Ryan, for better or worse, is the epitome of a tactician, a very cerebral person.

Do they balance each other out enough to run away together on a little sailboat (metaphorically ... who didn't love that drawing)? Or are their personalities just too different? Questions, I hope, for another time.

A few additional observations before turning it over to you:

  • Ryan had some great interactions with the rest of the team this week. Talking to the body with Ducky, reading Abby's thoughts, getting under Tony's skin with the game show host comment ... all great scenes.
  • Michael Weatherly absolutely could be a game show host later in life if he wanted.
  • I'd watch a whole episode in which Abby "maps out" unexplained phenomena.
  • Exchange of the night? "You need more sex." "I'm not answering that."
  • Ziva correctly using the word "cahoots"? Nicely played, Agent David!
  • No Jimmy Palmer again this week. What gives!

What did you think of this week's NCIS? Discuss (and vote in our poll) below!

Do you like the idea of Gibbs and Ryan as a couple?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (241 Votes)

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


I have watched every episode from the beginning and have all the DVDs and I definitely do NOT like the new addition. No chemistry.should add the Abby character from the Coast Guard


Been a fan4 years- never followed ur alls comments- love it Bottom line:
- jlc has no lips=not sexy= not right for Gibbs
-more dinozzo bad ass- less goof ball
- McGee & Abby - its about time!
-ditto tiva!
- Gibbs and diane( 3rd wife) had great chemistry- " ur my Shannon" - sounds like a song title
-Palmer as an agent- we need new blood!
- oh yea - jlc- not sexy! Really! - how bout wife # 2 Stephanie-? Great chemistry- would b great to make 2 people happy
- clear up the "Vance thing "- history
- how about a drug or alcohol addiction? Very relatable- to almost all
- real life allusions to politics- keep it current
- for gods sake- how about a drunken indiscretion for tiva @ least- add some spice
- anyways love y'all


Y'all r great- I've been a fan for years- but never read ur comments- bottom line/general consensus- Jlc has no lips= no sexiness=not right 4 Gibbs
For heavens sake it's time for tiva - why not?
McGee looks like an actor playing a role
More Gibbs and Vance bonding- and revelations
Why not Abby and McGee?
Gibbs and Diane- his 3rd had the most chemistry
More badass dinozzo




I like Jamie Lee Curtis, BUT NOT as a girlfriend for Gibbs. And I hate her character. She is annoying and pushy. Gibbs needs a strong woman but someone much more attractive and more his type. Everytime he kisses her, I feel like he is kissing a guy. And....I love her in movies - she just isn't right for him. Every episode she's on, I cringe thinking that they are a couple. Please kill that romance!


This entire season has been lacking in some way that I can't quite put my finger on, but the episodes with Jamie Lee Curtis have been the worst. She, for some reason, seems too old for Gibbs, not quite the attactive red head he's often paired with, and her reason for being there is too confusing. There doesn't seem to be any chemistry and the romantic scenes tend to bring on a "yuck." Get back to the episodes that are fun, exciting, involve the team seeking to solve a murder. Everybody seems to be on his/her own. I used to wait for 8:00 pm on Tuesday with great enthusiasm, now even when I've Tivo'd it, I'm in no hurry to watch. With all this said, the Jamie Lee Curtis entrance is right up there with the top 10 great mistakes and bad decisions.


Sean Murray purportedly has some kind of lung disease. He was also suffering from alcoholism, according to some. He's a nice guy who is suffering. Here's hopes for his recovery. Jamie Leigh Curtis is still a heavy smoker which, with all the other abuses of her lifestyle, has made her look very elderly and mannish, reinforcing the rumors of her being an Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome baby: born a man with women's genitals and breasts, but no uterus or ovaries or penis or testicals, the testes are undeveloped and embedded in the abdomen. 1 out of 100 babies are born that way, nothing unusual about it. Genetic: male, Phenotype: female, is 'the third sex' and are unable to bear children and have no male genitalia, but an enlarged clitoral body. Young, they are prettier than other women and bustier. They do get facial hair and as they age, their facial structure loses fat and becomes more male looking. I think up close she looks like an aging man. I think her quirky, aggressive anticipatory behavior is a bad match for the restrained aggressiveness of Gibbs. He was better of with the insecure blonde Army gal. Tony Denozo has become more exaggerated in his portrayal over time. I think the roll is wearing him out. Enough about Ziva's father and brother already! That's not how the Mossad is... geeze, Hooliganwood and their smear campaigns! How contrived and precisely opposite of the real Mossad. She's a beautiful woman, how about more ensemble work about her attracting every kind of boyfriend?




I did not like either episodes with Jlc, she just does not need to come back at all


Hi Winza - ICAM about Ziva being totally OOC - generally she is NOT the "whiny" type (running up behind Tony like that, like a "nagging wife"? NO WAY). It's just not who she is - so it didn't seem appropriate to me either. But I guess I'll cut Ms. Monreal some slack on that, because she's a new writer. But that is not Ziva's personality. I also agree w/ you & many other fans about Sean's voice. It would be one thing if the alteration was only a slight one - but he sounds DRASTICALLY different - no more low pitch that we all became used to. Very weird. Do you know if any fans have posed this question to him, in a respectful manner? I'm just curious..

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