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.


For the first time I can say the show I love was, ok? I guess I'm a stuck in the mud but I really like the way the show has been with cases to solve and not so much trying to develop soap opera type stories about each character.
These actors deserve better. I thought Jamie Leigh was better last night but I still think she's not right for Gibbs. I like seeing the regular cast more and with these stories it seems they are saying two or three lines and then not there. Let the actors do more crime solving and make the cases really interesting. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You know after years and year of hearing we never find anything out about Tony I find it funnt how people are getting sick of his storys but their not sick of the going on 6 year Ziva storyline


Also, McGee is pretty much a non-player anymore. His voice is as bad as ever and he doesn't even stand up much anymore, just sits at his desk. What's up with that? Is he too weak to act anymore? Is he on his way out? I hope not. I love McGee. :(


I really want to like JLC, and I do. But I don't like her and Gibbs together. Her personality is ok and I like their verbal sparring, but when it comes to anything physical EWWWW! She's too old and that hair makes her look too butch. They look like twins getting it on. I'm not asking for a 20-yr-old, but get someone in their 40's who's more feminine.
At least this episode didn't center around Tony. There's been too many of those and we're getting another one with the "kid from Baltimore". I'm sure he'll be an emotional mess in that one too. That's all they've been doing with his character lately.


Liked this episode. For me-it was about Gibbs but it still felt like a team episode. It was good to see Abby and McGee for more than one scene. Loved Abby and Ducky's reactions to Dr. Ryan- funny. Enjoyed the little Tiva scene at the end. Nice to see Tony and Ziva talking and listening to each other. Gibbs and Ryan together-doesn't really matter to me. JLC and MH are both good actors and their scenes are well done.


I liked last night's episode. Was really funny at times. While I like JLC's character, I'm not sure I like her with Gibbs as anything other than friend and colleague. They have cute chemistry but just can't see them being long term. I'm actually all for bringing Agent Borin back for him. I did love the Tiva moment. I thought it was so cute and I am ready for them to push it along already. It's time producers!!


I really don't like the Gibbs and Dr Ryan relationship. After all theses years it is just not right!!! exciting episode tough. Loved Abby in this one her map was pure genius-of course. And for a huge Tiva fan I got two scenes worth watching over and over again!!!! My favorite was when Ziva asks Tony you cant expect someone to keep their feelings all bottled up forever can you???" news flash Ziva you just asked that question to someone who is doing that right now!!!


I adored last nights ep, and I, too, think Jamie Lee's character and Gibbs make a great team, mainly because Gibbs needs someone who is more cerebral than he is to balance out all his "gut" feelings. I love their banter, and I really loved that JL was able to charm Ducky by talking to the deceased, as he always does, and that she was able to make up a 'classic' comment to high-five for! I love Ducky, McGee and Abby, and it would appear that all three of them are in favor of Dr Sam and Gibbs getting together.


I loved seeing JLC and and Gibbs together. He needs to be happy and be more in control of the show. For too many shows Tony has been acting like he is the boss and Gibbs is there for him. That is the one thing I wish would change and also give McGee more of a story line. All he ever gets is abuse from Tony and doesnt have a lot to do on the show. Give McGhee a bigger part, he is a good actor. As or Tony, bring back his old flame,


Hoc for Gibbs she is too old for him. I know they are probably somewhat the same age but she look too butchy for him she is in no way shape or form sexy or beautiful enough for Gibbs. yeah let him have fun but for a romantic couple ugh. What happen to kernel bell assistant dark hair woman she was a lawyer she is sexy beautiful for Gibbs. Tony is still an always be my favorite.

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