NCIS Review: Sea of Lies

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NCIS brought back a favorite guest star and treated us to another first-rate episode Tuesday in "Lost at Sea."

When the Coast Guard is involved, Gibbs counterpart Abigail Borin (Diane Neal) usually is too, and the show's better for it. Smart, experienced and tough enough to retain her credibility as an authority figure, but still laid back enough to mix it up with Gibbs' subordinates, there's not a lot to dislike about "the other" Abby.

In addition to the week's mystery (a good one), Borin played a role in the night's entertaining side plot involving Tony and Tim, a.k.a. McGoose. After bragging about their exploits on the dating scene, the wannabe wingmen were challenged by Ziva to pick up the next woman they saw, which of course was Borin.

Tim and Tony may not be successful at picking up women, but it sure is entertaining to watch them try.

McGee and Borin

She was playing the guys all along, it turned out, with Borin in on the gag. Point, Ziva.

Her motivation? Not being asked to join the two for for drinks - although there was also a not-so-subtle implication from Ziva that Tony should ask her out on a real date, a hint echoed by Borin after the jig was up.

"You had your chance," she says. Hmm. One of these days he's got to make a move, right? While I wouldn't want NCIS to become The Tiva Show at the expense of other characters, what's the harm in one date?

As for Borin, the notion of the guys asking her out was funny because I couldn't picture it in either case. She's a good catch, for sure, as are they, but her connection with the team has always felt different to me.

Some tend to look at the CGIS Abby as a potential love interest for Gibbs (lots of letters in their employers' names, similar personality traits, red hair), but I see it more as an older sibling/younger sibling relationship, with Borin being the "cool" aunt who can relate to the "kids" while still commanding their respect when she needs to.

That said ... I wonder if she would've said yes had she not been in on the joke.

In any case, it was great to have her back, but that was just one component of an episode shrouded in mystery from the get-go. Something was clearly amiss, but it took most of the evening to figure out what.

It was a true Navy caper (and Coast Guard) involving a mission gone awry, which always feels a little more authentic compared to run-of-the-mill murders that just happen to involve Marines, and an unusual one.

The first dead end came in the search for a second aircraft, followed by the pilot's apparent suicide that wasn't actually suicide. Eventually, the money trail led Gibbs & Co. to question the three survivors' account.

Neither Lt. Hernandez or his troubled, last-minute replacement Lt. Comm. Happ could go through with the scheme in the end, and the latter paid with his life at the hands of the buyer of the chopper they planned to sell.

Staging a crash to sell off a dated helicopter for a measly $75,000 each? Probably not worth it under the best of circumstances, and it showed. Dehydration, brain damage, death and likely imprisonment.

Fortunately, Happ's wife and son didn't have to hear the false account the Pentagon was about to release. He was the hero who tried to stop it. The fact that the scrap dealer was the killer? Did not see that coming.

The case took so many turns and his character fit so nicely into Borin messing with Tony and Tim, it was easy to miss his connection to the crime ... until it was revealed that the officers were selling the machine, of course.

Very enjoyable episode overall. We'll all have installments we like more than others, for various reasons, but I think we can all agree so far that NCIS has plenty left in its tank in Season 10.

A few more stray thoughts and observations before turning it over to you ...

  • Ducky clearly honed his covert prowess decades ago on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. A few security people at Walter Reed are no match for a man versed in international espionage.
  • Vance's tie? Definitely not softening his mood from the looks of it.
  • Hearing like a horse ... whisperer? I always love Ziva-isms.
  • And Abbs and Abbs together. How can you not, right?
  • Check out next week's promo for "Namesake" below:

What did you think of Tuesday's NCIS? Discuss in the comments!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (200 Votes)

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


After reading what the rest of the season going to be like I hope its true because NCIS need to do something different I tell what going to be intrestsing is if Mark and Cote sign a new contact I can see mark sign on for two more years but I do not know about Cote I mean she already broke her neck because of her doing her own stunt.


@Keith, Dani Chelle, Coco & the other Voices of REASON: Thank YOU all, for eliminating "Chill" garbage and Heating it UP with TRUTH. Truth always wins out, as it has - yet again - in this case. No room for Hating on THIS fan website!! If you don't like NCIS any more if all you do is complain, or the obvious directly NCIS WILL be heading in on the show (i.e.: Tiva), you are OUT of Luck as a viewer, and you might want to "chill out" & jump ship now before things get REALLY sucky for you!! The rest of the Masses are in for a THRILLING ride, and I can't wait to see what happens on NCIS next!!


NCIS Fan: Well said. After "Tiva hell" on this site this past summer, I am hoping cooler heads will prevail. Thanks for the dose of chill, dude!


Sam: I agree. I think they're going to start thinking about wrapping it up after next year, and I suspect it will be Mark Harmon who will be the first to pull the plug. He's 60-something now and might be starting to think about retiring. Its gotta suck working 12-hour days at ANY age, so who could blame him?


My guess is that either next season or a Season 12 will be the show's "swan song".


@ chelle, part 2: I can live with his pointing out what he hates about Ziva in each episode -- that is part of the "forum" and once in awhile he has a reason, so that what he says IS semi-interesting -- and, you know, he hasn't called ME an idiot "this season" ... well, yet; so, perhaps he really is making an effort to tone it down a little. Maybe. Thank you for trying to speak for the vast majority of the rest of us!


@chelle -- You are NOT stirring up trouble. Michael is the one who is stirring up trouble -- several times per episode. His posts are not "thoughtful" and "mature." Sometimes, they are "interesting" -- but then he wants everyone to agree with him that season 10 "sucks" and that if the next episode doesn't meat his satisfaction, I assume, since a lot of others seemed to like this one, this current season will be NCIS's "swan" song. I know you were only trying to reach him -- but that's not only impossible, but see what happens to you if you try (nobody can figure out if he's posting defenses of him himself under other names, since they are so carefully worded, but usually contain a single typo/error, just like his posts, or if he really has defenders).


Although the CG team suffered badly and the murder was terrible, the episode was lighthearted and full of gags. I enjoyed it a great deal and loved Ducky's tongue in cheek sass so much! McGee and Tony male bonding over video games was funny and a long time coming so Tony can't really make fun of McGee so much anymore for being a nerd. Also agree about Tony's wardrobe. I do think I am a little tired of Gibbs' sentimentality every time a kid is anywhere in the episode. Good episode!


Well let just hope next Tuesday is good or this might be NCIS swing song season


Chelle: Please re-familiarize yourself with the definition of the word "forum." Everyone has been pretty civilized so far, please don't start stirring up trouble. Even Michael and SAM have dialed it back and have written thoughtful, mature and even interesting posts. I want to read people's opinions, however much they differ, and not be subjected to sound and fury. So I am appealing to you as an adult and asking that you please not be so mean and have some respect for other's feelings and opinions.

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