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.


This was an excellent episode. This show is dramatic and fun and most of all entertaining because of the excellent cast and scripts.
Can't imagine Tuesdays without it. Can't please everybody but if something isn't what you want to see, there are a zillion other channels to watch. Why not a reality tv show!!! To me those are the disappointing shows. Give me NCIS any time.


I liked that the pilot's sons name was Gunnar. Same names as Mark Harmon's nephew from his sister Kristin Nelson when she was married to Ricky Nelson.


Because the combined Q ratings of both the actor and actress who played them wasn't nearly as good as that of de Pablo's. The character of Ziva simply isn't hated by the majority of people who watch NCIS.


How come two year ago when EJ and Ray was on the show they got all these hate and negative crap but when Ziva get it we told its a show and all these crap


Hold it folks this is a fiction show if you don't like the actors,writers,etc don't watch it watch something else don't bitch about it we don't want to hear from you don't waste your time writing on this page or is your life so boring that all you have to do you must be very lonely. Now I love this show and I think the actors are great and the writers are great to I watch the reruns and I tape the shows and watch them again to see what I missed and I think season 10 is great and I know there will be a season 11.


I loved this episode. I feel we've finally got back to NCIS basics - great team interaction, good story, interesting mystery and lots of humour. I rate this as the best of the season so far. Soooo good seeing Tony, McGee and Ziva finally with some screen time. I've been missing them this season.


Nobody mentioned the JAG character was actually from JAG the series, played in one of the last seasons if I remember correctly.


Sorry, but I would have to disagree about Season 10 sucking so far. As for "letting people write for a show who don't know anything about it"? Um, most of the people writing for this show have been doing so, if not from the beginning, then pretty close to it. There have been at least two new writers added over the last three years. Don't believe there have been many more than that, although I may be mistaken on that point. At any rate, while a person may not like how a character on the show, or the show itself, is being written, lack of familiarity with the subject matter would not seem to be a problem for the majority of the writers.


and let me just add: i'm SICK of ziva thinking she is SFA on TEAM GIBBS....if i had been tony, i would have put her IN HER DAMN PLACE.....i'm sick of the LACK OF RESPECT written for tony....and NOT just from the Jr. agents....but, also from GIBBS....the head slapps are NOT a sign of respect...and they lost the funny factor LONG AGO. alisa


1: i HATE the head's ABUSE and NO BOSS ANY WHERE would EVER get away with that. 2: we were in some ways, led to believe that during the time ziva was off doing her father's work...after making gibbs CHOOSE between she and tony....that tony and tim, got i saw NOTHING wrong with , them possibly hanging out together. 3) i agree....ziva had ALOT of NERVE crying over NOT being included on a "boys night out/in", when she DIDN'T invite tony to the TEAM DINNER. 4) i LOVE abby borin...and i HATE seeing women wearing shirt buttoned all the way if it were the 1800's.....i LOVE how she seems to have enough RESPECT for TEAM GIBBS to be friends, but can also give orders....without coming across, as TAKING OVER....the way Col. Hollis Mann always seemed to. alisa

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