NCIS Review: Shell Shocked and Awed

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While NCIS has been a primarily character-driven show, "Shell Shock Part I" was a exception, with the focus on the case. It was a very good one, too. Captain Westcott appeared to be suffering from severe PTSD, attacking a random person for no reason.

But there was more to the story, as the person he attacked was one of the men in the ambush in Afghanistan that made him into the damaged man he is today.

"Shell Shock, Part II," meanwhile, was unique in that the case was still fantastic, but we also enjoyed a good deal of the episode focusing on the characters as well, primarily Gibbs.

Abbs and Gibbs Photo

I've watched NCIS since the beginning of the series, and we don't often get to see an emotional side of Gibbs. The man is brilliant, solves cases, rarely smiles, and gives Dinozzo head-slaps on a regular basis - but that is it. This episode was an exception. 

While his focus continued to be on tracking down Cursey and neutralizing his plans, he became just as devoted to Westcott and making it clear to him that he's not alone; there are people who care about him.

This was especially important because Wescott's own father doesn't even given a damn, and his primary concern is just leaving so that he can get back to work. Gibbs truly cares. 

As he said himself, he used to be be on the other side and sent men like Westcott home all the time, hoping that they would be okay. This time, he had the chance to help. And he did.

Abby's ittle virtual reality experiment didn't help much in jogging Wescott's memory, but Gibbs was pure genius in his interrogation of Cursey when he got him pissed off enough to spit on Westcott's team member's picture, throwing Westcott into a rage and triggering the memory that Cursey's girlfriend is the accomplice.

That then triggered the memory that Cursey didn't drag Hall away with Hall begging his Captain for help. Westcott pulled Hall out of the line of fire instead. He didn't make it, but he certainly wasn't the coward he had always thought he was.

Harmon did an absolutely excellent job in this episode, as it shed a light on a part of the character that we rarely see. The only other recent episode I can remember where we get to see this side of Gibbs was the Season 6 episode "Broken Bird," where Gibbs helps Ducky deal with the trauma of knowing that he euthanized a man out of mercy while being in the military as a physician. As cold as Gibbs may seem at times, there is truly a big, warm heart underneath.

And, don't worry, Tiva shippers, I haven't forgotten about you. "Beach picnic, impromptu dancing, and the Opera" - the big three. 

DiNozzo was just obsessed to find out who Ziva is going to the opera with. After enough harassment, she finally revealed she was going alone to honor her deceased sister because she loved the opera so much, and it was her birthday.

The downside was the opera being out. What DiNozzo did next should tell us all that he truly does have deep feelings for Ziva. She didn't get tickets to that opera, but he made a CD of it for her to listen to, making it like she was there. Now, that's real chemistry going on there. 

Some say this is going to be the season for Tiva, and I can't wait to find out!


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (201 Votes)

This was just a fantastic episode for the ncis team, one of the best clearly. It was also one of the best for Tony an Ziva. Just seeing what Tony had done for Ziva with the whole opera thing almost made me cry. I really hope that this is THE TIVA SEASON :)


To those who recognize Westcott from somewhere and can't remember where, he was on an episode of NCIS Los Angeles, season 2. A detective that used to work with Deeks, but had a drinking problem, and Deeks was his sponsor for AA. The detective was a suspect.


Tony and Ziva will end up together, eventually. Just a question of when.


wherever the writers take tiva, tony letting ziva have her opera experience and a homage to her sister is what friends who care deeply for one another do. wasn't a romantic gesture, just a caring one. BTW that is my favorite song from any opera, just beautiful. youtube it with carme and andre and you will be touched. Great episode! as a father who had a son who served in the invasion of iraq and two tours of that hellhole afganistan, truly thankful that my son wasn't physically or mentally injured during his time there! THAT was a true service to the veterans in writing this show and hopefully opens some eyes as to what many of our brave troops go thru. thanks NCIS. Harmon was brilliant in his portrayal.


Tuesday's Part II of Shell Shocked was a very interesting episode. It thought me about respect for all military and to try to understand another person's problems. Everyone held their own role. How sweet for Tony to remember Ziva with the opera surprise and his kind words! Knew he had this in him! TIVA!


TONY LOVES ZIVA MAYBE THERES A WEDDING ---------------------------


I loved Shell shock part two!!! It was awesome how Gibbs treated captain Westcoct [ sorry if i spell his name wrong :( ] like a son. That was full of feels and so was the scene between tony and Ziva in the car and in the office. Tony is so sweet, he and Ziva are totally meant to be!!!!1


I loved this episode! My favorite is an already favorite season. Loved the moment between Tony & Ziva at the end. Can't wait to see how their relationship progresses as it that little extra something that puts NCIS over the top for me.


This was a very moving episode. The actor who played Westcott did a great job, you could feel his anger and despair. I loved this side of Gibbs, really focusing on the young soldier, as he told the Dr. It was more about helping Westcott than solving the case. I liked Tony helping Ziva have her opera moment however all this "Tiva" fascination is a distraction from the show. I like the banter between them and compassion at times but why do people always want them romantically involved (Tony & Ziva- McGee and Abby). I just enjoy them working together and having outside romantic interest. (I don't watch Leverage anymore for this reason.)
The last two episodes were great.


wow just wow !!!!! the frenchie cry too, an very emotional ending of this episode. ( two great actors) tony take care ziva and sayed the some simple words. regards from france gerard

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