NCIS Review: Shell Shocked and Awed

at . Comments

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
  • 4.8 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (201 Votes)

I want McGee!!!!! McGee and Abby together - I miss them so much..


I loved this episode. I too was crying at the end. It was espeically special ending for me cuz I lost my mom 21 years ago on Nov. 22 which was the friday before thanksgiving and this year its on thanks giving. The show and everyone connected to it get better and better and touch on alot of subjects that are relevant today.


This episode had me crying so much by the end.My Dad's a peacetime veteran,but his father was a German POW in WWII,and he refused to ever even talk about the experience.Dad's a member of the American Legion,and we've read many articles in their monthly publications about the effects of PTS.Not nearly enough is being done by our government to help this situation,so I think it's absolutely wonderful that a mainstream network show such as this is shedding light on this very serious issue.Here's hoping more people will pay attention to the problem,and donate to charities that are trying to help.
I loved the moment between Tony and Ziva at the end.However,I'm also one of those people who would prefer that they remain dear friends rather than lovers.I've never understood this need that others seem to have to see characters become romantic.I like the idea that a man and woman can have a platonic friendship and show that they love and care about each other w/o it becoming a romance.


Can’t wait to see what’s next for Tony and Ziva as this is indeed the Year of TIVA!


I was really moved by the PTSD storyline in the 2 parter! Nicole and Gina really did their research when they wrote the scripts. The guest stars were awesome in their roles as returning veterans dealing with PTSD. Mark Harmon did such a wonderful job as Gibbs when he wondered if he had sent the men under his command home from war in a similar state of mind. That he set out to do right by Westcott and brought in an expert on PTSD so that he wouldn’t interfere with Westcott’s recovery was very powerful. I wasn’t expecting the twist of Kersey’s girlfriend being his accomplice at all….very excellent job of throwing me off my game, Gina! As for Tony and Ziva….wow is all I have to say! This was such a huge step for them, opening up to each other in ways they haven’t done in the past, and when it really mattered, Tony manned up and showed Ziva just how much he cares by bringing the opera to her! Can’t wait to see what’s next for Tony and Ziva as this is indeed the Year of TIVA.


haven't watched this ep yet, but thanks for up up-chuck scene coming between tony and ziva...i'll have my remote ready to fast forward thru it and be sure not to each beforehand, so i don't lose my lunch.....


Awesome episode!! Great story and the way they told the story was perfect. I cried when Mark and Pauley spoke at the end. And, this Tiva shipper was smiling and crying at the same time. That was the most wonderful scene between Ziva and Tony. I have loved the idea of them together since Ziva walked in the door but that moment was the best. My former fav scene of them was from the season 7 premiere. "Couldn't live without ya I guess". Keep the Tiva going, this fan is loving it


Loved the TIVA moments in these last two episodes!!! Both episodes with them opening up to each other were really sweet!! Can't wait to see what else will come for them of course as I am a all time TIVA shipper!!! Loved both episodes for the storyline as well!!! The case was great and I loved how Gibbs was trying his hardest to help Captain Westcott with his PTSD!!! Always great to see Gibbs in action and showing emotions!!!


I LOVED the end to this episode, it really showed that Tony cares for Ziva, and it was touching that she honors her sister every year by listening to opera. That was just nice work on the part of the actors and the writers.
And to the reviewer, it was spelled, I believe, KERSEY, not "curse-y", which is how it sounds phonetically.
I thought the PTS storyline came together a bit too fast at the end, but I felt it was important to have this episode in a show that lionizes the military.
Viewers need to see the consequences of sending young men off to war and finding them coming home broken. Gibbs did a great job in this ep, and I thought Ducky did, too, but then I love Ducky and Abby, as they always do a great job...loved Abby's mention of caffiene-coated green beans! LOL


I miss bad ass Gibbs I don't like this weak push over gibbs I got to say I really im getting sick of Character development of Tony and Ziva seem like their always rewritting their backstory. Abby really need to grow up you think after 10 year of being on the show she would show a little bit more mature towards a case. Poor Mcgee just keep fadding away,Season 10 so far has been a real let down with only one good episode so far Shell Shock could of been so much better but it really drop the ball, What happen to these bringing back the stuff from the season opener. Gone looks to be better I hope it is I don't know about you guys but I'm getting sick of these standalone episode they are so outdated I can understand when we were back in season 1 and 2 but its now season 10 we WANT storylines,One reason I stop watching Law and Order was because I got sick of the Standalone episode. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to Our Hero and Savoir God

Tags: ,