NCIS Review: Be It Ever So Humble...

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Simply put, this was one of the best NCIS Season 10 episodes so far. And it was almost exclusively the Tony show too. So many things to talk about...

In "You Better Watch Out," the team was called in to investigate the death of an unemployed Navy husband, who - as it turns out - had been stockpiling new unreleased $100 bills and running up enormous debts. Only he ended up trying to use a few of them before he was meant to, which turned out to be very bad for his health.

Because the crime involved currency, the Secret Service had to step in, specifically Special Agent Ashley Winter. Though she seems entirely narcissistic (as evidenced by the fact she's clawing her way to the top of her career), I really hope we see her again. In fact, you have to wonder if maybe she might prove to be a good romantic foil for DiNozzo. Gas on fire perhaps?

The bigger surprise was a visit by Tony Sr., who blithely chose to bunk with his son instead of staying at a hotel. End result: we got to learn so much more about them both. 

Junior and Senior

Tony has always sort of tolerated his dad. Marginally. And we got a peek into why that was:

McGee: You should appreciate your father. I never had family traditions.
Tony: Well. We haven't had them for years. Traditions kind of died with my grandfather. Senior was kind of an absentee parent, you know? Longstanding customs kind of disappeared. Along with a certain family signet ring. It was always passed on to the next generation on the Christmas of the son's 21st birthday. I never got it. Senior claimed it was stolen. "I was mugged, Junior." But I think he pawned it during the bad times. | permalink

His ambivalence toward his father involved more than just the ring of course. But that seeming betrayal symbolized all that he disliked about him.

We also got to learn about Tony's private life:

Tony Senior: That's your bed?
Tony: Yeah.
Tony Senior: Not much room for play.
Tony: Well when I come home, dad, I sleep. Alone.
Tony Senior: You're serious?
Tony: Dad this is my sanctuary. Okay? If I'm going to see a lady I will stay at her place. That way I can leave when I want, and nobody overstays their welcome. | permalink

This thing about his apartment is important... only his father didn't seem to get it. He didn't respect his son's sense of solitude about the place, and ended up bringing Tony's anger to a boil when he hosted the woman across the hall - and did so in Tony's bedroom! Not cool, dad. I truly felt Tony's pain about that.

It was hard not to notice Ziva's keen observation of the two of them, as well. It's like she's gathering information about Tony all the time now, watching him to see what makes him tick. Even the innocent comment about never having been invited to his place (near the beginning) hinted at a question mark, didn't it? And she seems to treasure Tony Sr. almost like a father. I loved the scene where she ends up laying her head against his chest, smiling.

Tony and McGee's visit to the landfill site brought to mind the truism that probably everyone has at least one person in his lives who keeps them grounded and humble. For Tony it's his father. And for McGee... it's Tony. I laughed out loud when Tony's eyes lit up upon learning that McGee was the college mascot at MIT.

This excellent episode rounded out so nicely after Tony discovered that his father did in fact give him the family signet ring, as a means of atonement. The shared "I love you's between father and son put some dust in my eyes.

There's so much more, but it's time for you to share your thoughts. Before you do, some final notes:

  • There are a bunch of NCIS quotes from this episode that you might want to check out, some funny, some thoughtful.
  • This is the first time we've seen Tony's apartment, ever. It's elegant, stylish and military-neat. I was surprised to see that his small twin bed was perfectly made.
  • There was a lot of great Christmas music throughout the episode. Many were jazz pieces by Andy Williams, but there was one remarkable song that played near the beginning when Abby was in the lab: a rendition of "Away in a Manager" by Plan 9.  Great tune!
  • This is Tony Senior's fourth visit. Hopefully we'll get to see him many more times.
  • Tony has a goldfish. He talks to it. It's named Kate.


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (210 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe is a staff writer for TV Fanatic Follow him on Twitter



Not one of the usual hard hitting episodes, but what do you expect for a Christmas episode? Tony Sr. was totally wrong in what he did. I, too, wonder why they couldn't have went RIGHT ACROSS THE HALL to the woman's place. I don't blame Tony for his reaction to that. I was laughing at Tony and McGee when it was revealed that McGee was a school mascot...... I didn't like Ashley Winters....but I somehow think we haven't seen the last of her.......


I thought it was a great episode, especially at the end when tony opened the box and it was a family ring, and gibbs brought his father back to ncis to have apple cider. It was sweet to me


PS) on Sr's behavior.. What did you expect him to do? He tried to be the 'dad' Tony wanted, but Tony did what? pushed him away, repeatedly.. (it is the exact same storyline that Gibbs and his father went through albeit with some subtle differences, when Jackson came to Gibb's house for Christmas).. Tony pushes him away, says 'stop that', this is 'my house' my rules, blah blah Sr says fine, I will just be 'who you think I am'.. Was it wrong, of course it was.. but in some ways it was good least that stupid twin bed is burned! And as for Kate.. the only good thing about that goldfish will be to watch it flushed.. ugh already.


Did I enjoy the episode yes, very much.. However, did anyone else see the episode titles for Jan? Shabot Shalom, followed by Shiva.. oh boy.. I have a very strong feeling that our Ziva will be going through some horrible pain quite soon.. As for last night's episode, I thought it was a typically wonderful NCIS episode for Christmas -- again we are seeing characters on a personal level making peace in a variety of ways. Tony's goldfish "kate", seriously!?!? But his apartment was stellar , with an exception of the twin bed, which thankfully he will now burn.. many great lines, and Tiva moments set up.. Well done 3 out of 5 caf pows.


I LOVE that the Goldfish name is Kate kinda of make you wonder if Tony still love Kate that was nice of the writers to do that for us I love when show respect their History I too love Ashley Winter I think she and Tony would make a cute couple. Mcgee seening his former classmate like that I wonder if it made him think he could of been that guy, All In All this was 100 time better then last year and with it being the time NCIS ever what a way to go.


it was wrong for Tony SR to have sex in his sons neighbor and in his bed but I liked the episode the ring was a the best part.


Anyone notice Tony's Geek Pic was taped on to Ziva's long has that been there???...


I'm glad to know that I wasn't the only one who found DiNozzo Senior's behavior appalling. It's one thing to decorate the apartment and bake snickerdoodles, it's quite another to have sex in your son's bed, a place where even *he* doesn't bring anyone else. If Senior was going to have sex with the neighbor, he could have at least had the decency to do it in her apartment, which was literally right across the hall! Criminy! Tony was well justified in kicking Senior all the way back to New York, and really had no reason to feel guilty at all.


I don't understand why Tony got his panties in a twist because the old man shagged the horny neighbor across the hall. BFD. I guess they had to present some sort of confrontation so they could have the great reconciliation at the end. Otherwise, I thought it was a pretty good episode, by and large. The case was interesting and it makes you wonder if the Treasury Department really IS planning on distributing new Ben Franklins in the near future. And up to nearly the end I was convinced Secret Service Agent Whatsherface was in on the whole deal; she spent most of her on-camera time smirking, like she was hiding a secret. Not bad, overall. Happy Holidays, everyone.


OK...I'll start...and I'll say it: Sex with your son's neighbor in your son's bed? White trash much, Papa? As for the rest, the gift of the ring was touching, and the McGee thing was funny. Plot wasn't as intense as usual IMO, but maybe that was intentional. Oh...and NICE digs indeed Tony!

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NCIS Season 10 Episode 10 Quotes

Stewie: This was one crazy dude in college. Really knew how to have a good time.
Tony: Shut up. No way.
Stewie: Did he tell you he was the school mascot?
Tony: No! What was the MIT mascot?
McGee: Really. Does it matter?
Tony: Oh yes it does. Stewie?
Stewie: A beaver. He was Tim the Beaver our senior year.
Tony: Please tell me you dressed up like a beaver.

Tony Senior: What can I say? I'm me. I'm not gonna change.
Tony: I know. I know you're not gonna change. And I don't know why I was smiling because there's nothing funny about this. Dad this is my home. I told you my rules, okay? And you broke them. It was a mistake having you here for Christmas.
Tony Senior: You want me to leave.