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NCIS Review: Teddy and Rabbit

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Just when you think the writers of NCIS couldn't get any better than their last two episodes, they bring us "Hit and Run, and knock every aspect of the hour out of the park. 

This episode was poignant and touching, as it revealed some of Abby's sad back story in a memory from what she considered her first "case."

Abby and Tim Image

This episode centered around a dead Lance Corporal and his girlfriend, both of whom were victims of a scam artist that wanted their money for his Ponzi scheme. 

His attempt to pass off the murders as a car accident fell apart once Ducky observed some inconsistencies with some blood spatter and airbag deployment. Abby noticed the cracked windshield and the air freshener that hung from the rear view mirror - and this mirrored a similar cracked windshield and air freshener she had seen as a child, thereby bringing back a host of recollections that effectively threw her off of her game.

Ziva's grief over her father seemed to be gone. I'm glad the writers had Tony and McGee talk about that, rather than just having her continue on as if nothing had happened - that would have seemed too forced.  Some time has passed, and Ziva's had her time in Israel, which kind of makes you wonder what else she did while she was there.  Perhaps there's a story in the making.

Tony, of course, was back to his old comic self. It might have been good to have seen the scene where he made a comment about the deputy director's hair - rather than just talk with McGee about it.  From that conversation ,we can gather that the deputy director is still the unsure and fairly meek guy he portrayed in "Shiva." But is he really?

The star of this show was obviously Abby. What an amazing character: we got to see that she had always been a highly analytical and caring person, looking out for those who were hurting. You had to admire the portrayal of her brilliance in fashioning a crude sort of magnifier with the plastic bottle and water. 

In many ways her perceived failure to help Ricki with her father and grandfather seemed to have help form her determination to find and do good for others, no matter what. It seemed that the obstinate acrimony between the parents of the dead couple in this episode mirrored the intractable anger between Ricki's father and grandfather. The twin dynamics of those relationships were too much, serving to confirm for her the uselessness of her efforts as seen by this dialogue:

Abby: Have the bad things been outweighing the good things all these years and I just ever noticed?
McGee: What do you mean?
Abby: All I ever wanted was to help people with the truth. And I've done that, but then bad still won sometimes. And I just want to file it away, like it never happened so I can go back to being happy.
McGee: There's nothing wrong with that.
Abby: Yes there is McGee because sometimes the Cutwrights and the Dunns, they just keep fighting no matter what the truth is. And sometimes Ricki never gets to see her grandpa again. If the bad outweighs the good then that means that I'm not enough.
McGee: Abby listen to me...
Abby: And if I'm not enough, McGee, then why even try? | permalink

I was amazed at the subtle and careful scene between Gibbs and Abby at the end. Gibbs made exactly the right move when he saw her sitting on the floor, trying to compose apology notes: rather than stand and talk with her, he got right down beside her, becoming the caring father she needed at that moment. 

We had seen her handle that little cloth heart throughout the episode; hearing her talk about it being from the teddy bear she had tried to give back to Ricki was heart wrenching. And there was Gibbs. Silent, almost unemotional Gibbs... who happened to still carry around a fortune from a fortune cookie that Abby gave him on the first day they met.  A fortune she had given him because she wanted it to be about him, not her.

These last three episodes have set the bar high for the writers of NCIS: it's hard to imagine how they can top them. We haven't seen Palmer for a while; we still have the story of ex-Mossad deputy director Ilan Bodnar to deal with and director Vance isn't back yet, so there's still lots of material with which to work. 

Before opening this up for your views and comments, I'll leave you with this heartwarming exchange between Abby and Gibbs (there are more NCIS quotes for you to check out too):

Gibbs: You do something good now, you're not always around to see the difference it makes later.
Abby: I don't know Gibbs.
Gibbs: Abs, first day we met.
Abby: It was a Thursday, seventy degrees, mostly sunny. What about it?
Gibbs: What did you give me?
Abby: I had Chinese food, and I gave you the fortune from my cookie.
Gibbs: Because?
Abby: Because I wanted it to be about you.
Abby: The fortune. You kept it.
Gibbs: The things you do mean something to people. | permalink

What are your thoughts? We always knew that at heart Abby was an amazing woman - did you foresee an episode as touching as this?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (301 Votes)

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

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This was a really lame episode with little meat, little insight into Abby. It did feature great acting from both Abbies, however. Just...it was lame. It felt disconnected, not funny when it was supposed to be, not emotionally touching. It just wasn't up to par in any way, other than the acting.

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@B I think it was the combination of the crack and the air freshener that triggered the memory. @Guest And while it may be true that Abby has dealt with crashed cars before (Although I don't think we ever saw an episode where that was the case), remember how she was saying that she wants the good to always win, but sometimes the bad defaets the good. It paraellls the way she felt after Dearing successfully bombed NCIS, so that also helped in bringing back memories.

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I guess I really love Abby but in small doses. I find she's usually depressed about something and it makes the show drag a bit for me. It was OK but not one of the best. Next weeks previews look great. That's the shows that I love.

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It was just okay for me. Abby must have seen hundreds of vehicles with that type of glass damage before...why did this one trigger the memory. I needed more, maybe it should have been same type of vehicle, a stuffed bear in the front seat...SOMETHING! It just seemed too forced...meaning the writers needed to develop a story around Abby so they did...kinda lazily.

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I didn't care for it. It kind of made me think that Abby is a little off her rocker, so to speak. Why would a child care so much about making others happy, there has to be some mental issue there. She was so over board on that. I get the fact that she wants good to be everywhere and to know she matters, but it just came off as unreal and frankly, a little nuts. It is like she can't handle the bad and doesn't want to believe it exists. She is not living in the real world. Sure you try to make things better, but you don't get all crazy when things go wrong. You deal. Abby doesn't seem to be able to deal with anything bad. Again there is something emotionall or mental issue there.

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I thought it was a very good episode not excellent though. I could have gone for a more comical episode after the last two fantastic episodes but it was nice to see Abby's back story. I just didn't think the show had much depth in it. The little Abby was terific and get's my acting of the show award. The best line was the Tony and Ziva conversation about dead puppets.

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I agree on the "child" Abby...it was amazing some of the Abby-isms she had! I thought is was very good. I thought it was the pattern of the head into the windshield that got her memory going not the air freshener! I also thought the relationships were interesting...Ziva/Tony and McGee/Abby. Ducky was himself...did not miss his "helper" one bit!

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it was an ok episode i kept expecting the little girl died or got murdered that made abby upset not just her upset cause she couldnt help a lot

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I thought it was pretty average. So, looking at an air freshner makes Abby flashback? Really? Think. Really ****ing thin.

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Also, just one thing to add from my husband. He hasn't seen some of the really deep episodes of this season (SS parts 1 and 2, SS nor Shiva) and he commented how strong this episode was and how well done it was. And how great he thinks this season has been overall. And he's not a hard-core watcher or anything, and his opinion is the one that the writers and TPTB tend to listen to more - the general viewer who turns in off and on, is loyal but not a hard-core shipper or anything like that. And he loved it - even stopped grading his exams to pay attention to it, so I would say TPTB did a good job this week.

NCIS Season 10 Episode 13 Quotes

Young Abby: I couldn't fix it.
Young Luca: Fix what?
Young Abby: Ricki will never see her grandpa again.
Young Luca: But you did good. You gave her your rabbit. She won't forget that, Abby. She won't.

Today's new friend is tomorrow's family.

Abby [reading fortune]
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