NCIS Review: You Are Not Alone

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We're used to seeing Gibbs as the immovable and dependable rock for the NCIS team. In this episode, though, I believe that honor went to Tony.

In "Shiva," the team was under great pressure to find the mastermind to the shooting deaths of Mossad director Eli David and NCIS Director Vance's wife, Jackie. The possibility of a war loomed large, as Eli's Iranian contact - Arash Kazmi - was implicated. Eventually, they discovered that Eli's protégé, Mossad Deputy Director Ilan Bodnar, was the murderous traitor behind the deaths. 

He knew about Eli's plan to work with Iran and wanted to kill Eli and take over Mossad while implicating Iran in his death. 

The writers must be applauded:  the story flowed exactly as it should have and there was a richness and depth to almost every scene. Gone (for the most part) was Tony the comedian and in his place was Tony the rock, which we saw when he entered the temple where Ziva was praying. He didn't try to manage her, or come up with a solution or a fleeting sentiment:

Tony: Tell me. What can I do? What do you need?
Ziva: Revenge. | permalink
Ziva in Shiva

Even Ducky had his moments this time around. The first was in the morgue with Gibbs:

Gibbs: What's that?
Ducky: His liver, riddled with inoperable tumors. It doesn't appear to have been under treatment. I'd have given him six months.
Gibbs: Made killing himself easier.
Ducky: Pity does not validate cowardice. | permalink

The second was his response to the deputy director of Mossad, after being subjected to a snide jab:

Bodnar: And whose grandfather would you be?
Ducky: Well that depends. Who's your grandmother? | permalink

I have to admit, I laughed out loud at that one.

Gibbs is known for his curtness, especially around authority figures, and it was into that dynamic that deputy director Jerome Craig found himself, all nervous. Gibbs knows when to pull back, though:

Deputy Director Craig: Rest assured. This is an interim assignment. I have no intention of taking Leon's job. You and I---
Gibbs: Deputy Director Craig. I've got your back. | permalink

Tony was so tuned into Ziva's torment - he didn't make a wrong move at any time. And every choice he made was dead-on. Bringing her back to his place to keep an eye on her... then telling her she needed to talk to get what's on her mind out in the open. I thought he meant she should talk with him. Instead, he meant she should talk with Shmeil, her Israeli friend, who he found and hosted in his small apartment along with Ziva. 

What a stand-up guy. I remember a few seasons ago, when Gibbs noticed that about him: when the pressure is off, Tony likes to act up and play. But when the pressure's on, and decisions have to be made, Tony is front and center, strong and dependable. He saw it long before we got to see it.

The scene with Ziva going to the airplane and Tony coming to see her off was fraught with emotion. He didn't have to do that (as Ziva said) but I think he felt that he did. He could not let his friend go without telling her that they were on the case. The most important message to her (whispered into her ear as they hugged) was: "aht lo leh-vahd." Which is Hebrew for "you are not alone."

Some final thoughts:

  • NCIS Deputy Director Craig was played by Greg Germann, who you may remember from Ally McBeal.
  • Mossad Deputy Director Ilan Bodnar was played by Oded Fehr, who also has a recurring role on Covert Affairs (again, as a Mossad agent).
  • There are some more NCIS quotes to view, one of which includes Vance's realization about Gibb's need for vengeance.
  • Although Bodnar's plan fell through, he is still at large. Having killed Eli's Iranian contact, it remains to be seen how the NCIS team will encounter him again.
  • The song at the end of the show, played while the montage scenes of Ziva in Israel and Jackie's grave site were shown, was "Not Alone" by Patty Griffin, from the album "Living with Ghosts."

I've said enough. Some of you guessed, as I did, that Mossad was behind the killings. Which was close but not exactly true. What are your thoughts?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (753 Votes)

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



Sorry my comment cut off before.
Anyway, Bodnar is now the main bad guy of this season and I think it will be interesting to see how it plays out. It will be interesting to see both Ziva's and Vance's reactions when they finally close in on him.
PS the EJ issur was settled last season. She is fine and now at home with her mom. Stratton, I believe, is dead. So we only have Bodnar in the wind.
The last two episodes have got to fall in my top 20 NCIS episodes list for sure. They were amazing.


Some of the comments I have read make me wonder just how much people 'get' NCIS and the past two episodes. I thought they were beautifully painful. Ziva's loss and grief were powerful and overwhelming, so clearly visible in her eyes when she tried so hard to hide them. Tony was her wonderful rock, picking up on her subtle actions and able to get her exactly what she needed.
I know everyone complains about Jackie, but I felt more for Vance and their kids than her with regards to her death. Her death makes Vance a more understanding, likeable and human character. I, and others, have always disliked him. This put him and his role in a new perspective and created this unbreakable tie between him and Gibbs that only the viewer can understand.
I think they did a wonderful job. It was not just some lame attempt for attention, the deaths were woven in to create this emotionally painful two-parter that had my heart aching. Now we have Bodnar in hiding and most likely playing the role as 'main bad guy' for this season. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.
PS EJ was found last season and Stratton was killed last season. EJ is now safe at home with her mom. We only have to worry about Bodnar now.


Tony was the man tonight-in one of the most heartbreaking and poignant stories of the series Ziva learned who her rock would be. And...she let him know..finally. As for yet another story arc, I hope this is the last one-I hate cliffhangers (even at seasons end) and making us wait 2 weeks for another episode ticks me off even more! I hope there's a good reason for CBS Programming to pull yet another pre-emption!


So now we have EJ, Stratton and Bodner in the wind. i wonder if, at some point, Glassner and Co. are planning on tying up all those loose ends?


As soon as Eyal- er, Bodnar popped up, I suspected him of being behind it all. It's always suspicious when a recognizable face shows up seemingly unconnected to anything. And Oded Fehr is definitely recognizable! It took me a moment to remember he wasn't playing Eyal at all, but some other Mossad guy entirely! And, let me just say, he's a lot more likeable as Eyal than Bodnar! And I found Bodnar's threat of war between Israel and the US entirely laughable. The end of the episode left me wondering, though. Why didn't Bodnar go after Ziva, like it seemed he was going to? And where is he now? Could this possibly be all an elaborate setup to frame him and damage relations between the US and Israel? It wouldn't be a difficult sell, after all, with his hostile and paranoid behavior. And so rude, too! In any case, I won't be surprised when he pops up again later in the season or next.


Boy, I agree with that!! Tony was becoming a one liner joke and he's better than that. Tonight he was made real and relevant again!


OK...lemme get this outta the way: I misjudged Tony and thought he was a DAMN cool human being tonight; kudos to the writers for giving "Tony the overgrown frat-rat class clown, obnoxious big brother" a vacation. I hope Bodnar is caught soon and swings from the nearest tree with birds pecking at him and his entire family forced to watch. And then I want world peace. :-) (Tony would probably know the movie I took that from; props if you do)


Give it a break Lucy... Colleen, I was sad to see Jackie killed too. I enjoyed watching the wonderful relationship between Vance and his wife but I also agree that NCIS had to evolve a little. It was starting to get a little predictable. It has the best writers on TV in my opinion and I can't wait to see what they'll do with the rest of it this season.


Jackie was Just a recurring Character she wasn't a main character they half to spice things up now and then. anyways good episode I liked the end and how they payed it during the Jackie funeral and Ziva saying Goodbye to her father. does anyone know what Tony said to Ziva.


I am over the idea presented on these shows that men of power are either single or widowed yet in reality almost all men of power are married and have families. I fear that we got to see Sam's wife in NCIS LA because they are going to kill her off. All the CSI'S, criminal minds, and NCIS portray this. Is this what men think? That they can do their job better without the inconviniences of family and love?

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NCIS Season 10 Episode 12 Quotes

Bodnar: And whose grandfather would you be?
Ducky: Well that depends. Who's your grandmother?

You know this whole ordeal has made me realize something that I didn't expect. It's helped me better understand your choices. I always thought I had a sense of how you felt at the time, Gibbs. Now I realize I wasn't close. I never wanted that kind of justice before, but since the other night....hell, that's all I think about. Was it worth it, Gibbs? It had to be some relief.