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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?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (753 Votes)

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

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@ColleenM NCIS is not Marvel comics they don't kill main character off every day and then bring them back to life The show needed to kill someone major off they were falling into a trap of being boring never changing, I can not tell you how piss people were that no one die in the season opener NCIS was becoming unrealistic with all the teenage drama and Office romances. I this help you. As far as Tonight I have a feeling this is not over and that its more then one person and again the writer treat Tony like crap first they allowed TWO people to stay at his place and then they have Ziva treat him like he the one who Kill her father it was so stuipd BUT I will amdit the funny part was when Tony and Gibb went to his place and Ziva almost shot him and she ask why didnt you knock and he said it his place and she said you almost die here. A other good thing about NCIS Shiva No Plamer have any notice how much better Ducky is when he not being Plamer babysitter at least the writer are listen to us there. Mcgee and that NCIS/CIA agent lady that was so cool I though she was naked there for a little while please bring who ever that was back on the show. Was Abby sick? did she sound like she had a cold to you guys she did to me. I knew that one Eli friend was going to die and at the end it look like Ziva was getting ready to go find their killer I wonder if she buried Eli next to Aris that would be a nice little Nob to fans.

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This was an absolutely fantastic episode. We got to see angry, vengeful Ziva; we got to see vulnerable, grieving Ziva; and we got to see steady as a rock Tony, who so often is glossed over in favor of comedic, butt of the joke Tony. I loved all of their interactions and can't wait to see where that relationship is going. I loved Vance's conversation with Gibbs, especially the understanding that getting "justice" wasn't nearly as satisfying as one might think! Finally, who wouldn't love Ducky's one-liner back at the deputy director of Mossad! He may be getting up there in age, but his mind is as quick as ever! Also, it is important to note not only the similarities between Eli and Sr and their inabilities to change, but also the similarities between Eli and Ray/Rivkin, Ziva's "love" interests. So excited for this season...thanks writers and TPTB!

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I think it is time to bring NCIS to an end. When you have to kill off someone like Jackie Vance, you are desperate for attention to the show and rely on shock value instead of hiring smart and talented writers - instead of the moran Chris Weird. The show needed the balance of having at least one character with a stable life. Gary, the producer, is making the real NCIS look stupid. It makes it look like anyone who works for the agency dies and that's not how it is in the real world. I hope the real NCIS gets on your case and says that's enough.

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It's sung by Patty Griffin and I bought mine from itunes earlier tonight!!

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Who sings the song "You are not Alone" at the end of this episode? Where can I get it?

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.

Vance