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



@Jant You need to open your eyes and see the reason NCIS has not been getting 20 million view is because of Ziva so maybe its not us that the issue but you and Ziva


@charli@michael you should both realize that without ziva ncis just wouldnt be as good as it is and it wouldnt get 20 million or so viewers a week you wont be missed if you stop watching.


I wonder which one will sign back up first they will most likely wait till the season over to tell us anyways I have a feeling we might get a Stabler type thing on NCIS


Cote's and Mark's contracts are up this year, May or June.


Deb, you posted your question under:
NCIS Exclusive: Gary Glasberg on Vance's Loss, Ziva's Revenge & Beyond I can't remember what happened to CIRay but someone said he got arrested in an episode but as or Trent Kort I'd say it goes without saying that he'll be involved in this before the season is over. I also a question the other day but can't find it; does anyone know if Cote is signed beyond this year?


Ack, the end of my comment was cut off. Well, I thought Tony was wonderful and very caring. I didn't find it romantic (and am not in favor of "Tiva); better that they be very good friends even if they move on to romance later.


I thought this was an excellent episode, and the small humorous bit relieved the tension. It was a bit predictable that it was the Mossad Deputy, possibly because Ziva had such a strong reaction to it. Granted, I get her line about her being "blood" and not someone who has wormed his way in. It was so touching that she was the only one her father had left of his family, and now, with his death, she's alone (I know, I know, she's got the Gibbs-team/family). Jewish wedding ceremonies are not held like that. For one, you need at least 10 people to say the Mourners' Kaddish (mourners' prayer. But perhaps because Eli's death was still a secret, she had to conduct it this way. (I don't think she was just planting an olive tree because the dirt was only on one side). She wouldn't put up a gravestone at this time because in Judasim, we wait about a year. The knife was clearly revenge. (I read that pieces of this story will play out over the season, so that will probably come up.) Tony was great. He was really there for Ziva, respecting her wishes when he could (e.g. leaving the bedroom though she said she was fine). I didn't find it romantic at all, though it was deeply loving. I am not pushing for "Tiva," but this brings them closer together as people. I was a touch surprised that Gibbs kept so much distance from her (not even a hug?), but I know he was a touch preoccupied with both Eli's and Jackie's deaths. (That Jackie had been shot in the temple likely would have changed the Vance family in, perhaps, a worse way). And, okay, I know Abby has to keep her lab clean because samples could get contaminated, but baking cookies in there?!


I thought it was an excellent episode. These past two ones have been freaken awesome. I thought the interactions between Gibbs and Vance were interesting though. And I'm really hoping that Cote doesn't leave the show. There was a lot of speculation last year that Dempsey was going to leave Greys Anatomy last year and they just signed him to another contract just in time. Might be the same way for Cote.


I loved this episode and give it 5 stars. Just everything about it was done so well. I specifically liked the Tiva, that, for once, wasn't just romance but friendship with a small touch of romance. I, like a lot of Tiva shippers, want to see them bond a lot more/ Wasn't CI-Ray arrested in "A Desperate Man"?
Not sure what happened to Trent Kort, though.


I posted a brief comment yesterday which seems to have disappeared: do we know what happened to Trent Kort and CIA Ray in Tel Aviv? I'm thinking they're involved somehow.

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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.