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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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (753 Votes)

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



With next week being about Abby I do agree with what someone said keep Ziva of TV till the season finale maybe have her be kidnap


Had to watch this twice. First time, hated it. Second time, loved it. LOL I do still have some problems and questions about it. First, Tony yelling at Ziva to greive a certain way. The second, and most important, is that no one went with Ziva to Israel. Gibbs said that she was a target when explaining what went down to Kazmi. Also, there has to be more then Bodnar involved, like maybe the NCIS DD. First, the file from the Iranian was missing some key parts, but more importantly, how was Bodnar tipped off NOT to go to Tony's? He knew where Ziva was and was on his way to meet her and then doesn't show up? He wanted to get rid of her cause she could make the connection (and with Gibbs help she did), but somehow he knew that his cover was blown and that Gibbs and Tony were on the way and goes underground? Something is fishy here. The NCIS DD seemed too comfortable in Vance's chair. lol


I think these past 2 episodes were amazingly good. Puddled up many times. Just the looks shared by all of the characters speak so much more than words. Loved Tim and Ducky!!!! Get McGee a girlfriend, quick!!! McAbby, maybe???


Wonderful episode. Quite to my surprise, I found myself teary several times. And Tony - well, what can you say! It's always a treat to see this sensitive side of him.


WOW !! What a powerful show. OUTSTANDING. Everyone really out did themselves. Glad it got so many viewers and a good rating. I hope that Cote doesn't leave the show, because I love her and what she brings to the show. Kudos to all of the actors. Michael and Cote really deserve an award


So enamored, seeing such radiance, feeling such sorrow for the loss of Jackie. The natural glow through those eyes could light up the room. Searching for any sign of her that lingers.


This was a very very good one loved it
questions where is Palmer???
why didn't someone go with Ziva someone should of went with her!!!
Was that a traditional Jewish burial to the book or did she not do something??
again bravo on the brilliant acting


note to writers----can you keep Ziva in Israel for awhile? Like, until Cote's contract is over...please? here's hoping


I must admit, I was leary of this 2-episode arc turning into the Tiva-show. And am glad that it did not. Tony proved that he was a good 'friend' and I saw no hint of romance at all --although I know that the Tiva fans probably view this as the culmination of all they have been waiting for. And if that happens, which I pray it doesn't, then NCIS will have one less fan watching each week. But Ms De Pablo did an exemplary job in these eps, which trust me, means a lot coming from me, because I really don't like her or her character. Tony, finally, was not the comic relief, but one of the main strengths. I, along with several others, believe that Schmiel had something to do with Eli's death. I look forward to seeing how Vance handles all this, and loved the non-verbal admonishment from Gibbs that Leon had more important things to worry about then revenge. I hope they do some good scenes between Leon and his kids, that would be cool. Tony and Gibbs would both be good confidants for the kids as they both lost their mothers early in life. I'm disappointed that we have repeats the next 2 weeks. But look forward to what comes next. Writers---can you keep Ziva in Israel for awhile--say, until her contract runs out..... here's hoping!


it was BETTER then i feared it would be.....there was NO OVERLY ROMANTIC "TIVA".....tony came across as the type of person and AGENT, he should comes across as....the reason gibbs has KEPT him around all these years and is his SFA. didn't like the dept. director. still NOT a ziva fan....though, i do feel bad for her. and while i'll never truely trust vance....i feel for him and his family. alisa

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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.