NCIS Review: Probie Paradise

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"Prime Suspect" centered around a barber who was worried his son might be a serial murderer. 

When Gibbs showed up for a haircut, he asked him to discretely investigate, with the hope of clearing his child as a suspect. The team took it on while investigating an unrelated case, involving a Marine who was suspected of stealing $100,000 from the cash sales office where he was assigned and then fleeing to the Bahamas with his girlfriend. 

Tony and Probationary Agent Ned Dorneget were sent to the Bahamian resort to bring him back.

Vance, Gibbs, Ziva and Tim

Frankly, I had a problem with the outcome of the "Dead Rose Slasher" case, in which we learned that the original set of murders were done by a guy who died in a bar fight and that a copycat was on the loose and murdering women three years later. It stretches the imagination to conclude that a TV reporter did the deed. Tim asked the question I was asking:

You think he became the copycat to resurrect his career? | permalink

The show was otherwise light and a bit surprising with all of the relational subplots - and there were so many of them. 

Tony convinced Dorneget that Vance had resurrected a long-defunct GS11 NCIS exam, for which he needed to memorize an enormous book of regulations. This was surprising on two fronts: 

  1. That Ziva conspired with him in this.
  2. That Vance and Dorneget conspired to provide payback to Tony, which took the form of a rejection of Tony's Bahamas expense report and a notification that his expenses for the past two years were being audited. 

Mad respect to Vance for playing a prank, which I think might be a first.  

Another interesting subplot involved Abby, who was desperately worried about Vance... to his frustration. His gentle deflection of that worry in asking Abby to help his daughter with her science project was intelligent, believable and understanding. In fact, his assertion that his daughter needed a "strong woman" in her life felt true. I liked that, as it seems that Vance is evolving past the cold and implacable director we're used to seeing. 

Along with the prank, this means we're going to see some more layers to his character in the future. He told Gibbs that he's back - but where is Deputy Director Craig? 

The third subplot (or maybe it was an extension of the first one) had to do with the trip to the Bahamas and Tony's submitting him to a "probie" by trying to get him to run errands and by instituting a 3:00 a.m. wake up call. Their bickering provided yet another "Tony the clown" moment when the girl they were monitoring concluded they were a gay couple. Not complaining, though, because it actually was funny. 

Two of my favorite NCIS quotes from this episode came from Tony. First:

Tony [to Ned Dorneget]: What in the name of Brooks Brothers are you wearing? You look exactly like what you are: a pubescent federal agent. | permalink

But the one that got me laughing out loud was:

Vance: Where is he?
McGee: It's haircut Tuesday, Director Vance.
Tony: Yeah, the bowl should be coming off his head just about now. | permalink

Abby's reunion with Ramsey Boone - her college roommate - was interesting. You have to wonder if we'll be seeing more of him; he certainly seems to be her speed and shares her science geek enthusiasm.

Episodes like this are so welcome - when almost all of the cast gets a small but meaty role to play. (Except Palmer this time, of course. He's the Cheshire Cat of the series it seems: sometimes there, often times not.)

So what did you think of the episode? Did you buy the outcome of the "Dead Rose Slasher" plot? Has your impression of Vance changed? What are your thoughts on Ziva and Tony teaming up to prank Dorneget? 


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (228 Votes)

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



part 1
But that's your opinion. While I have gone back and watched my DVD boxed sets of seasons 1 and 2, I never started watching NCIS until Ziva came on the show. She is my favorite and I prefer her over Kate. I enjoy all the characters. Are some episodes better than others? Yes. Do I like some characters better than others? Yes. Do I hate any of them the amount that some of you hate Ziva? No. I don't hate any of them. Ziva is not the soap opera victim of the week. I do not see her that way at all. My point is, I don't go on here and complain about characters I don't like. #1, I like them all and feel they all contribute to the show in their own unique ways. #2, I feel that to constantly bash someone is unproductive and unnecessary. I challenge all the Ziva haters to try to refrain from making negative comments about her for just one week and talk about what you enjoyed about the episode. Is it that hard to focus on the positive? And really, I love Ziva but I have never posted a comment on here that has gushed on and on about her. I don't say "Ziva was so fantastic this week" or "Ziva is just the best thing about this show" or "Everyone else needs to step back and let Ziva shine and stop being so mean to her" etc, etc...Most comments you find on these pages from people who like Ziva are defensive ones because all the haters go over the top in bashing her. Seriously, can't we have one week where you refrain from the hate and say what you liked about the episode instead of what you hated? Try viewing the show by picking out what you like as you watch it. I am not saying love Ziva or even like her, but find something that you like about the show and report that here. Can't people talk about their favorite moments and what made the episode work for them? We all teach our children to look for the good in people and to be kind with our words and to follow the edict of if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all, so shouldn't we practice what we preach? Would you talk to people in person the way you talk about them on this page? I highly doubt that if people met anyone from NCIS (cast or crew) that they would spew to their faces what they spew on these pages. Can't we make this a positive place instead of such a negative one? Does this have to mean you have to love every episode? No. But man, we all need to chill out and enjoy the show for what it is-a fictional show with fictional characters that don't change our lives one way or another regardless of what happens in an episode. It is sheer entertainment. One group of fans should not have to continually defend a character they like because all of you have to constantly say negative things. I have never once said a mean thing about a character or an actor on these pages. Is it that hard to be considerate of others feelings? Not all opinions have to be negative ones. And once again, if that is too hard to do maybe you should just stop watching the show.


I guess I'm just sad that tptb have squandered what was truly unique about NCIS, diminished and over simplified formerly interesting characters to turn the show into a lowest common denominator soap opera revolving around a dreadful Mary Sue character, so they can attract a few more teenagers.


part 2 storytelling gets ridiculous in my opinion, I stop watching. Think about how much happier you will be to no longer have this stress in your life. And think how much happier we all can be not to have to be subjected to your rants when the big Ziva arc airs at the end of the season.


Why do you all still watch a program when you obviously hate one character so much. How do I know this? Because every comment comes back to Ziva and how much you hate her. Yes, I am sure that right now the producers are working on changing the title of NCIS to ZCIS-that way they are ensured of holding on to Cote de Pablo for two more seasons. And they will give her top billing in the credits and make her superior in all her scenes. I will keep repeating this just as much as you guys keep repeating your mindless rants. I am not saying that you have to like all the characters equally but good grief, find something else to talk about or complain about. Better yet, start sending your comments to the creators and the executive producers of NCIS or to the heads of CBS. They are the only ones that have control over the programs and can change these wrongs against you. I have been a faithful viewer of several shows and then when a character starts to really bother me or the storytelling gets ridiculous in my opinion, I stop watching. Think about how much happier you will be to no longer have this stress in your life. And think how much happier we all can be not to have to be subjected to your rants when the big Ziva arc airs at the end of the season.


@Gregg - I wish they'd just gone ahead and finished the Bodner story. Now I'm dreading the big Ziva tragedy fest that will last for several episodes and the SF cliffie that will no doubt center around Ziva in peril yet again. They've given Ziva more drama than Gibbs this year. Everyone else has had a one and done. Maybe they'll change the show's name officially to ZCIS for season 11. I'm so sad for the actors who have been there since the beginning and have been completely marginalized or used mostly to fanwank Ziva. I despise the thought of yet another Ziva centric tragedy arc.


Just because a show is a spin-off of another show does not mean that they have to follow the same "script". All the CSI shows are spin-offs of the first one and they all have different formulas and have a different feel. NCIS-LA is nothing like NCIS. People need to stop taking the TIVA thing so seriously. I love TIVA but I'm not going to stop watching if they don't get together and if they do, so be it. People who threaten to not watch a show when it doesn't go their way are just ridiculous. Enjoy the entertainment and stop taking things that you don't like about a show as a personal attack.


I agree with those commenters who don't like how the show has dropped the Bodnar story line like a hot potato - only to revisit it at season's end. If they had stayed true to their characters, Vance and Ziva would have immediately exacted their revenge on Bodnar or died trying. Instead, they are now back to normal and the guy who murdered their family members might as well be hanging out at the corner bar because it would seem no one is looking for him. As for those of you who want to see Tiva get together be warned: NCIS is a spin-off of JAG and that show waited until the very last episode of the series to unite the teaser couple in that show.


NCIS finale confirmed to be May 14th.


@MCAL Are Mat and Michael the same person? I just wonder because they seem to have the same opinions and spelling errors.


@MCAL Are Mat and Michael the same person? I just wonder because they seem to have the same opinions and spelling errors.

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NCIS Season 10 Episode 17 Quotes

Tony: Couldn't help noticing you're sitting here all alone. I thought maybe you'd want some company?
Melissa: Sure. Your partner won't mind?
Tony: Partner?
Melissa: I assumed you two are a couple. Just... your shirt.

Ramsey: Looks like we got a lot of evidence to get through, huh?
Abby: Yeah.
Both: All-nighter!