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



@Mat You are right. I retract my statement. I still stand by the fact that Law and Order SVU and CSI aren't doing well though.


@guest - Well then, I apologize for misunderstanding your sarcasm; I certainly didn't see it that way at first. I, too, am DONE with the 2 or 3 "haters" who make it their livelihood to trek across cyberspace & make trivial Ado about NOTHING over a character who has only grown in popularity -even surpassing some of the others. It's certainly not Ziva's fault; the Audience clearly likes her, and she's INTERESTING & FASCINATING. That means the actress who portrays her is doing a PHENOMENAL Job!! An all-male NCIS would NEVER sell to a large audience, and the show would've been canceled a long time ago - that's for sure!!


@MCL just because a show get good rating does not mean its because of one character or that the show is good look at two and Half Men or Bones or Castle those show are horrible but they get good ratings because people watch them for background nose. Beside its like Mark said the reason NCIS is getting their rating is because of The USA network showing them before WWE Raw, so really we have Vance from WWE to thank for NCIS ratings. Maybe its time for you to stop drinking the Kool-aid and get the high school Googl off your eyes and see that little miss perfecrt as you call her is it perfect.


That IS a lot of money. I like MH and I realize that he and his family have pretty much been well to do celebrities all his life and that he brings star power to the show, but I really think that the show has been so successful because of the other 3 core 4 characters as well. The McGee, Ziva, and Vance characters are not particularly unique types and are found in most crime shows, but Tony, Abby, and Ducky are very unique characters in the scheme of crime procedurals. IMO it took all the originally written core 4 to make the show stand out as truly unique.


for an average actor Mr Harmon is being paid a lot of money, and please don't say because of Mr Harmon the show is a success, its a team effort as far as I am concerned, all the cast should be congratulated on making the show what it is. So is Mr Harmon really worth $38 million a year I don't think so.


Anyway, MW is directing the next episode. It will be his vision of Tony playing on the screen, so we can finally put to rest the back and forth of Tony's character.


Would anyone like to tell him that the NCIS before Ziva had less viewers then the NCIS with her. And that both Law and Order: SVU and CSI have been decreasing in viewership for a while now.


Yeah, except that a normal season is 24 episodes, not 22 which means he "only" makes $1,583,000 per. And, yup, he's worth every penny!! If the whole adoption thing works out...could I be your sister?? lol


Did anyone else read this morning's edition of "Parade" magazine? Apparently Mark Harmon's new contract is worth $38 million per year. For a 22-episode season, that's roughly $1.7 million per show as its star and EP. Hugh Laurie and Charlie Sheen can suck it; Mr. Harmon just topped the "All-Time Top Paid" list. I wonder if he'll adopt me?


@Chris Obviously you did not see that I said I was being sarcastic. I love Ziva-she is my favorite character. I was responding to all the other Ziva haters on this page who constantly complain about her and say she is ruining the show and that they want to stop watching. My response to them was in two parts so maybe you didn't realize that. My comments began with the fake Cote demands! I have and always will be on Ziva's side. I am tired of reading the same bashing comments so thought I would just turn the tables on them.

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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!