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



The episode after "Missing" is titled "Squall" which will air March 26th. Sounds like an appropriate title for meeting the Admiral, but there is no info about this ep. If this IS the Admiral ep, that means there are only four more after this one (24 ep season) and if they end in May, then not all will show in April. Last year there were two in April and three in May and 24 episodes. I anticipate three in April and two in May.


The final five eps starts with Tim's father. They have to revisit this arc with Bodnar. It will of'course showcase Ziva AND Vance. Get over it. The next ep, in two weeks is directed by MW and has "dogs, kids and bombs" according to him and at one point he looks inside a VW bug by trying to go in through the moon-roof. Sounds silly to me and wait...the director is MW! Could be there will be a tie-in to Bodnar, but nothing says that yet. Tony is Tony because MW makes him that way.


You guys are too much. Tony is the way he is because MW plays him that way. In the recent video he admitted to us (in front of GG) that he never prepares and usually has no idea what the script is about when they first start shooting and much of his acting (which he says is bad, but I don't agree on that point) is extemporaneous-off the cuff, made up, improv. And it shows. All of the sophmoric humor is MW, so blame him if you must assign blame. Also, the Director of this ep hasn't directed for NCIS since Season FIVE. In the five episodes since "Shiva" the death of Ziva's father has only been referenced in two, and Bodnar none. I agree that there is a major focus on Vance's loss but not Ziva's, which has been a line or two at best. But the question from Tony in "Hereafter" does show that there is behind the scenes things going that we the viewer are not privy too. The final five eps starts with Tim's father. They have to revisit this arc with Bodnar. It will of'course showcase Ziva AND Vance. Get over it.


For those of you who are upset that Ziva's big drama hasn't unfolded quickly enough, don't worry - they're just saving it for the last 4 or 5 episodes building to the season finale. Ziva is off her game and since Gibbs didn't call her on it, we are to understand that it's time for this years pity party to begin. The season finales always have to be about Gibbs and/or Ziva now, so don't worry. She'll have plenty of screen time in which to display her mega angst time and time again. So let's see, we've already had 3 rather Ziva centric episodes with at least a couple more coming up. For you Tony haters, give us Tony fans a break. He's had one, one and done Tony centric episode and has been written as the butt monkey the rest of the season. All that Tony fans will get in the upcoming Ziva tragedy fest is to see him be her purse.


...sorry, lost some of my post........even stranger that Gibbs did not draw her attention to it, but after reading some of the other comments, it would make sense that it was the writer's VERY SUBTLE way of reminding us that she is OFF her game & grieving. I had almost forgotten about Eli since there havent been many referenes to him. Looking forward to seeing how that story plays out.


Thanks for the review! I really enjoyed this episode. I am a Tony fan, but don't quite see why people are upset with his portrayal in this episode. I don't believe Tony's expenses are actually being audited - it was a joke. I believe Vance was helping Dorney play a prank back on Tony. Tony would be too slick to fall for anything initiated by Dorney. To me, that shows a bit more of Vance's human/playful side & I like that. Tony has a great sense of humor & I think he would actually think its funny when he realizes it is a joke. Besides, he is a strong/grown man (IMO), not some delicate shrinking violet that needs to be coddled. If someone is leaving you out of the game is when you really have to worry about where you stand with them. Remember how upset he was when Gibbs STOPPED headslapping him? He considered it to be a sign of affection. Like others, I also thought it was strange that Ziva did not guard her paperwork from the detective better and even stranger that Gibbs did not point it out to her, but after reading some of the other comments, I realize it must be the show's VERY SUBTLE way of reminding us that she is OFF her game & grieving. I actually almost forgot about Eli since there have been very few references to him. Looking forward to seeing how the story plays out...


I agree, noname (lol)..Ziva is NOT ok, and this is the problem many audience members have with NCIS right now. Like Nance said, the show does NOT do a good job of following up on really important events, like Jackie & Eli's deaths. You CANNOT wait until "season's end" to slide nonchalantly back into the BIGGEST storyline of the entire season. We NEED to SEE how Vance & Ziva are faring so far, in dealing with the difficulties surrounding the deaths of their loved ones. You CANNOT just leave that hanging. It's very foolish of the show's producers to do that, because it causes an Audience Disconnect, which is totally unecessary.


If Tony or Tim had screwed up and left the picture out for the metro detective to see, Gibbs would have ripped them a new one. But since we now have daddy Gibbs instead of Gunny Gibbs running the show, his poor poor little princess tragikins gets yet another free pass for her unprofessional screw up. Poor baby! Oopsy! I'm NOT likely to watch the upcoming Ziva tragedy fest that we are doomed to be served for 4 or 5 episodes that comprise the season finale. I'm so sick of the Ziva show.


I think that Ziva was a bit off this episode because she is still not over her fathers death. I think that her not noticing the detective looking at the paperwork was intentionally out of character to show us that she is not all fine. Hopefully we will get an episode where they finally find Bodner and this is all resolved.


I agree about Tony's childish behavior; he got what he deserved. I thought we were past "Tony the Instigating Clown". I can't stand this Tony, and I'm sick of his habitual Chauvnistic attitude, which has no place on a TEAM Environment. He was doing really, really well; why do the writers insist on sticking him back into that Saracastic Corner that NOBODY likes?? As far as Kate goes, I hate to disappoint the nostalgic few here, but Tony NEVER liked her in a romantic way, and even admitted it to Ziva. They NEVER had any spark, and she was a Snarky little witch when it came to Tony. MOST viewers agree that Kate & GIBBS had the actual spark.

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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!