NCIS Review: The Agent and the Admiral

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Number-one on the list of Things We've Learned About Becoming NCIS Agents? Have a bad relationship with your dad. 

Ziva? Father murders man who might recognize him while on U.S. soil. Check.

Gibbs? It's a little better now. But both men are still a bit crusty with each other. Giving it a check.

Tony? I suppose if bedding Tony's neighbor on Tony's bed is any indication, then... check.

And now we've learned that Tim has a "son of a bitch" father who thinks his son is an "overpaid paper pusher". Big time check.

Gibbs With Tiva

At least this paternal dynamic gave the NCIS team an opportunity to show its family colors as Gibbs, Abby and even Tony (in an awkward way) found ways to encourage Tim to face his dad. Tony struck a real note when he said that fathers start out as heroes but then later on disappoint. Maybe, in a way, Tim's dad was weirdly correct when he and Tim had this exchange:

McGee: Your family was the Navy.
Admiral McGee: Still is, boy. | permalink

"Squall" introduced us to Tim's father as the Admiral of a ship on which a doctor was killed. It took the full episode to discover that Admiral McGee was suffering from stage four cancer (we're not told what kind), and that his advancement to a cabinet level post at the White House would be in jeopardy should anyone find out about his illness. 

So he was keeping the diagnosis a secret from everyone except his aide - a man with ambitious hopes, who was worried that the doctor who was treating the Admiral might spill the beans, thus impeding his own parallel advancement to the White House. Therefore, of course the only logical response was to kill the doctor. I suppose a late night conversation over some wine and cigars never occurred to him.

There were two rare dynamics in the show tonight, both involving Gibbs. One, his laughter at McGee's choice of movie outings with his "little brother" Adam. Gibbs' laughter is such an unusual event: when it happens, it's worth noting. If we had a drinking game around that, we'd all be teetotalers.  

The second was Gibbs' paternal instincts and defense of McGee. I have to say: it was enjoyable watching him defend Tim against his father, especially with an NCIS quote like this:

Admiral McGee: My relationship with my son is none of your damned business.
Gibbs: You make him think he's nothing. You're the one with nothing. | permalink

Almost makes you want to stand and applaud doesn't it? We know McGee is the salt of the earth - anyone who would try and negate a Big Brother like him the way his father did would not only be disrespectful, but as wrong as he could be. I don't care if the one doing the disrespecting was sick or not - wrong is wrong. Period. Full stop.

Having said that, you have to admire the work done by Jamey Sheridan as McGee's father: his portrayal of a charismatic boor was outstanding. I think that when an actor can portray a character which affects the viewer the way his did, it speaks loudly of his ability. 

When are the writers of NCIS going to stop teasing us with the Tony/Ziva deal? First, we have Tony making remarks about the weather girl (to Ziva's annoyance), and then we see Tony getting a little irritated at Ziva's brief flirtation with Agent Stan Burley... until Burley mentions that he's engaged. In real life, guys would need to either make a move or move on; you don't keep this tension going (generally) for this long and expect the girl to remain interested. 

Or maybe you do. What do you think?

Final notes:

  • Where the heck did Petty Officer Wyath think he was going when he fled from Tony and Burley while the ship was on lockdown? He was going to run away to... where, exactly?
  • ADHD cocktail? I don't think that's a thing, actually. Any one of the meds will do it. You don't need five of them to achieve the purpose for which they were intended in the story.
  • It looks as though the next episode (titled "Chasing Ghosts") will be airing on April 9.
  • Our NCIS roundtable is up!

Your turn. Do you have a higher opinion of Admiral McGee, now that that he and his son are talking?  What's your take on Tony and Ziva? 


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (249 Votes)

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



I would still like to know what happen to mcgee and the car Crash


I've been waiting for this episode for a long time. It was truly worth the wait. Loved Sean Murray and his "family". McGee is now and always been my favorite. HE NEEDS A LOVER!!!!!


So I wonder if Mcgee dad will be back didn't they said he was tie into the finale some how


@AnneM Kristy J is right. The big three were talked about in the episode "Shell Shock" part 2. Ziva was trying to get tickets for the Opera and Tony was freaking out because he thought she had a new man in her life. Tim, Tony and even Gibbs then told her that the Opera was one of the big three and then said what the other 2 were as they (Tony and Tim) tried to figure out Ziva's secret plans.


Tony didn't even try to hyde the fact that he is in love with Ziva anymore, well at least not to McGee. The way he talked about Ziva..his little fury Israeli....


The guy who plays McGee (forgot his name) did a great job in this episode. He was confident at the beginning when he was giving advice to the kid, then, you could just see all the confidence drain out of him when his father appeared. Later, when he got a pep talk from Gibbs, you could see him slowly regaining his confidence. It was nice seeing how the same guy encouraging the kid early in the episode needed some encouragement of his own from Gibbs later on. I now think the actor is underused and underrated. He did a surprisingly good job, IMO. Lots of emotions and all of them well acted.


I felt so bad for McGee his father treated him wrong he was even going to stop doing a big brother but Gibbs made him see why not to, I wish that we had more McGee and Abby scene and during the end was good when Admiral McGee and Tim were talking about Admiral McGee health. I wonder what Ziva is up to with this secret thing but Tony will find out whats up.


I can't help thinking McGee owes Tony a debt. Without the last 9 or 10 years worth of ribbing and the like by Tony, McGee wouldn't now have the backbone or confidence to stand up to his father. Absolutely Gibbs' influence has helped but it has been Tony that has had the most one-on-one interaction week in and week out prodding the Probie to grow from an Elflord into someone who is better able to hold his own to the next in a long line of NCIS rotten fathers. I know, I know all the Tony haters will skewer me, but that's my opinion. I think it has been Tony's job as SFA to toughen him up. He's just done it in a different way than military breaking down and building up but it has achieved the same goal. And geez the Dads! Looking at NCIS fathers makes me think maybe I had the one good, supportive, loving dad on the planet.


I'll admit,it seemed like they were leading up to Stan Burley maybe getting killed, but they didn't. Gibbs didn't go off on the Admiral as much as I would have. I'm amazed at his restraint. Very little Abby in this episode, a bit surprising. Glad to see Leon back to his usual self, though a bit more relaxed with the team, letting Tony use his own computer. Now that Tim and his dad are on better terms, maybe we'll get a glimpse of his mother in an episode. Though, most likely at the Admiral's funeral when he passes. Interesting episode, but the story seemed to revolve around Tim and the Admiral more than the case itself. That said, it definitely felt more like an old school episode.


Pretty sure that quote about the big 3 is from Shell Shock Part II

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NCIS Season 10 Episode 19 Quotes

Admiral McGee: My relationship with my son is none of your damned business.
Gibbs: You make him think he's nothing. You're the one with nothing.

McGee: Boss do you think I made the right decision with my father?
Gibbs: To be the bigger man? Maybe it's time he learned from you, McGee.