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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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (249 Votes)

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



Thank you for saying that and for providing that point of view from Christopher Waild. I agree completely with everything you said and with what he said. But, unfortunately, the haters on these pages will never see it any differently. I have stated several times that people should just stop watching a show that makes them that upset and angry only to be told that I am sanctimonious and an entitled Ziva lover. But I am glad to know that there are other people out there who are rational and feel the same way I do.


I think it was Chris Wailid who responded to a tweet complaining about idiot Tony & Super Ziva with the comment "if that is what you want to see or if that is what you are looking to see, that's what you are going to see" (paraphrasing) and I think that's true - people are using those arguments as an excuse to justify their Ziva hate & they look for every little thing to blow out of proportion. The show's writers sure don't see those things and most of the fans don't either. If you view the show thru a lens of hate & disappoint - you are sure to find something to fit that bill. But, it beats the hell out of me as to why you would continue to watch a show where your vision of the characters vary so drastically from that of the shows.


The whole Tony in the director's chair was a shout out to Michael Weatherly as the "director" of the prior episode. Think about it. They never go over such items in the director's office. Then Tony making the comment about it was a nice chair. He loved the directing. It makes sense if you think about it. Otherwise, it was an odd scene.


Of all the dysfunctional daddies, I think exploring McGee's father was the most appropriate. We've heard about him from time to time since the show started, and I got the sense early on, from the way he froze when he interacted with Gibbs, that his dad had a lot to do with it. McGee doesn't have a bad family though. His mother, grandmother and sister are all close and positive people in his life. When I watched the episode, I was disappointed. There was so much advance hype, starting back in December when they expected it to air in February, that I had my own ideas what would happen. And Glasberg said, at that point, that there would be a scene with Abby "being a shoulder for McGee to lean on" which I was looking forward to. But I'm liking the episode more and more now that I've gotten some distance.


@Kris--I don't think the writers are portraying Tony as a bumbling idiot or less competent than Ziva. Do you watch Castle? Tony and Castle are exactly alike (to me). Just because somebody is a 9-year-old on a sugar rush doesn't make them bad. In fact, both Tony and Castle pull things from popular culture that ties into the case at hand very well. The William Shattner reference Tuesday night was brilliant; and while small, did help Tony while working on the case.
The difference between Tony and Ziva is frame-of-reference. Tony was trained as a cop and thinks like a cop. Ziva was trained in the "trade"; a very different frame-of-reference. They are both competent and they both respect each others' abilities. I think the writers write it that way.


The reason that the reviewer brought up Tiva is to increase his page hits & comments. One of the reasons that TPTB drool over the Tiva is the reaction it brings out in the fans. Tiva lights up the boards and this is why Tiva will ALWAYS be a part of NCIS. Personally, I love it & look forward to seeing them every week.


@Michael I have the Season 9 DVD set too, and yes, there is commentary by both MW and Cote for "Housekeeping". Care to try again?


I liked the episode; possibly the best McGee centric episode outside of Twisted Sister. I hope the writers don't drop this development never to be broached again. Hopefully, we will learn that McGee & his dad got past their hard feeling & are now making the best of the time they have together. As far as Tiva is concerned - Hell yes! Bring it on! I love the chemistry between these two. And I too have listened multiple times to the Michael/Cote commentary from S9 DVD Housekeeping! It is apparent that MW & CdP adore each other & are good friends which helps to explain their amazing onscreen connection. And shame on you @Michael for accusing someone of lying just because you don't know your facts. That is the pot calling the kettle black as you are well known for "making" up facts along the way to suite your agenda.


I am looking right now at my season 9 boxed set for NCIS. I am looking right now at the back of the container for disc 3 (as "Housekeeping" is the 4th episode on disc 3) and it says right there after the synopsis of the episode:
"Audio commentary with Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo".


I have the season 9 DVD set and I have listened several times to the commentary by Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly for the "Housekeeping" episode. Obviously, you must not own season 9 on DVD. I did not lie about the commentary. I would not feel a need to lie about something like that. I am not hiding a thing. Buy the dvd, put in the disc to play the "Housekeeping" episode and click on the spot that says watch episode with commentary. If you do not own the season 9 dvd set, then I can not help you And of course it would not be on You Tube because that would be a copyright infringement.

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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.