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



-continued -
more of a fan than the writers apparently are.


One addendum to my thoughts about the plethora of agents with crappy fathers before I officially write off this ep for good. I read and participate in a couple of boards. Love tiva or hate tiva, and I do hate really tiva, one thing that seems fairly standard on all boards by most contributors is the issue of the dumbing down of DiNozzo. I am begging the writers on my knees, please bring back competent Tony. Yes, he is the comic relief but he's also a 40-something grown man who is a trained federal agent. Surely he doesn't have to be exclusively only a juvenile buffoon or a humorless competent hero. Isn't there a middle ground? Gibbs told DiNozzo Senior that Tony was the best young agent he'd ever worked with. Where is that guy? Why can't he be competent without being a threat to Ziva's place on the show? Can somebody please show that episode to the writers? I don't think they realize it is canon. I know it is just a show but it is frustrating to be more of a fan than the writers apparently are.


@Michael - Your comment is completely out of line. Someone took you to task for hanging onto an ancient quote as justification for your feelings -- and your response is not anywhere near as polite (if you believe someone is mistaken, that's way different than calling them a liar). You've always been quick to call people names. Please stop it.


Regarding the Tony and Ziva thing, I dn NOT like the nickname so I will not use it. This review was suppose to be about McGee and his father and the reviewer turned into a Tony and Ziva questioner this is why I do not want them together EVER, it would forever change and destory NCIS as we know it.


@Guest You keep on bring up Housekeeping commentary I look on Youtube and the DVD there is no Housekeeping commentary so stop lying


Nothing against the actors. They delivered on the script they were handed. But why oh why does every NCIS character have to have a crappy dad and a crappy family backstory? I assume the point is so that everyone ends up with Gibbs as his or her father figure, but it's too heavy handed. It's a tired story the NCIS writers have done to death. It's like it is the writers' one-trick pony go-to story line. It's pretty depressing too. I do love NCIS. Last week's ep was a great reason why. But this stuff and tiva crap makes me want to bang my head into a wall because there's so much potential with these wonderful characters.


TIVA=Tony and Ziva and people have been equally talking about them in regards to this review. No one has stated anything bad about Tony. You however, have started in again on your Ziva bashing. You are just too blinded by your hatred of Ziva to see this. We all know you hate Ziva, it is no surprise. We have all been having a civil discussion until you, once again, have turned it into a diatribe against Tiva and Ziva.


I enjoyed this episode. When I first heard Navy PO 2nd Class Daniel Graves)played by Russell Sams he was on JAG (TV series) Airman Peter Tyree – New Gun in Town (2001) … Airman Peter Tyre.
The relationship between McGee and the Admiral, McGee and Gibbs, Gibbs and the Adirmal, Vance and the Adirmal was great.


No one said a thing negative about Tony in any way, shape or form. The person who reviewed this episode asked the posters here about their thoughts about Tony and Ziva in this episode and asked for our opinions on where it was going. Did you not read the above review? The article you are quoting Michael Weatherly on is from October, 2009. I know this because I looked it up. He said himself in Sept of 2012 that this is the season of the TIVA. He also asked Cote on the Housekeeping commentary from season 9 (that would be from 2012) if she thought that there would be a Tony and Ziva wedding. He has not said anything negative in regards to Tiva this year that I have read. It seems as if he may have changed his opinion. And once again, he doesn't have a say in it-the writers have the say. He can hate it ALL he wants but the writers and creators are going to do what they want. And I am an equal lover of Tony and Ziva.


You Tiva fan have entitlement issues you keep using Rule 51 just so you know it can be use against you

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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.