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



Katmandu, will you marry me? You are spot on!


I am going against the grain here and be the first to say that I didn't like this episode and was disappointed that the writers gave such an emotional storyline to an actor who couldn't emote if his life depended on it. I swear he looked constipated instead of whatever it was he was suppossed to be feeling. That's why McGee is best behind a desk and a computer, it takes little acting skills to pull that off.


I agree with the comment that Gibbs won't be too touchy about Rule 12. He didn't like EJ - that's why he had a problem with her and Tony and he knew it wasn't going to last anyway. Heck, that relationship was over the end of S8 Gibbs has softened up alot over the years and we haven't heard mention of Rule 12 for over two years - Gibbs isn't blind to the development between T/Z and he even commented on Tony's jealousy about the whole opera thing. Besides, if they were in relationhip how would they act any differently than they do now? I don't know if they will get together this season, but I am confident next season is a lock. GG has been to deliberate in his development and he knew going in there would be some that wouldn't like it, but he made the decision to move it forward, he didn't have to; it could have left it exactly as it was in S9, but he knows that most of the fans want this, but it has to be taken slowly. Baby steps were his words. We will get there. Patience.


I agree with Kathi (Hi! *Hugz*), Katmandu, the ORIGINAL Jay from the other post (not the troller) & Mary. Luv McGee even more than I did before; he's more of a Man now than McAdmiral EVER was. Bring on Tiva -but bring it on NOW. Give Audience SOMETHING (even a kiss or date like the others said) to enjoy NOW - doing absolutely Nothing until the end of the series would be a mistake.


Love the Tiva! I say bring it on!


Tiva shipper comment #2
Tony and Ziva are like Castle and Kate. (yep, I'm a Castle/Caskett fan)
Tony is Castle; a 9-year-old on a sugar rush (as well as a playboy) who meets a woman that makes him want to be a better man.
Ziva is Kate; a woman who, through experience, is emotionally and physically damaged and is having to rebuild herself.
What it took Castle and Kate 4 years to work through, it's taking Tony and Ziva longer to do. But that's because Tony and Ziva have much bigger issues than Castle and Kate had/have.


I liked this episode and was glad to see McGee as the character focus for a change. The Admiral was a SOB, but I am hopeful they are working thru it - their time for resolution may be short. I love the Tiva chemisty and for the people who can't see it - it's because you don't want to see it and that's fine, but the chemistry and the developing relationship has been acknowledged by the showrunner - the man in charge - so it's there whether you like it or not. I say move these two into a relationship - it's past due! I have complete faith in Glasberg and company to do it right. And as far as someone having to move teams - who says? Rule 12 is eeking out the window - Gibbs may have moved one of them in S2 or even S8 - but he sees what is going on - and he loves them. I don't think he would put a rule over their happiness - what kind of jerk would that make him? Besides, Rule 51 - Sometimes your wrong can supercede Rule 12. There, problem solved. Tiva on!


Tiva shipper comment #1....
Tony loves Ziva. He's known it for a while now. I think he vacillated as to whether he loved her like a sister/friend or if he was "in love" with her. The vacillation stopped with the first episode of this season, and was confirmed in both "Shabbat Shalom" and "Shiva"; Tony knows he's in love with Ziva. And it both excites and scares him. That's why he hasn't made the move everybody's waiting for.
Ziva loves and is in love with Tony too. Of that I have no doubt.
Much as I like/d Kate, I didn't see Tate as a relationship long-term. Kate and Gibbs had the romantic/sexual chemistry; not her and Tony.


I enjoyed the episode but I'm a little surprised the writers have written yet another dysfunctional father/son relationship, this time for McGee. Is this the only form of personal conflict they can think of? I feel this reworking of a now familiar theme took a little of the shine off the episode for me. And I'm a little disappointed that we haven't had many Tony centric episodes or some good Tony/Ziva eps - not romantic ones but eps like The Box. I think NCIS could do with an exciting, more dangerous storyline for a change, and of course I'd like to see that involve Tony. He's been a little underused this season for my liking.


Oh, and as to Tony and Ziva, I do think there is chemistry there, but it has been worn thin by time and neglect. I just hope that they do something to either get it out of the way and off the table, or consumate the relationship so that Ziva and Tony stop dancing around the issue.
I also wanted to say that I LOVED the fact that McGee works as a Big Brother to that nerdy kid who goggled and oggled Ziva.
I agree with the person who said that NCIS doesn't win enough awards, considering they're the number one rated show on TV. The acting on the show is so flawless, I don't understand it myself, they should be floating in a sea of Emmys.

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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.