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



I loved that this was a McGee-centric episode, I only wish that McGee's dad had gotten more of a stern talking to by other members of the team and by Vance, who should have said more to his jerk father about McGee not being a paper pusher at all (he does as much as possible electronically, anyway). I also wish Abby would have had a shot at McGee's dad, because she has a great way of dealing with bullies.Plus, she loves Tim, and I think she could convince his dad that he's really a smart, important part of the NCIS team. And I wonder, like the reviewer, WHY all the NCIS team members have to have bad fathers? Does this indicate that the main writer or creator of NCIS has a disapproving, cold father? I happen to know some guys whose dad is career military and he's a great father, warm, caring and he approves of their career paths and has been there for them since they were small in every way possible.


In my opinion, Tony and Ziva have an abundance of chemistry. It oozes out of them and has since day one of season 3! A relationship that’s on track to blossom. According to a spoiler at the beginning of the year Glasberg and the other writers were impressed with the chemistry MW and CdP were showing while filming the season opener.
“ 'This is the year. Trust me,' Weatherly tells us. 'This is the year.'
Glasberg says he pulled the trigger on the new trajectory for “Tiva� after he and his team watched Weatherly and costar Cote de Pablo work through the season premiere’s elevator scenes. 'The consensus was to do that more of that this season, to peel back some layers and find little moments — and [ever since then] we’re finding opportunities I think the Tony and Ziva fans will really enjoy.' "


@ Wendi I agree with you about the lack of respect this show gets from the industry in terms of awards and any type of acknowledgement for the success they have had. I guess you have to be on cable and have gratuitous nudity, violence and language in order to be considered worthy of an Emmy or a Golden Globe. Although there is no excuse for it not being a People's Choice Award winner; that fault lies within us, the viewers. If every one of the 20 million viewers took the time to vote on the People's Choice web site, the show would at least be guaranteed that win!


Listen Tony and Ziva are great as partners and friends but there is ZERO CHEMISTRY there for a romantic relationship and if they do get together the show might as well get cancelled. I couldn't think of anything worse than putting these two together. I have watched the show since day 1 and all i can say is that Michael Weatherly had much more chemistry with Sasha Alexander than he does with Cote de Pablo IMO. I loved Kaitlin and Tony's chemistry in the first two seasons and was devastated when Kaitlin was killed. Don't get me wrong i ADORE Cote de Pablo and i ADORE Ziva but not as a romantic interest for Tony, never have liked the idea and i never will.


I think that if Tony and Ziva don't get to gather by the end of the season they will a whole load closer


After meeting with McGee's jerk of a father I can now see how he has put up with Tony's sarcasm, practical jokes, insults and general stupidity all these years. He grew with someone like that, only with a mean streak. McGee's a great actor and really shone last night. Only Gibbs, Abby and sometimes Ziva have shown him any respect before, now maybe the viewers will. He's just naturally a good, loyal, kind, courageous man... not a joke even the writers feel free to make fun of on their whim. What's with taking Jimmy back to his long-ago silly kid days? I felt like I was in a time warp with his inappropriate jokes and big stupid grins. He hasn't acted like that in quite a long while. What gives? BTW, when is this top-rated of all shows going to be shown respect by the entertainment media and community? They should be winning awards, instead of one-offs from Showtime, HBO, etc. Just asking...


I liked the story line with Tim and his father. However, I was disappointed that crime was so predictable. It was similar to other onboard drug plots. To answer the question about Ziva. She is hunting for those involved in her father’s murder. She was tracking someone online when Gibbs walked into the office and she quickly deleted the page. I believe she is tracking this person/persons at night and doesn’t have time for Abby. In time, she will get her man.


Grimm- we met the sister when she was in college and thought she killed someone Jamey Sheridan did a great job. I liked that Gibbs defended Tim, but even more when Vance did!! That was unexpected and therefore priceless! Love this season. I haven't had a single blah episode.


sorry for not finishing my post - computer messed up. I blame the NCIS show runners for this Tony/Ziva "game". They are trying to play this card as along as they can, to keep the series going. But that is starting to backfire on them, in my opinion. They can't afford to wait until "The last episode". JAG was a DISASTER by the end - I hope NCIS learned from that mistake. NCIS should end with GIBBS retiring & everyone HAPPY with their careers or whatever. Even Tim & Gibbs know that there's something pretty strong going on with Tony & Ziva. Ducky knows too. Everyone seems to know except them (or so we're led to believe). I'd like to see them at least go out on a Date near the end of an episode - do SOMETHING, for Pete's sake!KISS THE GIRL, DiNozzo!!! Enough with the teasing.


Someone here mentioned it (Forgot who): EJ, Borin, tons of guest stars (like that Det. in A Desperate Man) have all mentioned that Tony & Ziva should be together. That means the Producers have been baiting the audience - since Season 5, right? That's when things started to really heat up between T & Z. So I don't blame Tony or Ziva - I blame the SHOW for dragging this relationshiplay this until the "series end", they will end up in the SAME disastrous situation that JAG was in. JAG's fans were FURIOUS about the lack of respect the pr

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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.