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NCIS Review: The K9 and the Nannies

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You can never go wrong putting a dog into the star seat in any TV episode. And Dexter filled the role especially well in "Seek," a NCIS story about a K9 expert who was killed by a sniper after saving a child from a Taliban mine field in Afghanistan. 

As it turned out, the murdered Marine's widow was correct in her suspicion that he was not killed by the Taliban, which the NCIS team was able to figure out with the limited number of clues it obtained.

Gibbs and McGee on the Case

The dead Marine - Ted Lemere - had been using his canine to help some contractors clear some empty buildings of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), not realizing they were searching for loot left behind by Afghanis who had previously fled from the Taliban.

When he discovered what they were up to, they offered him a cut of their take - and when he refused, they killed him.

In the midst of Tony's hilarious commentary, Ziva's secrecy and Vance's search for a nanny, Dex stood out as the top dog for this show, gathering good will and love from everyone right from the start when he settled down beside his murdered handler. 

The chemistry between Dex and Ted's widow was apparent from the get-go, and despite her acceptance of the fact that Dex couldn't stay with her because of his continuing commitment to Marine services, I couldn't help objecting just a little bit: surely the companion deserved to stay with someone who obviously loved him, especially after he lost his handler. 

The writing for this episode (kudos to Scott Williams) was clever.  Even the name of the episode - "Seek" - served to bring the themes together in a collage of purpose:  Vance was seeking a nanny; Ziva was seeking Bodnar; the NCIS team was seeking Ted's killer; and Dex... well, Dex's purpose was to seek out mines and IEDs.

The writing set up a cool sequence as well, starting from Tony's quip about Vance's search for a nanny:

Tony: If Vance is waiting for Robin Williams in drag to come floating on some magic umbrella, singing "Do Re Mi", he's going to be waiting a long time.
McGee: Wow Tony, three movie nannies in one reference. That's impressive. | permalink

This was followed by the character of one of the prospective nannies who encapsulated at least two of those same movie nannies: Mary Poppins (complete with umbrella) and Maria from The Sound of Music:

Maria [prospective nanny]: It was so very nice meeting you, Director. And I do hope you'll do me the honor of being governess to your lovely children. We'll play games and sing songs and...
Vance: Well that sounds great Maria but I do have a few other applicants to meet...I promise I'll let you know soon. Thank you. | permalink

Tony was in full joker mode in this episode, too, as he showed when he and McGee went to meet Mr. Pitt:

Pitt: My sister's kid. Useless.
Tony: Useless. Well with a name like that, what do you expect? | permalink

It's rare to find him and McGee sharing the same head space, as they did when commenting on an obvious point:

Pitt: Me, I'm not the coddling type.
McGee and Tony: We've noticed | permalink

Additionally, they shared a fear of dogs this time around. In fact they had more in common than not in this episode, even agreeing that Pitt should be charged for "assault with a deadly Dobie."

As it turns out, we may have an explanation for Ziva's mistake from the last episode, where she didn't realize her notes were being read by a detective: she's been working late at night continuing her search for Bodnar.  I had forgotten about him, and so when Abby questioned Ziva's recent unavailability, I thought maybe Ziva had a romance going or something. It wasn't until Vance interrupted her investigation that it was apparent that Bodnar was still on her radar. Vance seemed to know this, too, but chose at this point not to address it. 

(See the rest of our NCIS quotes for more details and clues)

There was a lot of concern from last week as to whether Vance was back to form after losing his wife, so Ziva was able to help him figure out. I thought her advice to him was dead-on and practical. Seems like the moment he figured out that he was sabotaging his search for a nanny, he was able to see a little more clearly, such that when the right person came along, he was able to recognize her as a good fit for his children.  Mind you, that other Mary Poppins character was too weird for words, regardless of Vance's motivation. 

The end of the day belonged to Dex. That magnificent animal so loved by his original handler Ted, Ruby and Gibbs. I knew that when he was shot he would live (prime law for animals in any episode: don't let them get killed off), and was pretty sure he'd be retired from active duty. Still, it was a relief to see him being left with Ruby at the end. More than a relief, really: it was a little overwhelming. That, or I got some dust in my eye. I'm not sure.

Final notes:

  • This episode was directed by Michael Weatherly. The continuity with the other episodes was dead on and the acting and interchanges were lively and entertaining - I think he did a great job with it.
  • We know the Bodnar plot will now go on  It seems likely that Vance will confront Ziva about it at some point.
  • Tony took note when Abby brought McGee - and only McGee - a coffee. Hmm.
  • It's only been a few weeks/months and Vance is still in mourning and still misses his wife but... the new nanny is interesting, isn't she?
  • Check out this week's NCIS Round Table

What are your thoughts? Did you like Dex (bearing in mind, the only acceptable answer is "yes")? Where do you imagine Ziva's search for Bodnar will go? Here is next week's promo:

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (220 Votes)

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

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@guest Thank you! I don't usually post on here, I do post on another forum about a different show though and would hate to see that place hijacked by a group regurgitating the same vitriol again and again and again. This place should be for actual fans to discuss each episode intelligently, that's what its here for I assume! It will be ruined otherwise, and that would be a shame, which is what has made me post today. A lot. (Sorry to everyone else!)

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part 2 contribute anything new to the conversation. I believe that everyone can have their opinion but when it is stated over and over for the 100th time, they need to find something new to say. They say these things even when the show isn't about or focused on Ziva. In my opinion, that is trolling! @MissF Thank you for your thoughts and opinions. I agree with you 100%. But like you believe, I too feel that these people will never be happy and will continue to fill these pages with their hate speak.

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@Michael
I have never once made a derogatory comment about any of the characters on NCIS. I love them all. I enjoy them all. They all contribute to the show and add value to it. So, you are wrong once again. I do not believe in going on these pages and saying negative comments about ANY of the characters-Ziva included. I have never once said that Ziva is my favorite or that I was a Tiva shipper. You are implying that because you cannot handle anyone defending Ziva. I would say the same thing and offer the same defense if people were continually bashing Tony or Abby or McGee, etc....You and the other 3 I mentioned in my previous posts only bash the same character, on and on. @Matt
I would agree with you if the same 3 posters and now I will say 4 as I will include Michael in this now, did not repeat the same thing over and over again. They do not talk about the episodes, their goal is to continually bash one character over and over. That is all they do. They never contribute anything new to the conversation. I believe that everyone can have their opinion but when it is stated over and over for the 100th time, they need to find something new to say. They say these things even when the show isn't about or focused on Ziva. In my opinion, that is trolling! @MissF Thank you for your thoughts and opinions. I agree with you 100%. But like you believe, I too feel that these people will never be happy and will continue to fill these pages with their hate speak.

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Matt- If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, its a duck! Lets not be dramatic. Calling someone out on their behaviour, or disagreeing with their opinion, has nothing to do with freedom of speech! (Thanks for making me laugh though. :))

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@Michael. I was the one to mention the double standards sometimes on here, and sorry to burst your balloon, but I'm not a Tiva shipper (I'd never heard of the term until a few weeks ago) I'm just a fan of NCIS. Meaning, I actually watch the show, and actually take notice of the story lines, instead of just making them up to fit my skewed opinion. If 'Tiva' was to happen? As long as it was written well, and didn't take over the show (which I highly doubt given the standard of writers) so be it. If not? So be it. As for proof, you've never given anyone any proof of anything you've said, despite being asked many times, and you've been given plenty, on many subjects, which you've repeatedly ignored. So really, I think you might be pointing your 'outrage' in the wrong direction.

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I myself find it funny that sharing of opinion is now call trolling no wonder this world is going to Hell no freedom of speech

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@guest This is why people are sick of people like you because anyone who does not share the view of you and the only Tiva shipper are attack bully and are called troll why you think you have the right to bash tony,abby and anyone who is it your God Ziva. What truly funny is you say were the one with double standers but its YOU and YOUR people who are drinking the Kool-aid that the Tiva shipper have made. Funny how it okay to say Michael Weathelry hate the EJ character without any proof yet that okay for Tiva shipper but call people like me idiots when we GIVE proof of Michael not liking Tiva. So it seem like to me that YOU guest need to accepted that YOU can't take the truth or other people opinions.

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@Guest - That would be the sound of a nail being hit on the head there! That's exactly the reason, hence the hilarious double standards applied to all arguments such people make. This makes tedious reading for every real fan on here, but I doubt it will change sadly. :(

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@S
Yea, I actually do. I said my peace and will not bring it up again. But I am sure that you will continue to say the same thing over and over again and not have an original thought until NCIS is no longer on the air.

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@guest - Do you feel better now?