NCIS Review: Sweet Cheeks and Crumpled Fenders

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Rome, Berlin, misdirection, a duplicitous new Mossad director, "sweet cheeks" and a car crash. I'm not sure we could ask for much more from such an enticing NCIS episode as "Berlin."

The hour opened with Mossad agent Amir Mantel waiting for a contact in a parking garage. A car pulled up and someone he recognized rolled down the window and shot him. Abby later figured out that the communication earpiece he was wearing wasn't from the latest Mossad equipment, so Mantel could not have been working (or at least wasn't communicating) with Mossad at all, despite Mossad Director's assertion that he was, and that a member of a rogue faction from within Mossad had done the shooting. 

At the end of the episode we still weren't sure what that was all about.

Tony and Ziva Scene

The Tony/Ziva tease brought us much closer to what so many were hoping to see, but not yet all the way. We're not done with NCIS season 10, though, and so we're left hoping for more - providing everyone's okay after that final scene.

As soon as Tony and Ziva started off in the car, I imagine many of us anticipated that imminent crash, but then forgot to worry about it when this happened:

Ziva: You know I keep thinking if it was not for Orli, things would have been different. I would be a different person.
Tony: Then I should catch her before she leaves. You know. I'd thank her. | permalink

So rude of that assassin to smash into them just when they were holding hands and starting to get into it. It made me wonder: was that Bodnar trying to do away with Ziva? He knows her and is aware of her tenacity. He had to know she'd never give up trying to hunt him. I'm surprised she didn't roll her eyes when he advised her via video-link to let it go: please forgive me and walk away. Vendettas lead to nothing but heartache.  

Interesting, too, that he told her that there was more to the story - and that nothing was at it seemed.  Food for thought there: was he actually trying to justify his killing of Eli? Or perhaps it wasn't him at all who killed him and there was no attempted coup? What's the real story here?

We now know that the supposedly rogue faction of Mossad that Director Orli Elbaz spoke about was a lie and that the supposed rogues were all valid agents still in good standing with Mossad. We also know that Director Elbaz wanted NCIS and the other U.S. agencies to spin their wheels looking for Bodnar in every place other than where he was:  the U.S. The questions keep piling up, and there's no real light being shed here.

For example, during the plane ride home, Ziva and Yaniv had a conversation about family loyalty:

Yaniv: You would do anything for your family, if they had done wrong, would you not?
Ziva: You wrote him off. You had not spoken in years. I do not understand this loyalty.
Yaniv: It never leaves us. Does it, Ziva? | permalink

That last question seemed rather pointed, suggesting that perhaps in addition to killing that reporter, Eli David had done something else wrong, something worthy of his own death. Or at least it leaves the question open.

At the end of the day, Vance decided to let Mossad off of the hook with their misinformation, all in an effort to ensure there was no further wasted effort in the hunt for Bodnar. 

Ziva's back story with her father is worth talking about as well.So many of her choices were based upon the events of her family life: her father constantly going out on "business trips;" the breakup of her parents' marriage, as a direct result of Eli's indiscretions with a young Orli Elbaz (no wonder Ziva hates her!); Ziva dancing with her father as he says: My Ziva. One day you will dance with a man who deserves your love.

So touching to watch that scene as she remembered it while dancing with Tony. 

You get the sense too that Tony's new pet nickname for her will now be "sweet cheeks": after calling her that in the hotel room, she laughed and said she remembered the first time he referred to her that way. It seems he called her that in season three, episode eight - though I don't know the circumstances. She didn't like it back then but this time, it was different: he called her that again on the dance floor. In season three, I think she saw it as derogatory, but this time it was a term of endearment. 

I have to admit, I'm enjoying the chemistry and romance between these two: 

Ziva: When I have a man, the favors I offer have little to do with clothes.
Tony: That's good to know. | permalink

There's no doubt that these two are going places. 

Some final notes:

  • Marina Sirtis fits the Director Elbaz role well: I expected to see a slightly older version of Deanna Troi but instead encountered someone who fully took on the Mossad director character. Entirely believable and engaging. 
  • Ben Morrison embodied the young Eli David role well, too, right down to his mannerisms and voice. That was some great work, both with his acting and the costuming.  
  • Ziva seems to think that Director Elbaz's duplicity involving Bodnar's location has to do with the love she had for Ziva's father - and that she shared the same motivation as Ziva: to hunt and kill Bodnar without interference from government agencies. I'm not so sure - nothing with this woman is at seems.
  • Check out this week's NCIS quotes.
  • This week's NCIS Round Table discussion is up!  Come over and add your take on our discussion.

Now it's your turn: Is Bodnar's suggestion that Ziva's seeing the whole thing in the wrong light accurate or is he just trying to save himself from her? Was he behind the crash - or was that the work of Director Elbaz? Or someone else? 

What key piece of information have we missed here? Is there anything that can help us figure out exactly who Amir Mantel was and why he was killed? And finally - what's going to happen with Ziva and Tony? Will this budding romance go into the next season with them?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (605 Votes)

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



In Ther episode we don't what happened after tony and ziva arrested yaniv. We quickly moved onto them returning to Washington. could they have spent the night together in berlin after they intimate dance, hence the hand holding in the car.


I don't wish CdP any ill will. I just think the character of Ziva is poorly written and exceeded her expiration date a couple years back. The lack of depth her character brings, and the lack of depth the actress herself brings, drags the show down. Stick a fork in her. She's done.


@Sis Thanks. I was kinda thinking that it wasn't the same car at the end after I started to think about it and what you said makes total sense. The driver would get rid of the car since Gibbs made it. I think Mossad may be behind it too. I am anxiously awaiting for the next episode, too!


Not sure where the Ziva hatred could possibly come from. I think Cote adds as much to the program as anyone. She has a character like anyone else and plays it very well. I've seen her in interviews off set and she is very pleasant to listen to. I was very hurt after the wreck the other night just thinking she might be going off the program.


@chellemaria ok so I watched and double checked and I agree with you same SUV in garage and on street. However, I believe it is a different SUV that hit Tony and Ziva's car. Which would make since that if it is the same person in the vehicle every time they would switch cars bc Gibbs and McGee saw the green SUV. Also after watching and paying closer attention I am beginning to think that Mossad is behind all of it. Just not sure how. But I know that this show has a tendency to make you think one thing then boom....something different. I just can't wait to see how this plays out and what it means for the team.


It appeared to me that it was the same SUV that the person who shot the Mossad agent was in and the one that was following Gibbs and McGee. I think it was the same one at the end too. At least that is the conclusion that I came to. But, I haven't re-watched it yet to be 100% sure.


Okay not sure if anyone else noticed this but re-watching the episode and the SUV at the beginning is the hunter green Durango (in the parking garage) same as the one on the street watching Gibbs and McGee. Haven't watched the end. Will watch closely to double check to see if it is it as well. I know some people thought the beginning SUV and ending one was the same (a black Tahoe or Suburban).


And I did read the article by Michael Weatherly. It is very tongue and cheek! He likes to mess with the fans because he knows the whole Tiva thing drives people crazy-whether you are for it or against it. He wasn't exactly a champion of Tony's in that interview either. He has a job and he does it. He seems to be happy with this as he has stated that this show has made him a lot of money. What happens, happens. If they don't get together, so be it! Saying you don't want Tiva is a lot different than saying you want Ziva dead or Cote killed off the show.


@ xXZivaDavidXx Cote never specifically said that Tony and Ziva were fine, but in her live interview she mentioned filming future scenes with both of them in it. Also, Michael Weatherly has renewed his contract so his character (Tony) is alive at least.


part 2
of Ziva. I just do not understand the extreme hatred for her. She doesn't write the scripts. She can't demand that things be put in the show just like Michael Weatherly can't or anyone else. The only one who may get away with that is Mark Harmon. I understand not liking a character. I get it. But you don't have to say things like I hope she dies, or I hate her guts, etc.... I bet if any of you met Cote de Pablo in person you would be all over her in a heart beat asking for her autograph and about MW! I doubt that you would be as mean to her in person as you are on these pages.

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NCIS Season 10 Episode 21 Quotes

Ziva: When I have a man, the favors I offer have little to do with clothes.
Tony: That's good to know.

Tom Morrow: What are we proposing here?
Vance: Well with international tensions being so high on this, I'm proposing that we look the other way.
Tom Morrow: You can't be serious.
Vance: I am, Tom. We come down hard on Mossad now, then what happens? Talk to me about wasted manpower if Bodnar gets away after all of this? But understand: this one pass is the last one Mossad ever gets from me.
Tom Morrow: That makes two of us.
Gibbs: Three.