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NCIS Review: Fortune Favors the Bold

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She got him. And Ziva and Vance finally got their "Revenge."

Ziva had no time for cutesy romance this week on NCIS, and in fact was beyond exasperated at Tony's childish behavior concerning his car insurance woes. She pushed herself past the pain of the car accident, working herself out mercilessly at the gym. 

When Tony was moaning about being kicked out of McGee's car, she saw it as another opportunity to train by loaning him her car while she jogged back and forth to work.

Timothy Pic

To the great relief of everyone, Tony and Ziva got out of the car crash with just a few scrapes and painful bruises. And, contrary to my own prediction, the accident scene was directly the fault of Ilan Bodnar, who had targeted them for the sole purpose of retrieving the uncut diamonds they had taken from his brother. 

As she emptied her gun at the fleeing spy, Ziva was able to obtain a partial plate, which allowed a gang of NCIS agents to storm the house of the getaway car driver. The latter proved to be something of an enigma, having completely changed his appearance: his facial bone structure had been altered, his fingerprints had been removed and he had even had his teeth replaced with implants. Ducky's determination to identify the man won out when he found a serial number associated with one of the parts used to reconstruct the man's jaw. 

The main evidence that turned the case was a piece of paper found in the man's pocket with the cryptic words "See Reisiger 19" written on it. Palmer's handy translator app determined that the English translation (from Afrikaans) was "Sea Voyager." This was the name of a ship and the "19" referred to its pier number. 

While Tony and Gibbs rushed to give the news to Vance, Ziva slipped away, set to settle the score with Bodnar, on her own terms. After doing her firestarter thing as a diversion, she slipped aboard the Sea Voyager, found Bodnar and, in hand-to-hand battle, ended up flipping him over the side of the ship to the dock where he died.

Once again, the writers for NCIS have done a tremendous job. They kept us guessing all the way through. 

I was sure Bodnar would end up not being responsible for the deaths of Eli David and Arash Kazmi - and I was only half right. I'm still not sure he was merely after power in wanting Eli dead: he told Ziva that Eli was taking Mossad and Israel in a dangerous direction and that he was "selling us out to Iran" and had to be stopped. I think he was a patriot but that he was wrong-headed and stubborn. 

Probably in a few ways he was like Ziva: willing to go to any lengths to reach his goals. And she was willing to bypass the authority of NCIS (and, ultimately, Homeland Security) by going after him herself, meting out her revenge.

Strange, though, that after deciding on this rogue plan of action she refused to shoot him when he was unarmed. How many of us were shouting at the TV set "SHOOT HIM ALREADY!" But no - she had to go at him and get into a knock-down drag out fight. One for which she was at least marginally prepared.

Another oddity had to do with Vance and Ziva. After Tom Morrow read Vance the riot act once again and told him to make sure NCIS stayed at arm's length regarding Bodnar, the former had a discussion with the team and then stopped by Ziva's desk:

You and I have to let Homeland handle this. Understood? | permalink

And there was a pregnant pause as they gazed at each other, hinting at a meaning other than what he actually said.  This was confirmed a while later when he told Gibbs that NCIS was supposed to lay off:

Gibbs: So do we? Lay off?
Vance: The man killed my wife, Gibbs. | permalink

Clearly Vance wanted Bodnar dead - and he was completely on board with Ziva doing it.

Tony proved his value as comic relief guy in this episode with his demands of McGee regarding a car ride and in getting Abby to pretend to be his administrative assistant when the insurance company called. He didn't expect her to commit so fully to the role and you could see the worry in his face as she began to raise her voice at them.

I laughed when McGee was face to face with Tony in the elevator and this happened:

McGee: If you don't like my rules you can find someone else to drive you in.
Tony: All I wanted was to stop for coffee. I was willing to treat.
McGee: No one eats or drinks in my car.
Tony: Well I guess sex is out of the question. | permalink

All in all, this was a great episode. The final scene was just about as perfect as it gets. Ziva, battered and bruised, walking into Vance's office. Vance struggling with his warring emotions over his concern for her, and his need to know if Bodnar was dead:

Vance: Are you all right? Is it over?
Ziva: It's over. | permalink

Some final notes:

  • This episode was all about revenge being completed. And it wasn't diluted by the pending consequences that are sure to come down on them in the two remaining NCIS Season 10 episodes.
  • Next week's episode will feature Colin Hanks, who will be playing DoD Investigator Richard Parsons.
  • I have no idea whether McGee's information about Central Park is true and whether the seasons are impacted because of the heat from buildings and the subway system.  I like to think it's right. If not, it's a great plot gimmick.
  • As always, be sure to check out this week's NCIS quotes.
  • Our NCIS Round Table for this episode is up.  Read, and then chime in!

What did you think of this episode? Did you expect the Bodnar story to come to such a complete end (I mean, minus the legal aftermath)? Did you see any weak points with the plot?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (424 Votes)

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

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Yes I did. Way to go Ziva

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I was pleasantly pleased with this episode this week. Although I'm not really liking the Ziva is all angry routine. I have a bad feeling about the finale. Anyone else thrilled about Tony and Ziva surviving that horrible car crash?!! I was relieved and could finally sleep soundly after putting me through hell last week. I was so glad Ziva shot Bodnar and was not expecting them to get him unt next season.
Loved the Tony clowniness this week. Have missed that side of him SO MUCH. Tony being goofy that's just what makes Tony such a wonderful character. And to all those haters out there they need to take a flying leap cause without the clowniness Tony would be boring. And I'm liking the fact that he's finding balance. :) He's really maturing in my opinion. Also loved him being so concerned and worried over Ziva.
All in all great episode! Can't wait to see next weeks!

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I agree, there were a lot of lame apsects in the writing of this episode. Would anyone believe that Vance would just sit back and let Ziva have all the fun? And I understand what Tony's character has been over the years, but stop making him a complete clown. Lets get everyone together and focused the way that has made them so popular over the years.

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The show sucked. Ziva should be written out of the script. Her character as some sort of super woman is repulsive and unbelievable...as is Tony the clown.

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The episode sucked. Tony can't really be that buffoon. Ziva is repulsive and not believable. Whatever fallout comes from her actions and those of the NCIS is deserved. The writers need to get back to solving crimes. And has anyone noticed how many revenge killings (ie; supposedly morally acceptable)this show sanctions?

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On a side note … what was Gibbs making in the basement? Writers made a point of Gibbs covering it up when he heard someone coming down the steps. Hoping Cote resigns!

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I was disappointed with the writing. COMPLETE let down for me after last week’s episode. Bodnar never would let Ziva live through the car crash. He would have shot her when he took he back the diamonds – Bodnar is a trained Mossad agent too; he knows what she’s capable of and that she would never stop hunting him down. At least he could have thought she was dead when he took the diamonds. Lame. Another huge writing flaw for me - no serious injuries AT ALL in that car crash?? And since when does Tony need an excuse to come and see Gibbs? I don’t know why Tony didn’t answer Gibbs about if anything else happened in Berlin. I’m sure the previous are misleading with the “slept together� comment = Tiva. Didn’t Tiva have Bodnar’s brother in custody – they probably would have left Berlin immediately. I also could have used better Tiva interaction. At least acknowledge that they were happy neither one was injured. On a side note … what was Gibbs making in the basement? Writers made a point of Gibbs covering it up when he heard someone coming down the steps. Hoping Cote resigns!

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The "Central Park" heat island/microclimate part of the story is plausible.

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Hey Kevin Wells - Michael doesn't have to pay anyone to say they hate Tiva. Believe it or not, there are many fans who are sick of it all - so you can put away your paranoid delusion that Michael has to pay anyone. Any fan of Tony, would tell you that he needs to stay the hell away from Ziva, and find someone who is sane. As for this episode, hated it. Which is sad. I remember when I used to love to watch NCIS and couldn't wait for Tuesday night. Last night, the only thing I could say I liked about the episode was when Gibbs got Tony coffee, when Abby talked to the insurance company (finally a scene with Tony and Abby together)and the Tony/Gibbs basement scene, although it was off in a way. This reviewer must not have watched the same show as I did last night. The writers surprised us? Not really. I was pretty sure that Tony and Ziva would walk away OK, due to preview, pics, etc. of other eps, plus think back to the building blowing up, and Tim's injury. I was 100% positive that Ziva would be the one to kill Bodnar, een if she did have a shoulder injury, and the guy is bigger than her - because that's what super Ziva does. She can do anything! [sarcasm) Sad that I used to like this character, and now I can't stand her, simply because of how she is written. In fact, I don't like the characters very much anymore, period. Where has the real Gibbs gone? That should be the big case at the end of the season - to find Gunny Gibbs once again. The one who demands answers from everyone, not just a few, and who does not wait for someone to tell them something. McGee is getting annoying, and helping Ziva behind everyone's back? While it is understandable that Vance would want revenge - just as it was with Ziva, I was hoping they would do the right thing instead of being vigilantes, especially since the difference between Vance, and Jenny was the fact that he followed the rules, and didn't use his agents for his own purposes. Now he has used Ziva, just as Jenny used Tony. Sad. Tony is the only one of the agents, who actually tried to follow the rules - and what happens? He is dumbed down because we all know that in the end, Team Gibbs can do no wrong, and this is no exception, right? I mean, that mean old guy will come in and do a 'witch hunt' as Ducky calls it, when actually, it's what he should be doing, and Gibbs, McGee, Vance, and especially Ziva should not be able to walk away unscathed.

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I was really afraid that something permanently bad would happen to Ziva and relieved that her basic skills came through. Ziva is the only member of the team who never worked under the former director who is now Homeland Security. No loyalty there, and she doesn't give a hoot if he doesn't like her work. Evidently, Ziva's role is easier to write. Some of the writers don't seem to know what to do with McGee.

NCIS Season 10 Episode 22 Quotes

There's something you and NCIS must know. As much as I didn't like or trust Arash Kazmi, I did not kill him. There are others who are responsible for the assassination of your father's Iranian friend.

Bodnar

Gibbs: So do we? Lay off?
Vance: The man killed my wife, Gibbs.