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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
  • 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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I'm a Tony fan (and NOT a Ziva/Tiva hater at all). In the early episodes especially, Weatherly and the writers played Tony as frat-boy-ish, allowing him to be comic relief, but he was always good and senior-field-agent-ish -- like goofing around with Kate on Air Force One, Ducky and him being photographed behind the President's desk, or answering the phone as he's pretending to be a dead body ... but explaining techniques to Kate, even if he's using a bikini model on the cover of a magazine, or how quickly he determined who the body was (the officer who met with Kate and then died in his car) and notified Gibbs on the plane. But, sometimes these days he's not frat-boy-ish but just irresponsible (like not dealing with his insurance) and self-centered (like calling McGee McGoofUp) and not competent and Gibbs Junior (like Gibbs knew he'd need a cup of coffee because of McGee's rules).

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Maybe they should of called this episode Murdered in Cold Blood, because that is what Ziva did she went out on purpose to kill someone, now the rest of the team will stand by her a defend her actions, interesting how Team Gibbs can and will break the law to suit there needs.

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We all knew Ziva father was going to die when these first happen it was Jackie death that was shocking and as for those 22 million viewers where are they now ever since then the rating have gone down. This whole season has been horrible and I for one think the show would do better if Michael Weathlery took over

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@Michael: The team knowingly works with two killers- Ziva and Gibbs. At least Ziva didn't snipe Bodner from afar. I enjoyed the episode, but I usually do. Could it have been more dramatic and twisty? Yes, but this episode is setting up for the end-of-season cliff hanger. The season will probably end with us wondering what is to become of the entire team. It's been done before and will be done again, but this is supposed to be entertainment, not reality. As long as I'm entertained, I'll watch.

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I thought this was the perfect counterbalance to "Berlin." Last week we got vulnerable Ziva; this week we got Ziva in full-on Mossad ninja mode.
Gibbs was great; knowing and plotting and trying to make sure that Ziva doesn't return to Mossad ninja for long. And his conversation with Tony...masterful.
Tony was his smart but anxious self and covering it up with humor. The more anxious he gets, the more comical he gets.
McGee was so helpful and mature that it makes one think back to when he first became a part of the team.
Vance, like Ziva, was in full-on revenge mode; he just displays it a different way. And am I the only one who thinks he doesn't trust Tom Morrow at the moment?
Ducky was...Ducky. And thank goodness for that.
Palmer was wonderfully awkward. And the line about plastic surgery was brilliant. Now that revenge has been served, it's time to see the emotional toll revenge plays out on the people who serve it. And those who are there to help them pick up the pieces of their lives.

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Part 2
You can honestly look back to all past episodes and see the foreshadowing of Ziva .. Ziva and Tony..Gibbs and Ziva.. they are the core of this show now. To those that don't want to talk about the 'romance' - If you think 20+ Million tune in to see who will kill Bodnar ..nah not at all. We knew full well Ziva would. What drives this show is not the plot, but the characters reactions to the plot and their own development.
They have been together for 10 years -- I have a feeling its time to move these agents on. It's time for them to grow up. Vance or Ziva or maybe Gibbs will get the blame - blah blah. Same plot we have seen over again.

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I have to agree with the emotional use of the audience observations from last week - and to be completely honest, I felt angry after watching tonight's episode. Of course I was so relieved that Tony and Ziva were fine - but the way the writers decided to leave us last week - was almost mocking those of us who have invested 10 years into this series. Now, as usual come the TIVA haters, this is typical .. I personally think Michael Weatherly is paying some people to bomb the pages of forums with the hate of TIVA..get over it.
Everybody was on board with Ziva doing what she had to do..You need to remember your NCIS. What did Eli first tell Leon about Ziva, "Be careful Leon, use her wisely, Ziva is the sharp end of the sword."

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This is exactly why I gave up on this show. They built this big moment only to have a crappy resolution. I agree with the majority, they shouldn't have been fine after that kind of accident...what a disappointment AGAIN. I only turned in for this episode because I saw the last one but now I remember why I don't watch it regularly anymore.

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it was a good episode but not great ziva did as ziva does.i expected them to be hurt more than they where esp tony,i remember seeing his right hand badly cut up but no sign of any hand injury.ive a feeling gibbs will be in big trouble but we shall have to wait and see but for sure promo"s are not what they seem.

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I expected that they would both be okay, but I thought having basically no serious injuries was... almost disappointing. Overall I loved the episode although I have not fully processed it yet.