NCIS Review: Pardon for Parsons

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This premiere episode of NCIS was aptly named "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" - or "WTF." With the announcement of Cote de Pablo's exit from the series, writer Gary Glasberg had to scramble to plot out a decent storyline - and it showed. Intricate and detailed, this episode demanded our full attention.

It turns out Parsons was on a wild goose chase with his investigation of NCIS from the start.

He learned that he had been set to investigate them only to discredit the team because they were getting too close to the truth: that a terrorist group called "The Brotherhood of Doubt" had been forming partnerships with U.S. companies.

Their end game was to create destruction so that the companies could profit from the rebuilding.

Tony and Parsons

Between the assassination attempts (one of which was successful: sorry to see you go, Secretary of the Navy Clayton Jarvis), Tony's tentative romantic approach to Ziva and the ex-agents getting their badges back, there was a lot of ground to cover.  

Frankly, this is the kind of NCIS show I find compelling: lots of action and lots to think about.

Tony's love life is looking more and more like heartbreak city, isn't it? You want to forget that Ziva's not going to be in the picture for long, especially as you see the gentle smile on his face during their IM session. "Count to a million. I'm on my way," he types, as he gets ready to join her in Israel. Besides, as everyone knows, they are both civilians now so there's no stopping their attempts at romance. The man is clearly vulnerable: despite the bravado of his inner dialogue, he just can't help checking with her now and then to make sure it's still okay that he join her. And the grin on his face when she (re)assures him she's looking forward to seeing him. Marshmallow Dinozzo.

Still, unrequited love must remain unrequited; that annoying red dot on his chest pretty much dumped his plans almost immediately. How frustrating for him... and for the Tiva-ites among us.

I like how Gibbs is so unflappable, even as he realizes his cover in Iran is completely blown; almost everyone is looking at him and talking amongst themselves about him. He tries to hide, but there's not much cover in which to do so.  So it's Parsons to the rescue.  Oh, if only Abby could have been there to see that: maybe she'd warm right up to Parsons. You had to wonder if that constant slap on the back that Gibbs gave Parsons as he spoke about it afterwards wasn't a little passive-aggressive, a way to show his gratitude while still administering just a tiny bit of penance on the misguided but repentant Parsons.

I hope Parsons remains a presence on NCIS. There's so much they could do with him. For starters, he has to build his trust with the team, all of whom are rightfully wary of him right now - especially Abby, who loathed him the most before. Secondly, the man's quick, and has decent investigative skills. Third, we can't ignore the fact that his findings were accurate before: almost the entire team has crossed the line at least once; so having him there would create an interesting tension as he tries to win their confidence while they work to keep their secrets secret. 

Final notes:

  • McGee has a girlfriend, Delilah Fielding played by Margo Harshman.  You may remember her as being Sheldon Cooper's assistant on The Big Bang Theory
  • Abby doesn't like her. Or doesn't know what to do with her. She tried to ignore her, and failed. So what is it about her? Is Abby jealous, perhaps?
  • We still don't know how much Homeland Security (Tom Morrow) knew about the terrorists before hand. Morrow wasn't clear when Vance questioned him.
  • Try as I might, it's hard to buy the notion that a terrorist group would form partnerships with companies in order to create an environment of destruction-reconstruction for money. Capitalist terrorists? Doesn't ring true. Maybe this can go under "stuff we can ignore so as to keep the story going."
  • We still don't know why Gibbs pointed his gun at Fornell four months later. Hopefully that will be cleared up in the second part of this story next week.
  • We have yet to see how Ziva exits the show. Although we can anticipate that Tony's on deck for a broken heart.

So...what did you think of this premiere? What do you think of Delilah? 


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (565 Votes)

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



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If Eli knew about the terrorist cell, then maybe they told Bodnar to kill Eli.


I hope my theory is true and Trent Kort was behide this that would be cool,I do find it funny how NCIS is doing their version of the Criminal Minds, Emily Prentiss/Ian Doyle storyline. As for mcgee g/f she seem to respect mcgee and treat him like a person something that none of the woman in mcgee life have done not even abby who always saw mcgee as a 3rd rate Human being.


I have a feeling any "goodbyes" or "until we meet agains" will be done via MTAC,if at all. But I really can't imagine they wouldn't have a final Ziva/Gibbs moment. Unless we are all being duped and Ziva comes back with Tony...


I'm hoping that Ziva and Gibbs have a goodbye moment. They've had a father/daughter relationship almost from the start and it would be disappointing if there wasn't some type of closure for the two of them.


@MikeG: I said the same thing about Parsons and Delilah, but I don't think "Dick" and Parsa are the same person. You brought up excellent points; However it was Adam, not Parsons who found the dead bodies in the "farm house" which was much nicer than any farm house I have ever seen.
@noname: that final picture sent to Tony was young Ari and young Ziva. If she sent that photo then we just got an inkling of what her mindset is at the moment. Two of a kind? Once an assassin always an assassin, and therefore not worthy of any one, especially Tony? I hope they don't go that route.


Ziva's necklace wasn't draped over a picture of her and her lover but a picture of her younger self and father and the picture she sent to Tony was also one of her as a little kid and possibly Ari. Also she will definitely appear in the next episode but that will be her last(unless she comes back).


I personally think Parsons is involved to with this parsa guy if he is not the same person. First he found Gibbs in Iran. Then n saves his life only to two Gibbs that the phones were not safe. That was not found out till later. Also I do belive delilah is referring to Samson. Where Gibbs is Samson. McGee was being used to get information to Gibbs that might not be accurate. Because only McGee was not fired at. Also when in the prior episode McGee mentioned that Parsons was an information hoarder with black mail material on high profile people. The JSOC Cpt was being blackmailed. There were several comments about late 50's gangsters including Al Capone. Strange that a straight laced DODIOG lawyer would be almost like a50's gangster. Next when in the lab with Abby Parsons tries to say that it is impossible for abby to say where the head came from. He looked a little worried. Finally only Eli and Ziva knew about the safe house yet when Parsons finds it they find 3 dead bodies. Not to mention all the bugs found in the building in last seasons finally what better bug to have than someone who will report to you directly and is accepted by the group. This was done before with agent Lee and Domino. Please forgive spelling errors as this was t topped on my phone


Yo si estoy triste, creo que cuando Tony y Ziva se besan, en el aeroperto, son una pareja es en mayo y junio. Despues ella, probablemente termina con Tony y se esconde entonces El vuelve a Israel,la busca, escenas donde El tiene barba, y Ella le dice que no la busque, que se aleje, puede ser julio o agosto. Y ahora septiembre y octubre, ella se va, El la busca.... y nosotros a esperar..........

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NCIS Season 11 Episode 1 Quotes

I'm positive that NCIS is being set up. Sending you out here was not about Lieutenant McBride. It was about separating you from your team.


Tobias: Hard to know who to trust anymore.
Gibbs: Has it ever been easy, Tobias?