NCIS Review: Just A Little Faith

at .  Updated at . Comments

How fitting that, at this time of year, an NCIS episode would be all about faith.

Abby's Holiday Spirit

On NCIS Season 11 Episode 11, there was little faith to be found at first. Vance didn't trust the motives of his estranged father-in-law. And the parents of the first little girl who was stricken with an unknown illness certainly struggled to keep hope alive, what with Bishop rhyming off a number of possible causes for her condition.

And Palmer had no confidence about being a father, particularly as the case wore on, and he struggled with Abby and her friend Carol to identify the virus that seemed to be mutating, affecting a wider and wider number of children.

The writers couldn't have provided a better red herring than the creepy guy who wanted to infect his "girlfriend." His explanation was: I figured if I helped her feel better again, she might appreciate me more. 

Right. Here's a hint;  when someone says I'm not a monster, after all - you can be sure that person is the poster child for the word. Good thing this one was mostly impotent, unable to come up with anything resembling a virus.

Ducky profiled him perfectly, too: the "girlfriend" either didn't exist, or if she did, she had no idea that Comey (the creepy guy) even existed.

As we saw, it was fortunate that this was not a case of bio-terrorism, as Tony feared. It was a treatable bug, brought over from the Congo.

Rocky Carroll played to his strength in this episode: he has always done suppressed rage very well. His target this time? His father-in-law Lamar Addison (played so well by  Ben Vereen). 

When Addison showed up on his doorstep - after warning him that the next time he darkened his door, his agents would be taking him elsewhere - I was surprised that he didn't just pop him one then and there. Not overly surprised, though: Vance was always one to maintain his cool, regardless of the provocation. 

Still, the man feared for his kids, especially after this unwelcome father-in-law came by the house when Vance wasn't home.

Enter Abby, the Fairy Godmother of hope for two of the faith-impaired. As the anti-skeptic of the world, she was completely frustrated with Palmer's angst over being a father. Without realizing it, her words of wisdom hit both Palmer and Vance at the same time:

Life isn't always perfect, you know? But sometimes things would work out for the best if you just had faith.


As much as I like Bishop, it's good to know she has flaws. We saw one big one where: when her emotions are engaged, she finds it nearly impossible to let go. Usually when one makes a social blunder, the custom is to think about it, shudder and then try and forget about it. 

Not Bishop. She just had to go talk with the parents of that little girl once more to try and bolster their faith that the child would come out of it. That was her self-inflicted penance. 

The parents gained hope, based upon Bishop's statistics about other horrible illnesses, and then they hugged her. That was my cue to shudder. What if the girl had died, as the old man did? It could easily have happened. How great would her guilt have been then?

The hope here is that something similar to this happens again and Bishop does a blunder that can't be fixed. She needs to learn how to roll with misfortune... especially those that are self-inflicted.

Final thoughts:

  • Now that the Vances have reunited with Jackie's father, the hope here is that we'll get to see Ben Vereen a little more. What a great casting choice!
  • Gibbs and Vance seem to have grown even closer. After Vance turned down Gibbs' first offer to help, and Gibbs persisted, that small smile from Vance said it all, and was good to see.
  • Here's hoping we see more of Abby's friend Carol (played by Meredith Eaton) as well. She's been on the series twice before: once in 2009 and again in 2011. As noted in the NCIS Sneak Peek for this episode, Eaton is Pauley Perrette's real-life friend.
  • Apparently, cinnamon puts a smile on Gibbs' face. Tony knows his boss well - and Bishop picked up on it. 
  • The song at the end was Nothing More by The Alternate Routes.
  • The holiday wishes to the military at the end was perfect. 

NCIS returns on January 7, 2014 and you can watch NCIS online in the meantime.

What did you think of the episode? What are your thoughts about Ducky's profiling of the creep-monster Max Comey? Will Palmer and Breena get approval to adopt? Do you imagine there will be any more friction between Vance and Addison? Would you have appreciated a bite of that delicious coffee cake?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (112 Votes)

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



Great Episode!


Get rid of Bishop, Please!


Get rid of Bishop!


Last January NCIS released Shabbat Shalom and Shiva, which set up the Bodnar arc that played out the rest of the season. and made NCIS a joke for the rest of the year let hope Gary learn his lesson.

@ Michael

Still an idiot I see

@ barfingaswespeak

I agree with Michael


I am really looking forward to seeing who is going to play the NCIS Agents in NCIS New Orleans as I to think NCIS is getting a bit boring and very much a similar reworking of what went before. I never watched NCIS LA as I was really involved with NCIS at that time.


season 11 should be the last season its just not as good as it was.


I love this show and I can't believe how awesome it has gotten My only complaint is I think its time we find out who Vance really is


well ya know i would like to have someone to tell me why it was such a great epi---homesick, mcgee has a friend whos little girl gets sick,& they dont know why--& bishop says thats weird she did too. weird is such a stupid word to use dont you think. & when gibbs & tony & they take bishop to go & check the suspects apt--shes says the closet is empty & so are the draws as shes standing there with her laptop--yea ok like you would open a closet door not knowing whats behind it,i seriously cant figure gibbs out,next will be she has a gun built into her laptop,for her to walk around a crime scene with a laptop is so stupid & more so looks like an unfocused team,what happened to gibbs,or lets just say where are the writers heads at.but it was once again gibbs finding the answer--when it looked so gloom,oh the coffee cake if she were going back home for the hoildays why was her mother sending her a cake here? some say the best christmas epi they have seen,i have seen much better epi way before this one really good ones & touching & made a lot more sense,some will know of which ones im am speaking of.ok so now we have this next epi with this terroist parsa & i was just wondering will she be bring her lap top to check whats going to go down..if bishop is going to be on this team,she needs to go to a shooting range,she needs to look at a dead body in duckys lab, & perhaps get a backpack for her laptop it looks ridculous her walikng around with it, i feel the writers have lost there mojo & they need to find themselves ,i said fom the beginning that they should have someone with skills other than a laptop. is this really ncis anymore, i think not it doesnt know where its going & col mann is in the next epi didnt she retire ,to the hawian islands--back when jenny was director. i dont know what you are watching ,lets hope it gets better before worst.i really am watching gibbs he is not the same none of them are i wonder why----------------maybe someone not there anymore. mic


Also where did you get the idea that Bishop is played by a young actress?

@ Jean

Does age really matter? I thought I read somewhere that Bishop was supposed to be in her late 20s. No matter her age people don't have to say
negative comments about her
appearance. And no one really
knows how old Emily
Wickersham is. She hasn't
released that info to the public.
But she is obviously, probably,
the youngest cast member
hence my young actress


I would like a female team boss to. One that does not get killed off which is the NCIS way.

@ Jean

Ncis LA kind of has a female Boss in Hetty. If you mean by a female special agent in charge the Ncis Red tried to go for that and that show was over before it began. Personally I think it was cuz they chose to cast Kim Raver.

Tags: ,

NCIS Season 11 Episode 11 Quotes

Palmer: I'm so not having kids.
Abby: Okay Jimmy. That does it. Excuse us, director, but something has gotten into Mr. Palmer, and I would like to get it out now.
Vance: Well don't let me interfere.

Life isn't always perfect, you know? But sometimes things would work out for the best if you just had faith.