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NCIS Review: Just A Little Faith

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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.

Abby

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?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (112 Votes)

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

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Why is the quiter's photo on the banner of this article. DISGUSTING

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@ retiredinlavernia

Did you mean to say quitter? The rest of us don't know what a quiter is. Yea, it's so disgusting that someone would want to spend time with their family instead of working 14 hour days. That's so vile of her.

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My only issue with the episode is Bishop going to go snowshoeing with her dad in Oklahoma... not this year... they got no snow in OK.

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@ KeithH

Unless she lives in the panhandle.

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I would love Ziva back but Cote de Pablo chose to leave for personal reasons which is what she said. Otherwise she would have had a six week break and if she was that tired they would have given it to her because no one wanted to lose her at least that is what they said. She made them laugh so where you get the actors being happier because of this new actress I do not know. I am staying with personal reasons as I am fairly sure it was. Love to see her back with a couple of episodes here and there though.

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@ Jean

It has been reported that she wanted a shorter contract and they opted not to give that to her so obviously they weren't willing to do whatever it would take to keep her.

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i to miss ziva when i watch the repeats she was one of a kind but cote chose to leave so that's the way it is. bishop ok but kinda childlike she always once praise. hopefully she will get better. was good to see ben vereen him and vance did great together. i wish tho vance would've had gibbs at his place for christmas since they've become good friends.it was a nice episode to finish out the year

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i to miss ziva when i watch the repeats she was one of a kind but cote chose to leave so that's the way it is. bishop ok but kinda childlike she always once praise. hopefully she will get better. was good to see ben vereen him and vance did great together. i wish tho vance would've had gibbs at his place for christmas since they've become good friends.it was a nice episode to finish out the year

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i think i'am ziva withdrawals. for some reason and from certain camera angles i see a resemblance to cote. i don't know if it is the eyes or nose. someone tell me i'am nuts and i'll move on. by the way i really like bishop. just give her and the writers time to develop her role. still love the show

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@ james

There is only ONE cote DePablo

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The problem with SB (Super Blondie) is that she is just lame. No spark. The writer's are pushing her as this super smart person and it just does not mesh with the team. She actually tells Gibbs to hold on she's working on something. Really? Why have the rest of the team when she: knows better than Gibbs, she's smarter than Tim or Abby, knows more than Duckie and Palmer and is more quirky than Tony. Nice actress I'm sure but wrong fit.

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@ SPot13

I agree totally.

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@ SPot13

she said she was running down a lead and wanted to be sure it was worth looking into before saying what it was. Haven't you wanted to be sure of information before giving it to your boss's especially during a delicate situation like a viral outbreak?

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@ Braddock

Would have been nice to tell the team what her lead was and get their imput in determining the correct course of action. But I guess SB is just so smart and quirky she can just tell everyone to shut up until she solves the case.

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@ SPot13

At least she didn't try to kill them and blame her father like Ziva does or did

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@ SPot13

She never did tell anyone to 'shut up' you prick

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bishop is a little too child like for me. tony the big brother mcgee the mentor & soon daddy gibbs, give the ones that would have liked for the show to let the guys work together for a while till they found thre real right one,& not one for tony to stare at from his desk,zivas gone but will not be forgotten,& i think that they not even talking about her is so cold,so she wanted to move on---the way gibbs said that was like a punch to the neck.i think they are getting away too much on the navy crimes also. i guess because bishop doesnt know enough about the navy yet ? thats a joke people. i know the show had to make changes but they should have thought it out,a man could have filled that desk too, im sorry im just not seeing why this bishop is even there. mic

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So much better then last year I have also notice how much happer the actors look now that cote gone

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@ Michael

I disagree. I think everyone looks depressed and lost.

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bishops too imature,they shouldnt have rushed to find someone to fill zivas desk so quick,she will become another daudhter for gibbs & i think thats another mistake heading up the track,tony will be a big brother & mcgee her mentor,way too young for the role she has & i dont get why they never mention ziva,esp gibbs he was quite bla when he said she wanrted to move on,she didnt want to kill anymore there is a difference. i know shes not there anymore but shes not dead.she did alot for the team,right to the end killing bodner & it just wasnt for her father it was for vance too,^ he has never mentioned her. nice family they turned out to be,for all the butts she saved,& respect she learned to have for ncis, i just dont get it,yet they mention kate,the women has been gone for 8 yrs, ill keep watching because i like the show,but they are getting to far away from navy crimes,now will have bishop solving parsa who is he & where did he come from ,has he got anything to do with the navy, well i do feel bad that ziva is not talked about & think its dead wrong. because shes not dead, mic

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.

Abby
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