NCIS Review: Prognosis, TMI

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Well... that was a bit of an awkward blast.

The idea of murderous clowns has got to be everyone's favorite nightmare.  NCIS Season 11 Episode 10 opened with one such clown putting a bullet into a Marine. Then things took a turn for the worse.

An Awkward Situation

In their pursuit of the guy who owned the phone found on the dead Marine, the team tracked one of the incoming numbers, which lead them to a hotel room. 

That's where we all witnessed horror number-two of the episode: Tobias Fornell in his skivvies, putting the moves on Diane. My reaction was similar to Fornell's, oddly enough:

Well tie me up and call me Loretta.


You have to love it when the case of the week takes a bit of a back seat to the rest of the NCIS interpersonal dramas. I don't think we've ever seen Gibbs so tortured. How does Fornell not understand that the reason Gibbs is so bad at offering advice (in this situation, at least) is because hearing about Fornell and Diane's sex life is the last thing he wants to imagine? 

I mean, it was cute how Fornell and Diane, in separate conversations with Gibbs, used similar imagery to describe their angst over their resurrected romance, but come on - this is the mostly silent and reserved Gibbs we're talking about. 

And it's not as if he doesn't have a reluctant stake in the whole mess, having been once married to Diane. She accused him of whining, but what I saw was a guy slowly toppling down the staircase of his own sanity, trying to be friends to them both and succeeding at neither, while holding in his revulsion at the whole idea of them being together in a *ahem* carnal way.

Every time the poor guy got home, sighed and threw his keys on the counter or flopped down on the couch, we all knew his day of misery wasn't over. 

The first instance wasn't so bad, with him having to shelter Fornell's daughter Emily for the night. But the second one - where Fornell and Diane wanted his blessing? That was over the top and so unnecessary. You could tell they were sincere, but were they that blind to his pain? 

Evidently, yes. They were.

And speaking of blind, there were two other ridiculously blind moments in the show. 

  1. When Abby came in, all excited and blabbing to Gibbs about the multiple hot messages Diane had been sending to her boyfriend. She's not stupid: how could she not notice Fornell, Diane and their daughter all standing right there in the same room? Comedically, it works but realistically? Not so much.
  2. Bishop did something similar when she burst into the same room with great news before realizing the gravity of the moment... right before Gibbs dropped his cell phone into his coffee. I'm not buying the dumb agent act.

Earlier in the season, during one of our NCIS Round Table discussions, there was a question about our hopes for Ellie Bishop. I mentioned that I hoped she would be someone who would stand up to Gibbs, not in a confrontational manner, but in a strong supportive way. I'm glad to see that this is exactly what happened.

Ellie Bishop isn't looking for confrontation. That's not who she is. At the same time, she has the confidence of her own observations and analysis and she voiced them in direct opposition to what Gibbs had proposed with her plan on how to nab Eddie. And he agreed, which pretty much put Tony and McGee back on their heels.

It's fun to see that they though they all like her - including Ducky and Palmer - they can't quite figure out how she fits in with them yet. And vice versa: Bishop is still trying to parse the group dynamics and doesn't yet have an answer to the question about whether to warn her colleagues when a senior is coming up behind them. She's trying too hard - a fact that Emily was able to relay to her on Gibbs' behalf.

It was good to see Diane again too. She seems to function as catnip to so many guys who are too easily hooked on her. And Gibbs is thinking of forming a club. 

Of all the hilarious NCIS quotes for this episode, this one - about Diane's not-quite-boyfriend's physique - is probably the funniest:

His chest is bigger than Diane's.


All in all, an enjoyable episode. 

What did you think? Will Fornell and Diane's relationship work out? What are your thoughts about the resourceful and quick-thinking Emily? Has your impression of Ellie Bishop changed? What did you think of the case? Were you surprised that their prime suspect turned out to be a Secret Service agent?


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (124 Votes)

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


Linda martinez de perez

ncis is getting boring and I love ncis come on people fix it


When the episode started I flashed on the "Look - (Stop Me If You've Heard This One) But There Were These Two Fellers..." episode of "The Avengers" (the 60's era UK Spy Show not the Marvel Super Hero Group). That episode dealt with Killer Clowns. I do not know if this was intended as a Homage to that scenario or if it was accidental but the set-up was the same. I loved the daughter who was hacking her parent's Facebook accounts as well as putting a tracker on her kidnapper.


I agree with some of the comments I'm reading about Bishop and the writers. While I liked her sibling interaction with Tony, they're elevating her to super human way too fast. I see us going down the same road we did with Ziva in that they kind of dumbed down the boys in order to elevate her. Sure they're giving her some ineptitude at picking up on social cues but she's a newbie and she's already the go-to girl and already has all of Ducky's and Palmer's knowledge memorized over weekend reading?? Let her be believable Probie first. I'm guessing this latest crop of writers are pretty young and unseasoned with short attention spans who are trying way too hard. Maybe Jesse Stern could give them some Saturday classes. I did like that I laughed out loud more than usual but please be mindful slapstick is a slippery slope which leads to embarrassing caricature. Come on guys ... I love my NCIS so get it together.

@ Easton

The writer of this episode was the very experienced Steve Binder, who should know better. Everyone on the show is in love with EW and EB and thinks we should all feel the same. I sincerely hope they pay attention to both sides, and find a happy medium for this character.


This is not NCIS - It's another show that I am not liking at all. If you watch the reruns and then watch this season its just so sad. I have no interest in watching anymore. It was a good 10 years. Time to say goodbye.


This ep was the worst written piece of tripe I have seen on NCIS since the beginning! Its bad enough the writers are turning Tony into a cartoon character and that Abby is headed the same way. Then in this ep even Gibbs is out of character for a significant part of the story. This bunch bears absolutely no resemblance to a crew that could sole any kind of crime much less terrorism or murder. I think it has been going down hill for the last 3 seasons and finally jumped the shark this week.

@ Richard

I agree the script is low budget any what is with bishop.the series is headed for disaster

@ laurel

The viewing numbers doesn't bear out your statement. Think of it this way: the more people engage in argument about Bishop, the more engagement with the series. That's what I'm seeing anyway.

@ Richard

I get the feeling that we are being set up for "NCIS: The Next Generation". I sense that MH may be leaving the on camera side to lend his talents to this new spin-off, possibly leaving MW as the star, or not. Given the hype and screen time they are giving to this woman who is still being billed as "Guest Star" although we all know better, maybe she will be taking over the team, since it appears she already has.

@ Richard

Sadly, I fear you are correct ... in every piece of your assessment.


As a die hard Ziva fan I will admit that I like Bishop. I do not have a problem with her or with the actress portraying her. My issue is with how the writers
are shoving her down our throats.
Yes, Ziva had mad skills that pushed
the boundaries of what was realistic
but at least the team put her in her
place. Tony was constantly harassing
her , Gibbs was always reeling her in
and Abby outright hated her for
awhile. And McGee approached her
with caution. However with Ellie, Tony
and Tim acted in awe of her and Gibbs
just let her take over without
objecting-come on! So not Gibbs. But I
certainly don't blame Emily
Wickersham. It's all about the writers. If they stop trying so hard the show would flow better.


I actually wholeheartedly enjoyed this episode. Some of it was a little over the top, but I haven't laughed that hard during an NCIS episode in a good while, so that was a nice break.
As for Bishop: I like her. I like her personality, her slightly socially awkward behaviour and her strokes of genius. My only issue is that at the moment, she overshadows everyone else- that scene in autopsy really was a bit much. However, I'm well aware that these three episodes were shot with the intent to showcase Bishop's character, so I would hope that things will calm down a little in the future. Tony and McGee need to at least be shown to be equal to her, not as colourless and average as they appeared in this episode. And Bishop needs a few more character flaws attributed to her. Other than that... I'd like it if she became a permanent part of the team, even though I miss Ziva as much as the next person.


Cote De Pable chose to quit and leave her co-workers to pick up the pieces. And they are trying so hard. I hope she's happy.

@ AuthorSue

This is a tired argument. Professional writers are taught to deal with the unexpected. Actors leave shows and sometimes they die. The job of
the writers is to deal with what
is given to them. You can
perhaps blame Cote for the
awkwardness of the first two
episodes but the writers have
had time to recover by now so
to blame Cote for the uneveness
now is ridiculous.

@ guest

There 's been nothing wrong with the writing, post Ziva. They've explored the feelings of the characters a little more because of the shocking change in their lives, both professional and personal. I think that insight was good. The cases have been thoughtfully written. I've had no issues with season 11 so far.

@ guest+

I didn't say there was a problem with the writing per se. I'm talking about people who constantly say that the problem with the show is due to Cote leaving so suddenly. I was merely stating that the writers and cast have had 4 months to deal with it so that argument is no longer valid.


To each their own, and I will never question the opinion of anyone else. Indeed, I enjoy the constructive comments of others, sometimes it puts a whole different light on things.


I appreciate that people are trying to give this new girl a chance. The posts here just reinforce my impressions, the writers are trying too hard to make her perfect and it is not working. Can't figure out what it is that anyone sees in her. Yes, Cote left of her own accord and I can only hope that she is going to show up in the spin-off in New Orleans...many more fake episodes like last night and this die-hard NCIS fan who never misses a Tuesday night may have to take up a new hobby.

@ Sally

Right like your Israeli super ninja killer was any less perfect?

@ Sally

So to you anyone who likes Bishop is an idiot right?

@ Hilary

How did Sally imply in any way, shape or form that if you like Bishop you are an idiot with her above comment? She has a right to her opinion. Some Ziva
fans like Bishop and some Ziva
fans don't. I believe there are
probably some Ziva haters who
don't like Bishop either. One
character has nothing to do
with the other. Not liking
Bishop doesn't mean that one is
a Ziva Zealot or even a Ziva fan.

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NCIS Season 11 Episode 10 Quotes

Bishop: I mean, I might have a better idea. Look, Eddie is coming back. If he was ditching his car, there are easier places to abandon it than at an airport. We should put it back and watch it. And when he comes to pick it up----
Gibbs: We grab him.
Bishop: Absolutely not. We follow him, see what he does, where he goes, then we grab him.
Gibbs: Works for me.

Diane: You guys are buddies now?
Gibbs: Yeah. We were thinking of starting a club.
Diane: Yeah? Well watch it, boys. I know something about each and every one of you, that you don't want anybody else to know. And I got a Twitter account.