Tuesdays 8:00 PM on CBS
TV Fanatic Works Better with Prime Instant Video
40,000 other titles are available to watch now.

NCIS Review: Revealing the Monster

by at .  Updated at . Comments

A junior officer in the Navy is drugged and raped, and the friend in whom she confided about it is later killed.  That's the setup for this well-written episode of NCIS.

Conflicting Cases
The NCIS team must determine if a Naval officer was murdered because of his involvement with another case or if it was nothing more than a bar brawl gone wrong.

NCIS Season 11 Episode 21 began with a driver running over a dead body while texting. Ducky echoed my thoughts on driving while texting perfectly:

Gibbs: What do you think, Duck?
Ducky: It was not that texting driver that killed the ensign, but that damned fool should be stripped of both his phone and his car.

Much like most episodes, NCIS gave us a great helping of misdirection, starting with the dead body itself, which was only a peripheral case to the main one. 

His killing could more easily be defined as "death by misadventure;" the bartender had attempted to push him away from his fellow bar combatant and in the process shoved him into the side of a dumpster. 

The resulting injury caused him to have some slow internal bleeding which resulted in his death. The bartender was later charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The major case had to do with the hushed-up rape of Navy Ensign Holly Farrell. And it couldn't have come at a better time in the series. 

Lately, there have been a number of articles detailing the problem of sexual assault in the military ranks. As one might imagine, the issue is a delicate one, but deserving of light. 

As Gary Glasberg revealed in an exclusive interview this week with TV Fanatic's Jim Halterman, the Navy was interested in NCIS writing an episode on this.

This story was compelling and seems to mirror real-life accounts we've read in the news. It seems almost common knowledge that the majority of civilian rapes go unreported, for a number of reasons. So it's not surprising to find that the percentage of unreported assaults rises when it comes to women in military ranks:

They have to live and work with their fellow brothers-in-arms. Introducing the topic to such closed ranks takes more than courage because it has resulted in them being ostracized - and, in being passed up for promotion, among other things.

Ensign Farrell's fears were all too real. And Abby was the only person who could offer her what she needed most: unqualified support, empathy and acceptance. Plus, the patented "Abby hug" went miles with her.

The episode was book-ended with the McGee-DiNozzo cleanse. Bishop couldn't see the point of it, of course, and neither can I. 

No matter: it turns out only one of them was actually doing it. Although I can't imagine how a salad and pepperoni stick diet could work either. How did McGee's breath not stink up the place?

Final thoughts:

  • It was great to see Kelli Williams playing the part of Special Agent Maureen Cabot. You may remember her from Fox's Lie to Me.
  • Speaking of Cabot - what a kickass punch she gave to the commander! A few inches higher and he'd have been dead.
  • Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see where we got a good explanation about why Ensign Burke blurted "I didn't do it!" when Gibbs and Tony stormed his room.
  • At the end, when Farrell said goodbye to Gibbs, I understood why she saluted Gibbs but wished she'd obeyed her initial impulse and hugged him instead. 
  • The next episode of NCIS Season 11 will air in two weeks.

UPDATE: the NCIS Round Table for this episode is now up.  Come over, read what the gang had to say about it, then provide your own insights!

I said earlier that I agree with Ducky about texting drivers - that they should lose their phones and their cars. But do you?



Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (79 Votes)

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


Tags: ,

sandra m--------speaking of abby,i dont get how she her self wouldnt want to get out of her ponytails & act more of a woman than a little girl how old can she be already 11 seas with abby & still with the ponytails an her stuffed bert,----------come on its ridiculous already. i cant believe she even allows it herself with her barretts & clothes & pony tails. the girl is in her 40-s , time for her to grow up & for gibbs with the kiss on the cheek is so played out. what did she do in this ep really --hug the woman & say what, her hug is getting played out also.i dont care if there are abby lovers on this site if you are one then ask yourself --she is a grown woman not a little girl. just to give her more air time they put her in this story & the story well i thought it was all over the place. thelma


Professional help well thanks.I was discussing an actress who had been with the show eight years.I would look at your reactions because you know nothing about me or why I would say something thing like that! This stye of show has be used before concerning the previous head of the NCIS LA who was killed while investigating a rape but I cannot remember the name of the episode?

@ Jean

Jean, I don't think the "seek professional help" comment was directed at you.


Oh...and some freshly sharpened Bishop-slashing claws are out and being waved in the air.


Good, solid episode and a timely one as well. I like it when the show's main story arc not only holds your interest but makes you start guessing "who dunnit" almost from the opening scene. It is always refreshing to watch an episode that sets aside some of the personal drama and just gives us a quality police procedural. Not saying I want that all the time but it is good to see this kind of installment - it is the backbone of the show. Still wondering what the cliff hanger is going to be given the lack of a recurring storyline. Looking forward to it.

@ Gregg

There's an interview posted with Glasberg--no cliffhanger this season. Won't spoil it by saying what the last ep WILL BE, but you can read the interview for yourself.

@ MrWriteSF

Where can I find this interview?

@ PatrickC

Cote de Pablo is ten times the actress and she has more style than Emily Wickersham. I have been very fair I have made a point watching just her in NCIS on line and I have also watched her in the Bridge.She seemed better in that.Do not worry Sue. Bishop will be your face enough to have problems divorce her husband and marry Tony. I think Cote de Pablo had the best of NCIS. Although I loved it from series five to Nine.The others I liked some of. They can cause explosions to their hearts content but they will never beat the ending of series nine. I will however make a point of watching "Honer thy Father" because it is such a personal thing. I am also looking forward to New Orleans.

@ Jean

"Bishop will be your face enough to have problems divorce her husband and marry Tony" Really? You've seen the scripts for the next couple of seasons? Been talking with Glasberg have you? Or maybe you've got a crystal ball you're consulting?

@ Jean

Go kill a baby in the name of your goddess Cote.

@ Dean

Go get some professional help.


The character Bishop needs to be a real person. Right now she's a stick figure. Give her a deep dark secret and let it come back to bite her in the butt. Of course, she won't let anyone know what it is. Mystery. Give her a real personality. Not slapstick or corny. Just witty. Make her real. With real problems and real flaws. Make her likable (like the rest of the team).

@ AuthorSue

That will take time WHICH NOONE HERE SEEMS TO BE WILLING TO GIVE. We already know she's married and has brothers........I think it's only a matter of time for they are brought in on some level...............

@ Terrie

AMEN!!! This crowd has SERIOUS issues with change.


Just watched the episode again. Emily's acting seemed just fine to me. Bishop letting that guy get past her at the bar, yeah, probie move. But guess what? She's a probie and is going to make mistakes. Get over it. I don't get the hate at all. It's only been a few months. Give her a season or two to really get into it. Took McGee some time to really develop and fit in as well.

@ Justin Sayn

and how did she take him down? Oh right, he slammed himself into architecture, just like the last guy she took down. I don't have the patience to give her a season. She's in my face for half of every episode, and her incompetence isn't cute or endearing. It's insulting to women in law enforcement. McGee is NOT equivalent. He was a fully trained agent. And guess what, I liked him right away. He was a genuine rookie, wet behind the ears and eager. This girl is a joke.

@ LoriG

Like I said given the bashing you do to the show its cast and crew if gutting a child was the only way to prove your point you and the other Ziva nuta would do so in a heartbeat.


I have always like N.C. I. S. because it was about the safety and security of the Country. We have cops shows on every channel. NCIS does not need to do every day sex crime, robbery. let the Cop shows do those, bring usa something that taxes our mind and bring to light the Terrorism in this country. Tried again last night to watch Bishop , give her an A in stupidity and eating,. in acting and having another agents back a F minus. She deters from this show not adds to it . Every blog says the same. am not a Ziva lover or a Bishop hater, Just stating the Facts, mam !!!!!!! The story lines are
B O R I N G any more

@ Bessie

then turn the channel and don't watch..........

@ Bessie

So Bessie, you don't want NCIS to do shows about what crimes really happen in the Navy and Marines?

@ Justin Sayn

guess what ... most crimes in the Navy aren't about terrorism, which is the only thing Bishop knows. They don't need her at all.

@ LoriG

This is a response to guest. Actually, in addition to protection, the Secret Service investigates financial crimes, being a part of the Treasury. Most Secret Service agents start there, so it's likely Kate had some experience with investigations.

@ LoriG

When you put it that way why have Kate from the Secret Service or Ziva a Mossad Spy on the Team either. The two of them knew nothing about being police work which is basically what NCIS do.Or even Gibbs for that matter he was a Marine sniper. Tony is the only one who was qualified when he first started cause he was already a policeman and knew how to work a crime scene, even McGee had to learn how to do that, why can't we watch Bishop learn now ?

@ Bessie

This particular episode was done at the request of the US Navy... read the Glasberg interview article right here on this very website...

@ KeithH

I am very happy they did this episode, even though it was obviously vetted by the Navy with a fine tooth come to make sure they didn't look bad. I thought they did a nice job.
The Bishop problem is another topic entirely.

@ LoriG

Bishop is only a problem for the OBBC zealots carrying on social media activism with hopes of making CBS accede to their wishes.


Did y'all notice Little Tony's appearance? He was there... :)


Really liked this ep. But would not want Bishop as my backup, she couldn't fight her way out of a paper bag! And that comment has nothing to do with Ziva!

@ Dee

She's an NSA analyst transitioning to a field agent. What are you expecting? Give her time already.

NCIS Season 11 Episode 21 Quotes

Gibbs: You've been saving that one, Mo!
Cabot: You have no idea.

Tony: How long?
McGee: Just this once? Okay it's been the whole time. We've been working late. I was weak.
Tony: I don't even know who you are anymore.
McGee: Wait, please, I have another one. Here. Take it. It's yours.
Tony: You can't buy me with your pepperoni. I want steak. Creamed spinach. French fries.
Bishop: Can I get in on this?
McGee: Yes. Absolutely. Steaks all around, my treat. Let's go.