Must admit I thought the same thing and yours is a reasonable explanation. I guess there could also have been an explanatory line which was cut. I was also wondering where the car came from, and indeed how they got back to Marseille, when it was considered too dangerous to hire a car or take public transport. There was a lot of story to pack in and of course only 43 minutes to tell it. Shame that it wasn't a two parter. Under different circumstances it would have made a great season finale with a cliff hanger going into season 12
Sadly though there's a huge difference between hiding behind the face of a clown and being one. In the past you're right - he did as Gibbs described it hide behind the face of a clown - though those moments were generally offset by more serious, competent Tony moments as seen in both "Aliyah" when being "interviewed" by Eli David, and in "Truth or Consequences", but sadly more recently I think he was actually treated as a clown, both by the writers in that he behaved like one and was treated like one by the other characters. Indeed even Michael Weatherly has recently described "DiNozzo" as being "the idiot in the corner". And I'm sure this is purely a coincidence and I'm reading more into this week's dialogue than was intended, but did you notice that Tony says that he finds clowns "unfunny and a little frightening"? LOL
Definitely my favourite episode of S11 by a long way! Did you hear Vance say that Tony was one of his best agents? Don't hear that much these days, though sadly the way Tony's been written of late who'd have believed it. This week DiNozzo would have given James Bond a run for his money! The moment where he shot the bad girl (sorry can't find her name) without hesitation was the most exciting and unexpected moment I've seen in ages.
I admit that this was not an episode in the league of the absolute greats, e.g., "Truth or Consequences", "SWAK" or "Chained" to name but a few, but IMHO in comparison to some of the recent episodes, it was terrific. At least it had a script that made sense, some good dialogue, competent Tony, and a great performance by Michael Weatherly. As stated below very sadly the writer of "TorC", Jesse Stern, left several seasons ago.
I totally agree Pat - Michael Weatherly is an exceptionally gifted actor, whose talents have been wasted during season 11. Way back when Don B said that Michael was one of the most underrated actors in television (see Yankee White DVD commentary) and for some unknown reason rather than making the most of his talents and developing Tony's character, over the years subsequent show runners have dumbed down his character, passed DiNozzo's previously established talents to other characters and used him to provide cheap laughs. No actor wants to do the same old same old every week, let's just pray that the PTB learn something from the positive feedback this week and we continue to see more of this competent and exciting Tony!
I absolutely loved this episode, what a total joy to have a return to old style Tony and a glimpse of the old relationship between Tony and Gibbs that so many of us have missed for so long. Favourite moments included Gibbs properly calling DiNozzo "Tony" for the first time since Season 7's "Flesh & Blood" and Tony shooting the bad girl Bond style at the end of the episode. Having waited so long for an episode like this I'm just praying that Tony won't revert back to clown Tony as he has so often in the past. I note that Michael Weatherly said that Tony can't be the hero all the time or you'd wonder why he doesn't leave to head up his own team. Okay maybe he can't be the hero every episode but that doesn't mean he has to take a back seat as the idiot making chops and casserole and worrying about bath salts the rest of the time, and secondly, the series leaves so many plots unexplained, e.g., what's happened to McGee's dying father last seen in season 10 and gave no explanation for Tony's change from competent to idiot Tony in the first place, that does there have to be an explanation anyway? And if an explanation is required, why does that mean changing a previously smart, competent, brave, sensitive, at times heroic guy into an insensitive, incompetent idiot? I've been following NCIS reviews for the last two seasons and this is the first time that I've seen so many of the fans united in positive reviews for an episode and in their pleasure at once again being presented with old style Tony. I just hope the writers take note! And here's an idea writers - if you want justification for why Tony isn't leading his own team, then let's see plenty of smart, competent and a bit heroic, Tony in season 12, and then perhaps half way through, he gets seriously hurt undercover fanfic style (nothing wrong with some of those well written fanfic stories) and has to take several episodes over coming those injuries, and once recovered to full health, he can either take over the team if Mark Harmon decides to leave in favour of Exec'ing his new NCIS-NOLA, or decides that though he's now okay he wants more time with his 'family' before moving on. All of which would be something juicy for Michael Weatherly to get his teeth into too!
I don't think it's just Bishop which is the problem, though IMHO I do think they cast too young and initially the writers just tried too hard pushing her to the forefront of the episodes, with the result that viewers felt the new character was not only being forced down our throats but they made her just so brilliant with the result that she was surpassing our boys - even Gibbs, whose gut was seriously out to lunch. She then went on to make several huge mistakes which Gibbs would never have allowed in the past. I have found myself warming to her a little during the last few episodes, but maybe that's just because she's taken much more of a back seat.However, another big failing I believe has been a run of rather poor and actually somewhat boring scripts. Maybe you could dismiss some of the early ones as a result of being rewritten following CdP's unexpected departure, but not months into the series. Though to be honest I worked with writers for 20 years in British TV and frankly when it comes to highly well paid professional writers, they should be capable of writing a decent script even at short notice. The writing between recent episodes and the terrific "The Admiral's Daughter" bears no comparison and as for Tony - what a total joy to see a return to something of his old form. I just loved it and have watched the episode several times - something I can't say about much of the rest of the season.
I remember when he used to be able to speak Italian too. I recall an episode way back when, when Gibbs asked him to translate a newspaper article. Sadly in later years that seemed to be forgotten and only Ziva had any linguistic skills.
Must admit I was disappointed when Gibbs took Bishop to NO. I remember the days when the whole team used to go on a case. After all Gibbs' team isn't the only DC team. Maybe it's not in the production budget to have too many actors on the screen at any one time! And if only part of the team were going then I needed a good reason for whoever stayed behind - something really meaty, e.g., one of the team is seriously injured on a case and Gibbs and another go to NO to chase up the perpetrator. Just a thought .... and perhaps Abby and Palmer could have gone to help with the evidence... Not seen enough of either character this season.
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