NCIS Review: Searching For the Next Mrs. Gibbs

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Who is the perfect woman for Leroy Jethro Gibbs?

Much of this week's NCIS was amusingly dedicated to this very topic, with the team motivated by two factors to find that elusive female. They believe Gibbs is lonely and they like their boss a lot, sure. But they're also just working absurd hours lately and feel he needs something to occupy his time.

With Tony heading the search committee (obviously), this plot was introduced during the opening credits of "Safe Harbor", along with a head-scratcher of a case that gave NCIS and CGIS joint jurisdiction.

Tony, Ziva and Borin

The Coast Guard's Gibbs equivalent, Abby Borin (Diane Neal), is always fun to watch interact with the team, and was obviously a top-tier candidate right away as far as DiNozzo was concerned.

Like DiNozzo, I would be all about Team Bibbs if they decided to give it a shot, but she negged that idea from the start. They are awfully similar, but isn't that more of a good thing than not?

I loved that Borin came on board both missions, however, lending NCIS her black book of sorts and even checking their progress from time to time. Even if she's not personally in the running, there had to be a strong, successful, Borin-like Renaissance-woman in her list of contacts, right?

Yes and no. Through their sleuthing, the agents narrowed their search down to one ideal woman Gibbs HAD to meet ... only he already had, and dated her, and acknowledged she was perfect.

The problem? There's nothing more boring than perfect.

Pretty great conclusion to the team's quest, as was Gibbs' closing scene with Ziva, in which he responded point blank to her concerns of his loneliness by saying you can't be alone when you have kids.

Throughout the ninth season so far, we've seen again and again how Gibbs views the younger NCIS agents as his family. This has always been the case to a degree, but never quite so overtly.

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

His "kids" are growing up before our eyes, and like any good father or father figure, he's letting them take the reins more and more, while still being the backbone they've come to depend on.

It would have felt too cheesy if Tony and Tim set Gibbs up on a blind date or something. Gibbs has his own rules (which he shares on a routine basis) and probably has one barring blind dates.

Gibbs is the man, plain and simple. His definition of happiness is just different than most. If he says he's not lonely, it's probably true ... although if he wanted to have Borin over for a romantic evening of fireplace-grilled steak and black-and-white television, I would wholeheartedly support that.

The case of the week found Ziva connecting with a woman in a very different way. Through Miriam (Shohreh Aghdashloo), the wife and mother of the Lebanese refugees aboard the abandoned vessel, we got a glimpse of the mother our special agent always yearned for.

There were parallels with Ziva's life as far as the complicated lives their men lead. Miriam was a terrific character, bolstered by the fact that her only shady behavior was trying to protect her family.

The rest of them had other ideas. When NCIS learned that the father, Farid, was linked to a 1984 bombing in Lebanon, they rightly expected something was amiss. Then they narrowly stopped his young, unassuming son from blowing up the ship and half of Norfolk's naval base.

Ziva and a Mother Figure

Was Ziva's mother just being a mother, as Gibbs put it, by shielding her from Eli David's life for so long? Did Miriam turn a blind eye to her own husband's political views for the same reasons?

For a mother, there are no blueprints for these things, but they do the best they can. Luckily in Ziva's case, she ended up with a great second family in the end, thousands of miles from Israel.

Another interesting component to the investigation was the role of SecNav Clay Jarvis. The episode would have flowed just fine without him, but NCIS is clearly setting up something bigger here.

Following his major role in the season premiere, we saw Jarvis' tactics openly questioned by Vance this week. On one hand, it's good that Vance will even say he's overreaching when he sees it.

You have to wonder when this dynamic will manifest itself again, though, and how Gibbs will be involved. Those already inclined not to trust Vance likely won't be comforted by this friendship.

Overall, another quality episode with plenty of laughs and moments to make you stop and think, too. A few closing thoughts and observations before turning it over to you:

  • Vance's reaction upon walking in on the fiasco involving Tony's pants - on which a stain provided a clue to the refugees' intentions - was priceless.
  • Abby really will stop at nothing to crack a case. Criminals of the world, just give up now ... or steer clear of Naval bases.
  • "Pitt. Fincher. Soap. Stuff blows up." - Tony's synopsis should've been the official tagline for Fight Club
  • How cool was Ducky's discovery of the Morse code on deck?
  • Second straight week with no Palmer? What gives?

What did you think of this week's NCIS episode? Discuss!

Safe Harbor Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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