NCIS Review: Casserole Comfort

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While this somber episode didn't complete the Parsa story arc as I'd hoped, it did provide more insight into the family nature of the NCIS team, especially when one of their members is hurting.

Tony & Bishop

NCIS Season 11 Episode 13 carried on where the last previous installment left off: Delilah awakened after surgery to find McGee at her bedside.

Their conversation was short-lived, though, as she had to be sent back to surgery as a result of some internal bleeding. Shortly afterwards, McGee went back to work, despite not yet being cleared by the Navy psychiatrist.

Though he carried a heavy secret, McGee appeared fit and ready for duty. The only clue to his turmoil showed up in his body language: he carried his angst in his neck, which made him appear slumped over, most notably when he walked anywhere. 

Gibbs picked up on it right away and advised him to take it easy. At that point, I had no idea whether he was still in shock over Delilah being hurt in the blast or whether he blamed himself (which as it turns out he did).

We saw yet another side of Tony, who couldn't figure out just how he could help his friend and colleague, so he landed on making him a casserole. I thought that was perfect. He couldn't keep sitting around trying to figure out what to do for him; this was the best he could come up with. Something personal, appropriate, useful and above all, warm.

Yet, there was nothing that could get through to McGee: not Gibbs' constant reminders that he was more important than his job, not Abby's hug and not Tony's casserole. His secret wouldn't allow him comfort of any kind.

McGee wasn't looking for sympathy and in fact tried hard to show himself as being unaffected and ready for work - only because he didn't believe he deserved any kind of warmth or comfort from anyone. He thought it should have been him who was hurt in the blast. It should have been him who was paralyzed and not Delilah.

That's devastating stuff to consider. 

What would he do without Gibbs and his words of wisdom? Gibbs' advice to just talk to Delilah, and in effect just be there for her, was his salvation of sorts: confronting the reality of her horrific injury and holding her hand was far better than avoiding it.

McGee's heartfelt request to Gibbs at the end was tender and gripping.

Boss, would you mind sitting with me?


Final thoughts:

  • Parsa is still in the wind. Finding his driver and learning that Parsa was on a train bound for Miami, but that he was getting off it before the city, brought the NCIS a little closer to the terrorist, but not by much.
  • Abby's discovery that the two bolts that were found in the wreckage didn't match factory parts stretched my ability to suspend disbelief to the snapping point. 
  • Parsa's driver saw himself as somewhat of a moral person, and certainly not a terrorist. Really? I suppose some people have the ability to rationalize their behavior beyond belief too.
  • Tony's flirting with Martinez at the NSA seemed out of place. Granted, he didn't know at the time that Delilah was paralyzed, but still: everyone was concerned about McGee.
  • Did you catch the movie reference between Tony and Sofia, starring Robert Redford and Debra Winger? Tony referenced it out loud. It was the 1986 film "Legal Eagles."
  • Speaking of Tony and Martinez: they are both attracted to each other, yet are annoyed with each other too. What does that mean for the future?
  • Bishop is coming along nicely, learning more about her boss (mostly from Tony) and discovering more about the team as well. And Gibbs has no problem pulling her down from her lotus perch on the desk.


  • There is a new Gibbs rule!  I missed it the first time around.   It showed up when Abby met Gibbs when he was leaving the elevator.  Rule #62: Give people space when they get off of the elevator.
  • Check out our NCIS Round Table discussion for this episode.

What did you think? Were you shocked at the news about Delilah? Is Tony a stand-up guy for Tim or what? Is there anything else he could or should have done for his friend?

Tony has either met the one person with whom he should never have a relationship, or the one person in the world who understands him. What does the future hold for them?

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Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter


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NCIS Season 11 Episode 13 Quotes

McGee: I should have been here when you woke up.
Delilah: You're here now.

Boss, would you mind sitting with me?