When the monsters of the world continually get away with murdering innocent people and destroying lives, it is cathartic to see them finally get their punishment.
In this case, a bullet to the forehead was Parsa's final reward, offered up without hesitation by Gibbs.
The intensity of the last Parsa chapter in NCIS Season 11 Episode 14 can't be overstated.
It was hard to watch the Navy Seals storm Parsa's compound through the various jittery helmet cameras: it forcefully brought to mind the takedown of Osama Bin Laden. This was one of those times when it was easy to forget that this was a TV episode and not real life: there was real worry for the Seals as we saw them hunting through the darkness for their "jackpot." And real relief, too, when they announced that they had him.
Even if that relief was short-lived.
Bishop's tragic flaw was finally revealed in all of this, though it's difficult to put a label on it. Her entire six-year hunt for Parsa became an obsession - one which Parsa recognized and capitalized on. Their interactions - him giving gifts and clues and her learning chess from him - was reminiscent of Clarice and Lector in Silence of the Lambs.
The nature of their give and take dynamic was briefly displayed when they were trapped together.
Parsa: It's been a long time, Eleanor. I've thought about you.
Bishop: You should have stopped by the office. Said hello.
These are people who knew each other well.
Bishop was also revealed as someone who lacked trust in her superiors, perhaps for good reason. She didn't tell her NSA boss about her private discussions with Parsa because she feared they would remove her from the case. And she transferred that fear to Gibbs when he tried to probe her for the information she was clearly keeping from him.
Gibbs represented yet another boss who would sideline her. Funny how prophetic that started to be, in both cases.
Yet Gibbs saw through her. He saw the dedicated professional that she was. She just needed a chance to let her guard down with him. The fact that both of them are headstrong and stubborn meant that neither of them was willing to back down. We saw through Tony and McGee's eyes how tense that made the whole office.
Tony's explanation to McGee on how to proceed got me laughing out loud:
Tony: Having flashbacks to my childhood. Reminds me of Sunday dinners with dad. Stepmoms two and four.
McGee: What should we do?
Tony: Same thing I did as a kid. Keep your head down, wait to be excused, you go to your room and play with yourself.
Wasn't it interesting that Gibbs saw in her a potential asset to his team, while she saw him as an obstacle to be overcome in her obsession to get Parsa? Tony played the mature big brother to her in the washroom, patiently mapping out Gibbs' take on things. To wit: don't tell him he made a mistake. And don't play him because he's not playing games. I liked that. Maturity meets questing inexperience.
She's learning as I'd hope sh would; she's not a person to be taken lightly. Fortunately for her, Gibbs has no problem with her focused strength, as uncertain as she sometimes appears.
And now she's part of the team! (Probationary, of course.)
- Tony on relaxation: Baths are for kids, but men....men soak.
- Once again, Tony has come alongside McGee as a brother. His reference to Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed actually helped Tim. Go figure.
- McGee reciprocated by inviting Tony to join him and Delilah for a movie night. It seems that the undercurrent of ongoing resentment from McGee toward Tony is a thing of the past. If so, I'm all for it.
- Given Bishop's obsessive nature, Rule Number 11 (from Gibbs' rule book) seems crucial. She seems to understand that - which is good, considering she spent six years obsessing about Parsa.
- Though Parsa is gone, his organization is still out there - which means NCIS is not done with the terrorist group.
- Bishop is realizing her role as a team player, rather than a solo one. And Tony and McGee's food gifts indicates their acceptance of her into that team. How great is that?
What did you think overall? What are your thoughts on Tony and McGee's friendship? What about Tony as Bishop's big brother? Gibbs and Bishop's dynamic - how will that play out in the future?
While we understood that Bishop and Parsa seemed to share the same obsession - with each other - what we don't know is what Parsa's plan was going to be for her, had he never been caught. What do you think he had in mind?
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.