The man who has so many cautions and life lessons to impart to his staff that he actually has a list of rules to which they must comply has himself become victim of his failure to follow his own Rule #36.
Does it get any more ironic than that?
Once again, our TV Fanatic panelists David Taylor, Tanya Moat, Christine Orlando, Kathleen Wiedel and Douglas Wolfe have gathered to discuss the elements of NCIS Season 12 Episode 24.
Join the conversation and let us know your thoughts on the dramatic NCIS Season 12 finale!
Is Gibbs dead?
David: Doubt it. He's survived worse.
Tanya: Nah. Gibbs is tougher than a couple of bullets.
Christine: I certainly hope not! I can’t imagine NCIS with Mark Harmon. I’d miss those baby blues.
Kathleen: No way is Gibbs dead.
Doug: No way. Even the NCIS Season 12 Episode 24 Poll concluded that most of us didn't buy the end scene drama and felt that Gibbs will pull through. It wasn't really much of a cliffhanger.
What are your thoughts on CIA Agent Joanna Teague working with the NCIS team?
David: I thought it rather "convenient" that Dorneget had a military/government pedigree he chose to hide, JUST so Mom could come busting in like the cavalry.
Tanya: I agree with David. It did feel rather contrived but then again, so did his return. Dorneget was that lovable goof who screwed up a lot and suddenly he's a superstar agent?
Christine: I’m still trying to figure out what to make of her. She must be incredibly adept at compartmentalizing her emotions to be able to look over his dead body and think of evidence but I suppose as a CIA field agent, perhaps she would be.
Kathleen: I guess the whole Teague business falls under "Well, that was convenient." Eh, I've definitely seen worse plot contrivances. Glad that Gibbs brought up Rule 10, "Never get personally involved in a case," though by this point they really all are personally involved. Nice try, though.
Doug: I heartily agree with David and Tanya on this one. The whole Dorneget family entry to the NCIS world spoke of creative contrivance. Rule 36 again - we've been played.
Why did it take so long for Gibbs (via Mike Franks) to come around to the fact that he shouldn’t have trusted Luke Harris?
David: I very nearly screamed "Told ya so" when Luke brandished the gun, and would have if Gibbs wasn't shot (couldn't metaphorically kick him when was down). I think Gibbs may have tried with Luke to have the conversation that failed with Brad Simuk.
Harsh as it sounds, I hope Gibbs now knows the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
Tanya: Gibbs has always had a soft spot for kids. His infamous gut may not have been at full strength after what happened with Brad.
I noticed he didn't pull his gun after Luke shot him in the leg either. He still wants to rescue him.
Christine: Even for a seasoned investigator like Gibbs, it’s got to be hard to look at a child and believe they could do something like that, even when all the evidence points to it. Children are supposed to be innocent. When they aren’t to this degree it feels as though something is fundamentally wrong in the universe.
Kathleen: I think you guys pretty much summed it all up. Gibbs cares deeply for children, he's not infallible, and children aren't meant to be murderous psychopaths.
Doug: There's such a thing as wanting to believe something so much that you end up in denial. I'm sure that was the case with Gibbs here. He's not completely jaded. I'm not sure we would want him to be either, though.
Is Daniel Budd and his terrorist group merely a Peter Pan/Lost Boys outfit? Why or why not?
David: I'm kind of leaning toward what one of the online posters said: Fagin and his band of Artful Dodgers, with Sadiq as Bill Sykes.
Tanya: In the sense that the Lost Boys were disenfranchised children, yes. But Peter Pan and the Lost Boys never killed innocent people, so Budd is definitely taking it too extremes.
Christine: In the most extreme sense, yes. Children who are feeling lost and alone are the easiest to manipulate. Unfortunately these kids probably won’t grow up because they’ll end up dead thanks to their cause.
Kathleen: This is like the psycho extreme version of the Lost Boys. As Christine said, these kids are vulnerable. They're searching for someone to give their lives meaning, because they for whatever reason don't feeling like their finding it in their own lives. Unfortunately, that "meaning" offered by Budd and his terrorists will only lead to death. Budd and his fellow manipulators are sick freaks who want children to fight and die for whatever their cause actually is.
Doug: I agree that the kids are being used in this manner because it's the most proficient way to do so.
I disagree with the idea the the masterminds' obsessions have anything to do with disgruntlement toward authority in general. The kids (and their dogma) are just means to an end. We've yet to see what they have in mind, though.
What’s the scene (other than the shooting of Gibbs) that had the most impact?
David: Teague's "interrogation" of Sadiq was a jarring cold open.
Tanya: Teague being introduced to the team and sharing with them how Ned felt about them.
Christine: Teague’s interrogation, if only because it rang true. As she put it herself, she was “a very angry mother with a short fuse.” As a parent, I can see there not being much you wouldn’t do to get answers in that situation, especially when you’ve got the training to take it to the next level.
Kathleen: That interrogation scene at the beginning: oof, was that harsh.
Doug: I loved the chilling interrogation between Gibbs and Rousseau. The guy playing Rousseau nailed it. He was amazing. I'm almost sorry to see him being carted off to prison. Hopefully we'll get to see more of him next season.
What, if anything, didn’t work for you?
David: The use of the music. How are the kids receiving / deciphering covert messages through all of the other tracks?
Tanya: The deciphering music struck me as odd too. It also felt like there was a lot of filler to get to the "cliffhanger", which is a bit of cheat because I'm really not worried about him dying. We'd know if Mark Harmon was leaving NCIS.
Christine: Bishop and DiNozzo letting that kid get away. It was so obvious he was going to bolt and it felt as though they just let it happen.
Kathleen: The music thing was really, really weird. It's one thing to learn Morse code, but to decipher it under a layer of obnoxious music? If it were simple, our heroes would have noticed it themselves simply hearing the music. If it were complicated, it would be too hard for the dear little darling child terrorist to figure out the message. Just didn't work for me.
Doug: I agree with you all. The thing that bugged me the most though was the Morse code nonsense.
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.