Hello, fellow NCIS fans, and welcome to the post-Tony DiNozzo era! I will be your reviewer this season, and I'm happy to be here! And I'm also happy to say that NCIS Season 14 Episode 1 did not disappoint me at all.
Plus, there were some nostalgic treats for long-time fans like me! So hang on to your hats, because here we go!
The cold open focusing on WIlmer Valderrama's Agent Nick Torres was interesting; we're used to seeing happy people going along and then having tragedy strike (as happened shortly thereafter with the Campbells), but here Torres, aka Miguel, quite neatly turned the hit attempt right back on the goon.
It quickly established Torres as a smart, skilled man with excellent situational awareness and a rather impressive physicality that reminded me of Ziva David's combat skills. His takedown of the two goons after he arrived in D.C. reinforced that assessment.
Silva: We were all concerned!
Torres: Oh, yeah, the guys you sent to kill me looked real worried.
Torres also featured in my absolute favorite scene of the whole episode, and quite possibly the series:
Torres: He knew we were gonna meet here.
Gibbs: How do you know that?
Torres: Because he planted a bomb under my seat. I activated the pressure trigger when I sat down.
Gibbs [sees the bomb and grins]: And you're waiting until now to tell me that?
Torres: Well, I was in the middle of something. How does it look?
Gibbs: Hm, like it may hurt for a second!
Torres: You are enjoying this.
Gibbs: Oh, yeah. A little.
That exchange had me in stitches and make me immediately like Torres even more than I already did. I can't imagine I'd be that collected while sitting on a bomb! And the team even used the situation to their advantage later, turning Elena against her father.
Nicely tied in, that. I was fully expecting Elena Silva to turn out to be evil (or even evil-er), so I was pleasantly surprised they didn't walk down that cliche path with her character. Her anger at Torres also mirrors some of the pain expressed by Jeanne Benoit against Tony all those seasons ago.
But there were also overt parallels drawn between Torres and Gibbs, too, regarding a quest for vengeance; I liked the way Wilmer Valderrama played that scene in Vance's office, with the shock and shame patent on Torres's face when Gibbs confronted him.
I also wanted to express my pleasure at the new character having... a family! No wife or kids, but a sister and a niece! It's all too easy, these days, for television characters to be written as unattached only-children, so I'm glad that wasn't the case here.
And not only that, his sister Lucia was a JAG lawyer!
I don't know how many of you recall, but once upon a time, there was a series called JAG, and NCIS was spun off from it. And one of JAG's stars got a brief appearance in this episode, too! I can't tell you how much it made me smile to see Patrick Labyorteaux as Bud Roberts, now a captain!
Bud actually previously appeared waaay back on NCIS Season 1, when Gibbs shamelessly manipulated him into getting something he wanted. This time, his interaction with the team was a lot friendlier, fortunately!
You gotta hand it to the writers, too, for the way they name-dropped JAG stars Harm(on Rabb) and (Sarah) Mac(Kenzie), who ended JAG by flipping a coin as to who retired so they could finally be together. The way Bud was interrupted by Quinn, they didn't actually have to say one way or another!
Moving on to Agent Quinn.
She didn't make quite as much of an impression as Torres did, but it was pretty funny to see her mess with Bishop. Though her introduction felt a bit "remember the new guy" the way she and Gibbs knew each other for so long.
I hope that we'll get to know more about Quinn over the next few episodes, because, other than the fact that she's an instructor at FLETC and she remembers all her students (plus has some sort of history with Gibbs, but who doesn't?), we don't really know much about her.
Fornell was a bright spot in this already excellent episode. I am pretty much always a fan of Fornell and Gibbs and their old-married-couple bickering. They have such a fun friendship.
Speaking of fun, Gibbs seemed to be enjoying himself more than he has in quite a long time. He was smiling! And laughing! I was shocked, in a good way.
I have high hopes for this season, and if it continues as well as it has begun, we're in for a treat.
A few final comments and musings before I turn the discussion over to you:
- Okay, so Fornell is living with Gibbs while he's recovering. Where's Emily staying? Did they say something and I just missed it?
- Bud Roberts is not the only former JAG star to show up on NCIS; John M. Jackson's A.J. Chegwidden appeared as Gibbs's lawyer in NCIS Season 10 Episode 24.
- New cast members mean new opening credits sequence. And in a moment of pure heresy, one of the new shots of Gibbs is him smiling!
- FLETC, for those who are wondering, is the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, providing training for 91 federal law enforcement agencies.
- Jimmy Palmer has an apparently astounding memory. I'm pretty good with certain minutiae, but that little display in the morgue was very impressive.
- Be sure to check out our NCIS quotes page for a rundown of some of the notable quotes from this episode!
If you missed it, or simply wish to relive the action, be sure to watch NCIS online! NCIS Season 14 Episode 2, "Being Bad," is scheduled to air on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 8/7c on CBS.
So, what did you think of "Rogue"? Do you think that Quinn and Torres will make good additions to the team? Were you surprised that Elena didn't turn out to be evil? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!