I wanted to like this episode, I really did. Well, I want to like all the episodes I see. But NCIS Season 14 Episode 3 just came across as mostly generic. Was it bad? No. But it was one of those stories that you probably won't remember next week, let alone next season.
Not even a stir-crazy Fornell and a snappy Dr. Grace could really save "Privileged Information" from being bland and predictable.
As soon as they introduced the sister, I was suspicious of her; regardless of the sister's apparent grief over the victim's imminent demise, I tend to heavily weigh on Ebert's law of conservation of characters. In short, rarely will a character be introduced if he or she does not have some part to play.
They tried to pull a fast one with Griffin Dorn (who was even ex-CIA!).
Is it *possible* to be former CIA?Torres
But, apparently only Fornell was focused on Dorn for any length of time, because Team Gibbs didn't even seem to consider him as being involved, and they were totally dismissive of Fornell's theories.
It occurred to me that if this were four or five years ago, Dorn would have likely been involved and there would have been a massive conspiracy and cover-up involving the CIA, Afghanistan, and war crimes or something. Instead, Sgt. Hill was killed over something much closer to home.
I have no problem with the stakes being lower. It's actually a refreshing change of pace from the series's tendency to get bigger and bigger issues, and our heroes having to literally save the world (no matter how unlikely the circumstances).
However, it just seemed way too easy to pick out the sister and the maintenance guy as likely suspects. Though while it did appear a little convenient that the apartment Nick was interested in just happened to be a critical aspect to the investigation, I will forgive that since coincidence does happen sometimes.
I liked that McGee got the opportunity to act as the Senior Field Agent for a bit towards the beginning, though I think both he and Nick Torres forgot it during the stakeout when Nick was hitting on Yoga Lady for information.
And Dr. Grace was just as snappy as she always is, bringing out Gibbs's playful side:
Dr. Grace [about Quinn's prying]: She's new, Gibbs, but you have her well-trained! What's next? You gonna take me downstairs to your torture room and try to squeeze something outta me?
Gibbs: Sure. What's your preference? Stock a little waterboard, a little bamboo under the fingernails?
The parrot that Abby was bird-sitting was more than a little silly, as pretty much everyone could predict that the thing would end up flying around the building before the end of the episode. At least there was mention of Abby's brother, to let us know he still exists.
We got to know Quinn a little bit better in this episode, though I am still at a loss to understand why she seems so content to operate in such a subordinate position on the team. This is something that should probably be addressed.
The episode was dedicated in loving memory of Gary Glasberg, the showrunner of NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans, who died September 28 at age 50. His loss will be felt. I extend my own sympathies to the cast and crew, as well as his family.
A few final thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you:
- Nick Torres expressed discomfort at the idea of living in an apartment where someone died. It's worth remembering that Tony DiNozzo acquired his very nice apartment at a steep discount for that very reason.
- What did Torres mean when he said that he had "not really" been married, anyway?
- Quinn has a sister, which means that, for the first time ever, none of Gibbs's immediate team (aside from Gibbs himself) is an only child.
- I really would not want to live in Washington, D.C. The crime rate is terrifying. Seriously.
- Falls Church, Virginia, was where the headquarters of JAG was located in the series by the same name. The real-life Judge Advocate General's Corps headquarters is actually located in the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., while the real NCIS is based out of Marine Corps Base Quantico.
If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to watch NCIS online! Meanwhile, NCIS Season 14 Episode 4, "Love Boat," is slated to air Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 8/7c on CBS.
So, what did you think of "Privileged Information"? Did you peg the sister and/or the maintenance man? Was Dr. Grace's appearance enjoyable? Will Abby ever catch the parrot? Let us know in the comments section below!