Mark Harmon's Gibbs spent much of NCIS Season 15 Episode 2 on the receiving end of odd looks from the members of his team, who were all worried about his state of mind after the torture and whatnot of the off-season.
He surprised them all -- and the viewers -- with his downright sunny (to quote Dr. Confalone) demeanor on his first day back at work.
Indeed, Dr. Confalone pretty well summed up this almost unnerving behavior:
You’ve just said more to me about how you feel in the last two minutes than in all the time that I’ve known you. If that’s not a new you, I don’t know what is.Grace Confalone [to Gibbs]
Gibbs, the stoic, the man whose friends needed a crowbar and a stick of dynamite to elicit more than monosyllabic responses, actually verbally and physically interacted with people!
For cryin' out loud, he actually hugged someone!
It's unfortunately common in Hollywood for leading male characters (particularly in law enforcement or military roles) to refuse to talk about their feelings, let alone have therapy or take psych evaluations seriously.
Gibbs flipped that on its head in "Twofer," not only willingly showing up early for his evaluation appointment, but then continuing therapy with Dr. Confalone afterwards!
I cannot express the inner joy this makes me feel. Shrinks are not useless. Therapy is not useless. There is no shame in talking about feelings or getting help for emotional issues.
McGee's avoidance of the psych evaluation was rooted not in the fact that he was unaffected by the whole experience but in the fear that he had been broken by it, something the good doctor quickly contradicted.
And despite Gibbs's good face, he clearly suffered aftereffects. For one thing, he took to locking his door, something he notoriously refused to do previously despite the number of bad guys who have gone after him.
This complicated emotional story provided a lot of insight into both Gibbs and McGee following their ordeal. They will not continue as if nothing happened; status quo is not supreme here.
Gibbs's changed demeanor was certainly surprising, if nothing else, and allowed for some very entertaining little moments (such as the aforementioned hug).
Grace Confalone: Director Vance needs mandatory psych evals from each of you. I assume you would prefer sooner rather than later.
Gibbs: Uh, tell you what I’d prefer…
Grace Confalone: A root canal. I know! What say we skip our usual dance?
Gibbs: I was going to say ‘this afternoon.’
One of my favorites from the episode was when Ducky expressed his joy at having Gibbs back (a moment that had been noticeably missing from the previous entry). It's not often that Gibbs actually gets to have fun, least of all at Gibbs's expense.
And later, Gibbs provided this bit of insight:
Bishop [about Ducky and Jimmy]: To think they actually enjoy this!
Gibbs: Ha! Face it -- we *all* enjoy this.
In a way, he was almost speaking for us, as fans, as well as himself. We're watching this show right alongside them, and we enjoy it, too.
By comparison, the Crime of the Week story almost felt like an afterthought, despite nominally taking up most of the episode.
Not sure what I thought of Bishop-as-Boss, but her manner (particularly towards Torres) struck me as more buddy than boss. She just got to order them around.
I'm not going to complain about Bishop getting character growth opportunities, but this is somewhat frustrating, given that we've barely seen anything of McGee acting as Senior Field Agent (i.e., Gibbs's righthand man) since Tony's departure.
Obviously, the circumstances in this case wouldn't allow McGee to be the boss, since he was in the same boat as Gibbs, but it would be nice for him to get the opportunity to step up more.
The case itself was fairly routine; nothing too outlandish aside from the initial discovery of the body. Probably the most memorable scene from the case portion of the episode was the casket owner's daughter haranguing everyone.
The connection to the cemetery employee (Phil, I think his name was?) surprised me; normally, characters like him and his partner are one-scene-and-done, never to be seen or mentioned again.
A little convenient, with the perpetrator's accomplice being one of the three possible cemetery/funeral parlor employees we met, but I really didn't mind so much.
I will add this: fentanyl, one of the drugs that played a role in the unfortunate victim's death, is a highly-addictive opioid. When mixed with other drugs (legal or otherwise), it can easily lead to overdose and death.
There were a number of callbacks, too, not least of which being Abby's owning a casket. Anyone else remember McGee's reaction when he first found out it wasn't a box bed?
Be sure to check out our NCIS quotes page for some of the notable lines from "Twofer"!
If you want to revisit this episode, you can always watch NCIS online! And tune in to CBS on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 8/7c for NCIS Season 15 Episode 3, "Exit Strategy"!
So, what did you think of "Twofer"? An interesting study of the reactions of two beloved characters after suffering significant extended trauma? A wild swing out into left field from previously well-established protagonists?
Let us know in the comments below!