NCIS Season 16 Episode 14 Review: Once Upon a Tim

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This was a fun, "getting to know you" hour for Tim Mcgee.

Yes, this NCIS Season 16 Episode 14 review is coming your way from me, a gal who has never watched NCIS in anything other than a passing way. Fourteen seasons and I'm not sure I have seen more than a dozen episodes at the houses of others.

But, the desire is here for a place to chat about NCIS, and I'm going to attempt to give it to you with some newbie commentary along the way.

Searching for the Truth - NCIS Season 16 Episode 14

So, keeping in mind all I know about NCIS has come to me by reading and editing reviews and articles for the series for the past seven years, let's do this!

My first question to long-time viewers is this:

Is "Once Upon a Tim" the first time McGee has done any time thinking about his past? There is only one credit for "Young McGee" on IMDB, but with the length of the series, it seems very surprising that his youth has never been examined before this.

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That's especially interesting to know given how negatively McGee once looked upon all things Navy and his winding road to the place he never wanted to be.

Man Down! - NCIS Season 16 Episode 14

The way cases are presented to the NCIS team makes it somewhat difficult to fully understand what's going on until I'm so far into the story that I realize I don't understand how it got that far.

Does that make any sense? The initial victimology and how it got connected to McGee seemed like it came before there was any crime committed. Maybe I'm not used to the pacing of NCIS series and will catch on eventually. 

Nonetheless, it was a fun episode to start with (outside of NCIS Season 16 Episode 13 about Ziva that I covered to give Tiva fans the news they needed) because it offered so much about McGee, who otherwise I wouldn't know at all.

It's kind of surprising McGee didn't go on to be a computer expert. He knew his way around programming and the internet in 1994.

Gibbs to the Rescue - NCIS Season 16 Episode 14

For those of us who were alive then, it seems like yesterday. Realizing it was a whopping 25 years ago can knock you sideways. 

There's another opportunity to utilize Young McGee (Charles Tyler Kinder) coming up as the 25th high school reunion is a biggie. And why would such a terrific casting coup be used only once?

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I don't know about the rest of you, but I lost myself in McGee's memories because of how much Kinder resembles Sean Murray (McGee) especially around the eyes. Kinder did some soul searching when he stepped into Young McGee's shoes, and it paid off.

The mystery wasn't all that interesting when you stripped McGee away from it. Well, unless you're the loved one of Mr. Kane, the initial victim. They might view the case differently.

Back to the Drawing Board - NCIS Season 16 Episode 14

It all came down to a computer program McGee wrote 25 years ago as a way to get back at his dad, something he didn't need to do in the long run.

As a computer geek, McGee didn't live up to his potential to his macho Naval Commander father.

And frankly, the Commander didn't want to hear any softly-felt garbage from his son about manning up, either.

McGee once aspired to be a writer and dancer, getting his pleasure from competing in the high school talent show.

McGee recalled the memories fondly even if he didn't follow those dreams. 

It was pretty obvious that McGee would eventually run into his old high school girlfriend (or quasi-girlfriend) since he spent so much time thinking of her while searching for thoughts about his computer at the time.

Hallowed Halls of High School - NCIS Season 16 Episode 14

It was as if in the past, his computer, his tap shoes, and his thoughts about his father were all wrapped up together.

And since nobody but his high school teacher or Chloe could have gotten their hands on McGee's ridiculously discrete password at the time, finding Chloe at some point during the investigation seemed like a no-brainer.

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When they first made the connection to Chloe, I thought she might have initiated the program because she was still upset, years later, about what happened between McGee and his father.

But we hadn't seen the full story yet or learned that Commander McGee once had dreams very similar to his son, and if there is anything that can freak out a parent, it's seeing their kid walking too closely in their shoes. In this case, quite literally.

Ancient Electronics - NCIS Season 16 Episode 14

It was surprising that neither McGee nor Chloe found themselves in hot water over the programming of the virus to take down the Department of Defense nor Chloe's reprogramming of it to siphon off money and executing the program, even if she forgot she had done it.

Is being 16 years old a valid excuse? Not if it was the real world.

They would have surely been facing charges for even thinking about the idea, and most assuredly for having executed it and set the ball rolling.

For it to have siphoned the money, either McGee or Chloe had to have set up an account into which the millions had been accumulating, so somewhere over the years you'd think a bank would have attempted to contact them about the untouched account -- or at least the bank might have alerted the police to something sketchy.

It's almost as shocking that a third party got wind of the program and realized there was an account and wanted to find it.

Creating the account (which I assume Chloe did on her end as she did the final programming) must have indicated intent, and when you're talking about taking millions of dollars from the government, you wouldn't think that she'd be hitting dinner and drinks with Delilah so soon.

But this is NCIS, and it's not a dark show. The point of the hour wasn't to go dark and deep but to show a different side of McGee. 

Although, he already has the "geek" thing wrapped up, so it's hard to know how writing and dancing will add to his machismo within the NCIS offices. 

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The story with his father was very sweet, though, and it was fun having his high school gal meeting up with his wife and leaving him behind. The case was needed to do everything else and showcase McGee's history.

I did lose track of the auditing story, though. Was there an ending to that, or will the "bean counter" be coming back on NCIS Season 14 Episode 16? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

You guys can tell me all about NCIS and what I might have missed with regard to McGee's history in the comments. Or you can ignore me entirely.

You let me know how you want to play it. 

But don't forget you can watch NCIS online for more of McGee's history in the past ten years even if he doesn't go all the way back to childhood!

Thanks for tuning in to my second NCIS review!!

Once Upon a Tim Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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NCIS Season 16 Episode 14 Quotes

Gibbs: Rule 99.
Sloane: Never tells Gibbs he's being audited.
Torres: That's not a real thing.

Did you think I was organizing my receipts for fun? No, that's something dorks who build their own computers do.