NCIS Season 19 Episode 5 Review: Face the Strange

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Gibbs may be gone, but he was very much the topic of the conversation on NCIS Season 19 Episode 5.

Frequently on TV, when a big star exits, there's a time jump that picks up some time later after the other characters have come to terms with the loss of someone from their lives.

"Face the Strange" picked up in the immediate aftermath of NCIS Season 19 Episode 4, and it was a refreshing look at how people deal with loss.

Gibbs-less World - NCIS

Torres being affected the most was the real shocker here, but it seemed like Vance, Kasey, McGee, and everyone else was just happy that Gibbs was happy.

If you watch NCIS online, you know Gibbs struggled to find any semblance of peace in recent years, and I'm sure he would want everyone to be happy that he's away living life the way he thinks is best for him.

Torres made some valid points about McGee being the only worthy successor to Gibbs, but he was way off base when he yelled at Vance about who should be picked.

Torres Questions - NCIS Season 19 Episode 5

In my eyes, McGee is the worthy successor based on his tenure alone with the NCIS, but it seems like he's in a bit of a funk right now.

It was only a few episodes before that he was confronting the fact that Gibbs was going, so it must have been tough to work that last case with him and head into uncharted territory with the team.

Parker: I'm sure you'll all be happy to hear that I have decided not to take Director Vance up on his offer to join your team. And, I'm guessing that's the first you've heard of it.
Vance: I was waiting on Agent McGee to return before I filled them in, and you're early.
Parker: Oops. Sidebar? I appreciate the offer, Director, but I'm not ready to jump into anything new just yet.
Vance: Perhaps you'd like to spend some time in the field with the team before you make your final decision?
Parker: I already made it. Plus, I got tickets to a Simon and Garfunkel reunion concert later today, and I've been waiting a long time for that baby, so.
Jimmy: Hey, why are you guys standing around here. Haven't you heard?
McGee: Whoa. What's up?
Jimmy: A Navy petty officer turned into a zombie.
Torres: A zombie?
Jimmy: Yeah, crawled all over the ground and everything. You didn't get the call?
Parker: That kind of thing happen a lot around here?
McGee: First for me.

I wouldn't be surprised if McGee gets the role by the end of the season, but it's not going to be an easy journey to get there.

He's adamant right now about not wanting the job, but something tells me he doesn't want to confront the fact that Gibbs is gone. He seems to be in denial, and that's not a healthy way to process this significant change in his life.

Questions About Gibbs - NCIS Season 19 Episode 5

Torres clearly went to Vance as a way of showing solidarity to Gibbs and, by extension, McGee, but the revelation that Gibbs told Vance to hire Parker as his replacement was one of those rare moments you get on a TV show when it rocks you to the core.

My theory is that Gibbs didn't want to put the burden of leading the team on McGee.

They were best friends, and after everything Gibbs went through, he clearly wants his friend to live out the rest of his days in a more comfortable position than he was while a part of the team.

It will inevitably hurt when McGee learns the truth, but he strikes me as the type of person that will be able to distinguish the fact that Gibbs wanted him to have the best shot at life.

Complicated Dynamic - NCIS Season 19 Episode 5

The only issue I have with it is that he should have given McGee the chance to confront whether he would want to be a more significant part of the team.

Gary Cole is very good as Agent Parker. I can see why some fans struggle to connect with him because he's essentially been set up to replace the lead character.

Parker brings a different energy to the team that Gibbs did, but all he had to do was prove that he was devoted to cracking cases without ruffling any feathers for people to get on board.

Torres will be more of a tough sell, but maybe what Vance said about Gibbs being a father figure to him will hold some weight here. Only time will tell.

McGee in the Office - NCIS Season 19 Episode 5

In all honesty, Parker was the best part of the episode because he understood what was expected of him when he agreed to help out on the case.

That's the kind of leadership the team needs to thrive, and if he can do that in every case, then maybe he will emerge as the best person for the job.

Sometimes it's nice to bring new energy into a setting, and while I'll never look at Parker as the replacement, he could blossom into one of the better characters on the show.

There will be teething problems, as evidenced by the lack of rapport between Parker and the others.

Parker on the Scene - NCIS Season 19 Episode 5

The case of the week was bonkers, and I didn't care for it. The humor felt forced as a means to take the attention away from the fact that Gibbs was gone.

People randomly exploding thanks to pacemakers could have been a cool concept, but it wasn't handled in the best way.

Torres: Hey, Tim. You said that Gibbs was happy. What do you mean?
McGee: I don't want to talk about it.
Torres: You can't leave me hanging, bro.
McGee: I'm sorry. It felt kind of private.
Torres: Is he going to be okay?
McGee: I think he probably hasn't been this OK in a long time.
Torres: What about that guy? Can you believe Director Vance offered him Gibb's job already?

The parameters of a procedural calls for the conflicts related to the case to be resolved in the same episode, and the case was too out there to even care about.

I was tired of it from the moment Jimmy said there was a zombie.

Zombie Scene - NCIS Season 19 Episode 5

NCIS is on thin ice right now. The show needs to prove it can function without Gibbs to have a reason to continue.

Parker is a decent successor for now, but if everyone is talking about Gibbs every episode without no Mark Harmon, it will get old quickly.

The next few episodes will be crucial to the long-term future of the series.

The only positive is that Gibbs will probably come back for one or two episodes when the show inevitably wraps up.

What did you think of the first Gibbs-less NCIS?

Last Goodbye - NCIS Season 19 Episode 4

Do you think the show should continue?

Who do you think is suitable for the job?

Hit the comments.

NCIS continues at 9 p.m. Mondays on CBS.

Face the Strange Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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NCIS Season 19 Episode 5 Quotes

Parker: I'm sure you'll all be happy to hear that I have decided not to take Director Vance up on his offer to join your team. And, I'm guessing that's the first you've heard of it.
Vance: I was waiting on Agent McGee to return before I filled them in, and you're early.
Parker: Oops. Sidebar? I appreciate the offer, Director, but I'm not ready to jump into anything new just yet.
Vance: Perhaps you'd like to spend some time in the field with the team before you make your final decision?
Parker: I already made it. Plus, I got tickets to a Simon and Garfunkel reunion concert later today, and I've been waiting a long time for that baby, so.
Jimmy: Hey, why are you guys standing around here. Haven't you heard?
McGee: Whoa. What's up?
Jimmy: A Navy petty officer turned into a zombie.
Torres: A zombie?
Jimmy: Yeah, crawled all over the ground and everything. You didn't get the call?
Parker: That kind of thing happen a lot around here?
McGee: First for me.

Torres: Hey, Tim. You said that Gibbs was happy. What do you mean?
McGee: I don't want to talk about it.
Torres: You can't leave me hanging, bro.
McGee: I'm sorry. It felt kind of private.
Torres: Is he going to be okay?
McGee: I think he probably hasn't been this OK in a long time.
Torres: What about that guy? Can you believe Director Vance offered him Gibb's job already?