NCIS – Trapped

Well, well. After a week that offered duds in both Washington and LA, we get a Really Good Episode of NCIS! Thank you.

Checked online to see what others thought and found two ham radio fanatics going on about how wrong they were. Oh well.

If I was going to offer criticism, I’d say that much as I like Jack Sloane, she seems to be another Nate; someone who doesn’t have that much work to do, but a nice big office in which not to do it.

NCIS - Jack and Abby

And what’s going on with Abby? Is she leading up to her departure at the end of season 15 by being weird? At least she had her usual Halloween decorations in place, and it was the actual Halloween too.

Gibbs is not annoying right now, but he’s being quite un-Gibbs-like, I feel. And I’m not getting used to McGee’s beard, by which I mean it doesn’t suit him, rather than I am surprised to see it every week. But he’s getting bolder. He even tried to be a little Gibbsy this week. Bishop was mainly Bishop; neither good nor bad. Which is probably good.

After last week’s super-embarrassing Reeves performance, he was back to slightly more normal, and even quite funny with his ‘checking his mates’ comment. Didn’t have him down as the chess-playing type. And the scriptwriters seemed to have forgotten all about last week, which is just as well, if a little sloppy.

Palmer and Torres

But it’s Torres who is growing up fast, and Palmer. Together, over the charity donations, they were a force to be reckoned with. You could see that it would go wrong, but I didn’t quite guess where it was heading towards the end. Soppy, but sweet.

What I liked about Trapped was that all the parts were good; the dogwalker, the golfplayers, the garden centre people. Even the ham fanatic and his dog were good. It worked, and they all belonged together.

More of this please!

Advertisements

A misspent middle age

We got to chatting about actors who have appeared twice on NCIS, Daughter and I. Purely to relax, obviously. Also obviously, actors appearing twice as different characters. She mentioned one, while I could only remember another.

He was up a ladder outside a hotel room in one episode. Very briefly. ‘I think it was in Once A Hero,’ I said. I’ll have a look. ‘That’s season four,’ Daughter pointed out. ‘I know, it’s episode eight, if I’m not mistaken.’ (She was a bit put out by that…)

And once I found him – it was Francesco Quinn – I located the other episode, which was One Shot, One Kill, where he had a slightly longer part, although he died pretty quickly there too. Reading on about Francesco I discovered that, sadly, he died in 2011. Also that he was the son of Anthony Quinn, which was obvious when I knew, but I’d never thought to look him up on IMDb before.

The actor Daughter had had in mind was Clyde Kusatsu, and when we moved on to him I remembered both his roles, but felt he wasn’t quite as obviously the same actor. Benjamin Franklin, made fun of by DiNozzo, was rather different from Ducky’s gardener and very good friend of Mrs Mallard’s, in The Tie That Binds.

In fact, the reason Francesco Quinn was so much more memorable, is that the episodes were older. That was back when we watched them ‘quite a lot.’ Whereas the gardener appeared in last year’s NCIS, which I might have watched once, maybe twice. And I absolutely couldn’t have named the season or the episode.

These days I don’t even have time to misspend my time.

NCIS – Skeleton crew

A new Hollis Mann for Gibbs! Whether on purpose or happy accident is hard to say, but all those other women paraded in front of our Special Agent have not been right. And in a way he doesn’t need a new love interest, but Jack Sloane promises to stir things up a little more than the other new female actors have done. It annoys me when new agents are too young and too pretty, but here at least we have more than a bit of simpering.

Apart from introducing Jack, we also got a really good episode. Most unusual. It was ship based, and it had a good many potential suspects. Slight bit of haunting does no harm, even if a little early for Halloween. Cute Oklahoma high school bully boy for Bishop, although I doubt we’ll see him again.

Too stormy for helicopters to fly is always good. Abby’s stupid gift idea that was very obviously going to turn out useful, was fun.

Palmer, Sloane and Gibbs

And clearly Jack comes with a past. Sometimes I feel it’d be nice to have new but uncomplicated people, without mysterious conversations with director Vance, or low cut tops showing interesting scars, but there’s probably a good story or two in there. She even instigated an elevator scene, knowing to flick the switch.

Lovely vicious mother-of-the-corpse. And speaking of corpses, we’ll do just fine with less of Ducky. Palmer is growing duckier by the week.

The camera work ‘from the ship’ was excellent. I have rarely felt so seasick, without being on a ship myself.

Afternoon tea

I’ve been craving some ‘posh’ afternoon tea for a while. Contrary to what people might believe about me, I don’t tend to do the touristy and extravagant stuff when on home ground, so not only do I not do afternoon teas, but I don’t know where to go.

When Pippi came to Edinburgh this week, she needed a tea companion, and she’d heard of Colonnades at the Signet Library, and wanted to try it. And while pretty expensive, it was about the lowest price of all the places I found online.

Colonnades at the Signet Library

The library is just off the Royal Mile, next to St Giles Cathedral, and they have two-hour sittings throughout the afternoon, so you can treat it as lunch if you start early enough. And you need the two hours. I reckon they couldn’t serve all that food faster if they tried.

Colonnades at the Signet Library

Soup in a coffee cup to begin with. Then silver cake stands with around six savoury things plus a couple of sandwiches. A second stand for the cake, meaning six sweet things and two scones with jam and clotted cream. As your arteries begin to clot I recommend a discreet doggy bag if you feel you can’t manage it all. All this can be washed down with tea, or coffee, and the optional champagne, which I’ve never understood how it goes with afternoon tea.

Once you’ve reached the end, you are rescued by a cleansing sorbet.

And I recommend a trip down the many stairs to see the toilets.

And then what?

When do you give up on the work by someone you’ve liked and admired?

I’m thinking – again – of the latest film producer to have caused a public storm and upset. But – again – it could be anyone discovered to have seriously misbehaved and sometimes not getting found out. These [usually] men have often done great work, in film, music, theatre, literature.

And when the news breaks, some of us find that we have been fans of a monster. If it’s really bad, it’s not too hard to stop watching their films or listening to their music.

But if it’s a bit more borderline? Or they have been involved with so much on the cultural scene, that it can be hard to draw a line, or even to know where that line is.

I was relieved to learn I didn’t have to ‘respect’ Jimmy Savile, so that was no hardship. Likewise OJ Simpson. But it took me a while to know what to do about Rolf Harris. It’s not that I didn’t believe the accusations. I just couldn’t tell how it would affect my fondness for his work. It was gradual, but not slow, and I knew when it was time to delete his albums from iTunes. The books went to the local charity shop, where quite possibly they languished until pulped.

Speaking of books, I have a friend who meets famous people through her work. Luckily I’ve never read anything by the very well known, older male writer she mentioned once. I can’t unsee that unwanted kiss in my mind, and I’m just grateful he wasn’t someone I liked. But whenever I see a photo of this author, it’s all I can think of. No literary merit whatsoever.

And I know what I said in my other post, about being too polite. I was far too polite about the last Rolf Harris concert I went to. It was lacklustre. He was clearly under pressure already, except we didn’t know it.

This Weinstein business is awkward. I have no hesitation blaming the man for anything that’s being said. But he’s been involved in so many films. Good films. Do they need boycotting from now on, or was he too far removed from them, for it not to matter? I mean, I generally don’t even know who produced a film.

To go back to iTunes, I have a couple of albums on there, sung by someone I used to know. Someone who behaved in an unacceptable manner to me about a year ago. I have no problem skipping past the new album, which I didn’t like much. But the really old one; I have always loved it. It’s just when one of those tracks comes on, it’s difficult to forget what she said. It takes the edge off my enjoyment.

So I don’t know.

Too polite to stay safe

We’ve all done it, I suspect. Not said ‘no’ despite knowing full well that not to do so puts us in a situation that is at best a bit embarrassing and at worst in real danger. Usually it’s somewhere between the two. An older relative once said to me, ‘you’re so very sensible,’ and she wasn’t being complimentary. I was generally sufficiently slow, stupid or sensible that I said ‘no’ more than most. But I still did the wrong thing on occasion.

I’ve got the most recent Hollywood scandal in mind now. But it could be almost any other situation in history, because people never change.

I’m so ancient that I must have heard the accusation ‘she slept her way to the top’ for at least fifty years. I used to treat this with a pinch of salt, feeling that many successful women might just have got to the top by dint of talent and [other] hard work. Now, though, it’s become quite clear that while there might have been ‘sleeping’ involved, it wasn’t the poor, powerful man who was being lured into letting a cunning female use sex to get where she wanted to go.

She was most likely forced to. Too scared to say no, too cornered to say no, or too polite to.

I’d not thought about the being too polite [until it’s too late] to step away, until the other day when I read this: ‘You know it’s a bad idea. — You know he’s going to do you harm. He knows you know. But what do you do? You don’t wish to offend him, so you step closer. How dumb are you?’ This was about a teenage boy not keeping a good distance between himself and a dangerous criminal in the latest Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. But the sentiment is there; you are young, or pretty or female or any other thing that makes people try to get at you. Because they know you’ll be too polite to realise where it is heading before it’s too late.

Another book I read, years ago, was about a boy with Asperger Syndrome, who was bullied at school. Between them, his mother and his teacher devised a way to deal with the bully, helping the aspie boy to learn a short script, ending with a humorous surprise. It worked. Humour, and cooperation, are two great weapons. Ridicule your bully/sexual predator/film producer/boss.

If someone is doing it to you, then very likely they are, or have been, doing it to [many] others as well. Find them. Work together. It seems that employers, police and even your parents won’t necessarily believe you. Think about the film, 9 to 5. Try to find your inner Tomlin/Fonda/Parton.

Back in Pasadena

When the toupée licked Sheldon…

Well, what kind of crazy line is that? How is Sheldon going downhill so fast? Although, I have to say I like it, and an almost normal and trying very hard Sheldon is actually a lot weirder than the earlier weird Sheldon. If you get my drift.

I don’t know if Daughter came across Sheldon and the others, since it was Pasadena she was in this week, and not LA like I said the other day. In fact, if they are not above attending [local] conferences, then I suspect at least Raj would have been where she was. (And did you know NASA forbids complimentary coffees?)

It’s good to be back, as Daughter said about Pasadena. She’d forgotten how much she likes it. And I like my new season of The Big Bang Theory. It’s touching how hard Sheldon tries. Who’d have thought he’d pop the question? Or put his bare foot down in warm apple juice. Or worse.

Amy and Sheldon

I know people complain about how unappealing BBT is. Well, they don’t have to watch. I know people say the characters are growing too old. They are, but people do. Even mad scientists grow older, and not necessarily wiser.

And now we have a whole season to plan that wedding, on a clifftop in the setting sun. Maybe. Another baby. Any television show that will go to visit Richard Feynman’s grave in the middle of the night, is good enough for me. And Penny didn’t even know he’d died.