Tag Archives: Alan Dale

NCIS – Bête Noire

I’ve been relaxing with some top-notch season one NCIS. Well, someone has to!

Having previously complimented them on the line ‘I can’t wait to weigh your liver’ there is no reason to mention it again, except I just did, and for the reason that it’s a terrific line. They might not have fully worked out where NCIS was going back then, but they knew how to get there. It’s for stuff like liver-weighing lines and the plot of Bête Noire in general that the early fans were quite so fervent.

I can’t stop being fervent even now, but only as regards the older seasons.

And if part of the reason for writing Bête Noire was to get rid of Gerald, he certainly got a good start to his send-off, without having to be killed. At least, I’ve heard there was someone they couldn’t wait to write out, and Pancho Demmings is the only one who fits the bill. Shame, as I liked him (but clearly slackers can’t be tolerated), but then he was replaced by Palmer, and we like Palmer.

Gerald and Ducky

The plot is very good. The writing and the acting likewise. Kate has warmed up as an agent, and how perfect her love affair with Ari would have been had they both not, well… you know. Gibbs talks about ‘his people’ which is only slightly clichéd. Abby gets to be weird, but she has to do that every now and then. And several of the recurring agents like Paula Cassidy and Pacci have cameos.

Not only are they beginning to show Gerald the door, but for Ari the door opens a little. Enough to invite him back in later. He’s crazy and violent, but in a nicely restrained and almost British way. The type who ‘gets’ steam trains and old cars.

Can’t help but wonder if Gibbs would have got on better with him had Kate not been in the middle.

But we know how that ended.

What’s worse, we now know what they are like today. As Son said recently, when he’d finally caught up with season 14, he wondered if they are ‘taking the piss’ and he has no interest in getting to know the new people. He’s lasted this long, but I agree; it’s not new people we don’t like. It’s having these particular new ones thrust at us in one fell swoop.

So, taking a leaf out of Gerald’s departure, maybe someone could be swiftly despatched elsewhere. No need to kill them.

(Photos © CBS)

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NCIS – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

To be continued

As season beginnings go, this was pretty good. They avoided the issue of Gibbs seemingly shooting Fornell by having one of those ‘to be continued’ endings. Oh, well.

Abby, Ducky and Palmer

Almost no one was at their post, as season ten ended with lots of badges being handed in. They were obviously handed back out again after a suitable amount of action, but it was quite sweet to find Ducky at Gibbs’s desk, ordering Abby and Palmer to do their bit. And poor Palmer, who – just like me – is not good with hunger strikes.

Director Morrow

The early fireworks made me wonder just how many actors they were trying to do away with, but we still have some left. Am thinking they will have to kill Ziva now, because with a kill list that long and most of the agents needing to survive, they probably will kill any volunteers. But DiNozzo is showing worrying signs of being smitten. He’s not allowed to be!

DiNozzo

Parsons stopped being obnoxious, which is good, as I liked him. But he looks so like McGee, they could do with wearing name badges. Doing ‘the right thing for the wrong reason.’ Even with a farfetched plot, I didn’t quite get why Gibbs went away, or why he wore such strange clothes to ‘blend in.’.

Gibbs

I’m quite looking forward to next week, and not just for the ‘to be continued’ reason. But they need to keep this up. No soppyness. No slacking.

Window

I worried about Kate the goldfish for a moment…

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Damned if you do

That was a little better, although the ending of NCIS season ten will not have me sleepless over the summer. My companion shook his head and said he didn’t quite get it. He also wondered if we’d strayed into Due South. I think being in a boat with someone dead makes it look as if we had. Someone you talk to and who talks back, I mean.

But it was good to have Mike Franks back, even as a dead guy in a boat.

What really doesn’t make sense is how the Directors of two agencies can take personal interest in one agency team, when they must have so much else to do.

Good to see them digging up someone from JAG. I liked him, despite not being a JAG viewer. He drinks tea, if nothing else.

Usually it’s September when we see what happened in the intervening four months. This time we made the jump to September, while it is still technically only May. Time travel?

And that thing we saw, or thought we saw, at the end? That’s bound not to happen. But they want us to worry all summer.

Quite liked the cabin in the woods.

NCIS – Revenge

It wasn’t bad. Nor were Tony and Ziva dead. But it wasn’t marvellous, either. Let’s say it was an adequate ending to an exciting start.

This revenge thing is almost getting too big. It’s the ‘he killed my wife so I have the right to kill him’ syndrome. It was for the best that Director Vance didn’t shoot anyone. As I said last week, lovely to see ex-Director Morrow, but why did he have to act so impatient?

The fact that Ziva is not yet dead, doesn’t guarantee her presence next season, unless Cote de Pablo has signed in the interim. It could be a Kate Todd all over again. Someone has to go, so let’s tease them with who it might be, kind of thing.

I for one would welcome some ordinary decent Marine/Navy killings/mysteries. Maybe a week or two without personal connections to the cases? Let DiNozzo fondle some more implants and be rude about McGee’s driving, by all means. But let’s go for plain NCIS crime.

And remember the humour. More of it. (I suppose the plunger was OK.)

Please.

She’s probably not dead

And neither is he. Probably.

It’s funny how when other television shows have just screened, facebook is awash with people commenting. For NCIS I have to sit in silence, except tonight when one of my favouritest crime novelists shrieked with worry about the fate of Ziva and Tony. And she clearly has the right kind of friends. Ones who know what it’s about.

But last year’s season finale bomb was worse. And people survived that. On the other hand, actresses of a certain age have to chose between having babies or playing their screen part, when shows run for years. S’not easy, as Abby might say.

Whatever happens later, this was one of the few worthwhile episodes of season ten. One where – thanks to fb friend – I sat stiff with excitement the whole way through.

And I love it that ex-Director Morrow is back!

Here are a couple of links.

NCIS beginnings and ends – Bravo Yankee Echo to Kate

The end of NCIS season two and the beginning of season three are among the very best episodes, and among the hardest to watch. Even though we watched season two late, when we already knew how it would end, it still didn’t make it any easier, or even any more obvious what was going to happen.

So we knew Kate would die, but the way they set up smoke screens, pretending to kill DiNozzo with the plague, and then offering up snakes and bombs and the need to protect Gibbs, meant we were as confused as they wanted us to be. I saw an interview with Mark Harmon on the eve of the last episode, and he claimed not to know who was going to die. It could have been him. Or so he said.

Twilight is as strong an episode as any, and it stands the passage of time well. It’s still exciting to watch, despite us knowing how and who and why. That penultimate shot when we think Kate has died, quickly followed by the killshot is pretty good.

There is humour, despite the fear and the danger. That’s what makes NCIS; the plot as such might be mediocre, but the script and the dialogue is first class.

Kate

As for Kill Ari, I had to watch part one three times before I felt even vaguely normal. It’s the one that has affected me more than any other. Yet again it’s the strong writing which makes it what it is, more even than the acting, which is also fantastic.

The team are shattered in more ways than one, it is raining (it always rains when things are bad) and Gibbs is nice. DiNozzo is right, we don’t want a Gibbs who is too nice, but it was quite fun to see what a nice Gibbs might be like. He doubts his own abilities, while the rest of his team daydream about Kate, the way they each saw her.

They have Ari to chase, while fighting the FBI’s view of him as an ally, and Gibbs has his old partner return without warning as his new Director. Ziva turns up and confuses DiNozzo, and we have that priceless scene in Ducky’s Morgan, with the useless Gerald almost wrecking it.

You don’t often get a really bad bad guy who can also be as interesting and as charming and normal as Ari. We sense that he is ice cold and cruel, but there is still a sense of humour.

(Photo © CBS)