Tag Archives: Brian Dietzen

NCIS/NCIS: Los Angeles – Uncaged, Something Blue, Unleashed, Rendezvous

So. I’ve not written much here about either of the NCISs. The last bit of attention they got was when they both had a seriously good episode back in the winter. Since then I’ve restrained myself from moaning about the state of things.

And when both NCIS and LA managed to offer up pretty strong 23rd episodes I didn’t know what to expect of the season finales. What we got was weak; clichéd as far as LA was concerned, and slightly lowkey for NCIS, apart from the last five minutes. Perhaps it sensed me wondering whether they were about to leave us for the summer with nothing more than an ‘ordinary’ episode.

Seems we are to worry about the father-to-be for the next four months. The man who fainted last week, is now risking his life in South America. Oh well, I suppose Delilah can hold off giving birth until September, if that’s what it takes. Or are we to have more team sacrifices?

I didn’t like seeing Mrs Hanna taken hostage last week, but when I worked out where we were heading, there was no avoiding the admiration that they dared, yet again. Although, we are back to my old complaint that it’s the women who go and the men who stay.

And then we had Sam Hanna ‘going rogue,’ which is something we have come to depend on too much. Macho is all very well, but some common sense would be refreshing. DiNozzo was able to hold back when they cornered Trent Kort a year ago. There is more to life than revenge. I’d have liked to see Sam act differently. If they’d let him, there could have been a final episode with feeling instead of what we got.

All in all, LA was better this year than NCIS. The latter offered two good episodes out of 24. The biggest disappointment with LA was the end, plus the fact that so much of the action hinged on individual team members lives. What about the general public, or plain unbiased crooks?

A year ago a fellow LA fan voiced her concern that the show wouldn’t be renewed. That risk looks greater now, because they tied things up fairly neatly. No cliffhangers. Granger is gone and Hetty is feeling her age. And we have two couples in the small team.

As for NCIS, I don’t see how they can survive without Gibbs, but he could do with retiring along with Hetty. The way we left our heroes this week, Gibbs could be killed. But that would be the end of NCIS. I’d rather have left off after episode 23, when we had a ship-based crime, plenty of humour and a happy ending.

NCIS

NCIS – Keep Going

Wow. They really can do it if they try. Was this week’s NCIS a happy accident, or have they been listening? Or, perish the thought, had they kept a little something extra good up their sleeves in case the world needed cheering up?

I’ve been watching some old episodes this week, so feel quite confident in stating that Keep Going would have fitted in well in almost any of the older seasons. The middle ones. Some of the flashbacks coincidentally were from the episodes I watched. Weird.

Gibbs, Torres, Palmer and Ryan

So, first they actually wrote a good script. Then they directed it extremely well. They let Palmer be the main character, with Torres the only newbie there for him. And there was admirably little to be seen of Quinn. Gibbs behaved just as you’d expect him to, which means that he was back to old, normal Gibbs. The kind of Gibbs you don’t think about, because he just is.

Abby was given more time than of late, which is what we want. There was more life to McGee, and Ducky was Duckier than ever. Bishop was OK, and did I mention that Quinn didn’t get enough of an opportunity to annoy?

The vertigo was more than real. I almost fell off my armchair watching the street down below. Palmer was scared and not abnormally brave standing on that ledge, working hard to persuade the suicidal young man not to jump. He gave so much of himself. The flashbacks were clever, in that we both got to see snippets from the good old days of NCIS, but they also fitted in with the story, which isn’t always the case.

So it was feelgood on two fronts; story with wow factor, and revisiting the past. You could tell the end was coming, but it was no worse for being obvious.

(Photo © CBS)

NCIS – Pay to Play

Really? They flipped their episodes round? You can’t introduce the team to Clayton Reeves now, when Torres was talking to him two weeks ago.

The episode before last was the very worst I’ve seen, and that’s saying a lot. What were they thinking? Quinn fantasising about Gibbs, and him letting her?

But we all make mistakes, and the Thanksgiving episode was pretty good. Not old good, but passably good. They seem to feel that Bishop should do her relationships in the Thanksgiving episodes. That’s three years in a row, if I’m not mistaken. I liked her brothers, and they had the best line at the end.

Made the mistake (see, told you!) of checking what people on Facebook thought. Basically that if they are going to be muslim friendly on NCIS, they will stop watching. So that’s reassuring to know. And it appears the new British Prime Minister is a fan.

And then this week we’re back to crap again. Except, if they made the programmes in the opposite order, there is still hope for the post-Thanksgiving one, yet to come. A date for Vance? Well, maybe it’s time. I almost hoped he’d opt for the night security detail.

There is still time to sort this show out! But the scriptwriters need to sharpen their wits and the directing needs to be better. And perhaps if Mark Harmon showed a bit of interest…

How to introduce new NCIS team members

The most disappointing thing about the lack of a new NCIS episode this week was how little disappointment I felt. Where once I would have waited for a new episode with baited breath, and would have been quite upset at a delay (I’m guessing we might have to miss next week too, for some reason…), I barely minded. All I felt was that I had expected to watch something that evening, and I had a slot to fill.

So I watched Silver War, episode four from season three. It’s where Ziva becomes the new member of Gibbs’s team. We’ve already met her, but this is when she starts work.

Ziva

Silver War was never a popular episode with me, so I’ve watched it less than many other episodes. But hindsight is a beautiful thing, and it was amazing how great I thought it was. Well written, and reasonably well acted. It has a lot of little sub plots, which give it some depth. And whatever you thought of Ziva, she was well introduced. She behaved like a creditable addition to the team, albeit a foreign newbie. No particular hang-ups that disturb the pace, and the viewer isn’t left wondering what on earth possessed them to create Ziva, or to hire Cote de Pablo to play her.

NCIS was still having to prove itself back then. Presumably that’s why they took care in choosing a replacement for Kate. They needed to persuade fans that this was good.

It’s a pity they forgot this. I’m almost tempted to say we need Donald Bellisario back.

I love the way DiNozzo comes into work to attend to his morning ablutions. Jenny Shepard’s reaction to Gibbs giving her his coffee. The involuntary ‘bath’ for McGee and Ziva. The latter’s dangerous driving. The way Ducky actually doesn’t remember the beautiful doctor, or falls into her trap.

Abby © CBS

OK, there were inconsistencies. Clearly DiNozzo Sr has never been into Civil War Reenactment, but it fitted the plot, so he was. Abby has been given orders to dress properly. She is devastated, but recovers unusually quickly after that. And you knew from the fact that Gibbs handed Ziva her weapons back that they’d be needed.

But, looked at from the height of season 14, this was one fabulous episode. The way things are going, I’ll be sticking to season three.

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Love Boat

At last, an almost normal episode! Back on a ship, even if it’s called Love Boat. It sort of brought back the N in NCIS.

Glad to see Gibbs must have wrestled his leather jacket off Fornell. Made him look slightly less formal, but not necessarily more Gibbsy. And what’s the matter with all these people? They get seasick! They work for the Navy!

Palmer, Gibbs and Quinn

Good to see they actually had a female commander for once. Also that she wasn’t quite as barky as so many of the men have been over the years. And we had a small child, a celebrity, love affairs, as well as general sneakiness.

McGee really needed to get his act together, and I was starting to feel this would drag on all season, but luckily you can use that lift for almost anything. Great to have Delilah back. Much better than just talking about her.

Delilah

Still not enough of Abby or Ducky, even if Palmer was allowed out on his own. It will be interesting to see if this is a trend, or a one-off. We need to make friends with everyone, and soon.

Gibbs

Facelift? I don’t know. Gibbs looks almost his old craggy self at times. But there is definitely something film star-ish about the man.

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – season 14 start

‘What’s wrong with his face?’ Daughter texted me last week, as we both watched the new NCIS; same time, but separately. I wasn’t sure who the ‘he’ was, being busy wondering about McGee’s face. Seems she was mostly intrigued by Mark Harmon’s eyes, which appeared to have shrunk.

So, had I not been a regular viewer, but had stumbled onto an episode like the second one, I’d have wondered where I’d ended up. There are too many new faces for a show we come to for our long-standing relationship with the team. Old friends, as they have been for many years. Ziva leaving was tough, but she was one person.

DiNozzo was also only one person, but they have dealt with the loss of his mega-personality by giving us two new agents. It’s too much. They are very nice, I’m sure, but this feels like returning to the school or the job you left a few years ago, expecting – hoping – for everything to be the same and finding it’s not.

And it’s not. Not at all. Especially with both Gibbs and McGee as the old squadroom faces not looking quite themselves. Gibbs in a suit on an everyday basis is too formal.

Bishop, McGee, Torres and Quinn

I’m hoping things will normalise. So far we’ve had one introductory episode, letting us know who the people who joined are, except I don’t feel we learned anything much. Too bland, too handsome, no real background. And one episode that looked quite promising to begin with, but lost its zing about halfway.

This way I reckon we’d do better to concentrate on Palmer in jail.


And Gary Glasberg has died. He and his writing will be missed.

(Photo © CBS)

NCIS – Family First

Nature – i.e. the rain outside – cried with us as we watched the end of DiNozzo. As expected, a little bit bad and sad, and a little bit good. They can’t kill everyone off, but at least this way some characters won’t be coming back other than as ghosts. (I honestly didn’t think they’d do what they did.)

Abby, McGee, Bishop, Palmer and DiNozzo

I’ll miss Trent Kort. Why did they have to make him all right for a while? Think of the time he called on Gibbs as his only friend and ally, in Dead Reckoning. That was fun.

Fornell isn’t dead. He’s merely got beautiful toenails. Let’s see if they let him back again or not. I’m wondering if this Tess is intended to become the new Fornell? Though I believe the character is meant to have to prove herself in order to remain.

I quite like MI6, Clayton Reeves, who is going to be our next DiNozzo. Similar and different at the same time. They could – probably – not go for another female agent (except the loan of Tess from FBI), so they went black, and foreign.

Wonder if we’ll see DiNozzo Sr again? It’s odd when one actor’s decision to leave affects another actor’s possibilities.

DiNozzos Jr and Sr

The shrink is slowly growing on me, but I hope Dr Taft will return some time too.

As I said, it ‘rained’ a little in the house as we watched. Halfway, when we found out that … and met .., even I felt I might blub a little. It’s tough saying goodbye.

Ducky, DiNozzo and Palmer

So no summer cliffhanger, and it’s only through news articles we know about Clayton. Here’s to a peaceful summer break, with a few sniffles over Tony, but otherwise just looking ahead to what season 14 will bring.

Season 14! Doesn’t that sound impossibly advanced?