Tag Archives: Diane Neal

NCIS – And then there were, erm, not very many

left. At all.

The scriptwriters and those who decide what happens in NCIS ought to be ashamed of themselves. If the purpose is to remove as many characters/actors as possible before the end of season 18 and, one has to assume, the end of the whole shebang, there is no need to decimate the cast quite as harshly as this. Apparently they even omitted telling Emily Fornell that she was going to be no more.

Other – successful – television shows have ended after many seasons, with all or most of the characters still standing; some of them even living happily ever after. Or they could try repeating the bomb that that blasted most of the Navy Yard nine years ago.

But before that, please leave us with some characters left to watch. Even love.

One of the things that makes for a successful show, is the building up of many supporting characters; the ones who come back every now and then, and who we like and who add to the breadth of our NCIS family. The loss of three characters in as many episodes looks like carelessness.

We have devoted fifteen years to this. Yes, I know. It’s season 18, but we started late and went faster to begin with. Those years amount to a quarter of my life, and half Daughter’s life. Yes, we’ve done other things as well, but it’s a long friendship.

To start with we also rewatched many episodes. Less so now, because we are busy with other stuff. Returning to older episodes has always been an enjoyable pastime. But it’s harder to have fun with characters in the past, when you know that there will be a sad, or completely wasteful loss of their lives, later on. You can’t laugh at the ridiculousness of someone, if you know something that you’d rather not know about.

And to think that just the other day we were speculating about the speculations that Mark Harmon might semi-retire next season. We were discussing who could take over from Gibbs and make it work.

(The answer is Abigail Borin. She is [the only] well known and likeable character we have, who is still alive, and who is boss material.)

NCIS – Catching up with the past?

I suppose it’d be too much to ask that more recent scriptwriter recruits sit down and watch the 350 odd episodes of NCIS they haven’t been part of? Just so they know what they are supposed to work on? Ten a day and you’d be done in a month. Almost.

Daughter and I tore NCIS to shreds on the phone a couple of days ago, and this is something we don’t do lightly. We love it too much, or have loved it too much, to want to do it. But what are they doing? Her theory for the lack of old favourite recurring characters not – well – recurring so much now, is that they don’t want to.

The actors, that is. They can’t all be too busy; Borin, SecNav, and so on. Fornell was there this season, but his part is getting too ridiculous, and maybe he only joined in out of kindness.

If there are some serious issues to do with Mark Harmon and why Pauley Perrette left, then it would explain a lot. Give rumours – or truth – enough of an airing and no one will want to touch what was until recently such a successful and happy show. Or was it?

We’re assuming there will be no season 17.

There could be. Get rid of Gibbs, tell McGee to mature back to where he was before, and give him a shave, and find a new boss. Borin, maybe. She’d work well with Torres.

I think I know why the acting is bad. The longer serving actors can’t be bothered, and perhaps neither can the directors. And could it be they no longer take on really good writers, or that there aren’t so many like that to choose from?

If this is the end, there’s probably no point in killing people. Otherwise I’d say kill a few to spice things up and have them replaced. Currently my favourites are Torres, Bishop and Kasie. Palmer when he’s allowed to be Palmerish rather than a pale copy of Ducky.

The threat against Vance; has it been forgotten or are we building up nicely to something magnificently bad? Two threats now, but not even a reminder of what might be coming, if only as a hint.

Kill Gibbs. That way Mark Harmon can keep his civilian hair, and I’m sure the man can negotiate enough money without actually appearing.

NCIS cast season 16

Some season 12 thoughts on NCIS

I’m stunned. Episode one was fine. The second was really good, and whereas I prayed for more excellent instalments, I didn’t really believe in the likelihood of that coming true.

But this has been one hell of a season start. Along with NCIS: Los Angeles, which has given us four terrific episodes, I’m beginning to wonder what has got into those screenwriters. This is what you should be doing every time. Always. Keep this up and there will be no need to pension NCIS off any time soon. (Mind you, New Orleans could use some effort. I’ve still to watch the 3rd, 4th and 5th.)

It’s not even as if we have gone back a few years to, say, season eight. We’re almost right back at the very beginning, when things were truly good. When NCIS had something to prove. Becoming the leading show is a bad thing. Not only do fans have to share with others who don’t love in the same way, but complacency sets in, no matter what they say or think.

I was all set to expect this to be the last year. Maybe it will be. But in that case it can bow out with its head high. (Yeah, I know heads are low when you bow, but you know what I mean.) In fact, I wasn’t sure I wanted it to go on. Now I do. The older Gibbs is almost back to being the old Gibbs. The new Gibbs was just wrong.


This week’s episode was set on a ship, for goodness’ sake! That doesn’t happen every day. And Abby Borin is always good. We want more of her, and don’t you even dare think of sending her the way Paula Cassidy went!

(Photo © CBS)

An NCIS for every year

Well, almost. For some reason I skipped season one. I felt we knew all the episodes by heart, and more. But once I’d started picking from NCIS season two, Daughter and I worked our way through one episode for every season during our second holiday week.

It was meant to soothe us and keep us happy. And it did. I think I might have chosen one that Daughter Really Did Not Want To Watch, but who cares? Not me, obviously.

Abby and Jethro

The odd thing was that I picked at random, sort of. Episodes which I felt we’d watched less often. But there was a pattern to them. One day Daughter asked if I was in a Fornell mood. Well, one is always in a Fornell mood, but I hadn’t noticed he kept popping up.

Then there was the stupid, unhelpful police officer they clashed with one year. I didn’t realise he’d turn up a couple of seasons later, in the exact episode I chose. I have less eye for detail than I thought I did. But I have Daughter, and that’s what matters.

If anyone wants to know what we watched, it was Vanished, Deception, Escaped, Dog Tags, Nine Lives, The Inside Man, Ships in the Night, Enemy on the Hill, Phoenix, and Under the Radar.

Now I’m too busy to relax with more of the same, or I would.

NCIS – the women have it

So, we’re back to season three mode, with various women being borrowed for a week at a time, to fill the gap Ziva left behind. Whether it’s because they really haven’t found the right replacement, or if they want to give us – and themselves – some time to breathe, and grieve, I have no idea. It’s good that they haven’t rushed into finding just any female to fill the David boots.

Abby and Abby

Though I almost wondered if Agent Borin was going to be the – surprise – one. That would have been novel, letting an existing character take over. Especially one we like. When she left Gibbs’s basement last week, I thought it could be a double bluff. Or they are waiting to see what viewers’ reactions are.

That old partner of Mike’s who turned up for two weeks before retiring, was so clearly marked that no one would ever fear she’d be ‘the one.’ But Agent Grady? Not that I had realised she was an agent. I thought she just attached equipment to Gibbs’s trousers and was awkward.

Maybe we’ll see – far too much – more of McGee’s Delilah? Anyone who can give DiNozzo a heart attack is halfway there.


And the dear new SecNav. Gibbs had his suspicions about her. Not that she’d demote herself to Agent, but interfering is another thing. It was quite funny when he gave her the elevator treatment. ‘Urban legend!’ Hah.

SecNav and Gibbs

I wonder how long we’ll have women dangled tantalisingly in front of us? If we are to have a slightly used character, my money is on Abigail Borin. I enjoyed the Gabse/Gabbs pairing, except they are perhaps too alike.

Gibbs and Borin

And speaking of women, I hadn’t thought before, but in Mike’s granddaughter, they have given Gibbs a replacement daughter. Might explain why he’s mellowed.

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Ships in the Night

It’s never a good idea to say words like ‘overboard’ and ‘safe bet’ at the beginning of an episode. Something has to happen. Well, something does have to happen, or we wouldn’t have an episode. But anyway.

The Potomac

Good to see Agent Abby Borin back, but correct me if I’m wrong; I thought she and our Abby didn’t get on, even at the end of the last episode they were in? Now they were the best of friends. Hmm. Agent Abby is very Gibbs-like, in attitude and tastes in coffee and being able to work on no sleep at all. Unlike poor McGee. It wasn’t that long since he slept on the job last time. Sleepy McGee

Shame that the Coast Guard Cocker Spaniel died, but trust Abby to keep track of all enlisted animals. It was a shame that the dead guy died as well. Marine First Lieutenant (phew) Nolan seemed really nice. I wish they didn’t poke long straws into the bullet holes, though. It’s a bit eurgh.

Gibbs and Abby Borin

Almost romantic that Gibbs brought Agent Abby clean clothes, and she didn’t kick up a fuss about getting changed. It was rather like old-fashioned westerns, where the beautiful lady takes her clothes off behind a screen. Bits of boat do the same job. And speaking of clothes it might not have been coincidence that the waiters wore mustard coloured waistcoats, visible within seconds of DiNozzo going on about Colonel Mustard. Tasteless as usual. DiNozzo, not mustard.

So human (why that should come as a surprise, I don’t know) that NCIS (the real one) offers comp time just like more boring workplaces. And just think what they could get up to if DiNozzo took time in lieu.

Three rule #1 is at least one too many. I’ll allow two of them seeing as there were two people with rules. But it wasn’t Agent Abby’s rule #1 that was broken, it was Gibbs’s rule #1. Only one of them; never put suspects together. Works well, though.

Gibbs and 'Abses'

As Gibbs said to the ladies, ‘Abses, that is good work’. But our Abby did go through quite a few Caf-Pows for it, even if it wasn’t ‘the record’ of which we don’t talk.

What was Di Nozzo doing with his rucksack on inside his coat? Hunchback of the Navy Yard?

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Jurisdiction


Di Nozzo was glad he wasn’t Ziva’s Valentine, and so was she. As her fans have already noted, her hair looked good this time. I know that’s a shallow kind of observation, but why do they mess with her hair so much? This is seriously great, and Ziva should be allowed it more often.

Fun sort of scrabble for the keys to the NCIS van. Childish, but Daddy Gibbs is on it. (Is it a van in American English? I’m getting muddled.) I’d say he had a cold again. Mark Harmon, I mean, because Gibbs has never had a cold in his life.

Scrabble for car keys

Glad to see that Sophie has already been got rid of. Anyone who doesn’t know how to treat Mrs Mallard’s silver doesn’t deserve our Ducky. In the dishwasher! Honestly. Back to bow ties.

Abby was off her game. How dare they meddle with the recipe for her CafPow? Speaking of Abby, Gibbs only needs one. But at least the two Abbys shook hands on being Abby.


The second Abby was a CGIS agent, which is Coast Guard police to you. They’re not as easy to fool as you’d think, and the ‘Reservoir Dogs’ situation for DiNozzo and Gibbs was fun. I mean, you could tell they were agents, but which ones from the alphabet soup?

Gibbs, Abigail Borin and Ziva

As Son said on the phone this morning, we were back to a good episode this week. The kind of NCIS we love and want all the time. At this rate I’ll have to turn even more nerdish and start keeping tabs of who writes which episode, to see if the answer to good or less good lies there.

(Photos © CBS)