Tag Archives: Joe Spano

NCIS – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

After suspecting the scriptwriters on NCIS: Los Angeles of being on drugs this week, it looked rather like their colleagues over at NCIS had taken some as well, even if the effect was short-lived. That was one unlikely and jolly poker game chez Gibbs!

Then it turned more into a greatest hits, with every Fornell, former dead agent and every jailed bad guy doing a cameo. The more the merrier?

They did their best to scare us into thinking the worst, but I can see through those tricks by now. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t bad stuff happening. In fact, are they reading this blog? If not, it’s either a case of great minds think alike, or that the world is full of people putting forward the same opinions as me. That’s two characters I’ve been wanting to see off, who are now gone. Not saying I dislike the actors; just that their characters have been a bad fit.

Well, either Gibbs really did come to Abby’s sickbed, or they did ‘it with mirrors’ the way I suspected earlier. Last week there was another kiss. From McGee. And apart from the hospital scene, Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette stayed firmly separate to the bitter end. That teary goodbye at the Navy Yard, but without Gibbs? Expected, but wrong.

I hadn’t wanted to speculate on how Abby would leave, but this felt just about right. At least it suited her personality.

And oh, that coffin! Priceless.

(Shame that they waited so long before inviting us into Abby’s home. That was a lot of gothic for a few minutes’ worth.)

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Leave of Gabse-sense?

We made you big. Now it’s your turn to honour that, by providing us with NCIS episodes worthy of your fans’ devotion. Instead you are ‘thanking’ us by invariably serving up complete rubbish, with the odd silver nugget every now and then. I put those good moments down to unexpected good writing coupled with appropriate directing.

It just doesn’t happen often enough for a number one show.

Because it could do. It used to. If anyone on NCIS or CBS had time and inclination to revisit the past, you’d see how it ought to be done. You’d see what made you number one.

You made the show. Us, the fans, made you number one. We deserve better. Hell, even you deserve better.

Instead of this gradual weakening, which means you’ll go out with a whimper at some point in the future, you could make us one last terrific season of NCIS and go out with a bang. Something to remember you by. Something that would make some of us sad, and make us miss you.

Get it right!

As I understand it, the actors get paid well enough, although I suspect the male actors might be paid more. Mark Harmon is certainly rumoured to make a minor fortune for every episode. I almost wrote ‘earn’ but realised that he doesn’t earn anything the way he’s forgotten to act, or even caring about the show or the fans.

This week’s dance around Fornell? Embarrassing.

McGee has let himself go completely. It’s not the twins; it’s something much deeper that’s wrong. The beard, obviously, but there’s more to it. Or less, depending on how you see it.

Bishop is mostly the way she was, but comes across as quite mature by comparison. Torres is a treasure. He’s cool in way DiNozzo never was (although I recognise that Michael Weatherly was what kept people together), and kind at the same time.

Palmer is good, managing to be a cross between his old self and Ducky. I’m a bit disappointed now with Sloan, who seems to forget how an agent behaves and babbles about things all over the place, getting emotional. But that will be the script writers, not the actor.

Finally Abby. She’s not quite herself, but based on the rift between Pauley Perrette and Mark Harmon, that’s hardly surprising. I can’t work out how Abby’s going to go, but that almost doesn’t matter now. If the show is to continue (please no!) there needs to be a forensic scientist, but how they could make that work, I’ve no idea.

Back to the money. NCIS must make a fair bit of money, being number one and all that, and managing to pay its actors handsomely. I can’t help but feel that this means they have responsibilities too, to the viewers, and to their advertisers. It’s time you all worked for that money. It’s clearly too late for mature behaviour on the set, but I feel the money should pay for that as well.

So, you can’t – or won’t – have Abby and Gibbs on at the same time. If one or both of them is dangerous and a risk to others, the police should be told. If there is ‘merely’ a quarrel of some kind, a major CBS show like NCIS should be strong enough to make two actors work together like the adults they supposedly are.

Fixing it so they are never together is ruining not just season 15, but it really does take pleasure away from past seasons. Somehow you can’t un-see what is going on now. Watching season 14 backwards, you discover that the rift was already there. The last two episodes are almost totally free from overlap between the two, and the episodes before them have a really weird feel to them.

It’s too late to put all this right. I wish you could, because we really do deserve better. The odd, almost OK episode would almost make up for it, were it not for the Gabby split.

Still good for relaxing

Old NCIS is like family. I’ve noticed how clichéd the term family has become, because it matters more than anything else. It might be that the team comes before, well, I hope not before family, but then most of our NCIS team are not family people. I am, but I can let NCIS in as well. Unlike that crap film I started to watch the other evening, a few old episodes really do relax and entertain me.

I have moved between the seasons for a while, and didn’t quite know where to go next, so I actually started on fourteen again. The first episode is better when you know the rest of the year; you know what became of the new people and who they were. Torres was darker to begin with. I feel maybe they should have him stop clowning about so much, unless he’s to be the next DiNozzo.

Oddly enough, the more I see of Kate, the less I like her. DiNozzo improved with her absence.

And also oddly, those coincidences when you pick episodes at random. I’ve had Jackson Gibbs and Alejandro and Paloma make a couple of appearances each. And sometimes it’s as if episodes demand to be watched. Even when I’ve been aiming at some other episode, up pops one I’ve seen too many times and insists on being watched again.

Abby

But there will be less time for this later in the week. At least I hope so.

I wonder what’s in store for us in season fifteen?

(Photo © CBS)

Almost forgetting

I’ve done that summery thing and watched old episodes of NCIS every now and then. Somehow it gets boring when all current shows come to an end every May, and there’s only so much Good Wife-watching a witch can do in one fell swoop.

I’ve been quite lucky, remembering the odd old episode that I’ve barely, if ever, watched a second or third time. This week I misremembered which episode I was after, meaning I got to watch both of them, and both were great, especially for not being worn out.

And then, as I was seeing the credits flash by, I suddenly remembered Quinn. It’s amazing how both season 14 and Jennifer Esposito had totally slipped from my memory.

I need some more oldies. And it seems as if the later episodes of most seasons are the least likely to have been watched too much. Take season 12, episode 21. It was one I was reluctant to return to for various reasons, but when I did, I discovered it was virtually perfect!

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?

NCIS – Homefront

‘The scriptwiters are crazy,’ Daughter said after watching NCIS – Homefront, and after watching it myself, I have to agree.

Who?

Did they really kill..? OK, having looked at next week’s episode description, maybe not. Or at least not yet. But how very dare they?

No DiNozzo at all, which I suppose was meant to break us in for the time when there will be no DiNozzo. Thought I’d never say this, but it was actually a bit boring without him.

They upset a lot of fans by having the First Lady as herself (well, probably even more so had she acted some other part…), which I had no problem with at all. I’d been sort of looking forward to it after I heard, although I would have liked it better still if she had been sprung on us without warning. There is nothing quite like surprise. After all, the President himself had already been on the other end of a phone line, so the next logical step was to have someone in front of the camera. First the real Director of NCIS. Then the real SecNav. Twice.

I thought Mrs Obama did really well, considering she was up against real actors.

Michelle Obama

And I can understand why they did it. It’s a worthy enough charity and they obviously want to be seen to support it, which I agree with. But I would rather they had written a fun plot to support the support, so to speak. This was at most a rather pedestrian episode, with a weird child and not much else.

McGee

I can see how Gibbs’s house can’t be a ‘safe house’ much longer. Every villain in town must have heard they take people to his house by now. I recommend blinds. Possibly locks on the door. Caution, even.

Abby was too flaky, even for Abby, with her #LivingRocks. And nothing quite beats a setting in ‘good old England,’ pubs and all. Hard to distingush between England and Ireland, really. Sheep. Shotguns. Green valleys. That kind of thing.

Fornell and Vance

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Blood Brothers

Well… the NCIS Thanksgiving episode. It was a bit Saving Private Ryan, wasn’t it? It didn’t take me long to work out how it would end. I pointed out to the Resident IT Consultant that ‘this can only end well.’ I didn’t say, but thought, that with his English accent, the landlord should not expect things to be fine, at all. How very predictable.

Although, I do realise that we need the feelgood factor at this time of year.

Had wondered if Bishop was going to go for a real break, but it seems she simply needed to storm off, meaning we got to see her Oklahoma background. And were those potatoes she and Gibbs were peeling at the end? I was a bit concerned, as it appeared they were about to start the meal. Those potatoes should have got themselves peeled a lot sooner.

Bishop and Gibbs

While on culinary matters, I hope Palmer’s triple bird isn’t a common thing for people to eat, and worse, cook? It truly belonged in autopsy.

Did I miss something about DiNozzo’s love life? Why did he have to pal up with Fornell for cremated turkey?

And to think it was only a year ago that we finally met Jake, with Bishop being heroic and the airport security woman bemoaning her delayed cranberries. There must be more to this Jake issue. We’ve been made to like him too much.

(Photo © CBS)