Tag Archives: Maria Bello

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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NCIS – Sight Unseen; 350 and counting

After 350 episodes, they decide to ‘celebrate’ by having Abby not know how to break into a mobile phone? Is she not the genius forensic scientist who has hacked her way into every techy item she’s been brought for the last fifteen years?

I ask, because at times maybe it was made to look too easy, but in fiction we don’t mind this, when it’s someone we love. What’s more, after the difficulty of accessing the information hidden on this phone, it proved to have almost no relevance, but was mainly a way of using up screen time for Abby.

If this is her level of [in]competence, it’s easy to see that they will need to replace her. But please God make it someone other than Ducky’s friend from a few weeks ago! I liked the actress well enough, but once the scriptwriters have ruined her character’s personality, it’s too late to make a first impression again. Hugging everyone in sight is not a prerequisite for a forensic scientist. It’s an Abby thing.

I can’t help but think back to the 100th episode, or the 250th, and the pride we felt at having supported NCIS this far. Compare that with my reaction on reading that season 16 had been given the go-ahead. I wished they hadn’t.

And was that some possible true romances for Bishop and Torres, or were they merely making each other jealous? We don’t need more team romantic entanglements.

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.

But what about the dead marine?

Gibbs, Gibbs, you’ve lost your sense of proportion here. There is hardly ever anything more important than a dead marine. You need to find out who killed him or her, and get justice.

But no, once we knew who had done the killing this week, however un-intentional, it seemed to get lost in the general cuteness of how to achieve a happy end for all. Apart from our dead marine.

So yes, it was a sweet – if not necessarily terribly realistic – ending.

The mix of two pairs of misbehaving teenage girls was a clever one, though, and kept us guessing a while.

And this was surely another new Kayla Vance?

NCIS – Double Down

And then we all cried a little.

That’s the thing about Christmas episodes. They are likely to be sadder – in a good way – and generally likelier to have its temporary characters survive. But you obviously can’t be certain.

I was sure that there was going to be bonding going on, and how right I was. You start by loathing someone and end up admiring them. The interesting thing is that even when you know to expect a slightly clichéd story, you can still enjoy it.

Palmer and Abby

This was one of the better Christmas stories, after the baby born in the petrol station. And it was about loving your children, and sometimes love in the other direction too. McGee has to learn that his babies will not hate him for having worked their first Christmas. Palmer’s father-in-law has already discovered what it’s like at NCIS at Christmas, so shouldn’t be a problem. (Script-writers take note.)

Torres and Sloane went to Afghanistan; with Sloane seemingly having an agenda (I wasn’t clear on what she dug up), and Torres having no objection to shooting spiders. That was one well used film location, btw. I know it almost as well as I do my own neighbourhood.

NCIS

People seemed to recover pretty quickly from bumps on the head and being shot. It’s the Christmas effect.

With a couple of exceptions, it ended well for most. And it was a great exercise in honouring the military. You can always find good use for a hanky under these circumstances. When they played The Little Drummer Boy towards the close, it made my hair stand on end.

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Ready or Not

Babies, bullets and bombs; they all have to come out. Somehow.

OK, I thought I’d have no more NCIS posts until I’d found something else to waffle on about, but after last week’s weird episode, here we had a perfect Thanksgiving. A bit of crime, a bit of family.

Bishop and Gibbs

They were probably asking themselves how they could avoid a Christmas baby. Or how to manage a Thanksgiving baby instead. The answer to both is make it twins and it/they will be born early. Easy.

So the babies had to be born. And they had to avoid giving them really stupid names. That’s the problem with geeks like McGee and Delilah. But that nice man had a purpose. Well, he had two, and he performed them well. But remind me never to give birth assisted by Abby. (Unlikely at my age. But you never know.)

Delilah and Abby

Bullets. Yes. It hurts when they come out. Or so I understand. Nothing John Wayne about it. And that girl; I saw what she did.

Bombs. How could they send two such twits together, to deal with a potential bomb situation? Torres, and the man from MI6 who actually buys his cranberry sauce. Not even I do that.

But all’s well that ends well.

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!