Tag Archives: Ralph Waite

NCIS – Honor Thy Father


They got their funeral attire out again. They do look good in it, and this was a funeral worth celebrating, if that’s the right way to put it.

Season 11 funeral

This last of the season episode had obviously been forced on the scriptwriters, but sometimes that makes things come out best. This worked. We had family – more than one father – and we had ordinary crimes and terrorism, and a get-together with an old adversary, as well as a feel-good human act of generosity. No silliness from DiNozzo. Just team work of the best kind. Very satisfying, all in all.

Bishop, DiNOzzo, McGee, Palmer and Ducky

So, no particular cliff-hanger for the autumn. They can do whatever they like. They probably will.

You could tell that Jackson’s old truck would be significant, but not how. The same goes for the supposedly unloaded rifle. Always a useful thing to have nearby. We learned some more about Gibbs’s very distant past, and it didn’t feel wrong. It was totally him.

I suppose he will build another bloody boat now.

(Photos © CBS)


Goodbye, Jackson Gibbs

I was sad to hear of the death of Ralph Waite, better known to many as Jackson Gibbs, father of Leroy Jethro. (I realise he’s even better known for other roles he played, but to me he will always be Gibbs’s daddy.)

It’s that difficult thing, casting people old enough to play parents of actors who themselves are not terribly young. Especially for a show that continues for years, rather than a film that is soon over and done with.

But I’m grateful we got to meet Jackson as many times as we did. And I’m wondering how they will deal with it on NCIS. Ducky’s mother lived on a lot longer than the actress who played her. And Abby’s boyfriend Marty didn’t die; he just broke it off with her.

I hope they will be sensible and do something really good, if only to celebrate the man who keeps a shotgun handy in his shop.

Gibbs Sr

(Photo © CBS)

Better Angels and The Livelong Day

Two good episodes from both NCIS and LA this week, and interestingly both seemed to be on the same track as my reading at the moment. War in NCIS and trains in LA. How did they know? Actually, the war angle is not so strange. We are all working towards Remembrance Sunday (whatever that is in the US, WWI still ended at this time of year, no matter where you are/were) tomorrow.

The sentiment in Better Angels is a great one, but the wartime scenario felt a little farfetched. Admittedly, I had just read a similar Allied soldier/German soldier thing, but this one featuring pilots with Gibbs Sr was weird. Where were they?

We already knew Jackson had been in the war, but it makes him as old as Ralph Waite, or older. The ‘what if?’ premise is a good one, though. If that had happened, then none of this would have been possible.

As for LA, in real life Sam Hannah would have been dead. Most likely, anyway. But it makes for good entertainment, when you know he won’t die, on account of being a main character. It’s nice to have episode characters with, well, character. Kept wondering about Dead Man’s Switch, but the Resident IT Consultant reckoned they might not have them on US trains.

That aside, this episode was very nicely train-centric, especially for something set in California and not on the East Coast. They were a little mean to Deeks, but then he has gone a bit funny and seems to veer from one strange idea to another.

I suppose what I’m saying is that neither episode counts as stupidly outlandish. Hoping Eric will be officially permitted to wear shorts, and that the NCIS office will never be quite as empty as it was this week. Camp fire between two agents? That’s just sad.

NCIS beginnings and ends – Rule Fifty-One and Spider and the Fly

We’re getting closer to a ‘real’ beginning, so time to crack on. I loved season seven. Looking back, I’m slightly less keen on the last episodes. There is something not quite right about the Mexican set-up. A little on the far-fetched side.

But as cliffhangers go, seeing Jackson Gibbs in his shop with Paloma, it’s a good one. The continuation in season eight is less satisfying, especially the way the Mexican siblings problem is resolved. And Gibbs is a bit too remote and unfeeling, seeing as he doesn’t exactly have a clean conscience himself.

Rule 51, sometimes you’re wrong.

Gibbs sr

We don’t want Gibbs Sr to die. But it’s worth keeping in mind that although the Reynosa family are crooks, they had a right to love their father, too.

But there is humour even in these two episodes. Like when DiNozzo and Ziva are wondering how they will find Gibbs, and he is just standing there, waiting for them. Ducky going on about golf, as you do, while dissecting the dead.

Loved Abby’s outfit. Possibly not your typical afternoon tea style, but still…

Abby and Ducky

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Life Before His Eyes or This is your wonderful life, Gibbs

It was too sad, too introspective, to be a 200th celebration. I’d been afraid of confusion and a rush to get through all those old and ‘new old’ characters for NCIS’s milestone episode no.200. That part was OK. It’s nice to see old friends, and foes, for that matter.

Gibbs in his diner

I loved the diner where Gibbs goes. Very classic sort of place and just suited to someone like him. It’s a lovely idea to find the people you care about all gathered somewhere like it. But it got confusing, keeping track of who was dead. And the question is, considering what Gibbs learned through meeting both the obvious people and some unexpected ones, will he remember his lesson and be happier in future?

Is a happy Gibbs a good thing?

There was no question but that ‘his people’ love him. But would they have, in this alternate world? What was Vance doing playing chess with Ari? And Jenny Shepard and Kate were far too cardboardy. I know why, but it was almost scary.

One day surely Gibbs will have to ask the girl masquerading as Kelly whether she really is his daughter. Is that daughter number three or four? Having the young Gibbs carrying on with his Marine colleague also felt slightly inappropriate.

Ducky, McGee and Abby

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need to get back to normal next week. And after all that psychoanalysis Gibbs will be more than ready for another woman.

(Photos © CBS)

NCIS – Rule Fifty-One

I was more nervous watching Rule Fifty-One, than I’ve been since watching the first episode of season 3. Though I needn’t have been, since I had worked out most of the things the right way round, without having any clue as to how they would fit in with the plot.

So, are we going to sit around worrying about Daddy Gibbs for four months or not? I’m getting good vibes at the moment. (Touch wood, obviously.) I have more concern for that viper Ms Hart. They will keep her on, won’t they? How come I like Srta Reynosa better than her?

I’m trying to work out those red-page scenes we heard about. In fact, I’m going to have to watch this again.

Surely this was the first time Franks has called DiNozzo ‘probie’? Not being in the slightest American I seem to be unusual in not finding much of interest in Ziva’s citizenship ceremony. And Vance continues to grow. Gibbs never had that kind of resistance within the agency before.

People appear to feel that Abby’s relationship with Gibbs has changed beyond recognition. I disagree. Changed, yes. But they looked far more ‘back to normal’ than you’d think was possible.

Did not get Ducky’s golfing experience at all, but it was very, very funny. To have that kind of light humour inserted into an autopsy scene, when things are looking generally grim is what makes NCIS what it is.

So, that will be a wait of something like 17 weeks, I’d say. We can manage that. Plenty of repeats available for daily lunches, should I be so lucky.

Father Gibbsmas calls

Gibbs in snow

Gibbs Sr

Christmas came early. Again. Not sure I want it to. Couldn’t they keep the NCIS Christmas episode until just before Christmas, and not the week before just before?

Oh, well. It was another loveable episode, whenever it gets broadcast, but I wonder if they got the timings slightly off? We could have had more Gibbs and Dad, more McGee and Admiral Whitebeard, and less murder, since it was quite clear that the murder was most incidental this time.

Meredith Eaton, NCIS


I think Gibbs and his Dad needed more time together than they got. And Abby and McGee could have used more meat for their little thing, too. Nice, and sad, to see Meredith Eaton as Abby’s friend. I still miss Marty, the man they sort of shared.

Who could say no to these sweet faces? Not McGee, the softie. Though I’m sure the ladies had practised those helpless looks.

McGee as Father Christmas

Secret Santa is good for some fun, but what do those Americans put in their personnel files? DiNozzo has a big heart, really.

Abby's kiss

Puzzled over Gibbs’ living room, which we’ve been led to believe had been dismantled. Either they filmed this ages ago, or they built it again. Or lied. They wouldn’t, would they?

The tree. It was there. And then it wasn’t. And back again.

Ducky and Gibbs Sr

Ducky drinking too much? No. But quite fun to see what he’d be like if he did.

From boatyard to the North Pole. Interesting to see what that basement can double as.


(Photos © CBS)

More NCIS, again

2 x Gibbs and car So far, so good. That’s four episodes of NCIS series 6, and they are doing well. This week it was the much publicised story of Gibbs going back to his roots. I had thought that resurrecting the father he had claimed was dead, was a bit much, but in the end I loved it. Gibbs sr What I’d like to know is whether Gibbs lied when he said his father was dead, or did the scriptwriters simply forget? A very nice bonus was to find that the young Gibbs was played by the young Harmon. Suppose that’s likely with both parents being actors, and Sean is old enough now not to be kept out of the limelight. Young Gibbs and Shannon

(Photos © CBS)