Tag Archives: Rocky Carroll

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.

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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)

A misspent middle age

We got to chatting about actors who have appeared twice on NCIS, Daughter and I. Purely to relax, obviously. Also obviously, actors appearing twice as different characters. She mentioned one, while I could only remember another.

He was up a ladder outside a hotel room in one episode. Very briefly. ‘I think it was in Once A Hero,’ I said. I’ll have a look. ‘That’s season four,’ Daughter pointed out. ‘I know, it’s episode eight, if I’m not mistaken.’ (She was a bit put out by that…)

And once I found him – it was Francesco Quinn – I located the other episode, which was One Shot, One Kill, where he had a slightly longer part, although he died pretty quickly there too. Reading on about Francesco I discovered that, sadly, he died in 2011. Also that he was the son of Anthony Quinn, which was obvious when I knew, but I’d never thought to look him up on IMDb before.

The actor Daughter had had in mind was Clyde Kusatsu, and when we moved on to him I remembered both his roles, but felt he wasn’t quite as obviously the same actor. Benjamin Franklin, made fun of by DiNozzo, was rather different from Ducky’s gardener and very good friend of Mrs Mallard’s, in The Tie That Binds.

In fact, the reason Francesco Quinn was so much more memorable, is that the episodes were older. That was back when we watched them ‘quite a lot.’ Whereas the gardener appeared in last year’s NCIS, which I might have watched once, maybe twice. And I absolutely couldn’t have named the season or the episode.

These days I don’t even have time to misspend my time.

NCIS – Skeleton crew

A new Hollis Mann for Gibbs! Whether on purpose or happy accident is hard to say, but all those other women paraded in front of our Special Agent have not been right. And in a way he doesn’t need a new love interest, but Jack Sloane promises to stir things up a little more than the other new female actors have done. It annoys me when new agents are too young and too pretty, but here at least we have more than a bit of simpering.

Apart from introducing Jack, we also got a really good episode. Most unusual. It was ship based, and it had a good many potential suspects. Slight bit of haunting does no harm, even if a little early for Halloween. Cute Oklahoma high school bully boy for Bishop, although I doubt we’ll see him again.

Too stormy for helicopters to fly is always good. Abby’s stupid gift idea that was very obviously going to turn out useful, was fun.

Palmer, Sloane and Gibbs

And clearly Jack comes with a past. Sometimes I feel it’d be nice to have new but uncomplicated people, without mysterious conversations with director Vance, or low cut tops showing interesting scars, but there’s probably a good story or two in there. She even instigated an elevator scene, knowing to flick the switch.

Lovely vicious mother-of-the-corpse. And speaking of corpses, we’ll do just fine with less of Ducky. Palmer is growing duckier by the week.

The camera work ‘from the ship’ was excellent. I have rarely felt so seasick, without being on a ship myself.

NCIS – ‘House Divided’

My prayers have been answered. And it wasn’t a bad episode as season starters go. But don’t you find that beards grow in a funny way? Neatly and not as overall rampantly as you’d expect after a certain amount of time. I’m guessing Sean Murray and Mark Harmon didn’t get long enough to cultivate their wildest looks.

McGee

So, no Quinn. Thank goodness. And with the more senior agents engaged elsewhere, the team lead went to someone relatively new, with the help of two even newer agents and Dr Palmer behaving more grown-up than ever. And as for politics – and hot dogs – on the Hill, well it’s a weird world we live in.

Torres

The doings in Paraguay were fairly standard, as these things go; season starter with one or more agents in an awkward situation far away. But they’ve been trained, and know what to do. Same thing ‘at home.’ When the ‘parents’ are away, the ‘children’ can often cope far better than you’d think. Delilah helped, although it seems that where I believed Bishop was speaking in code, she was merely being indiscreet…

Clayton, Torres and Bishop

Floor time. I like it!

Unless we are all too traumatised to carry on, I reckon we can now go back to the way we were. And I expect at least Gibbs will lose the beard. I hope McGee does, because he’s really not the beard type. Besides, he needs to learn how to change nappies.

Torres

Torres did well. No one ate the raisins off the floor, but there was just desserts for someone, at a time when I don’t even hope for them. Here’s to next week. It’s a date.

Gibbs

(Photos © CBS)

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)