Tag Archives: Sasha Alexander

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.

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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 – Bête Noire

I’ve been relaxing with some top-notch season one NCIS. Well, someone has to!

Having previously complimented them on the line ‘I can’t wait to weigh your liver’ there is no reason to mention it again, except I just did, and for the reason that it’s a terrific line. They might not have fully worked out where NCIS was going back then, but they knew how to get there. It’s for stuff like liver-weighing lines and the plot of Bête Noire in general that the early fans were quite so fervent.

I can’t stop being fervent even now, but only as regards the older seasons.

And if part of the reason for writing Bête Noire was to get rid of Gerald, he certainly got a good start to his send-off, without having to be killed. At least, I’ve heard there was someone they couldn’t wait to write out, and Pancho Demmings is the only one who fits the bill. Shame, as I liked him (but clearly slackers can’t be tolerated), but then he was replaced by Palmer, and we like Palmer.

Gerald and Ducky

The plot is very good. The writing and the acting likewise. Kate has warmed up as an agent, and how perfect her love affair with Ari would have been had they both not, well… you know. Gibbs talks about ‘his people’ which is only slightly clichéd. Abby gets to be weird, but she has to do that every now and then. And several of the recurring agents like Paula Cassidy and Pacci have cameos.

Not only are they beginning to show Gerald the door, but for Ari the door opens a little. Enough to invite him back in later. He’s crazy and violent, but in a nicely restrained and almost British way. The type who ‘gets’ steam trains and old cars.

Can’t help but wonder if Gibbs would have got on better with him had Kate not been in the middle.

But we know how that ended.

What’s worse, we now know what they are like today. As Son said recently, when he’d finally caught up with season 14, he wondered if they are ‘taking the piss’ and he has no interest in getting to know the new people. He’s lasted this long, but I agree; it’s not new people we don’t like. It’s having these particular new ones thrust at us in one fell swoop.

So, taking a leaf out of Gerald’s departure, maybe someone could be swiftly despatched elsewhere. No need to kill them.

(Photos © CBS)

The demise of DiNozzo

I’d better speculate while there is time. I don’t think anyone on the outside knows yet how the scriptwriters are planning to get rid of Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo. But do it they will.

The main question for me is whether NCIS will survive DiNozzo-less. And also, how do you get rid of a longstanding friend, a joker, and someone much loved by many fans?

So far most characters have had to die when the actor leaves. Mike Franks’s ghost comes back every so often, so I assume it wasn’t the case that Muse Watson wanted out forever. Kate died and Ziva didn’t. But Ziva was pretty safe left alive, as she had a faraway country to go and live in. They probably would have had Kate back had Sasha Alexander wanted to, but instead they invented the sister she never had.

Could we bear it if DiNozzo is killed off? Is it not contrary to his persona? But if left alive, what would prevent him from turning up every now and then? And is this the end of DiNozzo Sr as well? To some he is as dear as Jr.

Will McGee step into Tony’s shoes? I’d have thought they can’t just replace him with another senior agent, especially considering the fact that DiNozzo should have had his own team to lead years ago. He’s only still there for plot purposes.

I wonder.

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.

Bye Ziva

My suspicions that Cote de Pablo was on her way out have been confirmed. There will be no more Ziva for NCIS fans, apart from what’s necessary to ‘get rid of’ her character. Let’s hope they can do it tastefully.

The dramatic departure of Kate was not ideal. Admittedly, it made for very good viewing, but I wonder if they’ve regretted it since. Death is so final, unless you are Sherlock Holmes or Bobby Ewing. And they way they have found Kate substitutes suggests they wouldn’t have minded a resurrected Agent Todd every now and then.

So what will they do about Ziva? We’ll find out at the end of September. I’m guessing the news about Cote de Pablo not renewing her contract came now, when they will be getting together after the summer holidays to film the first episodes.

Ziva

Personally I felt the role of Ziva was getting worn out. I like her, but something about all that happened to her and through her made me wonder how long she had left. Eight years is a big chunk out of anybody’s life, and I’m thinking she feels her body clock ticking. Have a family, or continue on what is one of the most successful shows until it’s too late?

Cote’s fellow ‘young ones,’ Sean Murray and Brian Dietzen, may share mid-November birthdays with her, but they have wives to do the pregnancy bit for them and they have been able to enjoy fatherhood, while still doing what they do on NCIS. The same goes for Michael Weatherly who has got married again and who also did not have to choose between bump or career.

I’m not sure NCIS has got that much longer to go before it’s grown out of what made it special. Better to leave while it’s on top. Recent casting for the LA spinoff makes me doubt they’ll get a Ziva replacement right. Clichéd characters, not to mention plot, have taken over from the freshness ten years ago. Come back Donald Bellisario, all is forgiven?

(Photo © CBS)