Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Explosive NCIS Finales

NCIS finished its ninth season with a homegrown terror plot against U.S. warships. This was something of an improvement over last season's serial killer arc, but I'm not much in the mood for fictional terrorism as the U.S. is dealing with real terrorism. My interest in STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE flatlined when the writers similarly decided to mirror the September 11 attacks with an alien attack that wiped out a third of Earth's population.

"Till Death Do Us Part" had its share of bomb blasts, including the bomb planted in Director Vance's SUV that leaves the team's status uncertain. More compelling, though, was Ducky's reception of the news while away at Jimmy Palmer's wedding, which triggered a heart attack.

I'm not worried about Ducky, though, because David McCallum recently signed a new contract with the show. Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, and Sean Murray have yet to do so, but are expected to follow suit.

Meanwhile the two-hour NCIS: LOS ANGELES finale, "Sans Voir", was full of sniper shots, one taking out recurring Agent Mike Renko (Brian Avers), and two explosions, one taking out recurring Agent Lauren Hunter (Claire Forlani). Neither agent had appeared frequently or long enough for me to feel much loss, but the shots and explosions also made the episode feel choppy. There was little time to gather my thoughts between them.

Finally and suprisingly, Callen shot and killed multi-episode nemesis The Chameleon (Christopher Lambert), who otherwise had engineered a clean getaway. This was very dramatic, but if genuine, I don't see how Callen can continue working for a federal agency. I'm hoping his actions were part of an as-yet-unseen plan.

I prefer to build up to a great finale. Explosions and sniper shots, while shocking, are also cheap drama. NCIS's resorting to them may be indicative of the show's having nothing left to prove. If any regulars do leave, they've had good long runs.

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