Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NCIS: "Damned If You Do"

My interest in NCIS is only occasional these days. The show has been around for ten seasons and will be around for at least eleven. Even its biggest fans are hard pressed to say it's doing anything new. I remember how fresh it seemed in comparison to the stately JAG. While CSI tried to add flash to forensics, NCIS peppered its procedure with humor, a tack that has also worked for Bones. But while Bones' lead relationships have steadily progressed, NCIS's Gibbs has stood pat for several seasons.

Gibbs was a buttoned-down, closed-off ex-Marine until Jenny Shepard's appointment as director showed his softer side. Season 3 ended with a bombing that revealed the painful past of losing his first wife and daughter. This was real character development. Another step could have been Gibbs marrying again. At the very least, his three ex-wives show he's not afraid of commitment. His last serious relationship was with Army CID Col. Hollis Mann (Susana Thompson) in Season 4. Thompson left for a role on NBC's Kings, and Don Bellisario left after Season 4, taking some storylines with him. Remember the possibility that Director Shepard's father was alive?

For the last several seasons, the show has touted Gibbs' integrity. It doesn't jibe to call his character into question now. My biggest complaint about the finale, though, is it doesn't deliver on the threat to Gibbs. That threat is abruptly pulled back in the name of letting Gibbs go on a secret mission for national security. So, at least three episodes of posturing. If I were more invested, I'd feel cheated.

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