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September 2, 2015

NCIS: Dead Man Walking

by Brett Love, posted Feb 21st 2007 7:30AM
Cote de Pablo(S04E16) Those crafty NCIS writers kind of slipped a little something in there this week. As we got underway I resigned myself to the fact that this was a stand alone episode and we wouldn't be tracking The Frog or making any headway where Jeanne is concerned.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. NCIS does as good a job as anybody at mixing the two facets. As the story moved along though, there was something of an ongoing story that continued to develop. I'm referring to the ever evolving relationship between Tony and Ziva. Their bickering and fighting has proved quite entertaining in the past, but as season four has progressed, things have slowly been changing. It's a nice bit of writing the team is doing as they've taken their time to let this all come out.

It really started to become more prominent with Ziva's suspicion about Tony's recurring absences. The way that was played it could be read as a few different things. Just the crazed curiosity brought about by her Mossad training, jealousy because she is carrying a torch, or, given the hospital story that was floated, genuine concern over his welfare. Tonight we got to see the flip side. When Tony saw what the unexpected feelings for Sanders (Matthew Mardsen) were doing to Ziva, and how she was struggling it was like a switch was flipped. Smart-aleck, always has to push a button Tony disappeared and grown-up, concerned Tony took over. It was a nice moment, made more so by the way things have played out between the two since Ziva joined the team.

But I'm getting off on a bit of a tangent there, so moving back to the story of the episode... I really liked the Ziva/Sanders budding romance angle. Credit for a lot of that goes to Cote de Pablo and her performance. It was fun, and true to the Ziva character, how she reacted to the feelings. Given the situation, you have to feel for her. I could have gone for a little more solid an ending though.

As they left it, I'm really not sure what is to come of Lt. Sanders. The admission from Holly that she just wanted to make him sick suggested that there may not have been a lethal dose, but that moment between Ziva and Sanders could certainly be taken the other way. If I had a vote, I'd like to see Sanders make it. Of course, once he recovered I'd be perfectly fine for him to head off to a foreign land to do some inspecting. I'm much more interested in how the relationship changes Ziva than in actually seeing the relationship.

The case itself fooled me. I was on Diane (Kate Norby) as the jilted lover from the get go. And nearly convinced of it when she was handling the water in the hospital room. I dismissed Holly (Erin Torpey), even though I did catch that look from her when we first met her. I was chalking that up to building the red herring case against Sadowski (Marc Vann, CSI).

We should give a tip of the cap to Diane Dilano (Northern Exposure, Popular) as Dee Dee, the gun club manager. Her offer to help Tony with his stance was a little creepy, but also the comedic highlight of the episode. "I could correct your stance." She's always good. There were a couple other funny bits this week too. I liked the whole McGee's coat thread. From the Ziva/Tony argument, "I will kill you 18 different ways with this paper clip.", to the strip scene, right through to Abby cutting a big ol' patch out of it. Tony referring to McGee as Aqua Smurf was good. And I got a chuckle out of Abby lamenting the end of her first Big Gulp of the day.

I will say that the Palmer/Lee inappropriate liaison story is starting to wear a little thin. I'm counting on there being a good payoff at the end of it, but at this point we are just seeing the same scene over and over again. Time to fish or cut bait on that one I think. Overall, I'm calling this a solid episode. Pretty good mystery and some really nice Ziva character stuff. Nothing to complain about there.

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Bill & Suzanne

NCIS What a show!!!! We love the direction of making the characters personal lives part of the show. The whole cast work beautifully together and are so interesting. This is what we need more of not those reality shows. We again watch this as a family and have ever since it hit the television. Keep up the fantasic stories and surprises, we can hardly wait til next week!!!!!!!!

March 03 2007 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed this episode - like Brett - they had me completely fooled...It is interesting how in the most recent episode the focus has not been as much on Gibbs as it usually is. I enjoy seeing more of the other characters.

February 21 2007 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Love

Debby, I wouldn't go as far to call it disconcerting, but I did find it a little odd seeing Marc Vann in a guest spot on NCIS as well. It's a little too close to home.

innamorata, your hate for Ducky surprises me. I'm not a crazed Ducky fan or anything. I won't be starting a message board or a livejournal community for him or anything, but I don't mind him. And when compared to his peers, he's leaps and bounds better than Dr. Woods over on CSI: Miami.

February 21 2007 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Agreed on Palmer and Lee needing to get caught. I like both and their sneaking was funny but I think I'm done with the Autopsy Room/Parking Lot sex. And no, getting caught doing it in the Director office would not be a good pay off, it would only be predictable.

Speaking off predictable, it's how I would define NCIS most of the time (lord know the open ending of this episode was *extremely* predictable) mainly due to the casting choices but oddly enough while I should have thought "the male co-worker is the culprit" because I've seen the actor play a weasel in a lot of other things I dismissed the idea because of the long rambling his assistant gave him when the team went to check Sanders' office. Because of the lenght of her dialogue I thought "that's her, she did it" so I ended rolling my eyes at most of the investigation parts.
I guess it's some kind of change when predictability comes from writing instead of casting, huh?

Anyhoo, in spite of this I liked the episode quite a bit.

Ziva and Tony showed a softer side without their relationship being anywhere near Harm/Mac redux (thank the TV Gods - 9 years people! 9 freaking years!!)
I liked Tony and Ziva by the vending machines in particular, right before Ziva takes off with Sanders thanks to Tony faking illness.

I liked Ziva's "I have to get you in bed".

McGee = Aqua Smurf: heh!

Little Ducky (I hate the character), no director, Tony and Ziva bonding...pretty good over all.

February 21 2007 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I found it to be very disconcerting to have "Ecklie" show up as another character on NCIS. Sure, I know he's an actor who can play many characters, and as a supporting actor on CSI he probably could use the work, but for such a well-known face and voice I had trouble accepting him as Mark. Moving on - very nice to see the "big brother" Tony emerge; it's a role the writers should emphasis more often.

February 21 2007 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed this episode, tho it may be considered 'filler' (see also: Battlestar Galactica) in the season long plot involving Jeanne and The Frog. It's nice to Ziva being compassionate and attracted to someone. I loved the interaction between her and Sanders-- I want him to get better (tho that's probably doubtful).

Tony and Ziva's relationship has changed a lot, and tho I enjoy the bickering, it's nice to see them acting nice to each other. So let's keep caring, compassionate Tony and get rid of Jeanne, ok?

Palmer/Lee need to get caught already! I used to think their scenes together were cute, but it's starting to get a bit old.

February 21 2007 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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