NCIS: Trojan Horse
It almost felt like flipping the channels between two episodes that were running at the same time. The brief phone conversations between Gibbs and Shepard kind of tied the two stories together, but more than anything, they just pointed out that the story of the week was taking up time that could have been spent on La Grenouille. Maybe I'm just a little impatient, having caught a bit of the finale fever, but it just didn't all fit together for me.
So, let's take the two stories one at a time. First, back on American soil, we had a pretty interesting case. I was thrown right from the get go by reading too much into the episode title. When I saw "Trojan Horse" I looked right past the literal trojan horse idea and started thinking about a mole. Could Jeanne have been on to Tony the whole time? That led to quite the forehead slapping moment when Mario first climbed out of the cab.
It also called into question just how thorough their examination of the cab was. Wouldn't you think that someone would look under the front seat? It would seem that the alterations would be obvious then. I let that slide though, because the idea that the hit list was made up of random obituaries in an attempt to confuse the team was a good one. As was the idea that it was a last ditch effort to tamper with evidence to beat a murder wrap. Had this been episode 12, and just lacked the Shepard scenes, I would have been much higher on it. But the rules change when you start talking about part one of the season finale.
In other news at headquarters, I really liked seeing Gibbs as acting director. That should put to rest any speculation that Gibbs will ever take over that gig. It calls to mind a line describing Hiro in Snowcrash. "Hiro is so bright and creative, but needs to work harder on his cooperation skills." That's Gibbs. He's great at what he does, but is best left to his own devices.
Also causing confusion were the strange bits with Tony and Jeanne. A house? And now suddenly we have her nurse friend giving her advice on how to trap her man? It felt shoehorned into the episode to remind us that the SS TonyheartsJeanne is heading for a big freaking iceberg, and nobody is sounding the horn. Everything about them this week boiled down to one very quick, but very interesting look, and it didn't come from either of them. It was the look that Ziva had when Tony was finishing his phone conversation with Jeanne. Was that concern because Ziva knows more than she is letting on? Or was it a twinge of jealousy?
Meanwhile, across the pond, we took a circuitous root to get to one big cliffhanging scene. The appearance of La Grenouille felt very much like the appearance of Jeanne. It was there more to remind us that the good stuff is coming, in just two weeks, than anything else. Had Trent Kort just met with Shepard and mentioned that La Grenouille was in Nice, that would have been just as effective.
I did like the scene with Colonel-General Borov though. When he said that Shepard's father, thought to be dead for twelve years, was in that very room just three weeks ago, that was a cool moment. I have no idea how that is going to play into the big showdown with La Grenouille, but it should either serve as extra motivation for Shepard to get her man, or push her even closer to the edge. Either way, it does help to set up the big finale as a heck of a show.
Overall, it was an ok episode. More of a placeholder to get us to the big finish where the secrets come out than anything else. It's not one that I'll be going back to again, but it was worth seeing. I'm giving it a 4, out of 7.
Finally, in case you missed it, Bob linked to a TV Guide report a couple days ago which should put to rest those rumors that Mark Harmon may be leaving the show. That is a nice bit of news. See you all in two weeks for the big finish.