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April 19, 2014

NCIS: Trojan Horse

by Brett Love, posted May 9th 2007 9:04AM
mark harmon(S04E23) This was kind of a confusing episode to me. Not that the story was hard to follow, just that it seemed poorly conceived. I thought the case of the week was well done, but kind of out of place. With it being the end of the season, and the plan already in place to make this a two parter, I would have rather seen something that focused in on the big stories.

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.

4 out of 7 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.

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sunday cooking

Could La Grenouille turn out to be the director's father?

May 18 2007 at 9:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lee Carter

What is the name of the male Marine Guard at the gate?

May 13 2007 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary Supinger

I agree, let's lose the Director's flash back filled, not enough plot development stories out.
Couldn't we see her learn to cope with being the first female as the head of a armed federal agency?

I think they are trying to cover too much ground and too many characters and it's getting improperly diluted. The relationships are very rich and there isn't a need to do this.

May 11 2007 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vacelts

I'm ready for the season finale where they better finally reveal why the director is jonesing over La Grenouille so much.

http://redlightnaps.wordpress.com/2007/05/10/2007-season-finales/

May 11 2007 at 8:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PB

Man, after all this foreplay, La Grenouille better be the Director's dad or uncle or something ... I have to say that it takes all my willpower to watch the Director scenes. Lauren Holly seems like a good actress (I honestly haven't seen her in anything else that I can recall), but this part of the Director is just not believable to me.

I totally agree that the scenes with Jeanne and La Grenouille weren't necessary. Armand Assante must have a great agent to negotiate showing up in an episode for what? 1 minute? :-)

Jeanne is getting really, really pushy ... it seems that if it took Tony months to say "I love you", she should realize he's got some commitment issues and for her to jump on the "let's buy a house" bandwagon so quickly means that she's not really understanding him at all ...

I liked Ziva's expression when Tony got off the call with Jeanne, too. Now THAT'S intriguing.

More Abby and McGee, please! They are the most fun characters.

Great recaps, Brett!

May 10 2007 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TomB

I'm on the 'less international intrigue" side of the debate. I like plot lines that span over episodes as long as they're character-driven.

I think Lauren Holly the actress is fine. But I think that her character was poorly written, developed and conceived. She never really has been in charge. Gibbs runs all over her. He needs a boos that is as tough or tougher than he is. That would be an interesting dynamic since up until now he pretty much does whatever the f*** he wants to.

I hope that they develop the Abby and McGee characters more next season. I don't care if they ever get together, but I'd like to see more of their lives. Ziva too. More of McGee's character and less of the famous author angle. My $0.02.

May 09 2007 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike m

I'm going to throw my hat in the other corner. This show isn't meant to be a "procedural" like CSI or Criminal Minds or any other CBS show. It was meant to be like a CSI-ish version of JAG...Still funny, still about the goings-ons of the characters personal lives, still having "international intrigue" about the actual government (it takes place in "our" universe with Bush, and Clinton before him as pres.) I don't like Lauren Holly, but DPB (the creator of this show, JAG, and oh yeah, Quantum Leap and Magnum PI) leaving is TERRIBLE news for NCIS because its going to become just like all those other terrible procedurals if its not careful...and while all you people that complain about it having international intrigue and the rest, the show will be drastically different if it didn't, and the majority of JAG viewers that watch this show faithfully will slowly dwindle.

So CBS should be careful and not ruin a good thing by changing this show. It needs more international intrigue and less focus on "cases"....if you ask me.

but that's just my opinion, i could be wrong

May 09 2007 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cat

I didn't mind it in the first season when they traveled, but it was also related to the military in some way. This storyline is losing my interest and fast, which is sad because this is one of my favorite shows. I hope this doesn't hang over too long into next season.

May 09 2007 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sensitive_man

I'm with you in that Mike. The international intrigue episodes do nothing for me.

May 09 2007 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

I wish they'd kill the whole Shepard on a mission story line. I prefer the straight forward crime stories versus the international intrigue. I usually like Lauren Holly in most things, but I think she's terrible as director of NCIS. Maybe it's the short hair, but I can't stand any scene she's in on this show. The entire crusade against the arms smuggler plot just detracts from what makes the show good to begin with- mystery solving and the team dynamic.

May 09 2007 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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