by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 30th 2009 12:35AM
(S07E02) After last week's action packed NCIS, you might think that tonight's episode would be more sedate. Not really. There was a gruesome murder scene at the open, and plenty of mystery involving a cop who was out for revenge, but all that was a backdrop for something far more interesting. Ziva's return to the fold. More after the jump.
The rescue mission in North Africa was only step one in Operation Ziva, and like peeling back the layers of an onion, getting Ziva recommissioned to NCIS was going to require peeling them back one by one. Gibbs kicked the responsibility of her reactivation to Leon, but you knew that ultimately, Ziva would have to deal with Jethro. He would be the final decision-maker.
Vance's orders were for a psych evaluation, which Ziva aced. Rebuilding bridges with McGee, Abby and Tony were more complicated. Tim was typical McGee; he let her do most of the talking, accepted her thanks, but asked her a salient question or two that pierced her tough armor. Abby's reaction was pure emotion and the voice of the fans. She blasted Ziva for ever doubting Tony's motives in gunning down Rivkin, but being Abby, she played out both sides of the argument and couldn't blame Ziva for responding as she did. Abby's affection for Ziva was unquestionable, though, and when she hugged Ziva, there were theatrics to accompany it.
How wild was it that Ziva's confrontation with Tony came while he was at a urinal! She must have used those Mossad stealth moves to sneak up on him like that. Their discussion was intense, with Ziva claiming that she wasn't sure what to say. However, when she put her hand between his hands and moved in closer, body language was saying a lot. There's definitely more than friendship there and they both know it. A kiss on the cheek was just a preview.
For Ziva, all these relationships are complex because of her issues with trust. Ari and Michael abused her trust. Will she let herself really trust Tony and Gibbs, or is she "damaged goods" as Vance suggested? Ziva admitting she was wrong to Tony was a good start.
Ziva's toughest reunion was with Gibbs. She basically had to admit that Jethro is her father figure now because Eli has betrayed her. Who knows what really happened when Gibbs left her in Israel between father and daughter? Did he send her on a mission that would result in her death? Gibbs had to be sure that he hadn't been played by her, that she had killed Ari, her brother, not as part of a mission to win Gibbs' trust, but because Gibb's life was on the line. The satisfying ending was when the reunion was complete; Ziva was back at her desk and the team was reunited.
Other points of interest
• What happened to Jethro's boat and how did they get it out of the basement?
• Ducky needs more air time; I wanted Ziva to have a scene with him.
• The video of Shelley getting tortured in high school was spot on. I'd have wanted revenge on the people who did that to me.
• That telephone booth was truly an antique.
• Did you catch McGee playing with the touch screens like the NCIS: LA guys have?
To catch up with last week's episode and a bunch of NCIS clips, check out the new AOL site, SlashControl.