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October 4, 2015

Review: NCIS - Endgame

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 11th 2009 1:12AM
People who don't watch NCIS usually think the show is all about the military, all about forensics, all about criminal procedures, etc. Well, an episode like this is a perfect example of how character-driven the show actually is. Leon Vance has not been as interesting as the director of NCIS as Jenny Shepherd was, but the look into his back-story we saw with this episode may be a game changer. For one thing, he has some wife.

But as much as the Vance story and his weird connection to Kai drove the show, it may be the sad sack McGee subplot that resonates. Poor probie. Tough luck, McGeek ... or McDigit, as Tony dubbed him. The redhead was a looker. Tony and Ziva were impressed. Oh well ... more after the jump.

The director's history with Kai was quite a story. They never did explain how she survived the point blank shot to the heart. Leon made finding Kai and stopping her mission, revenge for Wilson's death, but when given the chance to pull the trigger again ... Why didn't Leon take the shot? Was it more dramatic to have Jackie, his wife, end Kai's life? Yes, it was.

But the point was clear that Kai didn't want to leave the Vance house alive. She felt she was already dead and had been since the North Koreans had robbed her of her childhood and turned her into an assassin. After killing the two men responsible for her conversion, as Ducky explained to Gibbs, Kai needed closure from Vance.

The red herring -- make that redhead -- was Amanda. I really wanted to believe that Tim had made a love connection. Abby was excited for him; wistful, but happy. Did you pick up her interest in Eric from NCIS: LA? There may be something happening between them in Abby's upcoming crossover.

Back to Tim, I'm glad they showed that as an agent, he was sharp enough to pick up the signs that Amanda was a little off. She was too good to be true and too willing. Tim's not a womanizer; he can't go all Heston, that's not his style. It's just a shame that McGee has to get used like that. Just once it would be nice to see Tim really get a girl. Of course, the NCIS hours are hell on a relationship. Nobody working there has a significant other... except Vance. Although whatever happened to Ducky and that female medical examiner?

Tony was in rare form with the one-liners, referencing James Cagney in White Heat, White Knights with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes, calling the self-help voice "a poor man's Shatner."

But the best was Tony's encounter with Ziva in the bathroom – is that their new meeting place? He flinched when she suggested he should stop being such a "big brother." I don't think Tony wants to be Ziva's sibling, do you? But then, maybe she was messing with him. After all, she did look down when he asked about a "Texas longhorn" – was she checking out his package? I think so!

[Watch clips and episodes of NCIS at SlashControl.]

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You really think that Vance is not as interesting a director as Shepherd was? To me, Shepherd was terrible, and Lauren Holly was horribly miscast in that role. Although she tried to act like a tough, decisive and in charge director, Gibbs walked all over her with impunity and showed her almost no respect. Watching Holly try to fill a role that was much to big for her was actually kind of painful and detracted from the story. Whenever Shepherd tried to act like a bad ass it was more comical than intimidating. Ziva is intimidating, Shepherd looks more like a little girl with her bottom lip stuck out, pouting.
As for Vance, he is smart, tough and doesnt take any crap from Gibbs or anyone else. He commands respect because he has earned it, not just because he carries the title of director.

November 12 2009 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to NightOwl's comment

I agree with Scot, that was a bad episode.

And Jenny Shepard wasn't interesting at all (and Lauren Holly was awful in the part). Vance's character has much more, for lack of a better word, character.

November 12 2009 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who's the actress that plays Amanda?

November 12 2009 at 9:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was absolutely the worst NCIS episode I have ever seen. This show has jumped the shark and I'm tossing it out. No more DVR pass. No more weeknight rituals. I have lost all interest.

November 12 2009 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Vance did want to kill her but after he actually saw her and the pain she was in because of what she had been made into he felt compassion. She was a child robbed of a life that held any meaning. As she grew she realized this and in this final act was trying to atone for all she had done. She was also making sure it did not happen to other girls ever again. By begging for Vance to kill her to end all of it he realized that she was as much a victim as those she had killed and he couldn't do it. Remember she said she made sure that the kids weren't home before she came it. She never intended to kill any of the Vance's she didn't want the kids to see that violence that she desperately needed to end her torture. Vance's wife while from what we see of her is a kind and compassionate person did what her husband could not and ended it for this poor woman.

November 11 2009 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
me wofford

You forgot the most important aspect of the conversation in the bathroom.
THIS TIME it was the ladies room. DiNozzo followed her in.
That's a first.
Usually it's Ziva going into the men's room to have a heart-to-heart with Tony.
Of course, Tony didn't have a heart-to-heart with Ziva, he just hemhawed around like usual even after entering the forbidden zone.

Love that Jacqui Vance.

November 11 2009 at 8:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The comedy moments are what really make NCIS fun. It adds the palpable sense that these folks are really enjoying themselves making this very well-crafted show. Criminal Minds is too grim and takes itself WAY to seriously. It's like the people who make CM think they're making high art, which they aren't.

November 11 2009 at 7:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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