Review: NCIS - Child's Play
by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 25th 2009 1:48AM
(S07E09) If you want to show the soft side of Jethro Gibbs, involve a kid. That would seem to be the logic behind this episode which was a bit of a reach, what with cornfields, a think tank for gifted children, government secrets, a tenuous link to gang activity, a dead Marine, and pink cupcakes ... but still interesting.
There was also the whole connection to Thanksgiving at Ducky's. Would our favorite NCIS team make it to dinner together or would they be setting out on separate paths? Would Abby master the cranberry sauce? Read more after the jump.
The body was found in the cornfield, but I still don't understand why the body was stuck there. The killer wanted to pin the crime on gangs, so why go rural? That was a headscratcher, and the whole brilliant kids in the think tank was a bit of a stretch. I'm sure the U.S. government is probably doing something like that, having children play video games because they're smarter than adults at puzzles and such. As DiNozzo suggested, it was all a bit too much The Bad Seed.
Angela was actually like a tin-type Abby, complete with braids. And she was brilliant, which was also like Abby. And Gibbs' somewhat instant affinity to her was reminiscent of his relationship with Abs. Angela was smart enough to hide secrets in a painting that was, in fact, coded messages in an encryption of her own design. Very Abby.
While Angela was a smart cookie, the idea that Ziva and Duck would be so preoccupied brining a turkey that they would let her leave the room and escape out the front door was not believable. Ziva's too good an agent to make that kind of error. It was a plot device, and a poor one at that.
But it did lead to the breadcrumbs she left for Gibbs to find her, just as the killer was going to kill her mother. The face-off in the courtyard wasn't as dramatic as a John Woo movie, but did you have a doubt that Ziva was in position to take the shot? I didn't. The sly smile on Jethro's face said it all when he asked Angela to assess the probabilities. Ziva was going to down the killer with a single shot and Angela would be unscathed (at least physically).
Thanksgiving looked lovely at Ducky's, but it would have been nice if Mr. Palmer had changed his plans. And exactly why had Gibbs not shown up the previous nine Thanksgivings? No answer to that mystery.
Other points of interest
-- Abby calling Gibbs "Giblet" in keeping with the holiday season.
-- Ducky's mother is not doing well; she doesn't recognize him anymore.
-- Tony got a smack to the head for the first time this season.
-- "Val Kilmer. Real Genius."
[Watch clips and episodes of NCIS at SlashControl.]