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October 7, 2015

Review: NCIS - Child's Play

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 25th 2009 1:48AM
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.]

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What? No! The actress that plays Ducky's mother is dead?! That's horrible...she was such a cool funny elder, hilarious, and totally reminded me of my grandma. I looked forward to seeing more of that sweet old lady :(

Well now that I'm all sad what's the point of even saying what I was going to...but I must go on! I'm a fangirl at heart and even when the main crime drama of the show is going on, I can't help but revel in the relationships! "Endgame" was great for Tony and Ziva, and Abby and McGee (who are cute and I'm glad that Abby doesn't fall for Eric on NCIS: LA). This episode was classic NCIS too :)

December 12 2009 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mrs. Micah

While I liked the episode, I found myself really confused about the killer's actions & motivations. I feel like he was an after-thought on the part of the writers. Was he masterminding the ring? Was he angry because the girls had created the ring + the marine was going to sell him out and both things would take down his company? Did I miss something really key to the plot?

November 25 2009 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Second smack for Dinozzo (Reunion featured one as well).

Sorry :)

November 25 2009 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gibbs will also go all mushy for old veterans and red-headed ladies. I love the way Harmon can show amusement when he's throwing Dinozzo and Ziva a "cut it out" glare. Layers and layers of context conveyed with an expression. He's really good.

November 25 2009 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The actress who played Ducky's mother is actually dead now, so that may explain why dhe doesn't recognize him!

November 25 2009 at 7:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't forget the cameo by the real SECNAV Ray Mabus.

November 25 2009 at 3:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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