Review: NCIS - Flesh and Blood
by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 13th 2010 1:42AM
(S07E12) I had been really looking forward to this episode of NCIS ever since it was announced that Tony's dad -- the original Tony DiNozzo, Sr. -- would be on and played by veteran TV star Robert Wagner (Hart to Hart). Well, it was not a disappointment. Other than the fact that the mystery involving a couple of Saudi princes wasn't very complicated, it was a really good show. For more on the father and son reunion, follow me after the jump.
So Gibbs has father issues, and Ziva has father issues and now Tony, too, has father issues. I'm detecting a theme here, aren't you? It certainly explains why Jethro was so unfriendly to Senior when he was first brought in to interrogation. I expected him to be more social, but the oh-so-smart Gibbs had problems with Tony's father for being an absentee parent. I have to admit, I was blown away when Jethro brought up the bubonic plague that nearly killed Tony. He was right, naturally -- where was Tony Senior then?
The thing that sealed the antipathy between the two men, though, was Gibbs suggesting that Senior was blowing his chance to have a real relationship with an adult child, something Jethro lost when his daughter died. Despite the heartfelt sentiment, Tony Senior didn't appreciate the advice.
The fact that Tony DiNozzo Senior was a con man, living the high life and running up unpaid tabs around the world, was perfect for Robert Wagner. Remember Switch? He was a con man on that show. And there was another TV reference when he kept referring to Tony as "Junior." On It Takes A Thief, Wagner's first TV show, Fred Astaire played Wagner's father on a few guest shots and I seem to remember distinctly he called his son, "Junior." I'd like to think all the allusions were on purpose.
Interestingly, Tony's usual pop culture references were pretty much nil. Don't know why. It was nice to hear him quoting the Gibbs rules, and even better to see Gibbs and Tony sharing a "cowboy" steak and a beer. It didn't look like it was the first time the two men had shared a post-work meal. Perhaps there's more to the Gibbs-DiNozzo friendship than we've been shown.
I wasn't surprised that Tony Jr. bailed out Tony Sr. at the hotel check out. Although I don't believe for a second the con man was conned by his son. I think the "I love you, Anthony" was code for "I know what you did and thanks, son."
Oh, by the way, I kinda guessed that the older prince was responsible for the assassination attempt on the younger prince. It was either him or the pilots and the airmen were guilty last week, so process of elimination...
Other points of interest
-- Too bad they didn't give David McCallum and Robert Wagner a scene together. Two 1960's TV icons in one show.
-- Vance's questions about Ducky's mother makes me think they're setting it up for Dr. Mallard's mother to be passing away soon. Poor Ducky. By the way, the actress who played his mom, Nina Foch, has passed away.
-- While Tony Sr. wasn't much of a father emotionally, he certainly kept his wavering fortunes from his son. Tony Jr. was in boarding schools and summer camps and seemingly wanted for nothing.
-- I loved Abby's suggestion that Tony was a clone of his father, no mother required.
[Watch clips and episodes of NCIS at SlashControl.]