'NCIS' - 'Double Identity' Recap
by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 9th 2010 11:28PM
(S07E17) The most important aspect of this 'NCIS' episode was the mystery. No, not the one about the Marine who may or may not have been MIA in Afghanistan, but the one involving Dr. Mallard and the ties. The clues had been laid out throughout the season, and tonight we learned that everything with Ducky was not as plucky as he was leading his friends to believe. More on that, the rain in D.C., and a handsome devil named Mortimer after the jump.
Unlike many other shows, 'NCIS' believes in subtlety. The Ducky story was a perfect example. The men were somewhat oblivious to the changes in Dr. Mallard, although Gibbs is too taciturn to reveal what he's thinking. Ziva and Abby, however, knew that switching from bow ties to tie ties meant something. The fact that Ducky in no other way was exhibiting odd behavior made the reveal that his mother had died all the more effective.
Rather than being grief-stricken, Ducky was acting plucky and chipper. He wasn't glad that his mother was gone; in fact, he missed her. Talking about going to 'Madame Butterfly' without her was a vivid image, and a believable one. But as a man who spends his life consumed with the dead, he accepted his 100-year-old mother had lived as long as she could. Her time had come. At the graveside, Abby shared a moment with Ducky, because she is the heart of the show. She made it a point to find out why Ducky was ducking her play date offer for Mortimer, her service puppy, and his mother's Corgis. Later, Jethro parked himself in the morgue to make sure his old friend was all right.
The main plot was about John Mayne, missing Marine, who was also Christian Wells, his newly assumed identity. He not only had two women claiming to be his spouse, he also had a vast fortune.
Everyone in the team got to show off their special skills. DiNozzo worked the women because one of his pet theories is that the wife did it. The fact that one was implicated, but didn't pull the trigger, made him partially right. McGee did the old 'All The President's Men' routine -- follow the money -- using geek expertise like a homemade app that can break into a car. And Ziva's skills as an observant investigator came through as she outdid the private eye.
All in all, another fine 'NCIS.'
Other points of interest
-- There was a lot of techno-goodies in the show. McGeek was all atwitter about the handheld mobile fingerprint ID tool, and his iPhone was super.
-- Mortimer was adorable. It was great to see Abby training a service dog. We also learned that mother's Corgis were 'wretched little dogs' to Ducky, but are now living happily with Corgi lovers.
-- Can't wait to see Dr. Mallard's new townhouse. And will we meet Sophie?
-- They never explained how Mayne got five oil drums filled with cash out of Afghanistan and into the States. Kind of a big hole in the plot.
-- The rain was a big theme in the show, but it seemed to come and go. Soon after Tony complained about the storm and thunder, the sun was out.