CliqueClack TV

NCIS – Toby Ziegler did it!

If the arsonist story is leading up to the season finale -- which would seem to be the case -- I have to wonder: what about Palmer’s wedding? Wasn’t that supposed to close this season out?

- Season 9, Episode 22 - "Playing with Fire"

The case of the terrorist/arsonist continued last night on NCIS as Gibbs and team were confronted by more attacks and even less information. Remarkably, that didn’t seem to stop them from following the investigation back to the source … I guess after being under investigation for leaking classified information about a secret military space shuttle Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff, here as Harper Dearing) decided to live a life of crime.

Tony’s old nemesis reappeared after nine years, as NCIS Special Agent Stan Burley (Joel Gretsch), Gibbs’ former number two, popped up in Italy on the other end of the investigation. The undercover mission was fun, and I wish it had involved more interaction with members of the crew, particularly officers. It would have been fun watching Tony the enlisted man getting bossed around by a low level officer … next time.

I loved Tony’s conversation with Burley in MTAC, and the way he kept on checking over his shoulder for Gibbs. But inevitably, despite his effort, Gibbs still managed to materialize out of nowhere and spook them both. Nice.

I’ll be honest — I’m not fully keeping up with all the ins and outs of the investigation as it navigates all its many turns and twists; it’s just not that interesting to me. But NCIS does continue to keep me engaged, more often than not. Some of the good stuff from last night included:

  • McGee getting seasick. I’m with Tony: McGee’s squeamish stomach at sea is pretty ironic for a naval investigator. That said, I loved McGee barking at Tony for making fun of him. I wouldn’t have thought he had it in him, especially not mid-barfing. Good for him.
  • Abby is always the beneficiary of Gibbs’ gifts, but not last night. I loved when Gibbs gave McGee the bag of Danishes after Abby was still unable to get a hit on the DNA evidence. That made me laugh.
  • Tony getting seasick, and then threatening Ziva with revealing pictures if she told McGee about it. I hope she did it anyway.

Then there were the things that made me scratch my head:

  • I’m a huge Gibbs fan, and nothing is better than watching him interrogate a suspect, but having us believe that he could be as effective doing a video chat interrogation … he did it, but only because the scene was written with Gibbs getting what he needed. It didn’t feel believable, and we know that part of Gibbs’ intimidation in that setting is his presence and his stare. That gets lost in translation without being in the same room.
  • The whole Ducky’s will thing was just weird. It was nice that he asked Gibbs to be Executor, and his donating most of his estate to charity was great, but where in the world was that coming from? How random was that? If it’s leading somewhere — like something happening to Ducky — well, then it would make sense in hindsight, but it would still be random (not to mention devastating). If it’s a one-off, then … huh?

Anyway, I’m definitely excited about a Richard Schiff guest spot. He told Ari (Entourage) that he wanted to play bad guys, and he’s been living that dream. I can’t wait until he comes face-to-face with Gibbs.

Photo Credit: CBS

Categories: | Episode Reviews | Features | General | NCIS | News | TV Shows |

3 Responses to “NCIS – Toby Ziegler did it!”

May 2, 2012 at 8:10 PM

I know my friends at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation appreciated the shout out.

They just announced that David McCallum signed a contract extension; one of these days a showrunner is going to be savvy enough to use a misinformation campaign to the extent of a fake contract to hide an upcoming death.

One of these days.

May 3, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I think the promo at the end of the show teased a death in the next episode. Either they’re being *awfully* blunt (which doesn’t seem likely given the contract extension) or they’re trying to make people assume that Ducky’s in danger next week.

May 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM

I can see why Ducky would be upgrading his will (although he should have done it after his mother died). The spur to donate to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in the picture of the dead sailor’s family makes sense, although it’s weird having it in the episode like that unless it is going somewhere. But then, there have been a few random things on NCIS this season.

I liked this episode because it was a good use of the whole team and more balanced than the majority of episodes lately.

I’m also liking the arsonist arc much more than last year’s EJ ‘the villain was someone no one cared about’ arc. I wonder if there will be a cliff-hanger or Palmer’s wedding will be the feel-good ending for the season.

Powered By OneLink