Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NCIS Murder 2.0: Unbelievable 1.0

NCIS is one of those shows that I watch faithfully every week, but I’m not quite sure why. At least this season has been more enjoyable since they got rid of “Madame” Director. They’ve also seemed to tone down the immature banter between Tony and Ziva (Cote de Pablo), and, well, between Tony and anybody else for that matter. The chemistry between the cast members is very good, and that’s what makes the show so watchable. Now I’ll admit, I usually DVR the show to watch later, because I’d rather watch House.

In this episode of NCIS, “Murder 2.0", it seems that there is a serial killer on the lose. You know, with all the crime shows with story lines on serial killers, it seems like the country is flooded with them. I have never been a fan of serial killer themed shows because the stories are usually filled with trite plot contrivances. As in this one, the serial killer seems to have his/her eyes set on Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). I guess serial killers just like to taunt member of law enforcement.

The NCIS gang gets pulled into the investigation of a murder of a Navy Petty Officer. It turns out that someone left a message in his mouth that had only a web address on it. The web address led them to a video which gave them cryptic clues about the crime. While investigating the crime, they encounter a fledgling rock band to which the murder victim had belonged. The girl in the band, Rose Woodhouse (Naama Kates) makes eyes for Gibbs, much to the dismay of Agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly). And, what a coincidence: Rose recognizes a place in one of the videos, and they find another body at the location with another message in its mouth with another web address and another video. Also on a tip from Rose, they track down a person who may have made the video, Sam Loomis (Max Gail) who indicates that he made videos like that for the band from a canned program off the internet. The one thing that is becoming clear is that to be a serial killer these days, you must have access to the internet.

Abby (Pauley Perrette) gets a scare put into her when she taps into a feed which shows that someone has video of her lab. But Agent McGee (Sean Murray) realizes it’s a live web camera and the killer may be right outside Abby’s lab door. Not to worry, though, it’s only the janitor, and someone planted a camera in his lunch box. This place has terrible security.

Based on all the video evidence, they believe the next murder will come at 5 minutes to midnight, and they decide to haul in Loomis, thinking he is the killer. But no, he’s not, and magically he dies in their custody at 5 minutes to midnight. Now that is one precise and crafty serial killer. And of course, it’s not Loomis because he is now dead.

To make a long story short, they think it’s Rose who is behind all this, and when they arrive at the garage where the band practices, she is holding a gun on her band partner Tommy Doyle (Patrick J. Adams), refusing to put it down. She looks panicked, and Gibbs correctly deduces that she’s not the killer; it’s her band mate Tommy that is making her do it. But wait! He’s wired her with C-4 explosive and he has the kill switch! But Gibbs talks him down, reminding him that he doesn’t want to die! Of course, the serial killer wants to be famous! And he thinks he made both he AND Gibbs household names! But, they rob him of his fame by having the media not release his name and Gibbs name as well. Oh, the drama...OK, just kidding.

Seriously now, this whole episode was just plain ludicrous. For a serial killer who made all these videos, set up all these web addresses, broke Navy security to plant a web camera, planned a man’s death – in custody no less – to the minute, and obtain and wire someone with C-4 explosives, he seemed incredibly stupid. Did he really think that Gibbs and the crew would just shoot Rose? And why was he so fixated on Gibbs? Maybe I missed something, but was it because Gibbs just happened to catch the case and Rose was smitten with him? Did it not matter who investigated the original case, he just wanted someone to taunt? And why must TV serial killers always seem to be fixated on taunting members of law enforcement? It seems like any serial killer that I’ve ever read about in the REAL world do their best to lay low and keep out of the eyes of the law. Why send law enforcement hints and clues to your crimes? I don’t get it. I suppose if serial killers didn’t do that for TV, then these agents and detectives would actually have to investigate a case using real evidence, and they wouldn't get solved so quickly.

This episode was not horrible, but it was not one of their best. Hopefully, we won’t ever get to Murder 2.1.

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