Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NCIS “Deliverance” Doesn’t Deliver

Image from CBS
This episode of NCIS (CBS) “’Deliverance” tried very hard to deliver a interesting story, but it quickly failed.

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his team gets called in to investigate a murdered Marine, who just so happens to have Gibbs’ Marine service number written near his body – in blood. But this causes Gibbs to become very secretive about the case, seeing that very few people knew his service number, and only one person knew it with a ”G” written at the end of it. It was a woman by the name of Rose Tamayo, who Gibbs encountered while he was working “black ops” in Columbia, and who also saved his life.

This gives Gibbs the excuse to bring in someone from his past, his friend and former mentor, Mike Franks (Muse Watson), who is the only other person that knew about this woman. In fact, Franks helped bring her to the US, and kept that a secret from Gibbs. It is at this point that the show begins to go downhill, with repeated flashbacks to Gibbs encounters with Rose. Adding to the mess is that it seems that Mike Franks, despite the fact that he doesn’t work with NCIS and has no current law enforcement credentials that I know of, is allowed to actively participate in the investigation and interrogations. The episode also worked hard to establish the thought that one of the murder suspects, Marine Private First Class Tomas Tamayo (Jesse Garcia), could have been the love child of Gibbs and the mysterious Rose. For me, since I am not very interested in Gibbs’ past – which the series has repeatedly tried to foist onto viewers – I am even less interested in such a clichéd plot device of having a child pop up from one’s past. Thankfully, at the end of the show, Gibbs confirms to Tomas that his mother was already pregnant when he first met her.

The show also continues to try hard to establish some sort of friction or mistrust between Gibbs’ boss NCIS Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll), because after all, Gibbs can’t get along with anybody to whom he has to answer. It would be nice for a change to have Gibbs actually learn to work with people in authority, because he is starting to look a little bit like the spoiled brat who seems to either throw a tantrum or clam up when he is questioned about anything.

Taking a back seat in this episode was the rest of the NCIS team. Special Agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) is having a conniption because Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murry) took and incomplete phone message, to which McGee seems to dedicate more time to getting the message completed than he seemed to spend on the murder case. DiNozzo and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) – who is still listed Mossad Liaison but when you think about it, why do we still need a Mossad Liaison? – help to investigate the case. It seems that DiNozzo brought David along as a bodyguard, seeing that she is able to disable two men to DiNozzo’s one. DiNozzo also spends too much time worrying about why Gibbs is so secretive about the case and the people involved that he is about the case itself. Abby (Pauley Perrette) spends most of her time trying to be quirky, and Ducky (David McCallum) actually seems to be – gasp – doing his job! The silliness of the whole case is made evident when a woman named Maggie Scott (Kari Coleman), who is Tomas’ guardian, and who was trying to help others in the area get away from gangs, is the one who was helping in the gun theft ring. It seems she felt she could only fight guns with more guns – that just by having more guns (no necessarily using them) would deter the violence. That made no sense to me. Later, Gibbs finally admits to Director Vance that the man he killed in Columbia was Tomas’s father. I still can't seem to care.

The bottom line is that when NCIS tries to bring in information or characters from Gibbs’ past, it’s an indicator that viewers are in for a weak story. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am not completely and totally disinterested in the varying layers to Gibbs' back story, it’s just that so far, they haven’t seem to make any storyline associated with his past interesting enough to make me want to really care about it. Frankly, I think exploring the current personal life of the secretive and mysterious Gibbs could be far more interesting.

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1 comment:

primetyme addict said...

I agree. This is the stuff shark-jumping is made of. I understand suspending disbelief, but it was impossible in this case. This White House invasion just went too far. It became more humorous than dramatic. Shame. This used to be such a good show.