CliqueClack TV
Twitter Facebook RSS

NCIS – McGee and Agent Polygraph make a love connection

ncis episode 7.3 mugshots

So, is Ziva back on the team? Did NCIS deal with the glaring hole in the story, that Ziva has yet to deal with the Mossad and her father? Are Ziva and Tony an item? Is McGee ever going to pen another novel, and will it appear in stores ala Hank Moody (Californication) and Richard Castle (Castle)? Has Gibbs started his new boat? (Speaking of, I read that his old one will make a reappearance yet this season….)

Okay, so those are also some of my more general questions, applicable at any time throughout this season. As to episode specific? As expected, Ziva’s situation was addressed, if not clarified. But I strongly disagree with how nonchalant the writers appear to be about the whole thing — I still don’t see how she even has the clearance to enter the Navy Yard.

This week our agents were on the hot seat, with the death of a blogger — who was recently criticizing their handling of a case — pointing suspicion in their direction. The most notable thing about the case (not that it was bad, just secondary) was that no Ziva meant all McGee and Tony all the time, which is some extremely funny TV. Ziva, meanwhile, was desk-bound, as she awaited her “status clarification.” Huh?

It was also funny that, since NCIS was a prime suspect, Gibbs and company were playing keep-away with the Metro cops, instead of fighting over turf. By the way, has Gibbs ever visited “the Net?” Tony fleeing before the detectives showed up to question the former judge was cute, too.

A fleeting classic moment: Abby in the horrid red NCIS overalls, down in the garage. I find it interesting that she does forensics on computers and in the motor garage. Weird combo, although it’s also always strange to see McGee take the lead on computer work in Abby’s lab. I guess everyone has their strengths.

Amidst all of these good NCIS moments Ziva remained in the background. It wasn’t until the very end of the episode, as she sat down to write a “Dear Father” e-mail, that the writers finally came around to addressing her big question marks … by having her “decide” to be an NCIS agent. She resigned from the Mossad (okay, although via e-mail?) and is filling out the paperwork (Really? That’s all a former foreign spy needs to do?) to be an agent. Will Gibbs or won’t Gibbs (sign) is actually not such a big cliffhanger….

The cliffhanger is, will the writers take this issue seriously, or won’t they. I hate to say it (again), but this entire thing makes me so wish she would just up and disappear — or that she’d have died over the hiatus at the hand of terrorists. And that from someone who loved how perfectly she fit in with the rest of the team. She probably still does, but even ignoring what “liaison” did or didn’t mean before, she can’t possibly be there now, within any stretch of the imagination, or even suspension of reality. The writers pushed the drama too far, and actually pushed Ziva off a cliff. Now they’re just pretending that she can keep walking along, suspended in mid-air.

Other than that — which does NOT cloud the rest of the show for me — NCIS is picking up right where it left off in season six, and it’s feeling fine. Now to the boat and the book … maybe even McGee reading his new book to his new lady friend on the boat. Any way they do it, there’s plenty of business to get to this season!

Photo Credit: CBS

Short URL:

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

22 Responses to “NCIS – McGee and Agent Polygraph make a love connection”

October 6, 2009 at 10:04 PM

2 things: 1) as I was watching Abby in overalls, I had the same thought as you. It goes back to the old annoyance of scientist on TV being experts in every single field.
2) I actually smiled when Ziva used the term “salami” instead of “bologna”. It reminded me of the good old times with Ziva and the team. For some reason, her misuse and confusion of English is a cute quirk, not an annoyance, which I ordinarily would have expected.

October 7, 2009 at 9:53 AM

I’m definitely with you that it’s an enjoyable quirk. I think Cote de Pablo and the writers seem a tad rusty at it, and as a result it’s not as fluid as it once was, but I do enjoy it, too.

October 6, 2009 at 10:34 PM

I came here, already knowing that I was going have to defend NCIS (the show) again (Because, hey … the word is fiction). But then … I …

Was just stopped by the AWESOMENESS of that picture.

October 7, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Right? :)

Look, I think that, unless an entire series sets aside what we accept as reality, most shows are grounded in the limitations of this world. Thus The West Wing (calling in the big guns!) created their own administration, within the general confines of what a US White House administration would look and act like (and therefore they had all of those consultants).

In hindsight, it was one thing to say Ziva was able to act as part of the team before. You could argue that part of her mission was to bring back expertise from American intelligence agencies. I think the Mossad should have played an active role in her life on the show, but what’s done is done. I can neatly square away her character as it was for all of these seasons into the framework of reality that a show like NCIS works within.

This situation is beyond that, and because it’s so unlike this show – hell any show that’s not science fiction and therefore generally resides within our world – it screams and screams and screams to be pointed at. A foreign citizen/spy “signing up” to work in one of our intelligence agencies? All I’m saying is pretend to make it a possible scenario, with scenes involving Directors David and Vance, the Secretary of the Navy, Gibbs, Ziva, etc. Give us a reason to say “good enough.” This way is just wrong.

October 9, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Just a nitpick, but NCIS is a law enforcement agency. Like the FBI, they work counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations, but they’re not actually one of our intelligence agencies. The Office of Naval Intelligence is a separate entity.

No argument on Ziva, except that she specifically referred to her “visitor’s pass” this episode. They bring in suspects, witnesses and their family members, civilians and consultants all the time under this purview, so there’s no reason she’d be barred from the Navy Yard. Letting her work the phones and computers, unlike those others, would be Gibbs’s indiscretion, of course.

October 9, 2009 at 11:58 AM

From what I’ve read, NCIS works in terrorism prevention, protecting secrets, AND crime reduction. It’s actually a mix of investigators, agents, security specialists, analysts, etc. While not tasked with CIA-like missions, they do appear to be a member of the intelligence community.

NCIS goes back to the old Office of Naval Intelligence, originally assigned to gather intelligence on foreign naval operations and oceanic (or whatever the word is) passages, etc. Their purview was later expanded to include what today makes up the NCIS we see on the show, but the agency still seems to maintain its heart in the intelligence community. Different threats, but all one big family. As far as I can tell, that is.

While maybe you or I could get visitors passes (I honestly didn’t recall that), would that grant us access to offices in the building? I doubt it’s a place where you could easily go from “zone A” to “zone C” with no one questioning you.

Ziva, however, is technically a spun-off foreign spy with no remaining ties to NCIS, and quite possibly with no legal status in this country. I’d have to imagine any government agency would therefore label her a security risk, and not grant her access to, for example, the Navy Yard, which is as cloistered as any other agency compound. Again, just my perspective.

October 12, 2009 at 10:42 AM

My point is that it’s inaccurate to refer to them as an intelligence agency when their correct billing and purview is law enforcement agency. As I mentioned, certainly areas of jurisdiction and involvement will overlap, but we should use the proper terminology.

Yes, NCIS originated from within ONI, but their history also shows how they separated, bit by bit into a “mostly civilian, federal law enforcement agency” that is no longer under the umbrella of the original parent organization. Naval Intelligence still exists as a separate entity.

I’m not even arguing against barring Ziva either way; it just seems like an erroneous justification.

As to Ziva, we haven’t seen that she has the run of the Navy Yard, just the NCIS building, and important areas are logged by keycard swipes. And it makes sense that she wouldn’t be denied a visitor’s pass, because it would be Vance or Gibbs’s decision to do so rather than some other agency, and they hadn’t decided to write her off just yet.

October 12, 2009 at 1:03 PM

I hear what you’re saying. Maybe it’s splitting hairs on both sides, but we will have to agree to disagree on this one ;).

I would assume Ziva’s officially or unofficially persona non grata with the Mossad right now, which would be reason enough for pause in weighing whether or not she should be allowed back in the building. However, like I said above, “she’s a former foreign spy with no remaining ties to NCIS, and quite possibly with no legal status in this country. I’d have to imagine any government agency would therefore label her a security risk, and not grant her access to, for example, the Navy Yard, which is as cloistered as any other agency compound.”

Sorry to just repeat myself, but that would preclude Vance’s or Gibb’s prerogative to sign her in the building. I’m going to go to the extreme, but that’s like saying “Gibbs wanted to have John Mason (The Rock) do some work for him, so he signed him in … which meant that, even though the guards had orders to arrest him on sight, he was free to enter.” Clearly not a direct analogy, but I think I make my point: even the director’s personal wishes wouldn’t come before security issues, and I maintain that Ziva would be a big one in her current situation.

October 14, 2009 at 7:20 AM

Actually, all any other government agency would know was that she was a former liaison officer from a friendly government, who had previously had full clearance. They might have heard rumors that she had been rescued by an American military operation and brought back to the States, but the only way security would know she was on the outs with Mossad (since the last official word was recalled) is if David, Vance or Gibbs gave the word. Just because she’s no longer working with NCIS doesn’t automatically label her as hostile or put her on a watchlist, unless they had additional information which thus far had not been bandied about. So the guards downstairs giving her the same visitor’s pass as any consultant or civilian is understandable.

October 14, 2009 at 10:35 AM

You may be right – in my mind, word travels fast in today’s heightened security world, but it could be that nothing would label her as unwelcome. That’s the thing, though: we have no idea what’s going on! What did the Mossad do when they learned she was alive and in Washington? What did Vance do, in that scenario, when the Mossad labeled her as a criminal, or rogue, or AWOL, or being held against her will by the Americans? We just don’t know, because the writers decided not to bother to go there.

October 16, 2009 at 11:56 AM

If we had been following Vance’s storyline, or got into Gibbs or Ziva’s heads, we should have learned all that stuff. Instead, we were watching along with Tony, McGee, Ducky and Abby and left to wonder in the dark. I know they were trying to maintain some suspense, but I understand your frustration.

October 7, 2009 at 1:59 AM

Love the mugshot pictures!

Having Ziva on the team from the very beginning was questionable, but at this point, it is what it is. She was a liaison and she now wants to be an agent. However implausible, I say let it go and move on. It is a great show with great chemistry between the characters.

I figure Ziva working with NCIS is no more implausible than an author, a guy with great observational skills, a bone expert, or a fake psychic working as part of a law enforcement team. It is a television show and sometimes you have to just go with it and enjoy.

October 7, 2009 at 10:13 AM

I’m not sure I see how someone with a different skill set or talent working with a law enforcement team is the same as a foreign operative doing it – you’re equating “why would they” with “how would they,” I think.

Either way, I’d agree with you wholeheartedly about just going with it, if it weren’t for one fact: once the facade was shattered last season, waking me up to the fact that Ziva was still just a liaison, the writers suddenly put the burden on themselves to resolve the situation adequately. And until they do that (and I’m hoping this will change once they do), I’m not “enjoying” Ziva at all. She doesn’t make sense as is, she doesn’t fit, and she doesn’t work – for me.

Now, I have NO intention of just harping on that fact. I love NCIS, and I only want to enjoy it and share that experience. But if an episode deals head on with her status, her role, her situation, etc., of course a major topic of discussion will be whether or not the new plot point works or makes sense. The same would be true if I was enjoying how they were handling it. The thing is, as many people as there are who just accept it, I think a lot of people think it sucks.

When a show does everything so right, it’s logical to assume that a blunder will stand out and not go away. I’m just hoping they do right by us, and by Ziva.

October 7, 2009 at 8:59 AM

I figure that as a foreign operative Ziva would be recruited by several agencies due to her inside knowledge. Yes, I am stretching it but as cCJ says it is tv.

I am getting tired of Tony and his frat boy mentality. Forget the burning question about the boat and book, for me the more important question is – will Tony ever grow up?

October 7, 2009 at 10:16 AM

I hear that – and I think it’s more prevalent when he’s only with McGee. I happen to like it, but I think it will adjust back to normal levels if/when Ziva comes back.

The interesting thing is, as a side note, I read prior to the season that the producers of the show said that Tony and Ziva’s relationship would evolve rapidly, and in a new direction, over the first three episodes, and we should watch closely or we might miss it…. Anyone catch it?

October 7, 2009 at 11:41 AM

I think you’ve taken a big step onto a slippery slope Aryeh. If you are going to point your magnifying glass at this deviation from “our world”, why stop there? Are you just willing to go with Tony and McGee breaking into a police impound yard? Or with the team performing illegal searches that would certainly have sunk many of their cases? And do you really think McGee would still have his job after hacking into other government systems that he clearly doesn’t have the clearances for? The list goes on, and on.

It’s TV, not a documentary. There has to be creative license or it’s just going to get awfully dull.

October 7, 2009 at 11:50 AM

You’re probably right, and who am I to make distinctions … I can only speak for myself, and I myself do see a difference between these things. Yes, it stretches the imagination when the team does something illegal (not because I doubt it happens, but because, like you say, it should jeopardize their investigations at some point), but I can imagine these people “doing what needs to get done” to catch the bad guy.

But, especially post September 11, when you can’t even bring a water bottle onto a plane(!), to sell a foreign spy “filling out the necessary paperwork to become an NCIS agent?”

The illegal activities are creative license; Sheppard going on her vendetta, Tony being undercover, and whatever, were creative license. But that’s not the same as not possible in any reality. Maybe I just see it as stretch vs. break?

October 7, 2009 at 11:58 AM

No more implausable as Toby fixing social security in a day (or two).

Or Mac’s preminitions on JAG, which exists in the same world.

October 9, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Right, although closer to that then the plausibility of Bartlet’s Mid-East summit results ;).

October 7, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Hey, why was Ziva writing to her father in english instead of hebrew?

October 7, 2009 at 3:48 PM

English keyboard?

October 7, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Yes, true. But “Father” and not “Abba” (Hebrew for father)? Nope. ;)