There are only four episodes left of season 12. We’re entering the homestretch, folks. First of all, 12 seasons is pretty dang good for a TV show (Law & Order: SVU has it beat but it’s still impressive). And as being the #1 most watched television show in the America (I’m pretty sure it still holds that title), it’s probably not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s a challenge for any writer to keep something going, and having to keep fans interested in something so popular for over 12 years is one of those challenges. Let’s hope the writers of this show can give it all they’ve got for these final four episodes.
This week’s episode starts with the murder of Marine David Landis who is found viciously stabbed to death in his home. He’s found by another marine, a good friend of his who is attacked by the assailant who manages to get away. The prints found at the scene lead the team to an Afghan citizen, Kaseem Nasir, living in the US who was brought there by Landis and the other marine. Kaseem is hiding from the Taliban and his brother Rasheed Nasir who is associated with them.
Things get more perilous when Kaseem’s brother threatens to kill a marine he took captive if Kaseem is not returned to him. This leads Gibbs and Bishop to escort Kaseem to Afghanistan to figure out a way to save the marine’s life without putting Kaseem in jeopardy. But Kaseem takes matters into his own hands and takes himself to his brother in order to save the marine. His brother doesn’t stay true to his word however and keeps the marine hostage which leads Gibbs to concoct a plan to save the both of them, and the key to his plan…is sending Bishop in by herself. Wouldn’t be my first choice but hey, I’m not Gibbs. Of course everything works out and Kaseem and the marine return back to the US safe and sound.
The silly side-plot of this week’s episode is McGee being the new face of NCIS recruitment, which of course upsets Tony substantially. It ends up being the running joke of the episode (pretty much the one thing keeping it light). It is actually pretty amusing, especially since McGee embraces this new appreciation for his “modeling” abilities. And everyone seems to be on board with it, except Tony of course. But by the end of the episode Tony apologizes for his jealousy and says that he’s very happy for McGee. McGee accepts Tony’s apology and reveals that it was all an April Fool’s joke. While Tony is shocked, he is ultimately very proud of McGee since it was obviously his own influence that inspired this prank. It didn’t necessarily fit with the main plot of the episode, but it was still mildly enjoyable, especially since everyone (even Gibbs) was in on the joke.
This week’s episode is a good example of a solid NCIS episode. It’s starts off as one would expect but then takes a turn and goes somewhere unexpected. It’s a strategy used in many episodes but it proves to be affective. There is a bit more Bishop development in this episode which is good and necessary. We learn that she was in Pakistan for 18 months when she worked for the NSA and lost a co-worker when on assignment. This reveals why she likes being an analyst and prefers not doing field work (even though that’s what she’s primarily been doing at NCIS). It was nice insight into her previous work and shows that even though she’s “happily” married (I put that in quotes because there’s a good chance that she and Jake have some issues going on), she’s still struggling through personal things that she doesn’t seem to share with Jake. While I still have issues with Bishop, it’s definitely an improvement and hopefully means there will be more insights like this in future episodes.
As mentioned in the introduction to this review, this is the homestretch of season 12 of NCIS. While it has been a bit of an up-and-down season, it has been scattered with good episodes, episodes that remind us why we continue to watch. This week’s episode falls into that category. It’s not anything ground-breaking, but it surely gets the vibe right. It’s dark in the beginning, deals with strained family issues, adds in some humor that is actually enjoyable, and is heartfelt enough without being too sappy. It doesn’t pack an amazingly heavy punch, but that’s what the season finale is meant to do (and hopefully will do). For an episode leading to the end of the season, it was a good choice. Let’s hope the writers keep up the good momentum with the final three episodes.