NCIS: Now this is where things get a little tricky

Well, you got that right, Tony.

For all of those that were unaware — which translates basically to everyone under the age of 40, (excluding a select few with very good taste in television), because let’s face it, that is unfortunately the show’s biggest demographic — the season premiere of “NCIS” occurred on Tuesday with an episode that pretty much will define the tone of the show’s seventh season.

7:59 p.m.: I sit with bated breath in front of my TV, the stacks of books taunting me with the copious amounts of reading I still have to do. I plug my ears with my fingers and look away.

8:00: “NCIS” is on! Homework is no longer a concern, as I am way more anxious as to whether or not TPTB are going to continue their sexist rampage and kill off every female cast member the show’s had. Okay, so maybe that was a little bit harsh. Postponing reading for television — that’s definitely a Tribe choice right there.

8:01: Episode opens with a nice shot of a dark room with light barely filtering through the small window. Every “NCIS” fan knows immediately that this is anything but a good omen.

8:02: The same interrogator from last season’s finale wants information — and his captive won’t give it to him. The camera swerves around to reveal his or her face. It’s Tony. Ohmigod, I am good. I called it almost as soon as the interrogator started talking. And now he’s injecting Tony with a nice little cocktail that apparently will force him to tell the truth. Anyone else a huge “Harry Potter” fan and think of Veritaserum?

8:03: Oh, NCIS theme song/picture montage. You never fail to give me goose bumps.

8:05: There’s a nice little banter going on between Tony and his would-be torturer. It’s kind of like that old-married-couple thing. Except, you know, they’re not married and aren’t even on first-name basis yet. My bad. The interrogator asks Tony what he’s doing there. Tony says vengeance. Oh, damn it. I was convinced it was love and fear for Ziva. It’s okay, Tony. I’ll say it for you if you’re not ready.

8:09: Back from commercial break. The interrogator, whose name apparently is Salim, went to Yale. Impressive. Although I can’t help but think it’s kind of a waste to spend all that money on an Ivy League education only to resort to torture. I’m just sayin’.

8:11: Flashback — or is it a flashforward? Anyways, we’re back at NCIS headquarters. But one thing’s most definitely missing. Tony? Check. McGee and his lovable geekiness? Check. Wait a minute — where’s Gibbs? It’s not NCIS without Gibbs.

8:12: Still no Gibbs. I’m growing impatient. Wait — he’s here. I’ll stop complaining now.

8:15: Apparently a petty officer died and was found in his bunk in the hull of a Marine ship. While that’s tragic and all, the case just doesn’t compare to the weight of finding out what happened to Ziva and why the hell Tony’s strapped to a chair. Oh, and I’m now fully convinced this is a flashback.

8:16: Ducky shows up. He spouts some mumbo jumbo about time of death and possible causes. I only listen because I find myself in total adoration of anything said in a British accent.

8:18: McGee and Tony are interviewing potential replacements for Ziva. This one, not surprisingly, is a dark-haired, olive skinned beauty who also looks like she could fulfill many a man’s sexy librarian fantasy. Tony’s hair also looks weird.

8:19: Sexy Librarian runs crying out of Gibbs’ office. Obviously she didn’t get the job. I wish I could work up some sympathy for her but I can’t.

8:23: Back to Tony and his interrogator. Tony tells him that Ziva is irreplaceable. There is considerable awwwing going on in my room.

8:24: What? Ziva’s dead! I raise an eyebrow, my jaw dropping in confusion. That’s impossible. The awwwing is replaced by silent disbelief. No, no way. It’s a lie.

8:27: I curse whoever thought of the concept of a commercial break. This one is clearly taking a page from American Idol’s book, interrupting a show at the high of its dramatic climax (I’m talking to you, Ryan Seacrest. It’s all your damn fault.).

8:30: Again with the torture. Salim spews out some philosophical psychobabble about caffeine and how fabulous it is. When is he going to realize that I could care less about what he says? I want to know why and how (and if) Ziva’s dead.

8:32: Wow, McGee’s questioning a suspect? Aww, how cute; he’s so grown up now. Granted, it’s not nearly as sexy as when Special Agent Seeley Booth gets angry and worked up during interrogation — but that’s a topic for a different blog and a different show altogether.

8:32: Haha, another Newbie Girl asks why McGee’s interrogating. My thoughts exactly. Maybe she’s not so bad after all? I mean, she’s no Ziva, but… Nope, never mind. She’s starting to piss me off. I retract my previous statement.

8:34: McGee and Tony are sitting in a restaurant talking about the case. Tony looks sad and lost in thought. To try to bring him back to reality, McGee mentions buying a pair of tight red leather pants. Okay, not a picture I ever, ever wanted to imagine, and it’s now forever emblazoned upon my optic nerve.

8:35: Cut back to Tony and Salim. Salim walks over to the corner of the room and pulls the blanket off a body. OH, MY GOD! It’s McGee. Things are starting to get a little crazy in this cell.

8:38: Back from commercial break and we’re at headquarters again. Apparently Tony and McGee enlisted Abby’s help in locating Ziva. They break many laws in the process. I really hope actual law enforcers are more courteous towards the laws they are supposed to protect.

8:40: They solved the mystery surrounding the death of the Marine. Hooray? I should be more enthusiastic about that.

8:41: McGee, Abby, and Tony are in the forensics lab. The former two sing a pleasant little Aramaic song. Tony is less than impressed. Apparently the song is a clue to Ziva’s location; it contains some sort of code. Thanks to TV magic, I don’t actually mind that such a clue is probably, in real life, totally illegitimate.

8:44: And we again return to Tony’s torture session. Apparently he used his masterful skills to discern that Salim is a religious Caf-Pow drinker. Salim reacts by throwing said Caf-Pow against the wall and then storms out of the room. He brings in a hooded figure. Oh, jeez — it can’t be…

8:45: IT IS! IT IS! Ziva’s alive! Cue the longing stare between her and Tony. He asks Ziva how her summer went. Oh, Tony, still managing to keep the humor in every moment. Because, you know, there’s just something so funny about the prospect of impending death.

8:48: Ziva: “Why are you here?” Tony: “Couldn’t live without you.” — AWWWW. I know he said it in jest, but we all know it’s the truth. I proceed to melt a little bit.

8:48: Ziva: “So you will die with me?” Ugh, while I get the romantic value in that, it’s a little too Romeo and Juliet for my taste.

8:49: Tony admits that he has a plan, but “that’s where things get a little tricky.”

8:50: Flashback to headquarters. Gibbs is unsuccessful in pitching the rescue mission to Vance. Apparently, the Caf-Pow connection is just not conclusive enough evidence. Obviously Vance doesn’t know he’s only the fictional head of a real-life agency. Maybe he should have read the fine print of his contract more closely — or at all.

8:52: Back to the interrogation cell. Tony tells Ziva the plan: “We’ve just got to stay alive long enough to not get dead.” Thanks, Tony. How fabulously vague.

8:53: Salim comes back into the room, demanding that Tony tell him the information or he’ll slit Ziva’s throat. I desperately want Tony to be the romantic hero like Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart in those classic films, but no such luck — although Tony does make a reference to “True Lies.”

8:55: Gibbs just sniped Salim. Is “sniped” even a verb? Regardless, that was pretty bad-ass.

8:57: The team is reunited back at NCIS headquarters. Wow, that was a pretty quick flight. There’s a round of applause. Abby hugs Ziva as Tony sits down at his desk. I think he’d rather be the one hugging Ziva, though, to be honest.

8:59: The promo for next week’s episode makes it look like Ziva and Tony may finally take their relationship to that next level. This show has never disappointed me before, so I have faith that next week’s installment will be as enjoyable as this week’s. The only thing that could make it better? Tony cutting his hair.


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