NCIS: After I get a Nutter Butter

Tonight’s episode was a return to the traditional “NCIS” format that was largely missing from the season’s premiere last week. While more emphasis was placed on the actual murder case, there was still much room for character growth and interaction, both of which we saw plenty of in this episode.

8:00: I’m really digging this opening song. The dude in the mask with the hair? Eh, not so much. It’s kind of creepy, actually.

8:01: “You’re under arrest.” Insert failed attempt at a sexy face. Ugh, really bad acting, Stripper Girl. Seriously.

8:01: I feel like I should acknowledge that Stripper Girl’s scream is eerily reminiscent of Paris Hilton’s own in “House of Wax.” This is not a compliment.

8:02: Whoa! They replaced Ziva with her? I’m sorry, but she’s not cutting it for me — and obviously not for the rest of the team either.

8:03: Oh, thank God. Ziva 2.0 is quitting. That saves me from an unsavory rant.

8:04: Oh, Gibbs’ basement. Seriously, it sees more action than he does. There’s always a beautiful woman down there. Enter Ziva.

8:04: Ziva to Gibbs on returning to work for NCIS: “It is your blessing I came for.” Gibbs: “I’m not the only one you need to talk to.” (i.e. “Ziva, talk to Tony.”) Squealing commences in my room.

8:06: At headquarters. Oh, McGee, I’m sorry. I love you, I do, and your adorable geekiness. But it’s true – you pretty much are Tony’s sidekick. But you’re still my favorite geek. If everyone who worked at Geek Squad was like you, I’d actually trust them to fix my electronics instead of break them (like they so very conveniently did with my iPod).

8:07: Theme song plays, and I settle comfortably into the bliss that is “NCIS.”

8:11: Just found out that there were actually two victims. Whoops, I missed that. Perhaps I’m just a little too focused on the impending Tony/Ziva conflict. Yeah, pretty sure that’s my problem.

8:12: Tony: “Everyone knows that sidekicks are shorter than heroes.” McGee: “And I’m the same height as you.” Ziva: “Well, I find McGee the more handsome one.” Ouch, Ziva — look at Tony’s expression. You might as well have pointed a gun at his chest. Oh, wait, she already did that last season.

8:14: Vance to Ziva: “You’re damaged goods. How damaged you are, I have to know.” Uh oh, I sense a David vs. Vance smack down. I don’t know about you, but my money’s on Ziva. I mean, come on, she could kill him with a paperclip.

8:14: Haha, they’re talking about auctions? I’m having flashbacks to last night’s episode of “Gossip Girl” and all the fabulous CB interaction — sorry, moving on.

8:15: Apparently the victim(s?) thought that someone was following them. Oh, wow. That’s so revolutionary — because that’s not used all the time. Writers, could we be a little more creative? (Sidebar: I just discovered new blue squiggly line that’s used in the Windows 7 version of word. Fabulous, now my computer’s even more of a computer Nazi).

8:18: Time for the nearly naked woman that now makes a prerequisite appearance in essentially all crime shows. Now, “CSI: Miami” certainly holds the record for most skin shown, but it looks like “NCIS” might just put up a fight sometime soon.

8:18: Tony, referring to the bachelor party video: “That stuff’s illegal in most states — parts of Europe, too.” You would be the one to know that, Tony.

8:21: McGee and Tony argue about the case. Suddenly, Ziva’s there, and she offers them advice. She looks so out of place and nervous that it’s completely adorable — almost as adorable as the fact that Tony stares at her without even blinking. Seriously, would you two just get it on already? And have beautiful Italian-Israeli children? Because my world would be so much better if you could go ahead and do that for me. Thanks.

8:22: McGee, standing awkwardly while Ziva and Tony stare at each other: “And I might go do that after I get a Nutter Butter.” Okay, McGee, you so win for the night’s best and most hilarious line.

8:22: Tony and Ziva talk about the merits of psych evaluations. Ziva: “Of course you like them. You get to talk about yourself.” Aww, there’s the Ziva that I love. Abby calls and asks if Ziva can come see her in the lab. She says she’ll talk to Tony later. Tony: “I’ll be right here.” Okay, that did my friends and me in. The awws commence once again.

8:24: Okay, so Abby’s pretty much my hero right now, even if she’s basically refuting her argument in every other sentence. She’s such a Tony/Ziva shipper.

8:25: I must admit, I love Abby’s “Welcome home, Ziva!” banner. I’m expecting an exact replica from my family when I go home for fall break. Except, you know, it’ll say my name and not Ziva’s. But that was rather obvious.

8:28: The team traces a cell phone number to a house near Baltimore, where an Officer Shelley claims he’s in control of the situation. Well, that is, until he sees Gibbs. Shelley: “I guess he’s in charge now.” Tony: “Good guess.”

8:29: Officer Shelley’s not as official as he looks. Yeah, he is a cop, but he’s a crooked one. He escapes out the back window.

8:33: Tony’s giving a nice narration of the crime scene as we return from the commercial break. It’s a good try, Tony, but I think your tale would be considered rather vague if you handed it in to be graded in a creative writing class.

8:35: Aww, a McGee/Ziva chat! We don’t get enough of those. Ziva seems very satisfied with herself until McGee brings up Tony. McGee: “Why are you avoiding Tony?”

8:36: Back to the case I’m supposed to be concerned with. Apparently Shelley was bullied (aka: had his head shaved) as a teenager by the dead guy, Sergeant Ross, so he did the same thing to Ross after he supposedly killed him. I’m not totally convinced Shelley’s really the bad guy – it’s only 8:37, so it seems kind of early to have already ID’d the killer.

8:38: Tony and Ziva scene! Tony and Ziva scene! Finally. I’m so excited that I can actually forgive the fact that TPTB have Tony sing at the urinal.

8:39: Tony: “You’re sure it had to be said in the men’s room?” Ziva: “I’m sure it had to be said.” Ooh, this is going to be more intense than I thought.

8:40: Ziva tells Tony that he totally violated protocol the night he broke into her apartment and killed Michael. Tony agrees, saying that he “double-parked his car.” Tony, Tony, Tony, always masking your feelings with humor.

8:41: Anthemic, emotional music plays. Ziva: “You had my back. You’ve always had my back. I was wrong to question your motives.” I may just hyperventilate. Mother of God — she just kissed his cheek. Now I’m definitely going to hyperventilate. And yes, I realize how pathetic that must seem.

8:42: Tony calls Ziva a genius. Love, love, love.

8:44: The team’s staking out the bad guy when an out-of-control SUV comes barreling around the corner, headed straight for Tony. It crashes into a pole. Shelley’s driving. It turns out that he was shot while driving and that’s why he crashed. It’s rather tragic, really.

8:50: The team figures out who exactly the bad guy is — well, rather, the bad girl. Elena, a coworker of one of the former suspects, partnered with Shelley, only to kill him to keep all of the money for herself. That’s a really shocking turn of events. Honestly, because it’s not like that’s not an overused cliché on television at all.

8:53: Ziva senses that something’s bothering Gibbs about her return to the team. Gibbs suspects her intentions behind her murdering her brother. Gibbs: “I want to hear what you did that night you killed your brother. You had direct orders to kill your brother to gain my trust.”

8:55: Ziva’s pretty much in tears by this point: “I pulled the trigger to save your life and when I pulled that trigger I _did_ save your life.”

8:56: Aww, Ziva considers Gibbs “the closest thing” she has to a father. You have no idea how much that made me smile.

8:57: Ziva’s back at work! It’s like all is right with the world again — well, at least with the “NCIS” world. My only problem? Tony’s wearing suspenders. I hate suspenders.

8:59: Promo for next week plays. I have only a simple sentence: Tony and McGee get arrested. This is going to be good.


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