NCIS: “What are we gonna hold her on? Conspiracy of being a bitch?”

“NCIS” was back with a new episode tonight after a week-long hiatus that I, personally, thought was about one week too long. Bad things happen when I go that many days without my Tony fix. It’s true. But all’s okay in my world now, because tonight’s episode really was worth waiting for.

The case tonight was abnormally interesting, mostly because it involved my favorite cantankerous, old retiree ever to grace television: Mike Franks. You always know that it’s going to be a good episode when you hear his Texan, “I’m a badass” accent. Anyways, Franks was suspected of killing two guys whose bodies were found on his boat – correction, his goddaughter’s boat that used to belong to Gibbs. A bit confusing, I know. Even Gibbs was suspect for a moment there, but we know that’s not happening. Regardless, when Gibbs and Co. travel down to Mexico in search of Franks, he – surprise! – is missing. Yeah, real shocker there. Like a murder suspect is just going to sit and wait on his front porch and nurse a nice cold one while waiting to be arrested. Not gonna happen. We travel back to D.C. and, lo and behold, Franks (with his daughter-in-law and granddaughter) emerges at Gibbs’ house, which makes for a nice Gibbs-gets-all-cutesy-with-a-baby scene that makes me wish we could see more flashbacks of him with his own daughter.

The whole two-dead-guys thing gets a little more complicated from there – Franks claims that they were after him, but the team proves that no hit was placed on Franks from any organization. That doesn’t make Franks look any less suspect, now does it? The team questions a guy called Pell, who runs a PMC. It turns out that he was hired by Franks’ daughter-in-law’s mom (who’s a bigwig tribe leader back in Iraq) to retrieve her daughter, Leila, and granddaughter, Amira. And he’s not going to stop until he’s recovered the two of them (so he can recover his major paycheck, naturally). Fortunately, Ziva – who, along with Tony, has been staying at Gibbs’ house with Amira and Leila – knows one of Pell’s minions that come to the house to abduct their targets and he decides not to go through with it. And as for the two dead guys found on Gibbs’ Frank’s Amira’s boat? Yeah, Mommy did it. Leila went into Mama Bear mode when she saw the two men coming towards her baby girl with guns drawn. Don’t tell me girls can’t fight now.

The character interaction was fabulous in this episode – it was easily my favorite part of the installment. There was a fantastic exchange between Tony and Franks about how to appropriately guard a door, which, in theory, sounds awful, but the sarcasm and facial expressions made it a highlight of the episode for me. And I liked the whole Ziva-wants-to-become-a-naturalized-U.S.-citizen storyline. Granted, who knows if it will even continue into future episodes, but it did serve as a sad reminder that naturalized citizens often know more about our country than native-born ones do. And it also was very timely, the political storyline, seeing as it is Election Day today (or Tuesday, seeing as you won’t be reading this until at least Wednesday).

The Tony-Ziva interaction was downplayed but still well-done. Their banter about the merits of a capitalistic democracy was extremely entertaining and reminded me of how much I love them. A highlight of the conversation? Tony’s explanation of what the American Dream really is: “That’s the American Dream. Little Orphan Annie – and me.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, Tony. I can’t help but say that I was a little disappointed in the lack of Tony-Ziva-baby Amira action. I was hoping for a little family-esque moment but, no such luck. We’ll save that for later in the season, right, TPTB?

The final scene might have been my favorite of the night, though. It showed Franks, Leila, baby Amira, and Leila’s mom (who had a fiery altercation with Grandpa Franks just moments before) all together on the beach in Mexico; the scene was interspersed with Gibbs telling Vance a story about how his great-(I forget how many greats)-great grandfather and (same number of greats)-great grandmother had family who fought on different sides of the Civil War. Gibbs explained that even though the two sides couldn’t get along, they managed to live silently together for the sake of their children – just like Franks and Leila’s mom are learning to do. It was a cute but poignant moment.

The promo for next week wasn’t all that revealing. In fact, I can’t even remember it at the moment. But that’s okay – I know I’m excited for next week’s episode no matter what!


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