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This is the official blog of Phoenix Roleplaying, a multi-genre simming site, created in August 2010.

Run by the players, we hope to achieve great things.

Where our journey takes us, who knows.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Limited benefit of clergy (Review: 'NCIS' 11.9, "Gut Check")

Apologies for the long delay in doing this; this time of year is very busy for me in the TV department and I also went on holiday.


At the beginning of the eleventh season of this Navy-based cop show, former Mossad operative turned NCIS agent Ziva David had an existential crisis and decided to cut ties with the agency, staying in her native Israel. The result was that the desk nearest the world's most easily stoppable elevator became vacant for the first time since Ziva's deceased half-brother shot its previous occupant in the head.

(I'm not going to comment on Cote de Pablo's decision to leave the show here)

After a few episodes with various guest characters supplementing the line-up of Gibbs, McGee and DiNozzo, her replacement shows up at last... and quite frankly, she don't impress me much.

This episode sees the Secretary of the Navy, the latest one at any rate (I think this is number four; the previous SECNAV got blown up) discovering that someone has managed to put a bug on her person while giving a classified briefing on the new Zumwalt-class destroyer. As a result, Gibbs' team are tasked to find out who did this dastardly deed and recover the intelligence before it ends up in the wrong hands; discovering that the person responsible was following a NSA playbook drafted by an analyst for everyone's favourite email readers (hello, I hope you're enjoying this). The NSA's alleged activities don't get ignored in this and there is a humorous scene with Abby and said analyst discussing them.

The mystery takes its usual twist and turns before those responsible are found as usual. However, one doesn't watch NCIS for the investigations (fun though this one is), but for the characters. I personally came for Abby and stayed for everyone else. Abby Sciuto is her usually perky Goth self, demonstrating her lab rat skills with aplomb and McGee does well; NCIS chief Leon Vance isn't in this one. One major criticism I have of this is the actions of Tony, who seems to have become substantially less mature in the last few episodes although he's always good for film references. Gibbs is also a bit off in this one.

The NSA analyst, Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop, who gets offered a joint duty assignment at the end of the episode, is the main "attraction" here. An obsessive IT geek with a photographic memory, a tendency to food-associate, sit on things most people don't tend to sit on i.e. the autopsy table and finally demonstrate a lack of regard for her own personal safety, my thought on her first appearance was "Oh, no, that's Ziva's replacement?", which I can safely say was not my thought on Ziva's first scene, way back in Season 3. She's a lab rat in a show with four scientifically/computer-y minded characters already and her "I've got three older brothers" reason for demonstrating (or rather not; we only see her having made the capture) physical grappling prowess reeks of cliché. I actually found her rather irritating... although I didn't want to throttle her then and there. I'm willing to give her a further chance, but if she doesn't improve, I'm going to start wishing that someone crashes her at high speed into a planet.


A good episode, but Bishop isn't the reason for it.


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