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31st August 2009

I admit to having a soft spot for Shane Brennan. My fellow Australian, and more importantly, my fellow Victorian. As well as being the show-runner taking over from Donald Bellasario at the beginning of season 5, Shane has written some very important scripts for the show.

  • Faking It. Mike Franks using himself as bait for the Russians. One of the hallmarks of Shane Brennan's scripts is convoluted plots. This one is very much one of those.
  • Once a Hero. One of the few episodes from season 4 that I like. Dead Marine veteran living hand to mouth. Shane gives Gibbs much to say about the appalling treatment of veterans. Michelle Lee undercover is also a highlight of this episode.
  • Suspicion. Small town paranoia at it's best. Ziva confronting the cop in the hospital room was a highlight. As was Gibbs telling the same officer, once he was a suspect, that if he didn't take his pants off he would get Officer David to remove them. Never seen a man more unhappy at the prospect of a woman removing his trousers! Real highpoint of this episode, however, is Tony and McGee doing "Dueling Banjos".
  • Blowback. Ducky undercover. This one was loaded with injokes. Reference to St Elsewhere in which Mark HArmon played Dr Bobby Caldwell, and to Gotti, who was played by Armand Assante.
  • Iceman. Some back-story for Mike Franks. The discovery that he has a son, and Iraqi daughter in law and now a grand-daughter. Beautiful episode.
  • Trojan Horse. Gibbs as acting director. Clashing with Cynthia and way, way out of his depth. Gave a little comic relief to a season that was dark and on the whole unpleasant.
  • Bury Your Dead. The season 5 premiere which saw us thinking Tony was dead. Gave us that wonderfully poignant almost wordless scene at the site of the explosion. Pain, bewilderment and sorrow on every face. Also gave us the wonderful scene in the elevator with Kort bailed up by Gibbs, Ziva and McGee, guns drawn.
  • Requiem. Like it or hate it (I personally hate it), Requiem is probably the most powerful episode of season 5. Gibbs apparently dying in the opening minutes of the show was a body blow to the viewer. The vision of Shannon and Kelly Gibbs has moved more than one fan to tears.
  • Last Man Standing. The season 6 premiere gave us the reason for the team break up at the end of season 5. Gave us a new storyline of a mole in NCIS. It ended both warmly with the return of Ziva, but gave us a chill when we realized that Langer wasn't the mole....Michelle Lee was.
  • Legend Part I & Part II. Two part episode to introduce the team for NCIS: Los Angeles. I personally found the first part a little slow and dull, but found the second was better paced and more interesting.
So that is Shane Brennan's writing legacy to NCIS so far. What do you think of it?

ON 1st September 2009, 6.45AM Australian Time


31st August

Just over 22 days to D-day, i.e. S7 premiere NCIS and S1 premier NCIS: LOS ANGELES. With this in mind, I got to wondering how many NCIS fans will desert ship in favour of NCIS: LOS ANGELES, right now, I suppose the majority of you will deny this possibility, but believe it's real, probably more among the younger generation on here than the older. Why? For starters the 2 male leads are younger than the NCIS male leads, and the character of Callen looks set to steal DiNozzo's role as Don Juan at least in appearance, and the other male lead (forgive me for not knowing the name but I have yet to see Legend), is also very serious competition. Those of us over 35 are probably less likely to be wooed away from Gibbs and DiNozzo, but the younger members who are not unconditionally TIVA....

Will be seeing a competition between these 2 series I wonder? If both continue to be aired on the same day one after the other, then there's unlikely to be any loss for NCIS (fingers crossed, etc.) and NCIS: LOS ANGELES is likely to gain, however, we all know how TV programmers love to drive viewers round the twist by changing days and times. Plus the newbie here is NCIS: LOS ANGELES, and as yet unconsolidated, and if there's interest perhaps it's day and airing could be changed in the future, then what? Where would it leave the fans of the respective series? Especially those of you, who watch several series.

Of course, those of us living outside the US are unlikely to be affected a priori, particularly in Europe, where programme purchasers will probably want to wait and see. In the Spanish state, in the case of the CSI versions (not sure if there are 2 or 3 - have yet to watch any episode of any of them), they used to alternate them, i.e. first of all they aired the season of the main series, then when that finished they aired the season of the followng series. Now they air both (or all 3) series on the same day one after the other, not sure if they're repeats or not. However, in the case of JAG and NCIS, they were never shown on the same day, despite NCIS being a spin off of JAG.

To date, there has been no mention in the Spanish state about whether or not they'll be airing NCIS: LOS ANGELES, of course that might be due to the fact we're still in S6 and have yet to reach the episodes of Legend I and Legend II.

In the meanwhile, I look forward to hearing your comments at the beginning of the season about how you feel with the 2 series being shown on the same day one after the other, so no doubt I'll be returning to this topic at the end of September.

ON 31st August 2009 9:00 PM - CET


30th August 2009

Today I am going to look at the friendship between Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Tobias Fornell. We first met Fornell in "Yankee White", which for the purposes of this blog we will ignore. It is obvious that the character was supposed to be a one-off. At this point in the the NCIS story it is the first time that Gibbs and Fornell have met, which is later ignored when the decision was made to make Fornell a recurring character.

Fornell appears four times in season 1, each time in an adversarial role with Gibbs. Even gets name checked in the episode "One Shot, One Kill", when Gibbs dupes the FBI agent in charge of the case. "Give my regards to Fornell." I can easily imagine Fornell tearing strips off that particular agent when he got back to the Hoover Building. By season 2, however, things have changed. In "The Bone Yard", set up as a Mafia informant and arrested by the FBI, Fornell asks Gibbs to help him. "You're the closest thing I have to a friend." Gibbs brings him coffee where he is being held. We learn then that obviously the two men are closer than we had previously realized, when Fornell comments that his cell reminds him of Gibbs basement. One of the enduring mysteries of NCIS is how did Gibbs and Fornell fake Fornell's death in "The Bone Yard".

Later still we learn just how close the two men are. Sharing the same taste in women. Even going so far as to marry the same woman. It is interesting to speculate whether Gibbs introduced Fornell to Diane. Maybe she met Fornell when still married to Gibbs. This is something I would like to see the writers explore.

It is to Gibbs that Fornell turns when he feels his daughter Emily is threatened in season 4's "Escaped". At the end of that episode Gibbs stays with Fornell when his house is being fumigated.

Later in season 4 the adversarial role returns with Gibbs and Fornell both butting heads and co-operating in the case of a serial killer in "Smoked". This is probably one of the best Gibbs/Fornell episodes so far. The scene in autopsy with Ducky explaining the cause of death and Jenny slowly tearing up the warrant is an absolute classic.

Season 5 and season 6 saw only two appearances each by Fornell. "Identity Crisis" saw Fornell driving a desk and up to his ears in paperwork. Something which vastly amused Gibbs. "Internal Affairs" saw Fornell investigating the team for the murder of La Grenouille. One of the most important episodes of NCIS to date. "Nine Lives" saw the depth of the Gibbs/Fornell friendship when Gibbs would not let his friend face the music alone, and turns up to support Fornell when he is about to be carpeted by his Director. Our last view of Fornell was the FBI and NCIS co-operating to investigate the death of an ICE agent at the SecNav's home in "Semepr Fidelis".

I am sure we haven't seen the last of Tobias Fornell, and I very much look forward to watching the friendship between Fornell and Gibbs grow in season 7 and beyond.

ON 31st August 2009, 6.31AM


30th August 2009

My entry today basically makes reference to the proliferation of late with pages about NCIS in the Superlative, firstly it was the scenes (Most Intense, Saddest, Funniest, etc.), and seeing the success of this, I decided to add a few more pages in the same vein but with reference to whole episodes, again divided into different categories, including one for the worst. No doubt some members will be aghast at this latter, but they shouldn't be since it's not a criticism of the series at all, but simply a personal opinion, we all have our likes and dislikes, so no doubt over the 6 seasons aired to date and S7 looming ahead of us, that undoubtedly there will be some episodes, which people will categorise as the worst to date.

I do think these pages will make interesting reading, particularly with regard to people's reasons why. It will be interesting to see the percentage of members who coincide in their opinion about a certain episode, i.e. which episode is universally considered the best/worst/funniest, etc. On the satellite wikis you will find these same pages in relation to the individual characters.

This way you have something to entertain yourselves until the new season starts.

And that's it for today, short and sweet!

ON 30th August 2009 8:35 PM - CET

Latest page update: made by MargyW , Aug 31 2009, 11:48 AM EDT (about this update About This Update MargyW Edited by MargyW

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