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NCIS - Episode 10.11/10.12 - Shabbat Shalom/Shiva - Review

And so it came to pass, the end of two of NCIS's long running recurring characters, Eli David. Alongside him, the death of another recurring character, Jackie Vance. Personal losses for both Ziva and Director Vance. The emotion was enthralling.

'Shabbat Shalom' began with the murder of a Navy officer. Well, a reporter posing as a Navy officer. While investigating the case, Ziva finds her car home to an unexpected guest. Her father. And we quickly learn that he is there on official unofficial business. Ziva is not amused by this. One thing we learn from the ensuing scenes, is that Ziva understands Gibbs to be more of a father than Eli.

Eli trying to secure peace with Iran means he needed to stay under the radar. Enter the Vance family, to dine with the Mossad Director. At no point was Jackie happy to see Eli. Ziva already had doubts about her father's visit, but when she suspects her father of murdering the reporter, her worst fears are confirmed. Disgusted with him, she reluctantly agrees to have dinner with him and the Vance's. It didn't last.

Despite her attempts to enjoy her Shabbat dinner, she found it too much to handle, and left the residence. And all NCIS fans would agree, I'm glad she did. The gunfire was another shocking revelation. Gibbs came promptly, and him and Ziva tracked down the killer. Who unfortunately killed himself.

The final few minutes were incredibly emotional. Ziva's reaction to seeing her father's lifeless body was heartbreaking. Her shout of "ABBA!" was enough to cause a robot to cry. We could all predict that Eli was going to die, but the way he was killed was unpredictable. At first thought, Jackie Vance's death seemed unecessary. However, the anger and sadness shown by the Director when informing Gibbs "My wife is dead", alongside Ziva's grief, was almost overwhelming. It left us with a brilliant cliffhanger.

In 'Shiva' we saw a new personality in many of the characters. Ziva and Vance's hunger for revenge was very clear throughout this episode. Even more obvious, was the way Tony acted. Unlike the usual joking around Tony, we saw a very serious and caring side in him. He became an even more important character than usual.

The team, intent on looking for the killer, were given the easy option of blaming Palestinians. They weren't going to take that option. Instead, they didn't let their emotion overcome them, and followed their leads correctly. That was, until Vance re-entered. His emotion was clearly visible when bursting into Tony's interrogation. Again, 'brick-wall Tony' helped restrict the damage that the Director's outburst may have caused.

In this episode, we saw the friendly part of Tony. In taking Ziva back to his apartment, he suggested that she needed someone to talk to. And in a very unselfish fashion, Tony presented her good friend Shmeil to her. Just seeing him cheered Ziva up, and it was reassuring to Tony that she was in the presence of her friend.

In true NCIS fashion, there was humour. Ducky's reaction to Mossad Deputy Director Bodnar was hilarious. He wasn't amusued at being insulted, but he retorted well. We also saw the Gibbs trait in McGee here. His attempt to stand up to Bodnar was impressive. However, it was short lived.

From the moment he entered, Bodnar seemed a shady character. This was emphasised by the accusations he threw at Eli's friend Kazmi. None of the team trusted him, except for Ziva. She agreed to meet Bodnar, but was shocked to hear the revelation that McGee found. Through Ziva's translation, we realised that Bodnar was the killer.

Bodnar did not show up to the meet, and the episode showed no extra attempt to capture him. We saw the death of Kazmi, who was an unecessary death, but added an extra layer of drama to the episode. Once past the dramatic portion of the episode, we came to one of the saddest scenes I have ever seen.

Tony's send-off for Ziva was brilliant of him. "aht lo leh-vahd", 'You are not alone' in English, showed Ziva how much he cared for her. This could well be the basis for the 'Tiva' relationship.

Ziva's traditional burial for her father, despite her being alone, was a very melancholy scene, and vastly affected the episode. The same could be said for another grieving family, the Vance family. Vance discovered in this episode what Gibbs felt after his wife and daughter were killed. This scene (Ziva's bit included) almost brought me to tears. The music used could not have been better chosen, and really added that extra bit of sorrow to the scene.

Overall, I'd say that these two episodes are two of the best episodes that I've ever seen, on any show.