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NCIS - Neverland (Season Finale) - Review: "Will Gibbs die?"

NCIS closed its twelfth season last week with a finale that left one of the main characters being left for dead on the street.

Following the deadly bombing in Cairo that killed Dorneget, his mother, CIA Officer Joanna Teague, joins the NCIS investigation since she is a Middle Eastern expert, despite Gibbs' concerns. Joanna goes to see her son's body, and asks Ducky to pull out a piece of shrapnel from his body. The shrapnel is made of titanium ball bearings, and since most of that comes from Russia, Gibbs and Teague start there. It turns out that the titanium was imported by an aerospace company named Bianca Aviation, which is owned by a Roger Dietz. Tony and Bishop talk to Roger, who is acting nervous. He later admits to selling the titanium to Sadiq Samar. Also, Gibbs sits down in interrogation with Rousseau, who taunts Gibbs and makes a comment about missing the afternoon tour in Arizona. Moments later, McGee calls Gibbs to inform him that there was another explosion at the Grand Canyon, which killed a park ranger and left some hikers wounded. Tour buses were supposed to arrive in the Canyon as well, but luckily they were running late. Meanwhile, Bishop finds a phone number in Dietz' phone records that was traced to a burner phone found near a college campus. Tony and Bishop ask around at the campus, but a young teenage boy quickly runs away. The boy later goes to a trailer, where he meets with Sadiq.

In the meantime, Gibbs does his best to trust Luke despite concerns from Teague and Mike Franks, who is once again returning as Gibbs' conscience. Mike warns Gibbs that Luke might be playing him and also asks him how many lives he has saved for everyone that Gibbs lost. Mike also asks Gibbs who is gonna save him. McGee learns that The Calling communicates via music and Abby determines there are morse codes embedded in the songs. French Commissioner Girard, whose life Dorneget saved, found a video game from The Calling and asks McGee to play the game. At Gibbs' house, the teenage boy from campus comes up and takes Luke with him, leaving the social worker with a head injury. Teague is able to locate Sadiq's trailer, and tortures him for information on where to find Luke. It turns out Luke has been taken to Zakho, Iraq and the team is too late to stop it. Luke was taken, because he was in custody and as such, has all the information about the team. Later, the team also learns the name of The Calling's leader: an Englishman named Daniel Budd, who was the same man Dorneget saw in Cairo just before the bombs went off.

Gibbs, Tony and Teague head to Zakho in Iraq and find their way to a market where some Western teens were dropped off. They spot a girl in sneakers and chase after her. In DC, Vance talks to Sadiq, who tells him that age is the enemy of enlightened youth. Also, McGee is still playing the game and wins. His prize is a series of various locations, including tourist destinations and naval bases, that are the next targets for The Calling. Vance storms in and somehow believes The Calling is targeting the Supreme Court Justices, who are on a retreat in the Appalachians, and orders McGee to put it on lockdown. In Zakho, Gibbs confronts the girl while Tony gets a call from Daniel, who is watching them from a window above and also talks about age and a generation gap. The girl walks away from Gibbs, at which point he sees the teenage boy from campus. His name is called out, and when Gibbs turns around, he sees Luke standing there. Luke shoots Gibbs in his leg and after he gets up, Luke subsequently shoots him in the chest.

If you've read my review of the penultimate episode, you already knew that I was not pleased with yet another Gibbs-centric finale. And indeed, this finale was not what I was hoping for. First of all, it was lacking the tension that the previous episodes or previous finales had. Sure, there was another bombing in the Grand Canyon and a new attack seems imminent, but still I didn't feel the urgency of the matter. The episode was as much about preventing another attack as it was about finding out if Luke could be trusted. Anohter thing this episode lacked in was answers. Other than some blah-blah at age being an enemy, we still have no idea what The Calling's motives are. I will be extremely disappointed if they are killing people just because they're aging. Unless they found a fountain of youth, they too will become old. I also wonder why they have their basis is in Iraq. Would it not be smarter to work from another country that isn't already full of terrorists? Lastly, the cliffhanger failed to impress me and it's one I saw coming from miles. Again, I wrote in my last review I'd be mad if the cliffhanger turns out to be Gibbs getting shot. I suppose it should have shocked me that a teenage boy shot an American NCIS agent, but somehow it didn't. I would like to know why they are coming after Gibbs in the first place. And answering the question in the title of this review, we all know that Gibbs, of course, is not going to die. Why end on such a cliffhanger when we already know the outcome?

Despite my criticisms, there were still some enjoyable moments throughout the episode. I think Teague worked well, and we saw the right balance between emotional moments and her determination to stop The Calling. The bad guys of The Calling are intriguing, from Matthew Rousseau to Sadiq Samar and Daniel Budd. All three now how to taunt the team and the actors play their part very well. Like McGee, I'm still trying to understand the power structure of The Calling so I'm looking forward to learning much more about the group next season. I also hope they will answer most of the aforementioned questions. One thing I'm curious about: how did Vance know that the Supreme Court Justices were the next target? I hope to get various answers in the season premiere. All in all, this was not the best finale NCIS has had.

And with that, I conclude my last review of this season of NCIS. Thank you all for sticking with me and reading my reviews! I also want to thank those that leave a comment behind, it's always so much fun interacting with other fans! We have had some great discussions and I'm looking forward to more of that in season 13. I will probably write a season review of season 12 later this Summer so be sure to look for that somewhere in June, July or August.

However, besides being curious how you feel about this episode, I am also curious what you think about my reviews. Do you like it the way they are, or is there something you don't like? Are you fine with the content the way it is, or is there something missing for you? If there are things that you don't like or things you would like to see, feel free to tell me! Any tips and suggestions are welcome in the comment section.

What did you think of the twelfth season finale? Are you as critical of the episode as I am? What did you think about Joanna Teague as Dorneget's mother? Were you shocked that Luke betrayed Gibbs and shot him? How do you feel about the cliffhanger? And what do you think The Calling's motives are for killing people all over the world? I would love to hear your thoughts and theories in the comments below.

About the Author - Daniel van der Veer
Daniel van der Veer is a Dutch university student studying Psychology. On SpoilerTV he is a reviewer of NCIS, The 100, Stalker, Madam Secretary and the upcoming show American Odyssey. He also enjoys LOST, Arrow, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Nikita, The Blacklist, Scorpion and How To Get Away With Murder.
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