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NCIS - In the Wind - Review: “Rule 9 to the Rescue!”

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17.11 - "In the Wind”
Written by Scott Williams
Directed by Rocky Carroll
Reviewed by KathM

And so we come to the final episode of Ziva! Did anyone else bake cookies?

Gibbs is a wreck about Phin. Not having killed Sahar, necessarily, but about how Phin will handle it and what will eventually happen to him. When Phin asked if he could live with Gibbs my heart ached a little, particularly when Gibbs says, “We’ll see.” Phin has experienced “We’ll see” enough to know that it’s parent-speak for “No”, and he is even more unhappy. I am totally there with him.

While Gibbs is sprawled on the couch trying to emotionally regroup and Phin is upstairs in the guest room, both Ziva and Sloane call Gibbs to see whether he needs company or not. He tells Ziva to stay away but lets Sloane come over. She’s just outside, so traffic isn’t a problem. They talk a bit and then go up to see Phin. Note: I don’t have a lot of use for Sloane overall, but she is a therapist and I’m thinking Phin needs one right about now. Problem is, Phin’s not there! After looking around GIbbs’ house they run across the street to Sahar’s, where they find Phin’s bedroom trashed and a note telling nobody to look for him.

From that moment until the end of the episode, Gibbs seems to be running on fear and rage. He has no patience with people who try to comfort him and little patience for stupid questions like what Phin was last seen wearing. He is able to talk to one of Phin’s friends to find out that Phin had offered to buy his bike for $14. His friend loaned him the bike, though, and now the crew knows that he’s on a bike instead of being a kid walking along the street. But things still aren’t moving fast enough. In the bullpen Gibbs kicks a trash can and I thought for sure it would end in broken computer screens and a possible printer fire, but he manages to keep control as he goes down to the morgue to be angry down there for awhile. He’s just about to head out again when Torres throws caution to the wind and tells Gibbs that he’s going with him to help find Phin or Gibbs can just fire him then and there. Gibbs and Torres have an epic shouting match that I think will end in a big ugly fight in the morgue. Fortunately, Jimmy is a medical professional and should be able to handle some basic first aid. But Gibbs is thinking clearly enough that he knows Torres would be an asset and why: Torres once helped break up a child trafficking ring, so he has a soft spot for lost children. Enough said?

Torres and Gibbs balance each other well; one goes a little batshit and the other calms him down. Then the other can go batshit while the other one calms him down. Rinse and repeat.

Ziva pops up now and then to help out, and since she’s just as mission-oriented as Tprres and Papa Bear Gibbs it could get scary if anyone gets in their way.

While Gibbs, Torres and Ziva are shouting at everyone they can find who either came across Phin or may know where he might be (Ziva doesn’t yell, she just uses that spooky, low tone she has), Sloane slips upstairs to see what Leon can find out about Phin’s past. And what a past he finds.

It looks like young Fahim, aka Phineaus (Sarah/Sahar has no idea how to name children), was born in the prison after Sahar’s brief relationship, or something, with one of the prison guards two years into her sentence. Fahim was placed in an orphanage in Aleppo after he was born, then transferred to the US and ended up in foster care in Philadelphia. I’m honestly surprised that Phin is her child; I thought for sure she might have just chosen an orphan at random and lied. Then again, I’m still not entirely sure why she wanted him in the first place.

When Sahar manages to escape she kills Fahim’s father on the way out just like a praying mantis, which makes perfect sense to me based on what we know about her. But while her sperm donor was a mere prison guard his brother, Hassan Sayegh, is a Lybian gangster with cash to burn. Anyone who brings him his nephew will receive a $1 million.

Now, who do we know who’s slimy enough to kidnap a recently-orphaned child and try to force him to get on a plane so he can live out his life as a virtual prisoner to a complete stranger in Libya? It’s Victor, the creepy club owner. I knew he was featured too much in the last episode to not be involved in this one!

While Gibbs, Torres, Ziva and Bishop (who magically appeared out of nowhere) rush to the airport Victor is in line with Fahim, forcing him to be quiet and trying to cover up anything the boy may do to make TSA to question their fake father/son bond. He’s got to play it carefully; he only has to get Phin/Farhim from DC to Toronto to Cairo without any problems and then he’ll get paid. Piece of cake, right?

Um, no. Because Victor isn’t all that bright, and he underestimated the one person who was a real danger to his plan. Not Gibbs, or Torres, or Ziva.

He underestimated Phin.

Because Phin is an awesome little spy-in-training, a rock star at manipulation who thinks fast on his feet. He knows where he wants to go and does what he needs to get there. First, he borrows a friend’s bike to “disguise” himself, then he cons a woman at the bus station to buy him a ticket to Philly. THEN, after he’s taken from the bus station, he’s got what he may need to set himself free.

See, Phin is a smart kid, and he knows a thing or two about the world. So when he sets off the alarm while walking through security and TSA finds a knife in his boot, Phin/Fahim looks innocently up at Victor and tells the TSA folks that his “dad” gave it for him carry. This gives Gibbs, Ziva, Torres and Bishop time to get to the gate, and for Phin to reunite with Gibbs while Victor is being watched by some TSA folks. Bishop and Torres take control of the prisoner and Ellie gives Victor a nice right cross.

But why was Phineaus carrying a knife with him, Gibbs asks. Because it’s Rule 9, Phin reminds him. And I just lose it.

Earlier in the episode Phin/Fahim was talking about his aunt and uncle; Sloane finds out that they’re the foster family that he lived with in Philadelphia. His mother said they didn’t want him, but since she’s dead and he doesn’t think he can live with Gibbs he thought he’s head over to Philly to see them anyway. But there’s no need: Sloane has magically brought them from PA to just outside of Interrogation Lite. There are tears and hugs and Fahim/Phin they’re all overjoyed. You can already see how this will end.

But what about Ziva? Ziva’s whole purpose in this episode seems to be a really long goodbye as she hangs around the Navy Yard to see if Tony texts her back to say he likes her. Sorry! That he loves her and can come home. Because I’m sure he’s never said that before. She sent him a text telling him that he and Talli were safe, but he didn’t tell her to come “home”. Whatever, Ziva, just go already. She is wasting screen time; we know how this will end, so let’s end it, shall we?

And finally the text does come, and Ziva gathers everyone to say goodbye. Gibbs reminds her that “they” are always there for her, just as they would have been had she or Tony told him years ago that she was alive. She hugs Jimmy and calls him the Navy Yard “secret keeper”, throws a little French talkin’ at Kasie (who reciprocates), tells Torres to tell Bishop how he feels and reminds Bishop that Odette is ready and waiting for her whenever she's ready.

Oh, no.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

There is no ODETTE, okay, Ziva? Do not go filling Ellie’s head with that nonsense. And Bishop, step away from the whole mess that is the ex-CIA employee. You are smarter than that, better than that. You have nothing to prove.

And then Ziva slips into the elevator and is gone, hopefully for the foreseeable future.

So, thoughts?

Why wasn’t there a goodbye scene between and Phin/Fahim? Because I hope that Gibbs will have the boy in his life, either visiting him in Philadelphia or spending time with Gibbs. And I’d like some of the time in DC to be on camera. I have no idea who/when/if he’ll be adopted, but it will be interesting to see how that shakes out.

Will we get to see Gibbs process any of the loss he no doubt feels for Phin? Maybe. He’s got Sloane and Dr. Grace, after all.

Will we see Uncle Hassan at some point? I think so, if not this season maybe next.

Will Ellie take “lessons” from Odette? I think she will, but I don’t understand why.

Will Ziva be able to stay in the slow lane for the rest of her life? I know she’s got some serious anxiety issues, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she managed to get herself involved in something again. But we don’t need to see that. Best if she stays gone.She is questioning herself, but that’s a good thing She could have had everything she wanted so much sooner when Tony found her and she’d let him calls Gibbs. But Tony is happy to have her back, we guess, for however long it lasts.

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