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NCIS - Rule 91 & Blood in the Water - Reviews

18.16 "Rule 91”
Written by David J. North and Brendan Fehily
Directed by Diana Valentine
Reviewed by KathM

Rule 91: When you walk away, don't look back.

And so it goes.

Bishop’s new journey has been set in motion ever since Odette asked her if she wanted “special training.” I don’t know what made her want to become a Midwestern version of Ziva, as she’d always struck me as more sensible than that. What does she have to prove? I’ve never really gotten that. With a false story in place that she’d leaked NSA documents that can’t be disproved, she tells everyone to stop trying to defend her, then tells Leon that she did leak the information and resigns.

As she gets ready to leave the country, Torres finds her at Ziva’s old office with Odette. Ellie explains that she will be going undercover as a disgraced/tratiorous NCIS agent, so in order for that to be convincing she has to be disgraced. She doesn’t want to leave him, and didn’t expect them to end up together. But she has to go.

What will Torres do now? Will he let the team go on wondering whether Bishop is a traitor, or tell them what he knows about her situation? Will he approach Vance to see if he can help him make some sense of what’s going on? Would Vance even have the clearance to know? I’m not sure whether he knows or not, you can never tell with Leon.

Gibbs knew: I figured that. Who else would Bishop want to talk to about such an important decision? But he wouldn’t talk to her (at least on camera), just saying, “Rule 91.” Because this had to be her own choice.

Meanwhile, Marcie has figured out that the serial killer murders a victim every 100 days, so there should be a body out there from last month. Gibbs tells Marcie to drop the whole thing and shows her that her office and his home are both bugged.

Our last scene is Gibbs in his finally-finished boat, which he has named the Rule 91 Marcie reminded him that it’s bad luck to launch a boat without a name.

Watching Gibbs zoom across the lake in a boat of his own making with a smirk on his face made me smile, despite the foreshadowing that surrounded it. In true NCIS fashion, after a few minutes on the water the boat blew up. Since we’ve already lost an agent this episode, as the show ends we watch Gibbs swim to the surface from the wreckage.

“When you walk away, don’t look back.” Both Gibbs and Ellie are both living that rule right now.

19.1- "Blood in the Water”
Written by Christopher Walid
Directed by Michael Zinberg
Reviewed by KathM

Note: I have no idea what day it is because NCIS isn’t on Tuesdays anymore.

Lots of emotions, lots of action. Good episode.

And I thought it was going so well. This while Gibbs survives the bomb that destroyed his boat, he comes to the surface with a piece of wood through his abdomen. He tried to get out of the lake, but was too weak and instead fell back into the water and slowly floated away, blood in his wake. This is the first time I’ve been legitimately worried about Gibbs for a very long time.

The local authorities contact NCIS when they...actually, I don’t know why they call NCIS. Anyway, McGee and Torres try to find out more about the accident, whether there were any bodies found, etc. Sheriff Unger, who is leading the initial investigation, is a gem. She called McGee “City Mouse”. Love it. Would not be opposed to seeing her again. A body is found and it’s not Gibbs but a woman bound with red tape. What is going on? the boys wonder.

Kasie tells them about the bug-finder she loaned to Gibbs. It isn’t on now so they can’t see where he is, but they can tell where he’s been because Kasie put a tracker on it. He has been to: the diner, his house, and an unknown address which we find out is Marcie’s office. Vance tries to give McGee a shiny, new Probie because the team has been halved, with Ellie and Gibbs gone, but he doesn't want one. He needs someone with experience, so he grabs Knight.

Back at the lake, the older couple who pull Gibbs from the lake and patch up have him locked in their barn because he told them not to call the cops. They believe he is part of the gang who are running drugs or something on the North Shore when he tells them how to recognise that the guy who comes around asking about the guy in the water isn’t law enforcement. Thelma and Virgil are great. Since Gibbs is often such a growly bear, it only seems appropriate that he'd be sewn up by a retired veterinarian. He asks for a phone call.

McGee, Torres and Knight snoop around Marcie’s apartment and see the murder board. Who is this woman and more importantly, where is she? It turns out that Marcie is at NCIS looking for Gibbs, who called her and told her to go to NCIS. She gives the phone to McGee and Gibbs tells him that Marcie should be given 24-hour security because of the serial killer. He hangs up without giving McGee his location or any other details. Knight assumes Gibbs and Marcie are sleeping together because that is where her mind goes.

Gibbs wants to check out the North Shore, so he borrows an old motorcycle and Thelma loans him her shotgun and against veterinary advice off he goes. He arrives at the cabin to find loads of full cans of gasoline. McGee, Torres, and Knight ride up to the cabin a few minutes later, and Knight pulls her gun on Gibbs. She’s never met him, so she thought he was a bad guy. Luckily, McGee called her off.

The way the gang was transporting the drugs was cool. Sorry, but it was. The gas cans were full of meth; once you pour out a bit of the gas and light it on fire, the “ashes” are meth. The gang hears the baddies pull up, and they make a plan to take them down. McGee looks at Gibbs, who looks like he’s been through a lot, and whose abdominal wound still seems to be bleeding again, and asks him if he can be their sniper with Thelma’s rifle.

Stating the obvious: Gibbs will never be too wounded not to be a sniper.

Knight tries unsuccessfully to distract the North Shore gang by pretending to be lost and vapid and needing some gas, but by then the our team is in place and they capture the gang. Yay.

McGee and Co take their prisoners in, and then McGee visits Gibbs in Virgil and Thelma’s barn and asks Gibbs if he’s coming back or not.

Throughout the episode, Nick is having a hard time. For the first time in a very long time, he opened himself to someone and they abandoned him. Ellie is well and truly gone. He and Jimmy cross paths at Ellie’s apartment, which is nice and tidy and ready to be rented again. Ellie called Jimmy on her way to the airport and told her to make sure that things were in order there. Nick refuses to believe Ellie is gone, saying instead that she left. Jimmy was surprised when Nick pulled out a spare gun hidden in Ellie’s bedroom, and Nick swears him to secrecy. He keeps looking around the bullpen moodily, looking at her desk and hoping Eille will magically appear. Until we get the hopefully inevitable episode where NCIS swoops in to help Ellie finish her mission, we won’t.

The theme of family runs through the episode. Ellie is family, even though she’s gone. Jimmy reminds McGee that they’re family. We all know Gibbs is so much more than that, but at the end of the episode he needs a bit of reminding. Gibbs tells McGee that he isn’t an agent anymore, he’s just a guy. No badge, nothing. McGee tells him that none of it matters because he’s family and that suprecedes everything. He reminds Gibbs that he made them, helped mold them into the agents they are. Gibbs tells McGee that he’s proud of him, and to never stop pushing. Then he asks Tim what he’s got that he needs help with.

Maybe Gibbs will leave NCIS and stick us with Gary Cole, or perhaps he’ll return. Gibbs still isn’t sure. But no matter what, he is definitely family.

P.S. - Jimmy has some really good lines in this episode:

Watching Torres pull a spare gun from a hidden spot in Ellie’s bedroom: “Guess you guys just blew past the toothbrush phase.”
When McGee wonders why Jimmy knows so much about the search for Gibbs: ”I’m a medical examiner, I know people who find bodies.”
Jimmy, commenting on how it’s impossible that Gibbs won’t be found: ”That's not like Gibbbs, just absorbed into nature, righ?.” Personally, Jimmy, I can absolutely see this happening.

P.P.S. - Does anyone else think that Marcie is the killer? It’s something I wonder about from time to time.

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