NCIS, Season Two (2004)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gibbs and company were back and better than ever in this popular show for a thrill-packed, witty second season.

Since his questions were answered about the man who evaded and consumed his thoughts, Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has settled back into normal procedures and much to his staffs delight is no longer pressing for Intel as regards the one case that was a puzzling enigma. After a bizarre report is made by the secretary of a Navel Captain (David Keith), NCIS hotshot Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) informs Gibbs and team profiler Caitlyn Todd (Sasha Alexander) that the woman is insisting her boss is being held captive in his office by his “computer.” After further research, they discover the captor is holding the man’s family as leverage and the team quickly swings into action. Once computer expert and scientist Abby (Pauly Perrette) hacks into the Captain’s computer, they manage to get him under video surveillance and an ear bug to him. As they scramble to learn the captor’s exact location, time is not on their side for a safe rescue. From there, the fearless gang discovers the “perfect” fifties housewife, a ten-year-old cold case, the determination to clear a WWII heroes name, experiences déjà vu when seeing their mirror image in a police force (this is hilarious), recognizing one another’s’ strengths and weaknesses to a twilight that’s anything but serene.

In an “alarming” amount of time, my family became “addicted” to this series. It takes a really (really) good synopsis to urge me to watch shows or films that are constantly dealing with depressing themes, but it still doesn’t stop me from enjoying hints of tense mystery, something this series couldn’t have gotten any better. The fantastic humor and chemistry between the entire cast is undeniable. Even by-the-books newcomer Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) is a wonderful addition while he and Abby share not only a talent for computer cracking but sparks of the personal kind (they are SO cute together!). Characters were more emotionally explored in relation to probing their human nature and they each have an episode that involves a case that gets under their skin: something that deeply affects them, whether past or present. It was interesting to see the progress the character strength has made after seeing such tragedy as a part of their daily life. Gibbs is still one of the most complex characters, who is constantly urging his team to look beneath the surface in discovering the truth, giving them opportunities to prove themselves as competent investigators – he is often harsh on them, but I cannot help but find him one of the more interesting television characters. Creator Donald P. Bellisario may best be remembered for the long-running JAG or such classic shows as Magnum P.I. As a viewer of both shows, I can see some similarities to both, despite the classic show being about a cheeky P.I. Magnum and Tony  are comparable, while Bellisario created similar characters in Ducky and the stout, loveable proper British Higgins; both are well-known for rambling on about various past life experiences. 

The comedic sparring, thoughtful scenes and excellent work ethics continue, leading up to another jaw-dropping finale, only this time there’s great sadness at the death of a beloved character. Where creators made their mistake in killing off a main character is the consistent humor, which leads right up to the death. Making the finale all the harder to watch. Generally and disregarding the finale, most these episodes end on somber feelings, which is new this time around. Nearly all these forty-some minute episodes are complex and several deal with heartbreaking consequences -- one of my favorites was “Call of Silence” (particularly the emotional dance between Cait and the man they were helping). The cast is picture perfect yet again while newcomers and impressive guest stars (including Charles Durning) manage to make this show all the more entertaining. None of the guest stars put in as compelling a turn as youngster Abigail Breslin in what was one of her first roles. Her performance as a blind girl with peculiar abilities in distinguishing sounds is highly impressive not only for someone of her age but her acting was very mature and has since been taken note of.

A mildly confusing, but smart style of filmmaking takes precedence in the third or so episode. Filmmakers began showing a rapid black and white shot that is ultimately a sort of “preview” of an upcoming scene. It did become more “natural” and before the set concluded, I rather liked it, but sadly almost always leads to a sudden, if not occasional incomplete conclusion. In viewing this, if there’s something I’ve learned its pay attention to details. Obscure clues lead to the perpetrators’ demise that if not caught would often result in viewers’ disappointment at the conclusion. Just as with anything, this won’t be to all viewers liking and is certainly not appropriate for young viewers. Most the time, the humor offsets the tragedies, but there are a number of episodes that remain disturbing all building to an awful conclusion. Proving this isn’t without its emotional strengths.

(Parental review, the show is rated TV14: some topics deal with cold cases, fraud or suicide. Murder scenes are nauseating; bodies are shown burned beyond recognition, another was chained in a secluded room and left to die. “Lt. Jane Doe” is moderately graphic both in the autopsy [which shows the victim cut open] and conversation revolving around a rape crime. Homosexuality also enters the aforementioned episode, and “Conspiracy Theory” [a same-sex kiss]. “Terminal Leave,” “Caught on Tape,” “Bikini Wax,” “Red Cell” and “Heart Break” each has visual autopsies. A “human jigsaw puzzle” [three people were cut up and thrown into a barrel] is pieced together. A couple of people have their eyeballs ripped out. A main character is shot in the head. “Forced Entry” deals with rapist(s); there is a brief sexual encounter. “Pop Life” involves scantily dressed “dancers” at a club. Innuendo invades at various points [references to getting “laid,” affairs including teenagers, a transvestite, porn and unwed pregnancies], as do profanities including bas**ard. Meant to be funny, McGee had a case of poison ivy and confides he may have gotten some on his privates.)


  1. This is pretty much one of my favorite seasons :) I was seriously amazed at how well Abigail played the part of a blind was great :) Though, you now what? I like {and I'm sure I've said this before} I like Zeva better than Cate...She's just.. I don't know... but one thing that endeared me to Zeva was how she was nice to McGee :) It was kind of sad though, in an episode {this season} in which we saw what would've happened had Cate not died. *sigh* I could go on for hours... :)

  2. Abigail was awesome in this guest-role. She has turned out to be a fab actress but I think she really shined in this role - especially given how young she was.

    I've liked both main female characters - for different reasons. Cate was really nice to McGeee (which he needed being the "new guy") but Ziva is always nice to him as opposed to Tony's relentless teasing of him. S2 definitely had a lot more strengths than the first season - my mom and I were just saying we should re-watch the early seasons again, and I'd have no doubt it would prove how much the show has grown... for the better.

    Love this show, too; it is fab. =D

  3. I love NCIS! I'm still trying to decide whether I like Kate or Ziva better. I think I like Ziva's personality better but I like what Kate brought to the team better. And I think the sparring was better between Tony and Kate than between Tony and Ziva. That said, I love this season. {Who am I kidding? I love all the seasons.} And this season is different from the first in that it starts pulling away from the overly comedic and starts to balance a little more. I like the first season, where you see Gibbs's façade crack every now and then. I wish they would have kept that up!

  4. You and me both, Annie! The show is just... awesome! It has so much "more" than the average TV drama and I appreciate that.

    There was one episode that made me tear up in a later season when Cate's (I know her name is really spelled with a "K" but I like to be "defiant" and use the "C" because her full name starts with "C" ;D) sister came to the team for answers - that was so special. Tony and Ziva have more of a will-they-or-won't-they relationship although writer's have now basically "killed" that subplot off; at the beginning, it was very evident.

    I noticed how much stronger this show got every season and I was thrilled by it. I love those hints of amusement because I do think that this genre of show "needs" that, but I also appreciate a good mystery. Occasionally Gibbs does have a crack in his armor... but it is rare.

    So glad you stopped in, Annie. =)


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