Original Air Date: Jan 15, 2013
Maria – Associate Staff Writer
Previously on NCIS: Mossad Director Eli David came to the US under the radar to peacefully meet with the opposition, Iranian Arash Kazmi. However, in order to maintain secrecy he murdered a journalist who recognized him.
At a Shabbat dinner, hosted by Director Vance and his wife, NCIS Agent and Eli’s daughter Ziva David. realized her father’s crime and excused herself to phone her boss Gibbs. Whilst she was away, a drive-by shooter gunned down the house, killing Eli David and Vance’s wife Jackie!
SecNav Jarvis Clayton is finally involved, as he should be since political war seems imminent. Clayton is annoyed he didn’t know Eli was in the country, but neither did a lot of people and it’s only a matter of time before people realize he died in America. Since Director Vance is mourning the loss of his wife, it’s up to the Deputy Director Jerome Craig to handle the state of affairs.
The jury is still out on Craig. It’s a tough situation to introduce a character into, but if he’s to become the new Director I reckon he’ll have future opportunities to redeem or condemn himself. I’m too distracted by the characters I care about to develop thoughts and opinions on a new one. We’re told Craig seems naive, but in the end his gut says the same thing as Gibbs’ so I guess he’s okay.
Enough about Craig, I’m more focused on Ziva. Ziva is now questioning her faith, and when Tony shows up like an answer to her prayers… she distances herself from him. It doesn’t work, because she needs a safe place to stay after the assassination. She ends up staying at Tony’s, but Tony is a complete gentleman, even inviting Ziva’s mentor, Shmeil, over. Ziva accepts Shmeil’s comfort, but still refuses to let Tony in.
The emotional aftermath aside, NCIS does need to get to the bottom of Eli’s death. The shooter was tracked down by Ziva and Gibbs but then he took a cyanide pill. Ducky performs the autopsy on the shooter (who turns out to be a gun for hire with no political ties who was dying anyway) and his two victims. Ducky’s scenes this episode are a real delight, he has sharp dialogue whilst conveying the weight and loss of death.
Gibbs suspects Iranian Kazmi at first, but either Kazmi is an exceptionally good liar or he really didn’t know Eli was dead. Kazmi genuinely wants peace, and he’s caught in a conspiracy. Kazmi is made to look even guiltier when NCIS trace the bullets back to an Iranian arms dealer, however that name was missing from the database Kazmi shared. Kazmi insists the data must have been intercepted. I, and Gibbs and Deputy Director Craig, believe him.
Unfortunately, Mossad Deputy Director Ilan Bodnar wants Kazmi arrested. I don’t like Bodnar. His first scene was when he wandered into the bullpen and tried to intimidate McGee, Abby and Ducky. Bodnar addressed Ducky with “Whose grandfather are you supposed to be?” to which Ducky had the best comeback ever, “That depends. Who’s your grandmother.”
McGee, McBlivious has been ignoring flirtations and doing his work. The dead gun for hire, of course, had to be hired and the money had to go somewhere. McGee is able to trace a wire transfer paid into account of the shooter’s ex-wife, under the name of “Virtue”. Gibbs asks Ziva if this could mean anything, possibly in another language. It means nothing to Ziva at first until she realizes that the Hebrew for Tohar, which is Bodnar’s middle name.
Bodnar hired the hit because he didn’t agree with Eli meeting peacefully with the opposition. Kazmi is cleared, and is on his way to the airport when the car explodes. Such a shame. Poor Jackie Vance was just collateral damage in Bodnar’s war, a war Eli and Kazmi didn’t want to fight any more and were killed because of that. And… Bodnar has disappeared.
I really don’t like it when NCIS doesn’t catch the bad guy, but Bodnar has been identified so you know he’ll be caught eventually. It’s still unsatisfying and frustrating for now, but it must be even more so for the characters.
Both Vance and Ziva take time away from NCIS to mourn. Vance takes administrative leave to look after his children, whilst Ziva wants to return Jerusalem to bury and mourn her father. Tony sees her off and says “at lo levad” which translates to “You are not alone”. Ziva replies that she knows. She has finally accepted that, and pulls him into a hug.
I think I cried more in this episode than I did the last. I love NCIS for the continuity, but also because it shows the impact of death. In other shows, a character dies one second and is forgotten the next. NCIS still remembers Kate Todd, it remembers Mike Franks, it remembers all the dead and the deaths shape the living. Poor Ziva and Vance!
Did you suspect Bodnar straight away? What do you feel about Kazmi? Do you remember scenes that made you cry during this episode? Do you remember quotes that made you laugh? Do you have McFever? What are your thoughts on the new Director? Please, leave a comment with your TwoCents, even if it’s just that you need a hug (I certainly do).