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'NCIS' Recap Commentary: 'Legend: Part 2'

May 6th, 2009 9:46am EDT
NCISThe second part of this mediocre two-parter of NCIS begins with Ziva identifying Michael Rivkin (the man Ziva met secretly in the park in the previous installation) to Gibbs and the LA team. The new crew interrogates Rivkin… they are still two-dimensional even though the creators are desperately trying to suture them in via Callen (Chris O'Donnell) and Macy's relationships with Gibbs and then the Ziva/Moussad relationship. Macy's questioning of Ziva's loyalty to Gibbs is a transparent attempt to tie in her history (aka previous 'NCIS' episodes) to new viewers to force them to go back and catch up.

While this is a good marketing ploy to sell DVDs and digital episodes, this is an insult to fans who watch for their typically stellar continuity amongst the lead cast. Nate, the operational psychologist who teases Macy's history with Gibbs out of her, plays like a castaway from the set of 'Criminal Minds'. Using Gibbs' boat building hobby as a in-joke reference for regular viewers was a nice comic relief, a breath of fresh air in Los Angeles if you will, but just reminds the audience of what they are missing from typical episodes.

The return of the ridiculous touch-screen technology is somewhat acceptable because McGee is at the helm, but still outlandish for 'NCIS'. The episode is spending too much time with Callen, further highlighting O'Donnell's abrasive lack of acting skills… ooh, back to the DC office with Abby (who has taken residence of McGee's desk) and Tony, thanks to McGee finding out about Abby's previous search on Michael. Immediately the tone of the writing changes from bland to rich. Questioning about Michael's current disappearance turns back to Ziva's mysterious actions. Ziva and Tony fight about Tony's distrust of her relationship with Michael. The quick shot-reverse-shot editing captures the tension between the two- Ziva firing back at Tony, trusting Gibbs over him. Change over to Callen, finding out that Michael is also going as Nick, the boyfriend of Shakira.

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Post shootout, Gibbs finds Michael and tells him to leave- also telling him, "Ziva David? She works for me." Gibbs returns to the office, he and McGee leave for DC (on what I think is the same elevator used in season 2's closer, "Twilight" and season 3's opener, "Kill Ari: Part 1"). While I appreciate Callen going down before the spin-off even begins (fingers crossed it doesn't get green-lit), more surprising was the final shot of Ziva in bed with Michael… Well played surprise closer… I look forward to spin-off-cast-free episode next week- as long as the Ziva-Tony-Michael triangle doesn't remain set up as a worn, triangle melodrama plot.

Hopefully the last two episodes of this season will make this 'Legend' two-parter worth the anguish it has brought to its viewers. To make two episodes of 'NCIS' arguably more boring and ridiculous than a bad episode of 'JAG' is unspeakable. Also, I wish that CBS would realize that while casting a rapper (LL Cool J) works for Dick Wolf, it isn't a crime drama spin-off structural cast necessity- nor is casting (even for two episodes) the failed 'Batman' sidekick, Robin (Chris O'Donnell).

NCIS cast: Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Sasha Alexander, Pauley Perrette, Pauley Perrette, Alan Dale, Lauren Holly, Cote de Pablo, more

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McGee nicknames: McGenius, McGoo, Probie,
Tiva moments: 2
McAbby moments: 2
Ducky/Corpse Convos: sadly, none- and no Ducky appearance!
Gibbs' Slap: (mention of a possible first-time Gibbs-to-Abby slap)
Tony's Film References: again, sadly, none.

Overall Episode Rating: 1.5/5 and only because of brief, intermittent original cast scenes back in DC.

Sarah Lafferty
Story by Sarah Lafferty

Starpulse contributing writer