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NCIS “Broken Arrow” Recap and Moment of Goodness Combo 

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS

Just watched my favorite episode of the season so far for the – no lie – fifth time; it’s not a surprise it features Anthony Dinozzo, Sr. considering his episode (“Flesh and Blood”) was my favorite of Season 7. Senior was in the mix of another crime; he was on the same private plane as the guy that ended up the victim; in fact they also shared a cab. So that made Anthony Dinozzo, Sr. the last one to see this Woody Iverson guy alive.

Robert Wagner returned for more fun, angst, women and some incredibly awesome scenes with both Michael Weatherly and Mark Harmon. Kind of like his last appearance. This time around he was an even bigger part of the investigation. Shades of Hart to Hart’s Jonathan Hart if you ask me – he was dressed in a cashmere tux attending a glamorous party with a beautiful woman by his side.

There were five key Senior scenes that gave me much joy:

Junior and Senior reunite at the bus station

“How’d you find me?” “I’m a federal agent, dad.” “That doesn’t give you the right to violate my privacy.”

The second we see Tony in “Broken Arrow” he’s acting different. In fact, throughout the entire episode, he’s twitchy and fidgety and at times child-like. I love having Dinozzo, Sr. in town because we get to witness a different side of Tony. After the senior federal agent finds out his dad was on that plane he’s instantly worried and then a little bit mortified to find out that his father was at a bus station. He shows up at the station with Ziva in tow. Senior’s surprised to see his son. It’s always interesting to see how Tony acts when he’s interacting with his dad. In this scene, he’s impatient and frustrated especially when he’s relegated to carrying Senior’s luggage:

“Junior, get my bag.” “Watch the hands. Let’s go!”

Senior and Gibbs in interrogation

 “I’m beginning to feel like a suspect. I don’t expect special treatment b/c I’m Junior’s father; and I accept that you and I will never be friends, Gibbs. But I don’t like your tone.”

Daddy Dinozzo has some ‘splaining to do and it’s Gibbs’ job to get the information out of him. We’ve already been through an interrogation scene between the two (see “Flesh and Blood”) so you know it’s going to be good. The Wagner-Harmon scenes are always great because their characters both do things on their own terms. It’s interesting to see who’s going to give first. But I definitely love the way Gibbs tells it like it is with Senior. And how Tony Sr. doesn’t back down just because he’s Gibbs. I also love the way that once again, Senior doesn’t sit down for the questioning until he wants to and he also holds back on some pertinent information until Gibbs confronts him with it. And while the lead MCRT agent doesn’t get the last word, he certainly gets the best:

“How I feel about you, personally? Is irrelevant. This is a murder investigation. And I’ll follow it wherever it leads.”

Senior and Gibbs at the Penthouse of the Adam’s House Hotel

“Is this some sort of game you two play? Have you ever just been honest with each other?”

Another scene featuring Harmon and Wagner and it couldn’t be better. Gibbs is trying to decide whether he made the right decision to include Senior in the investigation; he knows he did. Although, Gibbs also lets Senior know he knows about his precarious financial situation. Senior confirms what I think we all expected: he knows that his son is the one that paid for his hotel and his ticket to Monte Carlo to see Prince Al. So great.

Gibbs wants to know if father-and-son Dinozzo have ever been honest with each other. Here’s the thing. Gibbs has his own daddy issues. He and Jackson are notorious for their lack of communication. So I was not quite on board with the special agent questioning their relationship in this way. That being said, it is true. It doesn’t seem like the two have ever been honest with each other but that may be because they are never in the same vicinity. Don’t know if I believe Senior when he says this:

“There may be things that I haven’t told my son. But I have never lied to him.”

“Never” is a strong term. I’m thinking that “never” is not the word he should have used.

Junior and Senior at the Penthouse: Senior gets a tux

“You’re out of control!”

Robert Wagner and Michael Weatherly scenes are truly a joy to watch because the two kind of look alike; they’re both charismatic and they seem to relish the scenes they play opposite each other. It’s really perfect casting. Again, Dinozzo’s just acting weird and he doesn’t want his dad to be part of the sting. So he goes over to the penthouse. He starts off yelling at Senior but then gets a load of his cashmere tuxedo. Both Senior and Junior appreciate the fine things in life. But our Tony gets over it pretty quickly. He definitely seems worried that something will happen to his dad. It’s really cute. And it’s great how he doesn’t want his dad to embarrass him; that’s such a natural reaction to a parent that acts like Senior does. I really can’t believe Daddy Dinozzo doesn’t see a problem with spending so much of the government’s money.

“Dad.” “What?” “Please, I beg you. Don’t embarrass me.”

“Broken Arrow’s” Moment of Goodness: The final scene of the episode

The things that make this scene so freakin’ awesome and worth the price of admission:

This one scene lasted over four minutes long. One of my pet peeves about the final Gibbs/Dinozzo scenes in last season’s “Flesh and Blood” and “Obsession” was the fact they were so brief. Not so with this one. It was lengthy and completely satisfying.

Senior shows his concern. Tony Sr. sees Junior acting all fidgety and asks if he’s sick. I heard the concern. I’m sure after finding out that his son had the plague and he knew nothing about it; he wants to make sure he’s around should Tony get sick again.

Father and son actually communicate. Tony doesn’t know how to bring up his dad being broke. He can’t get the words out so Senior does it for him. He says it’s not a big deal it happened before. When he was in the second year at boarding school he filed for bankruptcy. “I’ll bounce back. I always do.”

And what do you know? Senior actually tells Junior he knows his son helped him out. And he’s grateful:

“You didn’t say anything. I appreciate it.” “Well, Dad, I didn’t know what to say.”

“We’re Dinozzos. We don’t communicate well.”

Tony wants to rewind to a time when they did communicate well. It was a fishing trip. “Just before mom died. You probably don’t remember.”

And then Senior takes a picture out of his wallet. It’s of the two of them from that fishing trip.

“I look at that picture every morning. It’s one of my fondest memories too. Okay, from now on, we talk.”

What an amazing moment. I don’t mind admitting I tear up every time I watch it. Robert Wagner and Michael Weatherly did an incredible job bringing the father-son Dinozzos to life.

The Guest Stars

There was more to the episode than Anthony D. Dinozzo, Sr. There were some other guest stars that caught my eye:

Bruce Boxleitner: It was good to see the Scarecrow of the classic 80s series Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Bruce is also about to hit theaters in the sequel to his cult 80s movie Tron. It’s called Tron: Legacy and it’s set to hit theaters December 17th. In “Broken Arrow,” he’s the considerably cranky Admiral Chase with a top government job. He’s the one that finds the dead body and when he unsuccessfully tries to steal the case from NCIS, he ends up working alongside Vance and Gibbs. Much like Mark Harmon, he’s quite the silver fox.

Cameron Daddo: I love this guy. I first saw him way back in the 90s when he was a series regular on the Melrose Place spin-off, Models, Inc. I loved that show I don’t care what anyone says. He also came on board the Pamela Anderson syndicated spy series in its second and final season and played a jerk vice-president on Fox’s 24. He was also the host of CBS’ short-lived reality show, Pirate Master. Anyway, he played the main bad guy in “Broken Arrow.” It was great to see him although I pegged his character as the bad guy from the very beginning. The episode didn’t really do that great a job with making us guess. It was sort of inevitable. And poor Cameron. He had to get his lights clocked out by Robert Wagner. Or is that an honorable thing to have happen? Anyway, I hope to see Cameron pop up on more TV shows. Hopefully, he’ll book another one soon.

Samm Levine: Have we seen Fred the cashier dude on NCIS before? I don’t recall. Samm Levine’s done tons of things but is arguably best known for being on the brilliant-but-cancelled high school comedy Freaks and Geeks. Wonder if he’ll end up making more appearances as the season continues? Sometimes the show likes to introduce a character to the group and eventually they get to be a big part of an episode like NCIS Intel Analyst Nikki Jardine. Speaking of Nikki, I wish she’d make a return appearance to the show. We haven’t seen her since Season 5’s “In the Zone.” Come back, Nikki!

“Broken Arrow” is a good guest-star heavy episode; and while the case didn’t quite fascinate me, it didn’t matter. It’s the character-driven portion that really made this episode a standout of Season 8.

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