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NCIS “Enemies Foreign” 

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

First Daddy Dinozzo made a triumphant return; now it’s time for Daddy Director David. Yes, Eli’s back, but this time he’s on U.S. turf. As we find out, it’s a pretty big deal. It’s the first time he’s been away from Israel in 12 years. That fact alone makes him an instant target. 

The Mossad Director’s return also means more family drama between Eli and his daughter, Ziva, whose recent history has been mighty unstable. Instead of the cashmere tuxes and martinis that accompanied Tony’s recent visit with his dad; Ziva’s time with her father comes with automatic machine guns and explosions. Kind of appropriate considering the volatile issues surrounding those two, don’t you think? I mean, Eli didn’t save his daughter from captivity, did he? Nope, she had Tony and NCIS to thank for her rescue.

Speaking of Dinozzo, he had a great line towards the beginning of the episode: “Oh good, the Israelis are back.” Not only did we get some more face time with Eli, but also with Malachi Ben-Gidon and Mossad Officer Amit Hadar , Eli’s right-hand man. Plus, we meet Mossad’s new Ziva; a tough chick named Liat. She and Tony flirt a little bit; Liat and Ziva clash a little bit; the two definitely size each other up. It’s funny this scene took place in the bathroom. Ziva likes to have her deeper conversations in the restroom although usually it’s the men’s room.

I wasn’t sure how I’d take to this episode considering we haven’t seen Eli since the end of Season 6 and we know his fatherly skills are suspect, at least as of late. The whole Ziva-Michael Rivkin business wasn’t exactly my favorite story but I did love Michael Nouri’s portrayal of Ziva’s dad. To this day one of my favorite Eli scenes is the Tony/Eli interrogation in Israel.

And once again Nouri didn’t disappoint. He was stellar. Eli stayed true to himself. He knew he’d be a target but it was important for him to get to D.C.; he didn’t want to be cooped up in a room so he made Gibbs take a walk with him and we saw how that turned out. Eli and Ziva didn’t really have a conversation until almost the end of the hour; it’s probably my favorite scene of “Enemies Foreign.” Ziva alludes to the fact she volunteered for the detail to protect her director (meaning Vance). Such a cold thing to say but appropriate considering how angry she is with him. He’s frustrated because he wants to be part of her life and she’s cut him out so completely.

“That’s all you’re going to say to me?” “What is the point? I know this face. You made the same one when I told my brother he could not buy you a pony.”

A pony? The look on Ziva’s face is the result of something much worse than not getting a pony. She went through hell when she was captured. To this day, we don’t even know how bad it really got. I couldn’t believe Eli likened her facial expression as to the time she didn’t get a pony. For me, it’s hard to sympathize with Eli, until he said this:

“I have no feelings? There was a time, Ziva, when I was quite different. When my house was filled with the sound of children laughing. You and Ari and Tali. There was a time, Ziva.”

The worst thing in the world that can happen to a parent is to lose their child. And he has lost two of them; and almost lost a third. Are we to believe that Eli did nothing to try and rescue his daughter? He says to Ziva that he has to put the safety of Israel first; so does that really mean he couldn’t go after her with everything he had? I’d actually like to find out more about that time. Just another conversation – I hope we get something in the second part. There’s a lot not to like when it comes to Eli; it’s easy to forget he is human. But that moment is emotional and really heartbreaking.

Eli’s scenes with Gibbs are good too but I’m always interested when Eli and Vance converse. The two share a past and we’re about to find out what all that is so I’m looking forward to the second episode of this two-parter, “Enemies Domestic.” Eli said something very perplexing to the NCIS director: “They are all here Leon. I have delivered you each and every man and woman everyone who knows everything. Now you must be courageous and learn the truth.” What does that mean?

Is this my favorite episode of the season? No. That honor goes to “Broken Arrow.” But I do think that we needed to see Eli again because the story needs to have an ending. Ever since Ziva was rescued I have been wondering when she and her dad were going to meet up again and what they were going to say to each other. “Enemies Foreign” hasn’t satisfied me just yet on this front, hopefully in “Enemies Domestic” we’ll get a little more father-daughter drama. And action too. Love the action.

Random Thoughts

– I love the justice in that girl getting tagged for identity theft and her coming up on the terrorism watch list. That will hopefully scare her in to never doing that again.

-I still love how McGee is such a futuristic tech geek and Tony’s so old school.

-I’m slightly disappointed Gibbs didn’t say Malachi’s full name at all. Remember when we met the character in last season’s “Good Cop, Bad Cop?” The way Mark Harmon said this character’s name was completely brilliant. It’s like he drew out each syllable – it was beyond awesome. I want to hear it again. I may have to break out my S7 DVD.

-In one episode Tom Morrow and Jenny Shepard were mentioned. Since the meeting Eli was in town for brought together former NCIS directors, I thought for sure we’d see Morrow. I guess Alan Dale, who went on to The O.C., Lost and Ugly Betty, among other projects, was busy. Boo. I really would have loved to have seen a glimpse of Morrow.

-We see Catherine Dent (The Shield) and Michael O’Neill (the shooter in last season’s Grey’s Anatomy finale) as Former NCIS Special Agents Whitney Sharp and Riley McCallister. They didn’t have much to do in this one. Can’t wait to see them in action in “Enemies Domestic.”

-Tony got to speak a little Italian. Sexy.

-I don’t know how Pauley Perrette does it. She and Mark Harmon spent two minutes straight in Abby’s lab talking about the clues of the case. That’s all exposition right there and she always pulls it off and sounds like she knows what she’s talking about.

-What did the note say that Gibbs gave Abs?

-So happy to see Hadar. I don’t know why but I was. But did they kill him off? Whatever.

-I can’t make my mind up about this conversation between Malachi and Tony:

“Am I sensing something between the two of you?” “Nothing serious.” “You haven’t slept together then…” “Well of course we are sleeping together it’s just nothing serious.” “Oh…I gotta get back to Israel.” “Next year in Jerusalem, my friend.”

Malachi and Tony weren’t what you’d call civil last time Ben-Gidon was on the show were they? I remember something about Tony taking a little pleasure in some pain inflicted on the Israeli operative. And Tony didn’t seem happy to see him in this episode and was a little short with him at first. But when talking about Liat, they seemed like good buddies. Weird.

-I’d have loved to have seen a Tony/Eli scene. Considering the last time they met Tony got the best of the director.

-Abby advises Ziva to talk to her dad. I really have to say that it’s not any of Abby’s business and she needs to let things happen in their own time. If Ziva wants to talk to her dad she will. There’s a lot of baggage these two have to sift through. Abby brings up her late father again. And while I definitely want to hear the whole story, I’d like Abby to cool it on the father front. She already said the same thing to McGee in “Broken Arrow.” I understand where she’s coming from, but not everybody’s the same. I want to like the Abby/Ziva scene but I can’t totally sign off on it.

-It seems like we’re about to get a couple origin stories. I still would like to see how Tony and Abby came to NCIS. Just saying.

-And I’m almost through with all the daddy issues on NCIS. How about some mommy issues?

-Love Eli jonesing over the peanut butter-filled pretzels. Those things are awesome.

-McGee finding that remote machine gun was scary. I liked McGee in this episode.

-It was weird Tony was as exasperated as he was when he reported the brouhaha to those present at the review conference. But I loved the applause line so much.

-I enjoyed the action in the episode. I’m an action-loving gal. The more the merrier. I don’t understand why there’s not more action on this show.

-Did McGee and Tony not look hot in their coats? Yes, I’m shallow.

Favorite Lines

“You should still be terrified of my kind.”

“People mature must faster these days, McGee.” “Present company excluded.”

“Tony.” “Ninja senses, tingling?”

“Oh good, the Israelis are back.”

“You’re very uh…tongue in ear.” “She means tongue in cheek.” “Don’t put words in the girl’s mouth.”

“You’re fluent in chicken scratch, perhaps you can make out this scroll. Maybe some sort of acronym?”

“Did I just give you a clue?” “That’s what you do, Abs.”

“Not every director.” “No. Not Jenny Shepherd.”

“Is this a witch hunt, with you wearing the pointy hat?”

“God, I like Phoebe Cates.”

“Tim. Amit. Palindromic pals.”

“I don’t think a round of applause would be too out of line. It’s a joke.”

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