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Moment of Goodness

NCIS Moments of Goodness: Interrogation Scenes Rule in “Out of the Frying Pan” 

Photo Credit: CBS

I don’t know what I was expecting from “Out of the Frying Pan,” but I think it turned out to be a stellar episode featuring an intelligent story, excellent writing and plenty of great scenes that showcased its actors. It also showcased the great chemistry this cast really has. There were several Moments of Goodness as far as I’m concerned and they all begin and end with the episode’s interrogation scenes.

First of all, the target of these scenes was an 18-year-old teenager who looked like he was 12, he looked so young. Cameron Monaghan, who plays Ian Gallagher on Showtime’s Shameless, did a great job playing this conflicted teen (Nick Peyton) who may or may not have brutally killed his military dad.

Photo Credit: CBS

There were two, count them two, Gibbs/Dinozzo scenes where they tag-teamed the questioning of this teen. The good cop was Gibbs — after all, there’s no way he would ever not be on the side of a kid. He bonds with every single one that walks through the NCIS doors. Bad cop duties fell to Tony. Also, this was a brutal crime — the man who died was killed with an axe and some other blunt instrument. I loved the rhythm of the first interrogation when Gibbs and Dinozzo, in their respective good cop/bad cop roles, either buttered him up or went rough on him in order to get a rise out of the kid. After all, Nick had stayed strong during an interrogation by Metro Cops that went on for hours and hours. He was good though; for a while there he withstood this unconventional questioning. He refused to give anything up.

There were several scenes that took place in the interrogation room. I really enjoyed how hard the NCIS agents tried to get at the truth, even though they were trying to make a teenager confess. Like I said, it was a brutal crime, and if Nick was the one that did it, this case needed to be treated in an adult fashion. But I will admit to being uncomfortable at times with how hardcore they were with him. At least it was balanced with Gibbs’ more sensitive touch — and really how many times while watching this show can I say Gibbs was the one that was more sensitive?

The second Gibbs/Dinozzo scene where they again questioned Nick together was more successful, since by the end of the interrogation, he admitted he didn’t know whether he killed his father or not. Gibbs was eating the burger and offering the teen a shake. Nick had refused, saying he was vegan. However, they had proof he had been at a fast-food restaurant ordering a burger. Something else that was revealed during the course of the episode: Nick had a problem with pills, and he was most probably was high which is why he didn’t remember the events leading up to his dad’s death. Once again, Gibbs and Dinozzo teaming up made for wonderful TV. And I can’t express enough how great a job Monaghan really did opposite two worthy scene partners in Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly.

Later, it was Rocky Carroll‘s turn. We knew Director Vance had some sort of agenda he wasn’t telling Gibbs about. Under the guise of doing a favor, the director went at this kid much harder than Dinozzo did. Think how harsh Tony was in his interrogation scenes and then multiply it by a thousand. He brought an axe in, but really, who are we kidding, that wasn’t the only weapon he was wielding. No, Vance is a formidable presence and his anger can tend to run off the charts. He yelled at the kid, hitting him with inside information regarding Nick’s dad. Vance knew his dad had given up on Nick. This scene was extremely uncomfortable to watch. I just kept hoping and hoping that Nick didn’t do it. And then he confessed.

Photo Credit: CBS

But how great was it that Gibbs’ hunch won out in the end? He knew the kid didn’t do it, while Vance let his anger and his anguish over his friend’s death color his opinion. It was an 18-year-old kid! And I’m not saying things like that have never happened before, but all I knew is I wanted Nick to be innocent. And I loved that Gibbs believed in him.

Something else I loved about the case is that it wasn’t completely predictable. I had pegged the neighbor for the crime from the moment I saw him. But it turned out to be Nick’s messed up (and MIA) mom, played by Daphne Ashbrook (who I know best from when she was on the CBS soap Falcon Crest and FOX’s The O.C.). I really appreciated this unpredictability, even though it was sad the kid basically lost both his parents — plus, as we found out — his girlfriend/best friend. Those are blows that tend to damage you. Even though Nick was a bit screwed up and was in-and-out of rehab, I really think he’s strong as well. Wow, what a great case-centric episode.

I really appreciated everything this episode had to offer including anytime McGee and Abby shared scenes; Ziva and McGee got to work the case together; there was even a Tony/Vance scene in Observation that was great. I don’t ever recall Tony and Vance conversing as long as they did. As for Gibbs and Dinozzo? Anytime they were paired was simply awesome. Those two seem like they’re having fun so I definitely would like to see more. Hell, Gibbs called Tony “Skippy” and “Loverboy” in “Out of the Frying Pan.” Loved it.

So you can tell I really loved this episode. What about you guys?

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