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Moment of Goodness

Moment of Goodness: Ducky Profiles Dinozzo, NCIS “Secrets” 

I can’t stop thinking about this episode. While the case was just so-so and it managed to waste the talents of the great Ray Wise, I loved all the character development and the introduction of Tony’s ex-fiancée, Wendy, into the NCIS universe. Well, I mostly loved Wendy’s introduction. I thought the show went a little too hardcore on trying to continually remind us that Wendy’s a reporter. I guess being a reporter means she has an all access pass to being in everybody’s face and in everybody’s business. That was a little much for me but there was a lot of goodness present too.“Secrets” was a fun and thought-provoking episode. While I said the case was so-so, it did provide some fun, lighthearted moments. Loved the superhero thinking Abby was wearing a costume too; loved the fact McGee seemed like he could have easily been one of these real-life superheroes; and loved when Gibbs showed ICU some major respect by bowing warrior-style after the nerd vigilante took out the bodyguard/killer. I always think it’s great when Gibbs gets to show a fun side.

There was a lot of character development in this episode, mostly about Tony Dinozzo. I’m really enjoying learning so much about him this season. I think we’ve learned more about him this season than the previous eight combined. That goes with all the characters this season, actually. But we got a great big peek into Tony’s psyche in “Secrets” with the return of a woman from his past.

In “Baltimore,” we learned he was kind of a different guy before meeting him in the NCIS pilot. While he worked as a homicide detective, he wore casual clothes that included tube socks and he was engaged to be married. He seemed head over heels with this woman named Wendy. But, of course, the two never got married. We thought he ended things after he started at NCIS. We were led to believe he gave up his relationship for his job. Just like we thought back in school, Dinozzo bullied that kid and strung him up by his underwear. One of the biggest things we’ve learned about Tony is that he loves to rewrite moments of his life. To the point he actually believes it. It’s one of the things Wendy apparently told Ziva:

Ziva: “Appreciate the honesty. Actually, that is something Wendy mentioned about you. That you were one of the most honest people she knew.”
Tony: “Really?”
Ziva: “To others. She said the only person you lie to is yourself. Which she says you do a lot.”

I don’t really know how Tony got through this episode in one piece. Everyone was dissecting him. Don’t get me wrong. Everyone was supporting him, too. But it seems to me like Tony prefers to keep the real Dinozzo hidden from everyone. So, his friends and his former fiancée calling him on his s–t had to be difficult. Which brings me to what I feel is the Moment of Goodness from “Secrets.”

While there was no big Gibbs/Dinozzo scene in this episode, Gibbs did get to be a little bit of a puppet master. Vance assigned him to liaise with Wendy but he immediately turned her over to Tony. He made it his senior agent’s job to watch her and provide her with what she needed. Was Gibbs playing Cupid like Vance mentioned? Or was he just providing Tony with the opportunity for closure? At one point, Gibbs sent Tony down to Ducky to get intel on the victims. It was odd because usually Gibbs is the one to visit Ducky himself. But, you see, there was an ulterior motive at work here. Tony logging some serious face time with the medical examiner gave Ducky the perfect opportunity to use his profiling skills on this confused individual who is so tied up in knots, he can’t even eat (and that’s so not Tony). What resulted was a pretty great and insightful scene:

Ducky: “Tony it was very clear to me from the very first day that I met you that you were a man in pain.”
Tony: “I’m sorry I think you have me confused with someone else.”
Ducky: “No, you’re pain was as clear to me as Jethro’s. He lost Shannon, the one love of his life. And you lost faith in yourself for so many reasons. Jethro coped with his pain by repeatedly marrying the wrong woman, thus insuring that he would ultimately be alone and safe from heartbreak. You repeatedly chased the wrong woman. You’re alone because you never did, as you just said, put it all behind you.”
Tony: “When Wendy told me the night before we were supposed to get married that she was calling it off, I didn’t take it very well. We hadn’t spoken in nine years until yesterday.”
Ducky: “Well, perhaps fate has given you another chance at closure or something else.”
Tony: “It’s not fate. It’s Gibbs. Dude set me up.”

This exchange between the agent and the M.E. gave an incredible amount of insight into Gibbs as well as what Tony struggles to hide from everyone. He’s not the one that ended the relationship. Wendy did. I always suspected as much. After “Baltimore,” I wondered how he went from this guy in a totally monogamous relationship to a bit of a lady killer. Wendy called things off the night before the wedding! Poor Tony.

While Tony thinks he’s successful at hiding his true self, Ducky doesn’t buy it. I don’t know if any of his friends buy it. That’s why we’re getting more and more of a Tony Dinozzo that’s real. We still see the funny guy who loves to flirt and have fun at other people’s expense. But we also see the guy who’s thoughtful and introspective. Underneath he’s in a world of pain and he’s at an age where you can tell he wants to have something more in his life than just work. But maybe he doesn’t quite know how to get it. So I enjoyed the fact Ducky basically performed a psychological autopsy on his friend. He might as well have been laid out on one of the tables in Ducky’s lab.

David McCallum
and Michael Weatherly did a fantastic job in this scene. I’m so glad they got the chance to interact in a deeper way than they usually get to do. I actually rewound this scene a couple of times, it was so good. And the “It’s not fate. It’s Gibbs. Dude set me up” line was so awesome. This show needs to give us some more Ducky/Tony goodness in the future. Pretty please?

NCIS airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.

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