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NCIS “The Good Son” 

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Another week, another family member of an NCIS employee that’s in trouble with the law. We’ve seen this before. Tony’s dad, McGee’s sister and grandmother, Gibbs’ mother-in-law — they’ve all been suspects or have been somewhat involved in cases NCIS has investigated. This time around, it’s Vance’s brother-in-law. He was brought into headquarters on suspicion of killing a petty officer who was on leave and experiencing a serious amount of drama in his life shortly before he was murdered.

What was so sad about this particular case is that Vance’s brother-in-law was guilty. You could tell that the Director felt like he failed Michael. He had tried so hard to keep him out of trouble all his life, and ultimately, it wasn’t enough. Sometimes, you can’t save someone you love no matter how hard you try.

Gold Star Performance: Rocky Carroll

Director Vance is a force of nature. He’s dogged, dedicated, and has quite the temper. He’s the boss and everyone knows it — even Gibbs. Now, Vance knew he should have recused himself from this case. He was too close to it. Earlier this season, he made Tony sit out on his father’s murder investigation. But there was no stopping Vance.. At the end, when he realized his faith in his brother-in-law was misguided and that Michael actually did kill the petty officer, you could see some of the light go out in his eyes. Rocky did a fantastic job as he played out Vance’s heartbreak. There was that part where he just sat on the couch taking it all in and he just let himself feel it while his family was in the other room. Then his son came in and he pushed all the emotion away and just spent time with his son, someone who wasn’t a lost cause. It was a touching way to end this Vance-centric episode.

Character Development

Vance: We learned how Jackie and Vance have known each other for over two decades. Vance told Gibbs Michael was eight when he and Jackie met. Both of Jackie’s parents were already dead when they met. So, it was up to Vance to fill the parental void. He tried to steer Michael right. It was a big job that he took on.

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Tony: Besides his “too much talking” crisis, Tony revealed to Ziva that he and Wendy are no longer seeing each other. I’m a little upset about this. Why introduce her into the action, if it wasn’t going to go anywhere?

Moment of Goodness: Gibbs needs Dinozzo’s Yabba Yabba

I know this is a Vance episode, but there was a scene between Dinozzo and Gibbs that simply rocked. At the beginning of “The Good Son,” Tony had obtained a copy of his performance appraisal review from last year. While Gibbs made mention that he showed exemplary skills, he also said Tony talked too much in the field. That got the very special agent’s insecurities flowing. He tried to tame the Tony that we know and love, especially after Gibbs told him he was exhibiting “too much yabba yabba.” McGee had described it as thinking it was a mild case of Tourette’s. But Gibbs’ yabba yabba comment really got to Tony. So, he tried not to rely on his “process” of talking it out.

That is, until Gibbs asked him to. Tony was, understandably, reluctant to give his boss his thoughts:

Tony: “My thoughts? I thought you didn’t like my process — my yabba yabba.”
Gibbs: “Doesn’t mean I don’t depend on it.”
Tony: “Oh. Well, in that case the pizza guys are slimeballs. Thin crust beats deep dish every time. And every suspect in this case has an answer for everything. But one of ’em’s got to be lying.”
Gibbs: “Yeah, but which one?”
Tony: “I don’t know. It’s gonna take a little more yabba yabba.”
Gibbs: “Good. Go help Ziva and McGee.”

OK, I’m a sucker for whenever Gibbs validates Tony’s skills. And, yes, yabba yabba, is one of those skills that he’s relied on since the beginning of the show. Glad there’s a name for it now. Yabba yabba, it is. Oh and Tony’s right. Thin crust pizza does beat deep dish every time. He speaks the truth.

Soap Love Note: Eden Riegel

Eden Riegel guest starred in this episode playing Meredith Bilson, the dead guy’s girlfriend or should I say, ex-girlfriend. She ended up getting together with his best friend, which is the major reason why the victim was in such turmoil the night he died. Riegel is best known for playing Bianca Montgomery on the late daytime drama, All My Children. Her character was the daughter of the great Erica Kane. Her most significant storyline was when she came out as a lesbian. Riegel also starred on the number one soap, The Young and the Restless, as a recast Heather Stevens. Plus, she was the lead on a fun web series called Imaginary Bitches.

Other favorite scenes

  • Abby rambling when she finds Vance has joined Gibbs in her lab to find out what’s going on with the case. Abby can ramble on like nobody’s business.
  • McGee, Ziva and Tony have a little confab in that private area behind the stairwell or wherever it is. I don’t know why, but I love when they have conversations over there. It happened in “Cloak” as well other episodes, but they hadn’t had one there in a while. They met to discuss Michael’s sealed  juvie record which he hadn’t told Gibbs about. He had been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon when he was 14.
  • At the crime scene in the beginning of the episode, Tony’s trying to get his quiet on. Ducky makes note. It doesn’t last for too long, although every time Gibbs tries to get him to stay silent is pretty hilarious.
  • Tony tackling the shirtless Petty Officer Third Class Brian Smith. There isn’t enough action for me on this show. So when anything of the sort happens, I love it.
  • I also love any scene with Jackie and Vance. They share a nice chemistry. It was good to see Paula Newsome again.
  • The scene with Gibbs in Abby’s lab after she worked all night testing the knife that could have been the murder weapon was wonderful.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.

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