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NCIS “Shabbat Shalom” 

Photo Credit:CBS
Photo Credit: CBS

For those who have watched NCIS from the beginning, there are certain episodes that were so fantastic that you never forget them.  The ones for me off the top of my head are “Twilight” where Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander) is murdered or “Judgment Day” where Director Shepard (Lauren Holly) is killed.  But, tonight’s episode definitely will become one of those episodes as well, as I am betting it will be for a number of viewers.

The only clue the promos gave us was that Ziva’s (Cote de Pablo) father, Eli David (Michael Nouri), had come back to Washington D.C. unannounced, and as someone who has never trusted the man, I, and probably most of the viewers, assumed it was for less than honorable reasons.  He is the leader of the Mossad, had killed numerous times before, and immediately, it was suspected he was in the U.S. to assassinate a high-level Iranian diplomat who was visiting the United States for the first time.  However, the opposite turned out to be the case.

To our amazement, Eli David had started to grow a conscience, wanted to do something good, and ultimately, gain redemption with his daughter.  The reason he came to D.C. was to attempt to make peace with the Iranian diplomat, which had to be done secretly of course.  So, he turns to NCIS, and specifically to Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) for help in making that possible.

As with so many NCIS episodes, we often have an unrelated homicide case, which sometimes end up being a sideshow to a much bigger personal drama – in our case, the arrival of Eli David and his attempted reconciliation with his daughter.  But, what makes this particular episode in my opinion absolutely perfect is that both the case and the personal side of the episode are intertwined. The victim in our case is a journalist that had been working on a story on drug use in the Navy.  On the surface, the case appears to be pretty boring and completely unrelated to everything else that is going on.  But, the NCIS writers threw us a curve ball, because it just so happened that the journalist recognized Eli David at the airport, and so, to make sure that this writer did not reveal that he was in the United States, Eli David kills him.  Holy freaking crap times 100.  Very few NCIS episodes have made a connection like this, which is why if I had to give it a rating, it definitely would be an A+.  The irony is by killing an innocent man, all of the good Eli was trying to do and prove himself to Ziva went out the window, ending with probably the most powerful quote of the entire episode:

               Because you are right – your sins are too great – Ziva to her father

But, the real drama came at the very end of the episode.  As we neared the end, I had a sinking feeling that something was going to happen to Eli and sure enough, I was right.  An assassin fires into Director Vance’s home while the family is hosting dinner for Eli and Ziva, and Eli is killed at the scene.  To make matters worse, Director Vance’s wife gets caught in the cross hairs and is killed too.

Photo Credit:CBS
Photo Credit: CBS

That ending scene with Ziva sobbing over her father’s lifeless body brought me to tears, and I applaud Cote de Pablo’s performance.  All her father wanted was to get his daughter’s love and respect back, and the last words she said to him before he died were angry words.  I can’t imagine the guilt and regret that must have been going through her mind.

But, next week – it’s time for revenge.  The assassin kills himself before NCIS can identify him, but one thing is for sure, Ziva is on a warpath to find her father’s killer.  I think this is going to be a very interesting episode and how Gibbs will handle it, given his own history.  We all remember the revenge he relentlessly pursued against his family’s killer, and then, again, against Ari, who had murdered Agent Todd.  Gibbs has been Ahab and chased that big white whale many times on his own.  Will Gibbs allow Ziva to start her own personal war against whoever killed her father, knowing full well what she is going through emotionally?  Or, will he do his job and force her to back down?

Regardless, you definitely don’t want to miss next week’s episode.Part II of this NCIS episode titled “Shiva” airs next Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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  1. Jeff

    My question is how does Vance come back from this? There are political waters that are going to be choppy. Why is the head of Massad at his house and not officially in the country? The personal demons will be even worse. Who is going to take care of the children? How will he ever forgive himself for his wife’s death? I could see him resigning or taking lots of time off to recover.

    1. Mary Powers

      I completely agree. Not to mention, we had the earlier drama at the beginning of the season with the bomb being put in his car and causing the explosion at NCIS. I haven’t heard that Rocky Carroll is leaving the show, but it wouldn’t surprise me….

    2. LR

      Not to forget the issues that started to surface a few years ago after he was injured in the bomb explosion with Eli at the safe house (and the subsequent attempt on his life by a passed-over NCIS honcho). After these incidents (and the former North Korean spy that Vance’s wife ended up shooting in their home), I wouldn’t be surprised if Vance resigned to protect his kids and himself.

  2. Shelly

    I totally agree about de pablo’s performance. In my opinion it was absolutely emmy-worthy times about a million. Part of the reason it is so extremely moving is that ziva is usually so very reserved, emotionally. To see her cry out like she did and weep openly we get a sense of her love for her father and maybe the depth of her remorse. Legendary performance.

  3. Bobbo Gary

    Is this similar to how the X-files started to wrap up long term story arcs during the final two years of the show?

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