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NCIS “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

I don’t know about you guys but “WTF” is the first NCIS season premiere that I’ve really enjoyed since season seven’s “Truth or Consequences.”

And I know that this whole thing is setting up Ziva’s departure, but was anyone surprised that Cote de Pablo wasn’t in the episode at all? We heard her voice. And her character’s name was said a lot. And Ziva always seemed to be on Tony’s mind. And she wasn’t in the safe house, although it was clear that she had been there. I know they had major rewrites to do in the wake of de Pablo’s announcement/decision. But, still, I was shocked that she didn’t appear in this episode.

My many, many thoughts:

-I can’t believe another Secretary of the Navy is down for the count. That’s a dangerous job. See ya, Clayton Jarvis, we hardly knew you. Gibbs said Jarvis “did the job proud.” All I can remember is that whole fiasco that kicked off season nine and the whole Sean Latham/Casey Stratton/Phantom Eight shadiness. I really don’t like how he d–ked around Tony. So it was a little surprising to me to hear Gibbs say that. Vance, I’m not so surprised about. He and Jarvis were friends after all.

-I wonder who will step up to the SecNav plate next? I would have loved it if Tom Morrow returned to the job. But after the events of “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” — I’m not so sure.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

-It was good to see Colin Hanks’ character be redeemed a bit. Of course, he was going to come around and see the good ways of Gibbs and co. Almost everybody does. Who knew he would actually get to save Gibbs’ life while doing so? Personally, I loved how all of the Gibblets reacted to Parsons’ presence the entire episode. They just didn’t trust him and that was wonderful.

-That Abby can be snotty when she wants to be. It can be in an awesome way — like when she closed Parsons out. But when she met McGee’s girlfriend, Delilah, that was kind of uncalled for. I know there’s the McGee/Abby of it all, but she didn’t need to be so outwardly pissy with Delilah. I mean, Abby’s a nice person. Usually. So it really stands out when she’s not.

-More Ducky/Palmer awesomeness, please. They make a great team. Palmer is really coming into his own, don’t you think? I love me some Brian Dietzen. As Jimmy, he always looks like he’s having fun in his scenes. And we not only got to see him in autopsy being a little badass with Ducky, but we also got to see him up in the squad room manning the clicker. It was the return of DiNozzo and Black Lung as far as I am concerned.

-How much did we get to see Tony’s apartment in this episode? Yes, we saw Gibbs’ house too, but we always do. Tony’s apartment got major play. He communicated on the computer with Ziva. He was almost killed in his apartment when it was shot up. And my favorite Tony’s apartment scene had to be when a secret meeting with Tony, McGee, Vance and even Fornell was held there. Now, if we could just get Gibbs to show up at his apartment my life would be complete.

Shallow TV Alert: Gibbs in hat and scarf and that outfit in Iran = so hot. That Mark Harmon continues to be so handsome. And Michael Weatherly was ridiculously hot the entire hour. He certainly had a good summer hiatus. Wow.

-OK, I’m not the biggest Ziva/Tony fan. I think I’ve explained before that I used to be on board with these two as a couple but in more recent seasons, not so much. But I did enjoy their little computer chat that seemed to start setting up Ziva’s departure. She said she was in Tel Aviv, “Reconnecting. Thinking.” Yeah, that sounds like she could be making life-changing decisions. Tony’s “Count to a million. On my way” reply was cute.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

-I hope McGee’s girlfriend doesn’t end up dead or turn out to be shady. I think I’m validated in saying that, right?

-Boo to Allan Louis’ Captain Wayne being underhanded. Sure, it’s because he was being blackmailed but I wanted him to be a good guy. Louis is awesome. But his character turned out not to be. He cheated on his wife. And got blackmailed for it. Boo.

-This episode really spread the love among all the characters. When that happens and one character doesn’t completely dominate an hour — those are my favorite episodes. Even though Ziva wasn’t seen, her presence was felt.

-I love the way David McCallum talks. Go back and watch the way he says “It’s a bear claw.” It’s pretty awesome. Love the way he calls Tony “Antony” as well.

-I hope Tony’s piano didn’t get touched in the bullet-flying melee.

-We actually got a Tony/Vance scene. Kind of rare. More, please.

-Love Fornell coming to McGee’s rescue.

-It’s funny how NCIS always seems to find themselves targets, right? This time by some new terror cell led by some supposedly scary dude named Benham Parsa.

-Gibbs is doing the backslap with Parsons rather than the head slaps he does with Tony. And rightly so. Those head slaps are sacred.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

-Gibbs and Fornell scenes FTMFW.

-Can I just say that I love the way Gary Glasberg wrote Tony in this episode? He got to be his smartass self but in a mature way. Like the part where he had to turn to Adam Eshel — the man (gasp) Ziva slept with in season ten. In MTAC, Tony wanted his help to track down Ziva. He doesn’t like the man but he knew he needed his help. So he asked for it. Tony competence reigned in “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot.” The key here is if this version of Tony can remain the entire season. I don’t know that I have faith that it will.

-I have two “by the way” observations here. 1. I love the title of this episode. 2. How hot is the actor who plays Adam Eshel (Damon Dayoub)? Yes, another Shallow TV Alert. Sue me.

-They gave a guest star (Allan Louis) one of the phoofs into commercial. Totally cool with that.

-They better not kill off Fornell this year. The by Fornell’s car conversation with Gibbs was amazing. And it was a good sum up of their relationship. Don’t ruin it, NCIS. I love this friendship. But when people start talking all sweet to each other and the sappy NCIS music cue starts playing, I get worried.

-Vance doesn’t seem to be one of the targeted ones. Is that right? I didn’t see his pic in that Arizona location. Just Tony, Gibbs, Ziva and McGee. And then Jarvis, Morrow and that Mendez Anti-Terrorism Coalition guy (played by former Picket Fences star Costas Mandylor). Where was Vance’s photo?

-I liked this episode more than I thought I would. Go figure. Although, I thought we were going to get more Tony/Tim moments. Oh well. You can’t have everything.

FAVORITE LINES (courtesy writer Gary Glasberg)

Parsons: “If I’ve learned one thing, Gibbs, it’s that sometimes people do the wrong thing for the right reason.
Gibbs: “Speak for yourself.”
Parsons: “I am.”

Ducky (to Palmer): “Who needs security? Tie him up.”

Tony (to Kate): “Don’t give me the fish eye. I know what I’m doing.”

Vance: “And you were on your way to the airport.”
Tony: “A personal trip.”
Vance: “To Israel.”
Tony: “I’ll travel for good hummus.”

Tony: “Sir, instead of wasting Dorneget’s time, why don’t I just…hang around here, as a visitor, doing purely visiting things?”

Gibbs: “We’re on the next transport home.”
Vance: “Parsons, too?”
Gibbs: “What do you want me to do? Leave him here?”

Tony: “Show me what you got, Autopsy Gremlin.”

McGee: “Agent Fornell, this isn’t about your ex-wife again is it?”

Fornell: “A hell of a place for a meeting. Who lives like this, Martha Stewart?”
Tony: “Well, the towels are Martha. That’s it.”

Fornell (to Gibbs): “Well, well, how was the desert? They say it’s a dry heat.”

Parsons: “Look, I’m sorry about the uh…”
DiNozzo & McGee at the same time: “I want my badge back!”

Tony: “Thank you, Dick.”

Adam: “I thought you did not like me.”
Tony: “I don’t. But Ziva trusts you. So I’m gonna have to.”
Adam: “I’ll do what I can.”

Fornell: “Why are you walking me to my car? We breaking up?”
Gibbs: “If I could, I would. Unfortunately, I trust you.”
Fornell: “Well, the feelings mutual. So there you go. Somebody’s gotta slay the dragons. Might as well be us. Look, if this is gonna turn into a proposal, I’m just not ready.”
Gibbs: “How long did you know NCIS was in danger before you stepped in?”
Fornell: “As soon as I found out some jackass was hiring turncoats, I came to you. And I can only hope you’d do the same if it was me.”
Gibbs: “No matter how this unfolds, Tobias, I got your back.”

 NCIS airs Tuesdays on CBS at 8/7c.

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  1. Mike

    I agree with everything you said here. Although I do root for Tony/Ziva, I can’t disagree with your assessment that earlier would have been better. It sounds like you might enjoy our discussion of the show that’s starting up on TV Talk. Check it out, if you like:

    1. Tina Charles

      I’ll check it out. My sister just mention TV Talk to me…and thanks for reading.

  2. Joni

    If you’re going to be in my brain I’m gonna charge you rent.
    We agree on so much with “WTF” – loved the same things, right down to the dialogue you typed out. 🙂

    You already know my feelings on Tony/Ziva so I’ll stay quiet on that front.

    Thrilled that they redeemed Parsons and I hope we see more of him throughout the season.
    Hope too for much more Tony/Tim as the season progresses.

    Disappointed that the Gibbs/DiNozzo relationship seems to be all but gone but have hopes that it will return after next week. After 13 years together you’d think they’d be as thick as thieves.
    FYI: Gibbs was at Tony’s apartment in the Season X finale but not for a social visit, just on business.

    My sister is a recent convert to the show (thanks to USA) and she loves Ducky & Jimmy. We both remember David from “TMFU” so she was hooked by Ducky right away and Palmer right quick after that.

    Oh yes, Shallow Alert indeed. Mark/Gibbs rocked that Iran outfit. And though he doesn’t seem to agree, I loved the salmon shirt on Michael/Tony.

    Now for a slight disagreement: I didn’t like at all Abby being snotty over Parsons. She’s around 38 so it’s past time for her to act her age not a petulant 5 year old. I was glad when Ducky, at least, called her out on her behavior.

    Thanks for the write-up,


    1. Tina Charles

      Thanks for the heads up on the Gibbs in DiNozzo apartment. I can’t believe I forgot that. How could I do that? I’m going to have to go back and watch that again.

      I was so pissed at Abby being pissy over Delilah that I didn’t mind her being so snotty with Parsons. But, you’re right, she should know better.

      And I’m jonesing for some good Gibbs/DiNozzo scenes so much. There was NOTHING last season. This show has some serious making up to do. And pronto. Their quality scenes aren’t something I can do without. I’m going to need at least one every other episode.

      Michael looked great in the salmon. And I’m looking forward to BeardedTony! like nobody’s business.

      And you didn’t mention this but I can’t wait until they find a new SecNav. I hope it’ll be someone good.

      And I love the hotness of Tony and Adam (and of course Mark) in this episode. That just needed to be said again.

      Thanks for the reading and the agreeing and the disagreeing and the correcting. I really appreciate it.



  3. Joni

    The new SecNav has already been appointed and appears in “Past, Present and Future”.

    Joni 🙂

    1. Tina Charles

      Seriously? That quickly? Off to read the press release. I’ll be right back. LOL

    2. Tina Charles

      But she’s the President on Revolution! (Or she was. LOL)

      1. Joni

        Per Gary, she’ll be recurring. Maybe she can do both shows.

        I think this part of the story was kept intact after Cote’s announcement so I’m sure she was cast over the summer.


        1. Tina Charles

          I vaguely remember her being announced. I just totally forgot.
          And she’s done on Revolution so no conflict.

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