jueves, 27 de septiembre de 2012

Extreme Prejudice: NCIS Season 10 premiere

(This review includes spoilers for the episode.)

NCIS debuted its 10th season a couple of days ago with an episode titled "Extreme Prejudice". This premiere follows closely last season's cliffhanger, which left most of our characters in some kind of dangerous situation. To sum it up, Harper Dearing (Richard Schiff), an investment banker that held a grudge against the Navy for the death of his sailor son, had planted a bomb inside the Navy Yard. When the bomb exploded, Tony and Ziva ended up stuck inside the building's elevator, while McGee was injured by shards of glass while running out of the bullpen. Gibbs had run on time to Abby's laboratory to shield her from the blast. Meanwhile, in Florida, Ducky had been the only member of the team able to attend Palmer's wedding and, upon hearing the news of the explosion, suffered a heart attack on the beach shore.

So, season 10 begins with the hunt for Dearing, as the President orders the authorities to proceed "with extreme prejudice", which literally means "kill the guy". And so begins a game of cat and mouse between Dearing and the agents of NCIS and FBI. When Dearing apparently kills himself with a bomb, Gibbs doesn't buy it. After a brief visit by the recovering Ducky, and interrogating Dearing's sister-in-law, Gibbs decides to face Dearing alone. During a brief and tense face-off, Gibbs ends up stabbing Dearing when he goes up for a gun. The episode closes with Gibbs watching his "family" walking around the Navy Yard.

The episode had some great moments and some not-so-great. First, NCIS has a tendency to give simple resolutions to its own complicated cliffhangers. This was most notably seen after the season 7 finale, which had Gibbs facing his past demons, only to give a fast resolution to it on the season 8 premiere. This episode is no different. After the cliffhanger, we find out that - obviously - all of our characters are doing well. McGee only needed some stitches, DiNozzo and Ziva had some alone-time while trapped in the elevator, and Ducky was recovering from his heart attack.

Despite this simplicity, the episode, overall, was pretty good. I thought that seeing Palmer taking care of Ducky was a pretty good and touching moment. And the chase of Dearing was done well. However, I didn't like how they handled Tony and Ziva's moment in the elevator. I thought that their flirting at the end (him brushing her hair) felt forced and unlike them.

The end was, like I said, a bit simple for its buildup, with a quick face-off between Gibbs and Dearing. However, there was still a coldness to the moment that I thought was pretty neat, and felt like could carry some emotional baggage in the future. In a way, I would've preferred if Dearing didn't went for the gun, which would've made the kill more cold for Gibbs; and considering the President's order and Vance's green-light, I  thought they would do it that way. But still, the moment worked, and I liked how they drew a parallelism between both characters.

All in all, a pretty good premiere despite the mentioned flaws. Looking forward to season 10. Grade: B+

(All pictures belong to CBS and its affiliates)

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