(This review includes some spoilers about the episode)
I really wasn't thinking on making an entry about this episode, but decided to give it a shot for several reasons. First, I'm a fan of the show, so it's unusual to have an unfavorable reaction to an episode. Second, with two previous glowing entries dedicated to NCIS, I thought that an entry that wasn't as warm would be fitting to counterbalance things.
So, first things first, the episode continues after the events of the last episodes, with everybody at the Navy Yard recovering from Harper Dearing's bombing. Recovery is something that seems to be on everybody's mind in the show, so the episode is aptly titled. From the get-go, you can see that everybody on the team is not "OK". Whether it's as obvious as Ducky's limp or Abby's nightmares, or as subtle as DiNozzo's "fake" smiles and jokes, Ziva's lost gaze, or Gibbs' lack of sleep. They even seem to be floating some sort of father/son conflict between McGee and his father that will probably surface at some point in the season.
So as the team tries to pick up the pieces, emotionally speaking, they must work the case of the murder of a co-worker that was killed during the aftermath of the bombing. In the meantime, they are required to complete mandatory psych evaluations with a crisis counselor (Steve Valentine).
First with the weekly case, I thought that the resolution of the crime was too convoluted and "pulled-by-the-hairs". All those bits with the Facility Manager that *somehow* had never appeared even though everybody knew her, and the fact that she ends up being involved in the crime was pretty weak. Second, I really wish they would give Ducky a break from the show. What I mean is, if they really want to instill in us the sense that Ducky isn't with the team anymore, then why not leave one or two episodes without him? His appearance in the crime scene, and later in the lab, felt shoe-horned and forced. Sure, it is on sync with what's happening and the overall theme of the episode, but it takes away the effect it might have on the audience to really "miss" him.
That said, I did like the bits with the shrink. At first I thought he felt too cliché, but as he talked with each character, I kinda liked the direction it went and that the character was a bit more dimensional than I felt he was at first. And finally, the reappearance of Abby's biological brother, Kyle, was cute, even if I wasn't crazy about it. I just think that the whole "recovery" thing with Abby didn't flow as naturally as it could. That said, the casting of Daniel Louis Rivas as Kyle was inspired. The guy is a dead ringer for Abby.
So, overall, I wasn't that crazy about the episode. It wasn't bottom-of-the-barrel bad, but it was fairly mediocre. Let's see if they pick up the pace next week. Grade: C
(All pictures belong to CBS and its affiliates)