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February 2016: The number of mental blocks I have on TV right now is RIDICULOUS. I need to undam some of them if it kills me. I AM STRONGER THAN HEART-HURTY TELEVISION.

Except I'm not, because after getting through several more episodes, #9 took me out on March 11th. Back up the heart-dam went and stayed there, until I finally gathered the strength to tear down another section of it. Thus, having sat on this title and cut text for far too long, I present an incomplete and emotional commentary on 13x09, "Day in Court," after which I'll have a follow-up post to discuss the other details of the ones I skipped over.


Previously on Rainbow Stevie's NCIS reviews: Episode 5 tried to punch me in the face re: the Bishop marriage again, which at this point is like, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS THING PLEASE STOP. The only acceptable reason to do such a thing is to restore it to happiness in a spectacular firework explosion of Communication Is Key, Love Conquers All. NCIS does not have a good track record of doing this, and if they're going to change their tune with anyone it's clearly being squandered on McGee.

Right after watching episode 5, I thought I had read in a review that "Jake gets blown up" in episode 6, and I was pretty peeved about going through YET ANOTHER round of "marriage suffers pointlessly before husband bites it." So when that ended up not happening -- even though Delilah and McGee had annoyingly commandeered the Communication Is Key, Love Conquers All trope in that same episode -- and we got to experience every inch of Ellie's anxiousness and complexly tangled ball of emotions about that anxiousness, I thought maybe the point of the strife was to give us a thank-god-you're-alive perspective from which to recover, reevaluate the important things and come out stronger than before.

Episode 7 gave us nothing but a tight-lipped Bishop refusing to elaborate on anything beyond "Jake's fine, that's all that matters." OK, I thought. Not exactly the thank-god-you're-alive epiphany I expected, but then again, the marital strain has been around for a while. Perhaps the writers are playing a real long game and we'll get to see them come back from the brink over the course of a long arc.

And then came episode 9. Boy, that was a punching bag. And not even all my mental preparations quite prepared me for a straight-up cheating confession.

THAT IS THE WOOOOOOOOORST. I mean, best, in how it was handled -- everyone reacted exactly how I wanted them to react in the moment, so the best under the circumstances -- but the woooooooooooooorst idea in the first place. You know how rare established marriages are in television for main characters, right? And you do remember her husband is Young God Jamie Bamber? Why would you play it dirty like that.

I felt my heart break in tiny pieces as Ellie The Good, Ellie The Saintly, so readily brushed off the worst case scenario and naturally concluded that he must be in trouble at work with the NSA's version of Internal Affairs (p.s. watch for falling irony) -- and that everyone around her accepted this explanation -- because he's her husband and a generally upstanding guy and this behavior makes no sense and I don't understand why television so loves going "haha, no one suspects...THE UPSTANDING GENTLEMEN! *switches tunes* Everyone's a cheater in their own way...in their own, CLEARLY SUPER REALISTIC way..."

I loved that Jake finally just blurted it out because the thing with upstanding gentlemen is that they at least own up to their selfishness at some point, and feel significantly less guilt about lying by omission than continuing to betray someone who's openly stated their trust in their fidelity.

I love that Ellie tells him to shut up and starts walking out the door without waiting for the rest of whatever half-assed explanation he's about to give. I love that he goes right into apologies and self-reproach and "you don't deserve this" (damn right she doesn't), and that she doesn't respond to this with anything except more deadly-quiet anger, which has eclipsed any sense of tears or grief, at least in the moment.

I love that the second her teams asks if she's OK, Ellie throws it all right out there in the open, because among the things she doesn't deserve is having to pretend she's still fine when her world just blew up on time delay.

And that her team immediately circles the wagons so now we've got THREE men not only protecting and supporting her, but roundly scorning one of their own for being an embarrassment to their sex. I love that Jake is so wrong in thinking he might actually get any kind of sympathy by trying the please-let-me-apologize routine.

Tony: It's not smart coming here. I think you should leave.
Jake: Look, I get that you're upset, but she is my wife.
Gibbs: Then treat her like one.

My particular favorite is when he tries to appeal to Gibbs, banking on their past connection, and Gibbs is just like "lol no you may not be loyal to your wife but I am."
Jake: Come on Gibbs, you know me. You need to understand --
Gibbs: Understand what? You cheating on Bishop?
Jake: I never wanted this to happen.
Gibbs: Get your head out of your ass, Jake.

BURN!

I even loved that Ellie chose to leave. Normally I''m all for kicking the guy out ASAP, but in this case, I really thought that she needed to leave -- just get away for a while to somewhere that will make her feel better, without a real goodbye. And that she needed to tell him not to follow, because she has to come to terms with this on her own.

Not even my hatred of whiny Sam Smith-remnisicent "Say Something" could stop me from crying as it played over an ending montage and a voiceover letter. You wear that shearling jacket and you wear it proud all the way to mighty Oklahoma, Queen Eleanor, and don't come back until you're good and ready.**

And that's where I have been dwelling for months, unwilling to move forward without processing it but equally unwilling to think about it. I have managed to avoid all spoilers as to what happens with them next, powered by the hopeful lie that reconciliation's just around the bend. I'm going to make another post shortly that discusses other details of the past 4 episodes, and then hopefully, maybe, finally, at last, I will have something fun to watch again??

**Apparently she's not actually taking a leave of absence from the show, though, as I just learned two minutes ago that the next episode's summary includes "meanwhile, Bishop returns home to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving." Ugh, I'm not gonna get any kind of break, am I? This show is gonna block itself right back up the minute someone references that poor ruined marriage.

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