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"If you're going through hell, keep going."

^ A quote from episode 13, and also delightfully applicable to my relationship with season 14 of NCIS. It has finally stopped sucking quite so hard? Most of the time?

14x12, Off the Grid: What a weird, boring string of scenes. Gibbs randomly dropped his phone/badge/wallet in a mailbox and ran off to resume a pre-series undercover alias that has no relevance to anything as far as I could tell; I have to assume Ellie's boyfriend died even though she's having no emotions about it except covert revenge planning; I tried to have feelings about Gibbs still using a plate that his daughter decorated but the entire plotline was about how Quinn felt bad for breaking it, so meh.
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14x13, Keep Going: This one got great fandom reception, to which my response was "lol sure like you're really going to make me care about Jimmy," but damn, this episode deserved its kudos. New season champ. Possibly just single-handedly validated the show's renewal.

It made me cry, for starters -- mostly because I was empathizing with the suicidal kid (I mean he was 27, but I'm going with "kid" due to his life circumstances), and this is usually how I make my fave fictional characters consider solving their problems when their life takes a turn for the devastatingly lonely. But even just the fact that they got me to identify that strongly with a random guest star is pretty good. I hope nobody slaps any wasting-firefighter-time charges on him.

Also, Dr. (!) Palmer really was great. I think they were all genuine clips from old episodes that they used, right? I feel like you don't hire Meredith Eaton for a flashback scene when you can use old footage, at least. What a cool way to shine a new perspective on those scenes. And just hearing Jimmy talk about how much he cares about his colleagues and admires Ducky and Gibbs -- oh, gosh, my heart.

AND THEN Gibbs made him come over to the basement for the express purpose of a (long overdue) hug. Life, complete.

I love that they gave us a character who's content with his life and his job just the way they are, even though he could advance his career if he wanted to. I love when they make me genuinely care about him as a character.  And I loved that the kid's dad died simply due to road rage, no complicated Navy mysteries and motives to unravel.

...I am not doing this episode justice because I can't even properly articulate how well done it was. GOOD WORK EVERYONE.
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14x14, Nonstop: Hey cool it's a boring airport storyline featuring Tony's Dad. Pa -- oh, all right, I guess I can tolerate him if brings THE SHERLOCKS: ROUND TWO. It was worth my while to watch it. Also, A+ to Gibbs' OMGWTF PLEASE SHOOT ME reaction to everything re: Senior's request to woo Gibbs' alleged ~former lovah~ Lucille Bluth.
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14x15, Pandora's Box: Abby finally gets a chance to shine and it's beautiful. I loved Ellie's raging jealousy that Abby gets recruited to work with Ellie's hero/professional crush, mostly because I like anything that makes Ellie mad these days, but I mostly loved Abby's crisis-of-conscience over being "bad," even hypothetically bad. Because even though she didn't consider the possibility, she in fact almost was bad, like murder bad. I loved her lil' disguise hoodie, and how weirdly delighted I am by the idea of Dept. of Homeland doing think-tank projects now that I associate it with Scorpion, and her sad little face waiting for Gibbs to explain everything away and just...everything. All the things (except her kindly mentor getting murdered himself). I didn't hardly even notice the new whippersnappers in the background.

Speaking of which, I would have watched part 2, but it seemed like they completely wrapped up Abby's storyline in part 1 and were only going to cross Torres and McGee over. And if you think I'm gonna sign on for Unnecessary Extra Torres without even a real cliffhanger to tempt me, you've got another thing coming.
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Also, a few days back I watched some of the s.13 DVD extras and learned that Gary Glasberg et. al. were planning to bust up Jake and Ellie literally from either the day they decided her character was married or the day they started writing Jake's first episode, so I hate everyone. HOW DID YOUNG GOD JAMIE BAMBER NOT CHANGE YOUR MINDS. Did you graduate from The School of Carter & Bays?

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In other news, since this is a discount TV post before night work sucks me away for basically the rest of the year, I stumbled upon some wildly adorable Shamy clips from 10x14 of The Big Bang Theory, and I may just perish of adorable.
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Finally: I know Tumblr has probably never watched Last Man Standing, but there is a really fun moment where Eve says "you seem to be listing good things in an angry tone," and I really think Tumblr should make it and use it in response to posts where people complain about shows having an excessive amount of gay people / diversity.

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