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Break Time Now

This paper is insanely difficult to write, to the point where I have, oh, maybe 3 sentences after having tried to force the material from our resources into my brain for several hours before giving up and doing other homework.  The International Criminal Court is stupid and horrible and boring, and even though I managed to claim the section where I talk about why countries are for or against it, rather than detailing its complex history or describing its current process and target cases, it's all pretty much over my head.

So I outlined my English presentation and then took a 2 or 3 hour break to write this instead. I think it was time well spent:
'NCIS, 5x13, "Dog Tags"
I have no idea what case the team was working on that made their dead suspect important, and I skipped through half those scenes, but that’s okay, because the dog storyline was EVERYTHING.  As much as I liked Kelly’s friend, and Gibbs’/Jenny’s interaction with the little kid, this is officially my favorite episode of season 5.    

It just makes me incredibly happy, knowing that Pauley Perrette is a huge animal lover in real life, the way they handled this episode.  Very pro-animal all the way, no characters claiming they hated dogs, and nobody clamoring to kill the evil creature as quickly as possible - contrary to how the media just loves to tell you about how vicious dog attacks are on the rise.  That did my heart a world of good, especially since when it started with McGee SHOOTING IT, I got worried.  I know it was busy gnawing on his arm, but still!

And yet, in addition to Abby being all over the soon-to-be-known-as Jethro (EXCELLENT name indeed) with cuddles, we had nice callback to McGee looking for a dog of his own, and Jimmy once being a vet's assistant, Ziva and Jenny both being soft-hearted, and...well, Tony just making jokes about Cujo, but he wasn't actively anti-canine.  Gibbs was the most callous one, and that's just how he is.  Frankly I'd have been more worried if he *had* warmed up to the dog.

...I kind of just want to make this post say "ABBY + DOG = ULTIMATE WIN" in giant letters and be done with it.  *struggles to be coherent*

As you may or may not know, my own dog is a Shepherd mix, so even though I wasn't that big on the breed before we got her, I now have a special attachment to all German Shepherds, and this guy was no exception.  Such beautiful thick fur, soft brown eyes, and the most endearing face, I wanted to go home and hug my dog so badly.  I could not get enough of his scenes, and so was glad he had tons of them.  Literally, EVERYTHING with Abby and Jethro was golden, starting with the way she turned her wrath on McGee for shooting a cute little dog.  (McGee: "He's not cute and little!  He's, he's, he's vicious!  And large!" Dog: *is busy makin' yer head explode from chin-on-paws cuteness*)   

The only qualm I have in this episode, though, is that when a dog has just attacked your colleague...no matter how innocent it appears, you probably should not immediately unmuzzle it with no restraint of any kind.  Even if it seems like a gentle dog, you don't know what kind of trigger might set it off.  (Why yes, I am thinking of a certain CSI episode, and yes, because of that I did suspect a ringer dog as the true killer from the beginning).  And dogs do kill people, Abby; not often, but it happens. 

But I forgave that because Butch/Jethro's sad little whine and slurping of Abby's hand was so cute.  I just love the entire scene in the garage, and how her concern for McGee's wounds abruptly pales in comparison to the plight of an animal, and then evaporates completely.  That is so Abby.  ("Gooood dog.  *turns* BAD McGee!")

Scene 2: "  Who's a good Jethro?" Oh my God, I don't know who's more adorable; Jethro's head-duck and noise of protest as she takes a DNA swap, or Abby baby-talking while ruffling his shiny, clean fur.  The dog is such a natural fixture in her lab; I love how he follows obediently at her heels.  And Abby with her arms wrapped around him might just have to become one of my new icons.  I barely had any room left over to comprehend the fact that this was a Gibbs/Abby scene as well, though I did like his half-hidden smile when she earnestly explained why she'd named the dog after him.  

Like I said, I really didn't expect Gibbs to react any other way.  As much as he indulges Abby, he also knows when to rein her in; "Dog belongs in a kennel" is a good example of that.  And it probably was in her best interests not to get too attached to the dog.  See, even while he's doggedly (sorry) pursuing a case from an objective standpoint and has no use for sentiment, he's looking out for her.  

Scene 3: Doggy dancing! Oh my God, my life was not complete before I saw Jethro sitting up on his haunches, front paws being held up in the air and waved about by Abby to the music of "The Dog Song."  You just know Pauley had a fantastic time with all this.  And once again, I have to point out how the dog just fits seamlessly into the lab.  Stupid doom-bearing Ducky.  I love that while Gibbs & Ducky are (if somewhat apologetically) going with whatever they see in the first round of evidence, Abby sticks to her gut and refuses to concede until she can prove the truth beyond a shadow of a doubt.  

Scene 4: Wild runaway Jethro!  Oh man, Abby's car is even more awesome than her 4NS CHIK license plate.  And such a good dog, even though I'm not sure what compelled him to go running off to dig up the other dog's body.  Abby covering his eyes for him!  AWWW.

Scene 5: Abby barricading herself in the lab with Jethro was awesome.  And I love that Jethro hunches down and growls at McGee.  Completely picking up on Abby's mood; I love the instant bond they've formed.  Also:
"Abby, don't make a scene."
"Too late, McGee!  I am in full Scene Mode!"

Scene 6: Nothing, however, was greater than Jen coming down to talk to Abby.  I love the latter's wary look upon seeing her, because she can bully her team members and cajole Gibbs, but she can't be quite so dismissive of the Director.  But Jen - oh, Jen; I lover her more than words can express after seeing her crouch down to pet Jethro.  That is the sweetest thing I have ever seen, especially because even though she took up the same position as everyone else, she wasn't dismissive or cold about it.  I think she would have been happy if Abby had gotten him off the hook.  And when she was the one to notice that he wasn't looking good...well. 

Also, I feel like her little speech about having to "look at the reality in front of you and accept it" will be greater after future episodes, when we know what she's talking about.

Scene 7: Dr. Mallard, ER vet extraordinaire!  Complete with sternly ordering near-hysterical Abby to calm down.  Alas, this is where I plunged into sudden depression and became certain the poor dog was going to die.  When they sewed him up, I had to do a little squee dance.

Scene 8: The ending!!  Aww, more adorable cuddling with the puppy dog, for one.  And Gibbs' soft spot coming to light, because of course despite everything he'd said before, once the dog was cleared, he was going to try and make Abby happy.  And what would make Abby even happier than Caff Pows?  Getting to keep her new best friend.  I should have known he'd try to pull strings for her.  I'm a little surprised they agreed, though, given that he's a highly trained dog in the prime of his life.  Maybe they figured it wasn't really a loss since they were going to write him off anyway.

And while I'm rather sad that he can't just hang around the lab forever, or even be waiting for Abby at home, I'm delighted that Abby used her considerable charm/deadly powers of persuasion to make McGee keep him instead.  This is great!  I'm so happy they gave a good resolution to that McGee-looking-for-a-dog storyline they introduced last fall.  And her telling Jethro he had to be the bigger man before he offered his paw to shake...lol.  

Many Other Things
Ducky: When did you last have a tetanus shot?
McGee: Probably after that time Dicky Newsome and I were fighting over the galactic hunt Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Tony: So, last year sometime? 

-Ziva, oh Ziva.  Is it possible to love her more than I do?  I didn't think so, but then she was all gentle with the poor bleeding dog, and glaring at Tony's insensitivity.  "It is not an it or a that, it is a he, and HE is in pain."  She is so an animal lover.  I renew my belief in my personal canon that she has an adopted stray cat.     

-And go Ducky for being swift with the painkiller shot.  :)  Seriously, this is the point where I forgot the spoilers and suddenly feared somebody was about to put it out of its misery with a bullet to the brain.  

-The dog-related puns were out of control in this episode.  Yet they were brilliant.

-Loved Tony snapping pictures of Ziva's rear, swiftly followed by Gibbs headslapping him for said inappropriate behavior.  Also loved Ziva later giving Tony's behind a light swat with her file folder for his "I know, see if one of them barks" quip.

-LOVED Jen's hair up in the clip; pretty and bouncy.  Her hair has been fantastic lately.  

-And her scenes with Gibbs were phenomenal, most of all the elevator scene, especially because he really sounded concerned when he asked "Are you sick?" Ohhhh, I love their dynamic and I shall miss it horribly when it's gone.   

-I may have suspected two dogs, but I never suspected Erica would be the one behind it.  She really seemed like the perfect mix of dog lover and dutiful soldier, knowing it had to be done but still reluctant to have to collect the dog with intention of putting him down.

-"He's my personal McMuse."   HEE.  
-"Probie-Wan Kenobi."  ALSO HEE.

-------

The Office: Night Out
Well, that was horrifically uncomfortable.  Let me put it this way: I need a new skin, because I just crawled out of mine.

The first third?  It was kinda funny.  It had promise.  In retrospect, peanut butter in Michael's hair was not nearly so funny as my laughter led my roommate to believe, but I was giddy and hopped up on Jam, so I was in a forgiving mood.  And Ryan's increasingly manic behavior brought this slow-spreading smile of joy to my face.  But starting with the locked gate, it was just one long, sad slide downhill.  OFFICE.  I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO STOP SUCKING.

The Good:

-RYAN!  Beloved 3rd/4th favorite character!!  Oh my God, I have missed him so, so much.  I have even missed Kelly throwing a hissy fit every time she sees him.  What's that Desperate Housewives line I like to quote, about the opposite of love not being hate, but indifference?  *has still not given up on hope of Ryan/Kelly*
 
And as I was trying to figure out why Ryan was suddenly happy to see Michael, my thoughts went like so: "Drunk.  --> Very drunk.  --> Should possibly be checked for alcohol poisoning soon drunk."  Then we saw his fingers twitching, and it was like "OK, forget drunk.  He's on speeeeeeeeeed!"  /obligatory Wilson voice. 

But for as funny as it all was at first, by the end of the night when he's a haggard, half-delirious train wreck, my heart just ached.  I don't like seeing him all battered and messed-up with nobody but Michael and Dwight and a drug-pushing hobbit for company.  Clearly he is so miserable about rejecting Kelly that he has to drown his pain in drugs. 

Seriously, though, what does that job in New York DO to you?  I didn't give a fig about Jan's downward spiral.  But it sucks watching it happen to Ryan.  I miss the poor little owl-eyed temp whose only problems were a girlfriend trying to get married and/or pregnant and a boss sexually harassing him. 

"I told you, I have the number that rings *here.*  Do you want that number?"  Oh my God, they're even kind of cute when they're squabbling.  See, see, totally married already. 

The Amazing:
-Jim & Pam in the opening scene.  Because they are generally amazing whenever they talk to each other, particularly if he's hanging out in front of her desk. 

-"I'm not single."  I've rewound this more than any part of the whole episode, just because I love Jim's rolling nod towards the window as he answers Michael's incredulous "Who're you dating?!" query with "Pam."  And yeesh, I know Michael is clueless, but WOW.    

-Pam asleep on Jim's shoulder!  I squeed all the way back to season 1.
 
-I interpret Jim's expression after Toby runs out the door as "Was I that creepy?  I was never that creepy, was I?  Please tell me I wasn't."

The Bad:
-As soon as Jim claimed to have a good idea, I knew this was going to end very, very badly.  You see, the last time Jim had an idea, he turned into Michael.  Jim turning into Michael was so uncomfortable and unfunny that I couldn't even bring myself to review the episode.  I never skip episode reviews.  So why, why would you inflict that on me TWICE?  It was just sad and depressing.  And the mere THOUGHT of anyone thinking Andy & Angela made a better couple than Jim & Pam made me want to crawl under my bed and cry.

-As soon as Pam smiled at Toby, I knew THAT was going to end badly too.  I winced through their every interaction, waiting for the other shoe to drop, and yet it still didn't prepare me for the atrocious display of his hand on her knee.  Which, you know, it could have stopped there and still been okay!  But then he started MOVING IT AROUND.  My response: "Oh, HELL no."  (followed by "Yeah, you better run!")

On the bright side, it seems that the appearance of the engagement ring has officially killed my last lingering Pam/Toby inclinations.  They are stone-cold-dead, the wayward ship is no more, and I never ever thought I would say this, but I am suddenly excited for Toby to get the hell off my screen and never come back.
-The club scenes were way too long, and way too loud compared to the relative silence of the after-hours office.  Aside from watching Ryan's transformation - and even then, only the first time around - there was nothing redeeming about them all.

OK, writers.  You have three more episodes to wow me.  MAKE THEM COUNT.  If I've been wading through 50+ pages of spoiler speculation a week for nothing, I'm going to be ultra pissed. 

----------

'Numb3rs: "End Game"
Wow, that was boring.  OK, I was taking a nap and missed the first 5 minutes, so it took me a little while to figure out all the important plot points of the week, but I could hardly have been less enthused with what remained.  Things worth mentioning:

1. Oh.  My. God.  I hate the "Green up the house" plot more than I have ever hated a storyline on any TV show, ever.  Spy complained about the extended book subplot and how it went nowhere, but this is ten times more irritating.  For an explanation of why, I refer you to a post I wrote a few days ago, slightly edited for clarity: 

I know today is Earth Day.  I know that saving the planet is good.  I recycle everything I can, turn off the lights and TV when I leave the room, and don't let the water run while brushing my teeth.  But this obsession with "green" everything?  It is driving me insane.  It's like the world has gone crazy, put on green-tinted glasses, and developed a sudden fear that unless they say "green" 20 times a day (preferably while transforming it into a verb), the planet will explode in flames and disintegrate into non-existence.  When did this happen?  I feel like it happened very recently, because this is way beyond simple environmentalism; this is borderline psychotic obsession.  

Seriously.  The fervor is out of control, and people need to take a step back and dial it down a notch.  Especially the writers on this show.

2. No Megan.  Knowing Megan will be gone forever in a few short episodes, this displeases me.

3. DON/ROBIN, YAY!  Unlike Liz and the Scene of Porny Music Doom, this is a valid excuse to see Shirtless Don.  Shirtless Don is now welcome to come around whenever he likes if it's going to be like the last good scene in this episode.  I'm over Robin's nose; I'm tap dancing up and down the ship decks.  I really, really like them, and the only way I kept myself from flipping out about their conflict in this episode was that it started happening very early on, thus giving them plenty of time to resolve it by episode's end.  Thank goodness it turned out well, at least for one more week.

4. Hello, Liz.  What are you doing here?  Are you going to fill in for Megan always?  Because...while initially I was not pleased to see you, after seeing this episode progress, I could probably get behind that.  I mean, as long as Don stays with Robin.  Or possibly gets back with you, if that falls through.  Whatever.  Relationship Don, shirtless or not, just needs to be a permanent fixture on my screen to make me happy.

5. I saw no cute scenes between Charlie and Amita, which saddened me.

6. TV Squad says this case harkened back to a previous episode, but as my brain is a seive where this show is concerned, I remember nothing of the sort.  I was just busy being amused by the sight of a badass Michael Gallant.

7. BILL NYE.  SIX THOUSAND POINTS OF WIN.
-------
Obviously, still not watching Moonlight.  July, you think?  You think maybe by July I'll have time for it?  Because I gotta say, all these previews about him being human make me rather gleeful, even though I know it won't be permanent.  Mick St. John owns my heart.  I don't know how anybody has even a modicum of interest for whatever character the not-very-cute Jason Dohring plays.   

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mrstater
Apr. 27th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, I loved this week's Office! Toby/Pam I love not because I want Pam to get with Toby, but just because those awkward, one-sided things are so funny to me. Totally been there, done that with guys like Toby, lol. "I'm just going to hop over the fence and jog home now." I laughed so hard at that!

And I thought it was hysterical how the whole office turned on Jim and Pam, even Phyllis voting that Angela and Andy were better couple. Jim can't be brilliant all the time. ;)

Maybe I was just in a good mood Friday night when we watched it, but I thought it was one of the better ones this season!
rainbowstevie
Apr. 28th, 2008 06:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, I did love him vaulting over the fence and running away - that was awesomely cartoonish. But I just cannot stand people embarrassing themselves. It pains me.

Jim can't be brilliant all the time. ;)
But I want him to be! *stamps foot*
aries11
Apr. 27th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
I thought "Dog Tags" was a pretty good episode. My biggest qualm with it, though, was that I didn't think Abby should've made McGee take the dog at the end. First of all, I never saw McGee as the German shephard type. Second, that dog tried to kill him! I mean, yeah, it turned out it hadn't killed his previous owner, which is all nice, but still, I wouldn't want an animal that nearly tore a chunk out of my throat anywhere near me for a very long time, no matter how much it calmed down afterwards. But yeah, there were a lot of really cute scenes.
rainbowstevie
Apr. 28th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
Your icon brings me mirth.
I've heard a lot of people complaining about Abby doing that, but honestly...it doesn't bother me at all. I thought the dog's aggression stemmed from having cocaine in its system - he wouldn't normally go around attacking people. And McGee really didn't seem all that traumatized by the attack anyway. It's NCIS; realities can be bent a little. :)

What kind of dog would you suggest for him? I was thinking spaniel when they first broached the subject, but I can definitely see him with a Shepherd now.
hippiebanana132
Apr. 27th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
*offers hugs* I hope you manage that paper and that your workload eases off! ...I seem to say this to you a lot. I really don't envy your workload.
rainbowstevie
Apr. 28th, 2008 06:43 am (UTC)
Hugs are nice. :) I swear I've written twice as much this semester as I have in any other. It really did not look like it was going to be this bad back in January!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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