Abby hugs tonight! I love when she hugs Gibbs for no reason. Also when she hugs him in relief after a brush with some life-threatening situation. Having gotten both in this episode, I was duly placated. It was just so cute, her greeting him with a big hug and then hauling him over to the computer to get his advice on what tattoo she should get next. Couple that with his smile and genuinely amused laughter...well, yay! I love when he's not under pressure for results and can afford to indulge her rambling tangents. Also loved the second encounter, in which she's practically bouncing up and down on her toes waiting for Ducky's assurance that they're all right after the bioterrorist's threats, and upon his nod, throws her arms around Gibbs, completely ignoring Mann. Heeeeee, hee, hee.
There was a case, but I tried not to pay too much attention to that, as evidenced by the fact that I wouldn't even have remembered who Sharif was if not for the aforementioned story, and I didn't recognize him at all when I saw him. Case details are for boring people! Who watched JAG! My only interest in them was why Gibbs was suddenly being plagued with memories this episode, flashing back to the events of Hiatus (half of which were themselves flashbacks). Unless I'm very much mistaken, there has been no hint of any kind of mental instability thus far, and it's been half a season. It's not that I think it's unexpected that there would be some ramifications from that whole event, but why's it all hitting hard NOW? It felt like it came out of nowhere, and prevented me from being affected by it. Unless it was somehow related to the bioterrorism agent?
I don't like Col. Mann. I don't like the fact that her last name is "Mann," I don't like women in army fatigues, and I don't like the fact that every time I see her, the only way I can picture her is with her hair strictly tied up under a severe Army cap. In short, I am not fond of women whose dearest ambition is to prove they're just as tough as the boys and Nothing Will Stand In Their Way. I don't mind plain strong women; as a general rule I like all the women on my crime dramas, and Kate and Ziva are awesome as hell. But Kate and Ziva and all those other women still manage to be women. They have a feminine side, and are not afraid to let that fact show in their hairstyles, their outfits. Hell, even Dear Jenny with her spiky boy-cut porcupine hair and her formidable position as agency director manages to be perfectly feminine. Miz Mann, simply wearing long and flowy nightgowns/robes/whatever to bed isn't going to cut it.
This is the subject of much uproar on the Friends of NCIS message board, with many people professing to like her because she's tough, no-nonsense, the exact opposite of the standard "woman in peril needs man to rescue her" deal, and they like that she's more of Gibbs' equal. To which I say pah. I want a replacement Shannon! I refuse to be open to the idea that his three ex-wives were replacement Shannons and so now he's looking for something different. Besides, I'm not completely averse to him being involved with a strong-willed woman. Jen's right there. Remember Jen? Pretty lady, lots of chemistry + history, very compatible? What exactly did she do to you in Paris that destroyed your romantic potential forever more? Could you possibly get over it, for the sake of my happiness? No? Boo.
As for Tony and Jeanne, the less said about that annoying train wreck, the better. Tony's still acting stupid-in-love-with-her (no, honestly. I think he gets dumber every time they're together), and at this point, I'm not going to be happy unless Miss Benoit either turns out to be working against Tony, or turns up with a bullet in her heart. I'll probably feel guilty if the latter comes to fruition, but I'd still rather see that than watch this thing continue to stumble along.
On the hypothetical sort of Jen-Gibbs-Mann faceoff, I like how Jen seems mildly irked by the apparent connection between the other two. There's a hint of posessiveness but mostly, "watch your step, know what you're getting into, and don't you dare make the same mistake I did let him get hurt." Gibbs seems rather amused by the whole thing, which in turn amuses me.
Moving on some more. How did he get the boat out? This is one of those questions that's going to bug me forever, just like Abby's birthday gift, isn't it? If it hadn't had Kelly's name on it, I could have believed he'd just taken an axe to it, but that clearly didn't happen. My favorite theory is a blend of two suggestions I've heard, namely that his house is built into a bank and there's a secret garage door to the outside. I don't care how implausible it sounds; I have to believe it otherwise it will drive me insane.
So. Gibbs and Mann, whose first name I should look up soon. Okay, since all the willpower in the world will not erase the fact that the events in the episode happened, I might as well find a way to deal with them. Because I have, after all, stated on several occasions (particularly where it concerns heads of crime labs) that it's just nice to see the man happy. I really liked the scene in the basement - "Okay...and what do you see in my eyes?" "You want me to kiss you." "So are you going to?" "Yeah." "When?" "After we catch Sharif." :D So Gibbs. As for the end, unlike Tony's various bedroom antics, with Gibbs it's much more...you know, I don't have a word for it. Failing to cross over The Line, it gets an "Aww" instead of an "ew" out of me. Actually, I do best with the end scene when I pretend it's an AU in which Shannon's still alive. Because, setting aside the minor niggling detail that they barely know each other, it was terribly romantic.
I know I'm forgetting something...oh. Last thing, I promise: I don't know whether to chuckle at or be disturbed by how much attention McGee seems to pay to the flirting in the bullpen. First he turns out to be a Tiva shipper, and now he's down in the lab, feeding gossip to Abby while she feeds Gibbs & Mann into the Hypothetical LoveChild program (which by the way, distressingly enough, was the cutest baby said program has ever generated). Huh. Methinks McGee needs a girlfriend. There will be no mention of McAbby shipping, canon or not, because I said so.