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In which I return to NCIS.

Library sale was v. disappointing.  I got Dad to take me to St. Paul, where per usual I gaped and marveled and was confounded by the city (sensory overload, this doesn't even feel real, it's like a movie set!)...but the drive in turned out to be the best part.  The library was an AMAZING building, gargantuan and old and captivating, but I didn't even get a chance to look around because we were at a parking meter, and apparently a quarter now buys you all of eight minutes downtown.  What the hell, urban areas.

So I had to confine myself to the sale, which was underwhelming, as even though I recognized a lot of titles I've read recently, I didn't particularly need to own any of them.  In the end, I went with a trio of books from the Wizard of Oz series*, just because they were from 1913, '18, and '20, respectively.  I've never read any of those stories and I'm not particularly fond of magic/fantasy, but they were the only old books there, and my vintage-loving fingers twitched.  Especially for only $1.50.  Even though they're thick and hefty and I have nowhere to store them

*The Patchwork Girl, The Tin Woodman, and Glinda of Oz, specifically.
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Watched the CSI: NY finale yesterday. I'm still wandering around in a daze trying to believe it was real.  Naturally, this activated my coping mechanism of catching up on a less-intense show, which means I've covered all but the last 3 episodes of NCIS. 

Despite marathoning #15-21, mentioning them individually almost doesn't seem worth the effort*.  It pretty much boils down to "I adore Gibbs, and Abby, and Gibbs' affection for Abby; the rest is filler."  While a relatively entertaining way to pass an hour, this series quickly begins to blur together.  I don't know why.  It makes me laugh, it's a pretty good cast...but then nothing stays with me.  

I've also decided that "not a serialized show" my ass; this series has a more complex mytharc than X-Files.  You come in after weeks away, you're screwed!  Things are always being introduced and then laid aside for weeks or months, only to pop back up with minimal warning leaving me baffled as to whether I should know what they're talking about.  And everything is so steeped in mystery and intrigue, all nebulous and vague, that most of the time I don't understand what's going on even when a plot arc ends. Explanation is not one of their talents.

I was just going to do a rundown of various highlights/things I noticed, but then it seemed equally simple, and more logical, to sort them all by episode. 

+7x15, Jack Knife: I've never liked Fornell before and probably never will again, but watching him & Gibbs crab at each other like grumpy old life partners (particularly when exaggerated for dramatic effect at the gas station) just became the highlight of my life. 

16. Mother's Day: This probably should have had a lot more impact, but technically I watched this one back in April, and the only note I jotted down was 'I'm sorry, how are you making even Shannon/Kelly backstory suck?!" Not sure what that's about, but clearly I was upset with whatever new insight we got from his mother in law, so I prefer blocking this episode from memory.

+17. Double Identity: ABBY AND MORTIMER.  I decree that a dog/puppy must appear in Abby's lab at least once per season for the rest of the series.  Also very impressed by the subtle and understated yet no less touching way in which they finally acknowledged Mrs. Mallard's death - especially Abby (with puppy in tow) finding Ducky at the cemetery. 

+18. Jurisdiction: CASEY NOVAK AS COASTGUARD!GIBBS!  I've missed her around SVU, this merely confirmed how much.  And being a mirror reflection of Gibbs, seriously, best thing ever.  Loved this episode quite a bit, giggled all over, then found you a picspam so I can stop talking about it, except one last highlight:  

Abby: Maybe a hug would help?
Gibbs: *complies*
Abby: (. . .) I guess I'm just gonna keep banging my head.
Gibbs: No.  Don't do that.  *forehead kiss*  I need what's in that head.
(And then there's another cheek kiss for good work later on!  I feel spoiled to the gills.)

If one thing is always going to set NCIS apart, it's the fact that no other series has anything resembling the free exchange of physical affection between these two, minus any underlying current of UST.  Mac & Stella sort of have it, but it's different when they're about the same age and more equal colleagues. I can't even quite call this paternal, although it's like 90% of the way there, it's just...completely unique.  In fact, if you think about it too hard, your brain starts to hurt.  Look at it on paper: in what other workplace would people accept your boss kissing you on the cheek all the time without batting an eyelash?  How would that even start?  Yet I can't imagine this show without that completely natural component.

...and that's the sort of thing I think about while rewinding hugs & kisses several dozen times, eternally enchanted by the fact that he has such a soft spot for her.

19. Guilty Pleasure: I remember the name Holly Snow, but absolutely nothing about the character, so, meh.  Subplot win: Tony's man-mance + McGee's jealousy + Ziva's snarking. ("Guys don't have flings.  We hang out."  "Things were hanging out?  That is disgusting.")  Also Abby politely requesting that Gibbs give her hug to McGee today, because he really needs one.  McGee: *would flatten ears against head in terror, were this possible*

20. Moonlighting: Heh, I do remember McGee's quasi-stalker, fun. IMPORTANT: Turns out I also like Fornell's scenes with Gibbs now.  When did he get so funny?  Lone episode highlight: "Have you ever committed a felony?" followed by a flashback to Mexico and a violently abrupt storm-out from the test polygraph.

21. Obsession: Yeah, we did this subplot on Numb3rs (somewhere there is a measure of irony relating to Dylan Bruno's appearance in #23), right down to the missing woman being a reporter, and it was just as weird then.  This might have been slightly redeemed for the woman dying from poison after being found, with a nice moment of subtle Gibbs/Tony bonding at the end. 

My favorite part was drooling over the gorgeous old bookstore and deciding that owning such a place is my newest impossible fantasy (though, I have to say?  Ancient Bibles & first editions of the complete works of Shakespeare would not be high on my purchasing priorities.  If I had millions to burn on a book, I'd be going straight for one of those handwritten editions of The Tales of Beedle the Bard).

Lab Highlights: Tony going straight to Abby to deliver a calming hug; her quite literally dragging Gibbs around by the arm; and having a scowl-off with Mallison.  I love how openly Abby expresses her dislike of someone. 

Looking forward to the rest of the episodes; the summaries intrigue me.  I might actually get through this before July ends!  *jinxes self*

[Edit: I am halfway through part 1 of the finale.  One, MY BRAIN IS READY TO EXPLODE, and two, oh god, this has so much potential to end on a horrible cliffhanger, why did I not save this until a week before the premiere to eliminate any wait time.  My one consolation is that spoilers are starting to splash the internet, so at least I can have some relief.]   

Comments

aries11
Jul. 31st, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
I've been disappointed in library sales as well. I haven't been to that many, but each time I have, I've never been able to find anything worth the $0.25 or $1 they're asking for.

Yeah, NCIS is becoming more serialized as the years go by. You kind of have to see every episode anymore to follow along. Not that I'm complaining because I like the story arcs. I really enjoyed the episode with Diane Neal. I'm guessing you're not a Mallison fan, either?
rainbowstevie
Aug. 1st, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
I don't hate Ms. Hart quite as much as you do, but I definitely find her trying. She always attempts to be aloof and mysterious, but all I see is her going "OMG PLZ PAY ATTENTION TO ME, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE." And I feel like the writers were trying really hard to give her a prominent, infrequent yet key role, but for the most part she's barely on my radar. "Oh. You again? All right, speak your silly piece and then let's move on to matters of actual importance." I can't even bring myself to care one way or the other.

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