12x20, No Good Deed: Tony's father AND his lame girlfriend? No thanks.
Lost in Translation: I loved the McGee Is The New Face of NCIS prank. Even before I knew it was a prank. I hated Gibbs pushing Ellie (what? that's what her friends call her) beyond her comfort zone, resulting in her first kill (and that was the best case outcome). I hate everything that is being done to her character, including...
Troll: ...continued marital strife, and it is severely hampering my enjoyment of the show. I'm hoping for spectacular ship payoff in the finale, because the alternative results in me burning Utica to the ground. For example, I missed the entire first quarter of this episode, and I don't care. Enough with wasting Hot Jamie Bamber! Them there was some stuff with "so here's how those terrorist groups recruit teenagers like you see on the news," but the only memorable part in this was Gibbs' very gentle, shy-dog-coaxing voice in trying to save the angry teen suicide bomber from himself, and his subsequent reaction to the failure. Gets very angry at people who corrupt teenagers. I approve.
And then...The Lost Boys. Major thoughts in chronological order:
* GILROY JIBBS, ALTER-EGO EXTRAORDINAIRE. I gotta say I am real impressed with ol' Ned's ability to (almost) pull that off in front of Gibbs.
* Hee @ Abby giving Tony & Ellie a script to read, complete with anticipating Gibbs' lines
* I loved Abby introducing her black parasol, Poppy, to Gibbs. "She goes with me every time I leave the building. But we'll get back to her." Followed by...
Abby: There's no telling what kind of forensic gems are in that bunker. *suggestively bringing parasol over her shoulder* And you know how much I loooove secret rooms.
Gibbs: You and Poppy want to leave the lab and go to the bunker?
* Gibbs talking about his daughter! Stealing his pocketknife and carving her initials into the back of a cupboard door, aww.
* At first I was like, "Lol, as if I am going to take Charlie Harper's ex-fiance Chelsea seriously as a serious parent of an Iraqi orphan in a crime drama," but then OW. Oh, man, OW. I am so impressed by your willingness to GO THERE and have The Calling kill the kid's parents right after he finished sobbing about how he didn't mean it and he missed them and was on his way to see them again...but OW. I was having a hard enough time looking at the scene myself. Having the kid (inevitably) run in and see that too? OH MY GOD. You're awful and I love this high-caliber storytelling you are doing.
[side note: Or so I thought. Because then we went to Cairo, and...]
"Oh, you say we shouldn't be looking at the U.S., we should be looking at Cairo?"
"...Cairo, where Dorneget is?"
*bomb threats are called in, laser tripwire appears, last minute imbecile trips it*
"...OW!!!!!!!!!" Oh my GOD ow ow ow THAT HURTS.
Like, wow, wow, but also OW. This season has been BRUTAL, totally merciless. It is without mercy! NO ONE IS SAFE (hide the Bamber!). Poor Gilroy Jibbs! He was just happy to get to go overseas!
This is probably having a bigger impact due to my ruthlessly cutting myself off from all entertainment news, but I have to say, that is like going on a sugar/salt-free diet and learning to be amazed by unprocessed food again. All the shows feel so much more vibrant, more authentic, when you dont' know anything about what's coming up, or even know about casting/contracts. There's nothing wrong with the other way, of course, but I cannot get over much wow factor there is in being truly surprised by twists -- as opposed to being like, "Well, I know he's going to leave the show, but I don't know how so there's still mystery, right?" False. This way is completely different.
[Side note: the bombs rising from the pots in sync, in slow motion, was straight out of the best action/adventure movie sequences combined with a touch of horror. So well done.]
I have not even wrapped my head around the coolness of Diana Fowley being Dorneget's mom. But more to the point, just when I thought I was done being sucker punched and swearing in awe, they gave me that shot of Gibbs gazing at his troop of ghosts, and GOOD LORD, I AM BEYOND WRECKED. I'm almost sorry there is one episode left -- I think this is a strong finale that could carry over a summer hiatus, leaving unfinished business without a stinging cliffhanger.
But you know I am not that strong, so I will of course be wrapping it up within the week, probably.
P.S. I just stupidly googled to see if I spelled "GIlroy Jibbs" right and I got spoiled with the ~shocking twist~ cliffhanger in the real finale. WHY AM I NOT STRONG.