--I'll grant you that the little blonde girl was a lovely, creepy touch as the angel of death (supposedly). I'm a bit leery of this show dipping into a supernatural angle, even only in suggestion, but if it had paid off, I would have been suitably impressed. Leaving it as a loose end like that was just disappointing. Sure, they could bring her back up in the premiere, but all the momentum will be lost.
--As much as I love Jen, love seeing her chat with Cynthia and love seeing her go home to her ridiculously luxurious mansion, her acting in the whole first part felt very stiff and unnatural. Or maybe it was just the clumsy dialogue. I don't know; it was uncomfortable to watch. And I'm particularly annoyed with how we spent a massive portion of this episode proving that her supposedly not-dead father was in fact not dead. Did we really need to pretend that was a gripping and suspenseful revelation? A better question would be why he faked his death. Or at least have Jen trying to figure out why he faked it. The best question of all, of course, would have been to explain just why Jen has this vendetta against La Grenouille. I'm still going with my theory that he killed her father (or she thinks he did), but that in fact her father was secretly working with him.
--Jimmy & Michelle's giggly secret high school relationship really isn't funny anymore. I'm beginning to think that they're only still keeping it a secret for the thrill of secretly sneaking around. I kind of think that if they came right out and admitted their relationship, nobody on the team would even bat an eye.
--I am sick to death of wasting minutes on Jeanne and her stupid life at the hospital. This is NCIS, not Grey's Anatomy. I'm not watching this show to hear one woman chat with another about her love life, nor do I need to see her involved with patient care. Miss Benoit is a minor character. MINOR! That means she has no business being onscreen without the presence of one of the main characters, and she should not ever take over the viewpoint of a scene. And this is my real gripe with the episode.
--I can't believe Jeanne didn't die. I literally cannot believe it, because by this point I had just gotten it into my head that she was marked for death. Everywhere I went, that was the general concensus, because it made sense. We've spent all season turning Tony into a different person; I can only surmise they were laying the groundwork to unravel it all at the end. Jeanne has no connection to law enforcement of any kind, she's not going to randomly join NCIS, so what other reason is there to focus so heavily on an outside character? As far as I'm concerned, she's had a target on her back since Tony said 'I love you.'
To that end, I was almost dreading it. I found myself on the edge of my seat, clenching my stomach in anticipation because to my surprise I found I was actually prepared to be a little sad when she got killed. I winced every time she talked back to the guy holding her and Tony hostage, because HELLO. MENTALLY UNSTABLE PERSON IN POSSESSION OF WEAPONS. Is it wrong if I was gleefully imagining how she might fare up against the gang members who took Danny & Adam hostage in New York? There is no way she should have gotten away with being so deliberately antagonistic. That was beyond gutsiness and bravery, that was just plain reckless and stupid. She's lucky all he did was conk Tony on the back of the head. While I got a little tiny thrill out of Tony telling her to just do what they asked because "I don't want you to get hurt," I figured that was her cue to not listen to him and get herself shot. After the sliced the intestines opened and poured out the drugs, I almost screamed at her stupidity. Even when Tony shot the guy before he could hurt her, the way they had been focusing on the girl's near-hysteria over needing the drugs, after Jeanne wasted them I thought for SURE the girl was going to flip out, grab a scalpel and stab her in the back. I was actually pretty proud of myself for catching the foreshadowing...and then suddenly she and Tony were walking out of the hospital. Perfectly fine and intact. WTF?
When I heard the sound of a car, I jumped, because it was clearly going to mow her down. Once again, I was impressed at the clever misdirection - have us on edge all hour, thinking she was going to die, and then just when we relax, BAM! Shock value. But that, um, didn't happen. At the end of the hour, she is in fact whole and unharmed.
Only then did I finally realize her death had not actually been an offical a spoiler, but merely popular opinion. And I find I'm intensely irritated by that. If not to cause her death or to misdirect us for a shocker death, there was NO reason to have that extended hostage situation at the hospital. NONE WHATSOEVER. That's the kind of story we tell in fanfic land, although since pretty much the entire Jeanne sideplot is from fanfic land, I shouldn't be surprised. I mean, the reveal that she's La Grenouille's daughter? Do the writers not remember how many anvil-shaped hints they'd written into previous episodes, meaning that everyone with half a brain had already figured as much? I'm glad they finally owned up to it, but it doesn't exactly make for a shocking cliffhanger of a season finale ending. We should have cut the stupid hostage subplot and had that reveal at the beginning, so we could maybe have actually DONE something with it by the end.
I liked exactly 3 things about the hour:
++ McGee hooked up to Abby's polygraph machine, heatedly insisting he only had one alias...followed by Gibbs strolling in and reminding him that he also answered to Probie and Elf Lord (duh!). Followed by rather bemusedly asking Abby, "Why are you torturing McGee?" Heeheehee.
++Jen walking in on Abby talking to her machines. "Sometimes you worry me." I love the dynamic between these two; neither ever really seems sure what to make of the other.
++Drunk!Ziva FTW!!!!!!! I kinda want to forgive this episode just for that. Love her distinctly bitter tone while trying to call Tony and getting voicemail, "just like always when he's with her." But mostly, I love Ducky for being able to see straight through Ziva, and not being afraid to point it out. The man can't recognize an illicit love affair in his own workspace, but by God he can spot UST a mile away! Don't mind me, I'll just be clinging to this for the duration of summer. Tiva's out of storage and back on my list of active daydream 'ships.
Law & Order: SVU: Screwed
--I don't want Kathy to be pregnant. I wanted Elliot to come home on his own. Plus, and I raged about this at great length when it came to the O.C., it's just not right to have a baby when you have children in high school. Those kids need your full attention when it comes to teenage problems and looking towards college
--I refuse to believe that poor Kathleen was actually led away in handcuffs. Refuse, refuse, refuse.
--Simon, I just got around to liking you. Why did you have to go and muck things up for Olivia again? WHY? Nothing good ever comes out of IAB.
++The one thing I did like was that Munch got more than two lines. In fact, he got a rather lovely chance to stick up for Finn tonight. Poor man, I always wonder if he isn't supremely frustrated at how much drama this team gets battered with, and all the changes that happen, while he sits in the background and has no say in anything. Anyway, other than that, I'll be over here busily trying to erase this episode from memory. I wish I had cable, so I could spend a few days burying myself in endless Law & Order reruns...