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S15.E22: Two Steps Back

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When evidence reveals an NCIS team member is a hitman’s latest target, the team must search through old case files to determine who is seeking vengeance.

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Halftime report:

Who was the lady at poker that wasn't Jack? I'd watch more footage of that group playing poker.

Well, I knew they were going to kill Reeves because they always make characters interesting and then kill them but I'm still disappointed. Although they have now gotten rid of two of the three additions when Tony left, which I would call an improvement, even if they picked the wrong one to kill.

Body double for Gibbs at Abby's bedside ftw.

Reeves was like a brother to Bishop? Really?

McGee, you are married and it is inappropriate for you to camp out indefinitely at the bedside of a woman who is neither blood family nor your wife.

Tony making Tim say "I love you too" is everything.

Flashbacks: this show was ten times better when Tony and Kate were on it. Mike Franks' death was an improvement. Paloma guy isn't wrong about death following Gibbs.

Edited by JessDVD · Reason: changed "sit" to "camp out indefinitely" for clarity
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And that's a wrap:

This episode is straining my memories of the last 16 years of shows.

Knew there was no way, no way, no way they'd kill Abby.

Hopefully this Abby is smarter than the one who opened the door while in protection and got taken by creepy stalker guy.

I wonder how much that size of apartment costs in that area of the country.

The dinner was a setup? I AM TOTALLY STUNNED BY THIS.

Nope, seems this Abby is as stupid, just in different ways. 

I'm enjoying how King is utterly unaffected by Abby.

Whoa, cyanide? Didn't see that coming. Actually that time.

Never mind, fake out.

Seriously, Gibbs isn't in this scene of Abby saying goodbye to everyone?

Predictable reason for departure but it was definitely better than a lot of the other ones over the years. 

What the fork, she seriously left a note on Gibbs' door????!!! They couldn't even manage to be together for this last scene? "Artful" filming to make them look like they're together giant eye roll.

Final appearance likely of Bert the hippo.

Absence of cliffhanger? Oh... Not the season finale, never mind

Edited by JessDVD
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Something odd is going on with this show.  Just like Tony barely had any scenes with Gibbs Michael's final year, Abby barely had scenes with Gibbs in Pauly's final year.  On top of that both of their last scenes with Gibbs were total let downs.  Tony's because he and Gibbs barely said two words to each other (and I still think it is possible they weren't even in the scene together given the filming angles) and Abby because there wasn't even  a final scene.  

Edited by camussie
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Not a bad final episode.  The show never did know what to do with Reeves anyway.  All he was was hot and British and British and hot.    I did cry at the end so good on for that.

That being said I am kinda bummed that Abby didn't kill the dude.  That would have been an awesome way to end her character.  Her final breaking point.  Watching all her "hero" friends die and not being able to do anything.  Honestly leaving for Reeves is kinda stupid but leaving because she killed a dude no one really cares that she killed but her guilt won't let her stay makes ALOT more sense to me.

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37 minutes ago, JessDVD said:

Who was the lady at poker that wasn't Jack? I'd watch more footage of that group playing poker.

She first appeared as Forell's shrink, Forell told Gibbs G needed a shrink, G demurred, then in the diner met Forell and his presumed date, except the date was the shrink and Gibbs hit it off about the same time he realized she was the shrink.

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4 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

That being said I am kinda bummed that Abby didn't kill the dude.  That would have been an awesome way to end her character.  Her final breaking point.  Watching all her "hero" friends die and not being able to do anything.  Honestly leaving for Reeves is kinda stupid but leaving because she killed a dude no one really cares that she killed but her guilt won't let her stay makes ALOT more sense to me.

I don't feel the same way. Clayton died because he took the bullets for Abby. As such, he never got to fulfill his goal. Her guilt was that there would be people that wouldn't get the help they needed because Clayton is dead. 

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10 minutes ago, JessDVD said:

They couldn't even manage to be together for this last scene? "Artful" filming to make them look like they're together giant eye roll.

That's all I kept thinking throughout this entire episode.  Abby was on a ventilator so she couldn't talk to Gibbs, he wasn't in the lab for her goodbye, and she stood across the street from his house.  All of that made me sad and ticked off because good lord, how obvious can it be that there's a problem between Mark and Pauley?  Two years ago, those scenes would have been written very differently.

I will say the phone call from Tony was nice, I liked that Tim said that he wouldn't leave her bedside, and I liked the reach back to Alejandro and Paloma.  The apartment was ok.  The rest?  Meh.  I think I'm going to draft a new rule: "It is what it unfortunately is."

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Interesting how they had a dog barking when Gibbs stood in his doorway at the end. Way to acknowledge the feud. 

They really didn’t know what to do with Reeves, so he was expendable. At least he died being heroic. I was actually really liking BadAss Abby. Too bad she couldn’t have been harder edged for a while. She finally grew up, but at quite a cost. 

Very sad that Harmon couldn’t put aside his issues and give a 15 year vet the send off her character deserved. I don’t expect her to ever do a guest appearance, because I don’t think Harmon will allow that. His head may have not been in a good place lately with his sister, her death, the court fight, etc. But he may have let that influence his behavior on set, and that’s a shame. I don’t know if he would ever be able to admit that or not. So I don’t expect Abby back.

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Please remind me about the history of Gibbs not showing up for every major character’s final episode. I read some comments & I realized how weird it is every time it happened over the 15 seasons. It’s not easy to maintain quality but again it felt like forever. 

 

You know how I would film the series finale’s last “future scene”? 

Blackout screen in black and white.

Dead....

Gone... 

Ain’t coming back from The Undiscovered Country with thousand natural shocks...

Shakespearean style.

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4 minutes ago, HowdyTV said:

Interesting how they had a dog barking when Gibbs stood in his doorway at the end. Way to acknowledge the feud. 

Crap.,  I totally missed that interpretation.  I just heard the dog and wondered why somebody else's dog would bark at somebody on Gibbs porch.

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1 hour ago, JessDVD said:

McGee, you are married and it is inappropriate for you to sit at the bedside of a woman who is neither blood family nor your wife.

I don’t see it that way, nor do I think the character of Delilah would. Abby drove Delilah  to the hospital when she was in labor. McGhee and Abby have been close since the day Tim arrived.  Plus they are co-workers.  

No Gibbs/Abby moment means the episode wasn’t as good as it could have been. That means they didn’t satisfy the audience.  

Edited by mythoughtis
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They couldn’t have set aside their differences for her last episode. And this is their legacy.

Didn't shed a single tear, and didn’t expect to, considering that neither Harmon or Perrette could do the adult thing and just do their jobs.

TONY!!!!!! I still miss him. And I love that 99.999% of the flashback clips featured Tony!

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51 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

That being said I am kinda bummed that Abby didn't kill the dude.  That would have been an awesome way to end her character.  Her final breaking point.  Watching all her "hero" friends die and not being able to do anything.  Honestly leaving for Reeves is kinda stupid but leaving because she killed a dude no one really cares that she killed but her guilt won't let her stay makes ALOT more sense to me.

I disagree. It would have been totally out of character, and there are too many people on this show that "go rogue."  

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I misspoke, I was referring to McGee's insistence at staying at the hospital and not leaving. I would have been fine with him being there, then going home, but he specifically said he wasn't leaving. Ymmv.

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Abby's apartment reminds me a lot of the NCIS LA 'office' set.

I think it would have been OOC for Abby to kill the guy, but that doesn't mean I don't wish she had had some sort of breakdown or snapped or something and did it, and that was the reason for her leaving.

They left it in character except for the Gibbs ridiculousness.

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I don't care that they can't work together.  That's their business and not mine.  I was ready to be annoyed by her not saying goodbye to Gibbs when he wasn't in the room with everyone else, but I was actually fine with the letter and the wave.  Sometimes those you are closest to are the hardest to actually say goodbye to.  I didn't cry, though.  The only time I came close was when Gibbs said that Reeves had had a tough life and deserved better.  It wasn't all that profound, but for some reason touched me.  

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I know they were going for a tender moment at the end but I could not stop laughing at all the ways they kept Gibbs and Abby apart. It took me out of the series...and I am madder than mad they killed Reeves. It was such a waste. Abby could have left without having Reeves die...She could have realized how often she faced death and decided to seek more life...Hell, she could have sought out Tony to help him raise his daughter...but Reeves didn't have to die..cliche...cliche..cliche...As someone said, they had ALL season to build up to her leaving...and this seemed slapdashed. I don't know whether it's Mark's fault or Pauley's fault but this whole episode leaves a bad taste in my mouth....and I may just stick to the older episodes on Netflix.

One cool thing, I loved that poker game...the chemistry between all of them was 400 times better than the rest of the cast...I really want a Gibbs/Fornell spin off....

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Reeves!  NO!  Why couldn't it have been the ridiculous Torres or the worthless Jack?

Reeves death made me cry.  Abby's leaving, not so much.  I'll miss Bert the hippo.

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12 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

They couldn’t have set aside their differences for her last episode. And this is their legacy.

Didn't shed a single tear, and didn’t expect to, considering that neither Harmon or Perrette could do the adult thing and just do their jobs.

How do you know it was neither of them? It only takes one person to refuse to shoot the scene with the other (when The Good Wife pulled their shenanigans for the final Alicia-Kalinda scene, Archie Panjabi made it clear she was willing to do the scene and it wasn't her call to shoot it that way), and in this case, one person has a lot more power than the other.

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Near death hospitalizations should involve the patient's family.  Abby has two brothers, or did, at least for some episodes.  Abby called her co-workers her family.  

In this story line, she chooses to abandon both for a co-worker she has known for, maybe, three years.  I could mutter on about her never seeing Tim's family grow up, about her abandoning her good deeds in D.C.  

Instead, she's gone.  According to her, it was her choice.  I'm not sure she has the qualifications and the money to emigrate into England without a job lined up.  No, must not throw monkey wrenches near the large electromagnet that apparently has already attracted and destroyed so many other story lines.

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Once again, an episode that, for me, failed to live up to the hype. I would love to sit in on those poker games, though.

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14 minutes ago, JessDVD said:

I was referring to McGee's insistence at staying at the hospital and not leaving. I would have been fine with him being there, then going home, but he specifically said he wasn't leaving. Ymmv.

I think that was one of the loveliest things about the episode.  McGee and Abby have a long history.  If Gibbs were acting like he used to act around Abby, he would have probably sat there for a bit, and then asked McGee to remain.  I don't think Delilah would have cared in the slightest, and if anything, she would have likely encouraged Tim to remain at Abby's bedside.  Delilah knows that Tim loves her and the twins.  She also knows that Abby is important to Tim.

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She didn’t specifically say she was staying in London, I think. Just that she wasn't coming  back to NCIS.  She could establish the charity in London, but not stay there permanently. Plus- Abby  probably has money.   She can afford to travel back and forth 

Edited by mythoughtis
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22 minutes ago, JessDVD said:

I misspoke, I was referring to McGee's insistence at staying at the hospital and not leaving.

I apologise, I over reacted but it hit a sore point. I should know better than to go on line after happy hour.

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16 minutes ago, DoctorK said:

I apologise, I over reacted but it hit a sore point. I should know better than to go on line after happy hour.

No problem. I think for me that moment hit a sore point because I never got over how back about 13 seasons ago, McGee still obviously had feelings for Abby and she wouldn't date him, but she would act insanely jealous and jerky when he was attracted to other women. So then he's glued to Abby's bedside and I'm like, go home to your wife and kids already, Tim. 

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1 hour ago, HowdyTV said:

Interesting how they had a dog barking when Gibbs stood in his doorway at the end. Way to acknowledge the feud. 

That is hilarious!  It's like the writers said "let's just throw all the dirty laundry out there!"

I did like the sign language communication between them because it was a throwback to Mark's old role as Dickey Cobb on Reasonable Doubts and that's still the best TV role he's ever had.  It reminded me that I'm still peeved that NBC canceled that show after only two seasons!

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1 hour ago, CarpeDiem54 said:

I'll miss Bert the hippo.

You can Bert online from the CBS store, but there are likely cheaper options if you wanted one. You can get a Caf-Pow cup there too. I have one of those. 

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2 hours ago, enoughcats said:

Near death hospitalizations should involve the patient's family.  Abby has two brothers, or did, at least for some episodes.  Abby called her co-workers her family.  

In this story line, she chooses to abandon both for a co-worker she has known for, maybe, three years.  I could mutter on about her never seeing Tim's family grow up, about her abandoning her good deeds in D.C.  

Instead, she's gone.  According to her, it was her choice.  I'm not sure she has the qualifications and the money to emigrate into England without a job lined up.  No, must not throw monkey wrenches near the large electromagnet that apparently has already attracted and destroyed so many other story lines.

In this story line we also have a major federal agency with only one forensic employee and no connections to potential scientists from other agencies to run some labs when the one and only knowledgeable person is out for the day. Yeah... Bishop and Torres would be covering for Abby when she's out of commission. I can just see now how that would go down in court when presenting evidence for conviction... "And who performed these so called tests?" .. "well... a couple of random agents who just wanted justice for their friend cause NCIS only has 6 employees including agents, medical examiners, evidence processors, and a director"... "And what training do the agents who performed these test have in lab work?" ..."Uh... none at all. They weren't even sure how to work the machines, much less run the tests"

Can you say reasonable doubt?

This show has a long consistent history of pretending family doesn't exist even when we've been introduced to them except when it's DiNozzo or Gibbs Senior. There have been other times that family should have been present .. or at least FRIENDS from the "other side" (like Delilah and Jimmy Palmer's wife don't seem to have any friends of their own in times of joy, marriage, heartbreak, hospitalization, etc). There were more references to Abby's nun friends than to her brothers.

As for having the money... well, she's got a huge apt in one of the most expensive metropolitan areas of the US, so she's got funds squirreled away... on the other hand, she's got a huge apt, so how much could she have left over? However, last time I went to England (quite a long time ago now) if you enter without a work visa for a specific job, your passport gets stamped "Leave to enter for 6 months / employment prohibited"

I'm glad she's gone. I wish she was as bad-ass all along as she was in this episode. I couldn't stand infantile Abby and I LOVED her in the first couple of seasons when she'd wear cargo pants with heavy chains and talk in that deeper voice. As she regressed, her pitch also went up. Originally, there had been an idea of Abby as a potential love interest for Gibbs. As it became obvious that wasn't the way to go, it's almost like they had to change her entire character and demeanor to something more childish/childlike precious.

And whatever the backstage reasons, the whole MH and PP never in the same room controversy took me out of the story and show too much over the episodes... but this was especially ridiculous. It may have started over a dog, but it had to have blossomed into far more, unless Harmon is really the type who just won't ever back down once his back is up.

Edited by slothgirl
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Meh. 

The actors unprofessionalism ruined it. It was a sad effort. The characters deserved better, and the writers are probably relieved. I feel bad for them.

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47 minutes ago, threebluestars said:

Meh. 

The actors unprofessionalism ruined it. It was a sad effort. The characters deserved better, and the writers are probably relieved. I feel bad for them.

I still can’t believe all this because Mark Harmon has had a reputation for being extemely professional thru his whole career.

Edited by scorpio1031
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It was better than Tony's sendoff, but not by much.  I also agree the best part was the poker game.  Wish it had gone on a bit longer.

Still PO'ed that Reeves died.  Just like Dorneget, they dispatched him as soon as his character started to get more interesting.  And gee, who didn't realize that email invitation wasn't some sort of a setup?  Surprised it took them about half the episode to figure that one out.

It was nice to have Tony checking in via phone.  I had hoped he would make a surprise appearance, but I kinda knew the odds wouldn't be good for that taking place. 

I actually enjoyed seeing Angry Abby though.  Much better than Infantile Abby we saw much of the last few seasons.  Also liked how she mentioned the names of those characters who were killed off in previous episodes.

Totally missed the barking dog thing.  LOL at the writing staff for adding that in.

Not really thrilled with the episode.  At least they didn't make it a total clip show which I feared it might be.

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I'm sad to see Abby go, though I knew she would since before the season started. Abby is honestly my favorite character on the show, people like to call her childish or whatever and call for her to "grow up" but I wouldn't have her any other way and I would be completely against a so called "growing up." Childish or whatever you want to call it is Abby fundamentally as a person and it would've been completely destroying her as a person to put another completely different person in Abby's skin instead for her to "grow up." There's a big difference between character development and completely throwing out who someone is at their very core and having Abby either kill someone or "grow up" would have been the latter, so I'm glad to see they didn't go either direction. Abby gave NCIS the agency and NCIS the show levity that it will be sorely lacking without her which would otherwise be a very dark show especially since Tony is also gone.

How she left is pretty nonsensical though better than having her die by just a bit. Wanting to set up a charity in Reeve's name is noble enough but I don't think it's something Abby would really need to leave her job at NCIS to do, at least not for more than a couple months just to get things set up. She could probably run the whole thing from her lab if she wanted to.

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How did Clay's body get to the NCIS morgue before Vance got to the hospital? 

Not going to miss clay because I never really saw a need for him to be there.

I suppose they will try to shoehorn in a new character next season, sigh, as well as a replacement for Abby. 

Would have been nice for Tony to have been put on speaker to talk at comatose Abby,  guess voiceovers are expensive also. 

Such a brief sighting of Fornell, sigh.

Crap ending to a long-term character, I'll miss you Abs.

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11 hours ago, JessDVD said:

McGee, you are married and it is inappropriate for you to sit at the bedside of a woman who is neither blood family nor your wife.

I got the impression that McGee was used, in part, as a stand in for the glaring absence of Gibbs-Abby father-daughter parting. Also his hugging her at the parting would have been Gibbs in previous seasons. Its like they added the needed emotions from the only remaining original team member to compensate for Gibbs not being there.

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I think we may have watched this one just to see if Gibbs and Abby would ever be in the same scene. Nope. Each scene they 'shared' looked as if it could have easily been done with only one person in the room at a time. 

I saw the recent CBS "Sunday Morning" interview with the actress who plays Abby. It was a total fluff piece  - - guess they did not want to ding their #1 show in any way with any difficult questions. She, unfortunately, came off as somewhat flighty, talking about 'the universe' telling her it was time to leave the show. The weirdness may have bee the result of *all* the things they were trying not to talk about. 

8 hours ago, slothgirl said:

In this story line we also have a major federal agency with only one forensic employee and no connections to potential scientists from other agencies to run some labs when the one and only knowledgeable person is out for the day.

Yes, it is almost comical how only about six or so people people are shown running an entire federal organization. And all those other agents never pop their heads up over all those cubical walls. But millions of people (including me) regularly watch these procedurals populated with never changing caricatures characters. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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Black dude dies. White woman lives. Really?

Glad Abby's gone because 16 years of naifness is enough.

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I know people disagree with me about Another character “going rogue” especially Abby but it still makes more sense then Abby walking away from a job she loves for a guy she knew for only a couple of years.  

I was unaware that MH and PP were Fueding.  Don’t really care enough about the show to care but wondered why no Gibbs/Abby scenes.

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Consider me unimpressed.  As someone wrote up thread the lack of screen time between Abby and Gibbs really took me out of the episode because it was so out of character and while it was nice to mention that Tony called an actual screen time call would have worked better.

And speaking of Tony the actor who played King looked so much like Robert Wagner that it threw me off for a minute.  I remember feeling that way when the character first aired as well.

Sad to see Reeves die.  I'll miss Abby too but I think the show may have officially jumped the shark for me.

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10 hours ago, Magnumfangirl said:

That is hilarious!  It's like the writers said "let's just throw all the dirty laundry out there!"

I'm wondering if it was an editor in post-production who added the sound?  Either that, or it was THE actual dog (which I highly doubt).  Whomever it was, I appreciated it.  I took it as a message to the viewers: "Hey we can't fix this situation, but we want you to know that you aren't crazy.  There actually is a situation here."

10 minutes ago, MyAimIsTrue said:

And speaking of Tony the actor who played King looked so much like Robert Wagner that it threw me off for a minute.

Me too.

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8 hours ago, immortalfrieza said:

I'm sad to see Abby go, though I knew she would since before the season started. Abby is honestly my favorite character on the show, people like to call her childish or whatever and call for her to "grow up" but I wouldn't have her any other way and I would be completely against a so called "growing up." Childish or whatever you want to call it is Abby fundamentally as a person and it would've been completely destroying her as a person to put another completely different person in Abby's skin instead for her to "grow up." There's a big difference between character development and completely throwing out who someone is at their very core and having Abby either kill someone or "grow up" would have been the latter, so I'm glad to see they didn't go either direction. Abby gave NCIS the agency and NCIS the show levity that it will be sorely lacking without her which would otherwise be a very dark show especially since Tony is also gone.

How she left is pretty nonsensical though better than having her die by just a bit. Wanting to set up a charity in Reeve's name is noble enough but I don't think it's something Abby would really need to leave her job at NCIS to do, at least not for more than a couple months just to get things set up. She could probably run the whole thing from her lab if she wanted to.

I don't even really see Abby as childish, but apparently I have a different definition.  My def of childish is selfish, entitled, self-centered, and irresponsible.  Abby has never been any of those things.

 

2 hours ago, mertensia said:

Black dude dies. White woman lives. Really?

Glad Abby's gone because 16 years of naifness is enough.

Yes, because white women NEVER die on this show. I would rephrase this as long-standing character lives, newer character dies.

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8 hours ago, immortalfrieza said:

I'm sad to see Abby go, though I knew she would since before the season started. Abby is honestly my favorite character on the show, people like to call her childish or whatever and call for her to "grow up" but I wouldn't have her any other way and I would be completely against a so called "growing up." Childish or whatever you want to call it is Abby fundamentally as a person and it would've been completely destroying her as a person to put another completely different person in Abby's skin instead for her to "grow up." There's a big difference between character development and completely throwing out who someone is at their very core

Except that she actually WAS more grown up in the earlier years of the show. The character regressed over time to an almost ridiculous level in some episodes. If she had always been that way, I wouldn't have ever liked the character. But she wasn't, and I did. She was my favorite character until she was my LEAST favorite.

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I watched some S1 and S2 episodes a few weeks back, and the difference in Abby's character really stands out. I really enjoyed her more early on. They did make the character sillier as the seasons went on. I've noticed that in a lot of shows when a character gets really popular, it's like they try and shoehorn in just the things they think the fans like, but it reduces the character to almost parody level.

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7 minutes ago, Katy M said:

I don't even really see Abby as childish, but apparently I have a different definition.  My def of childish is selfish, entitled, self-centered, and irresponsible.  Abby has never been any of those things.

She is more child-like.

But it's beyond that IMO. Child-like can be charming.. full of wonder. Abby regressed to a little girl and I'm guessing it had something to do with the plan for the character transitioning from Abby being a potential love interest for Gibbs (the original plan for the character) to a replacement daughter for Gibbs. Her wardrobe changed, the pitch of her voice went up.. it all skewed more "little girl" than quirky adult woman . I had thought that the voice change was because it was uncomfortable for the actress to use a deeper register if that wasn't her normal voice, but people said that in interviews and such, she actually did talk in a lower pitch.. THAT was her normal voice, and they notched it up for the show. In the last couple of seasons, they finally seemed to be moving back to original recipe Abby (without the love story angle, (thankfully.. that would have been creepy), but it was too late for me.

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17 minutes ago, slothgirl said:

Abby regressed to a little girl and I'm guessing it had something to do with the plan for the character transitioning from Abby being a potential love interest for Gibbs (the original plan for the character) to a replacement daughter for Gibbs.

Say what? I never read this or heard this. I never thought Abby would be a potential love interest for Gibbs. eww. I did think, in the JAG backdoor pilot, that something would happen with Tony and Abby, when he asked her about getting some results more quickly, and when she asked what would she get? Tony mentioned dinner at some place, and there was this big grin on her face, and I think she said "Excellent!" or something. The point is, that scene was very flirty.

And she did regress; she lost that low-pitch register; her voice became higher-pitched and even...whiny at times. Then there was the whole "GIBBS!  GIBBS! GIBBS!GIBBS!GIBBS!" Which we didn't see this season, because they weren't in any scenes together where she would be doing that.

They even de-aged her to 25 in the episode of NCIS: LA, where she crossed over. And I guess, re-aged her back to what her real age is once they decided that LA and no connection with original show?

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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5 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Say what? I never read this or heard this. I never thought Abby would be a potential love interest for Gibbs. eww. I did think, in the JAG backdoor pilot, that something would happen with Tony and Abby, when he asked her about getting some results more quickly, and when she asked what would she get? Tony mentioned dinner at some place, and there was this big grin on her face, and I think she said "Excellent!" or something. The point is, that scene was very flirty.

I'm not sure at what point the plan was abandoned. But I'm sure I read that in the development phase, that was a serious possibility. I don't know if they dropped it after seeing what the actors were doing with their characters in early episodes, or the way their chemistry never worked as "man/woman" or if it was scrapped before filming ever started.

Edited by slothgirl
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