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thewhiteowl

S16.E18: Mona Lisa

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Torres relies on his team's investigative skills when he wakes up on a dilapidated fishing boat, covered in blood and unable to remember the last 12 hours.

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First of all, the description is quite misleading, as Torres was not covered in blood. He woke up shirtless, and when they found his t shirt it had some blood splatter.

Second, a complete stranger calls you and says "Here's ten grand, now be late to your NCIS agent client's training session" and the dude shrugs and takes the money because theres nothing suspicious about that, right?

Third, Ellie, oh Ellie - girl, nice show of no faith. Stick a fork in that potential relationship.

But still, I quite enjoyed this one, especially Vance nailing spy chick at the end. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, was she? 

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I couldn't watch this.  I hate amnesia, figure out what happened, epis of TV shows.  I'm sure at one time they were fresh and different.  That time has long passed.  And as soon as Ziva got mentioned, I was out.

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This episode somehow made me find Nick even more annoying than normal.  Can we get rid of this character already?  No offense to Wilmer V, who's acting it well, just ugh with this character already.

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I liked seeing Ducky in his new office with all of the great gadgets, music, walking desk, and art.  So different than what he had for years down in autopsy.

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Anyone not guess that something was in the tank in the office?  Anyone? 

I guess they weren't going to feed the shark to boost ratings.  Hi, I'd like five small goldfish, put them on my Coast Guard account.

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2 hours ago, aquarian1 said:

This episode somehow made me find Nick even more annoying than normal.  Can we get rid of this character already?  No offense to Wilmer V, whose acting it well, just ugh with this character already.

I used to really like his character, but they've made him so whiny and morose. Same with Elllie - I need less depression and snark and more humor from them.

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They should have called this episode 'The Shark, the Locket and the Iris'. What a nice collection of Chekov's  paraphernalia. What are the odds Jimmy won't use that contact lens in the season finale to get access to MTAC?

*Has a better ring to it than 'The Shark Tank, the Pendant and the Contact Lens'.

Edited by MissLucas
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I"m stuck on one bit of business that I can't decide was stupid and clumsy, or genius and clever. 

I run hot and cold on Vance.  I either like the character, or hate the character, and I do believe he's been written extremely inconsistently throughout the seasons, so the problem is more with the writers than with me--or Vance.  So he's either a total bumbler who has bumbled into his NCIS undercover career and been floated along, or he's a soooper sekrit, incredibly talented, Jason Bourne-like operative who has "retired" from spy life to take a management position.

So the bit of business I'm talking about was when his duplicitous girlfriend meets him in the restaurant, Vance is sitting with his back to the entrance.  No operative worth his salt--or rookie police officer for that matter--would sit with their back to the entrance.  Any entrance.  Mr. HV is no longer a police officer, but to this day, he will maneuver to get his back to the wall, or at least facing the main entrance, in any restaurant we go to.  Yet there was Vance, blithely sitting in that restaurant waiting for his girlfriend with his back to the door.  At the very least, if I were the first to arrive and were awaiting my dining companion, I would sit so I could see them come in to wave them over. 

Then later on, we learn that Vance was on to the scheme--if not the whole time, then at least partway through.  So, maybe sitting with his back to the door was a careful calculation on his part, so as to look affable and incompetent and lull them into a false sense of security so he could spin his web tighter and tighter around them.  But then it turns out, they really want Vance because they think he's just exactly the soooper sekrit, incredibly talented, Jason Bourne-like operative with the high ethical standards to take down the big guy.  But the, wouldn't they be turned off by his amateur spy craft skill where he sits with his back to the door?  Unless they know he knows they know he was doing it on purpose?

Then I got confused and gave up.

(And is the bad guy Admiral Chegwidden? Or does the actor just look like him?)

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I wish they had included a few snippets of Vance's deepening relationship with his "girlfriend", so that we could have seen what made him suspicious of her.  He had evidently known about her being CIA for a few months before he gave her the necklace.  That was a little too neat and quickly tied up for me.

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So glad that Vance knew he was being followed. I was wondering why the director wouldn’t do a background check on every person he’s dating. I’m also glad they are now on the same team as the CIA.

Oh Ellie, looks like you lost Torres’s trust. I liked the case because it kept me interested. I thought the personal trainer was the bad guy since I recognized him.

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6 hours ago, MissLucas said:

They should have called this episode 'The Shark, the Locket and the Iris'. What a nice collection of Chekov's  paraphernalia. What are the odds Jimmy won't use that contact lens in the season finale to get access to MTAC?

*Has a better ring to it than 'The Shark Tank, the Pendant and the Contact Lens'.

How about Director Vance in MTAC with the necklace?

Edited by eel2178
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I don't know why Palmer apologized to Ducky for consulting with him on a case. Ducky's job as Historian is just an excuse to keep on hand and available for just such an occasion.

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7 hours ago, enoughcats said:

Anyone not guess that something was in the tank in the office?  Anyone? 

I saw that one and what was coming with the necklace. Lazy writing.

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When they showed the spy girlfriend I was not particularly thrilled.  It was like, "oh yeah, that girl spying on Vance, just what I'd hoped they'd forgotten about that subplot."  I was glad that Vance and Jack seemed to know she was suspicious.  Mentioning, Ziva, ugh.  enough already, let the character stay dead, PLEASE!  I was also hoping that was a subplot that would be forgotten forever.  

Nick, obviously a recycled DiNozzo plot.  But not acted nearly well enough so keep me from rolling my eyes at the obvious clues.

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Sigh. So much of this episode annoyed me. First was Torres, unable to understand that his colleagues were playing by the rules. For real, he asks. Yes, for real, they are not going to ignore all the evidence and make it go away because you are you. If he was even two percent professional, he would understand that and work with them, not pout and whine. He did nothing to deserve their undisputed trust, although I think he's not going to view Bishop in the same adoring light hereafter.

I'm glad Vance knew the score, I didn't want to see him get burned, but I can hardly fathom that they want him to help them take down his boss. Personally, after seeing how the secretary turned criminal under the coast guard admiral (and when she was the only one in front of the MTAC screen and started feeding the fish while waiting for the admiral, I knew she was the bad guy because that was just so odd) and after seeing how the CIA guy was willing to have an agent seduce Vance and make herself at home in his house even after the two months it took to believe he was a good guy, I would not trust anyone asking me to "go into a burning building" after my boss. Did they learn nothing from Torres' experience? Trust no one, and no one will trust you if it looks like you did wrong.

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Working backwards from the resolution, I'm confused.  Who masterminded the diamond plot?  Was it that blonde woman who was arrested?  Or were they saying SecDef was involved in that?  Did the blonde woman kill the dark-haired woman that was found dead behind the dumpster?  Who drove Torres to Va Beach?  So the mastermind found the dark-haired woman to do this job, and knew all about Torres' gym/trainer, and got the trainer's phone number to pass on to the dark-haired woman?  And given that the trainer said that all he did was agree to be late, then who/when was Torres' water bottle roofy'd?  

Still bugs me how they are writing Abby's replacement to be just as knowledgeable as Abby was about all things.  They must not remember that we were told about her background when she first started working with Ducky, and it didn't include anything close to this level of scientific expertise.

8 hours ago, laredhead said:

I wish they had included a few snippets of Vance's deepening relationship with his "girlfriend", so that we could have seen what made him suspicious of her.  He had evidently known about her being CIA for a few months before he gave her the necklace.  That was a little too neat and quickly tied up for me.

They could have written this to recur through multiple episodes and I think it would have been fun for the audience.  I would be resentful AF if I were Leon about the lengths they went to.  Why on earth would Vance and Gibbs believe this guy's story about taking down SecDef?

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Someone from the DC area help me out...when they couldn't find Torres, weren't they saying something like "Search all of Northern Virginia, working in groups of two" and they had about 8 people total?  WTAF?  Also, they mentioned "the hills of Northern Virginia"....nuh uh.

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I believe this is only the second time in the history of this show where they have acknowledged that Virginia Beach is three hours away from Washington (without adding in rush hour traffic).  If Torres was late for work, how is it that he wakes up around 9:40 (according to his phone) and Gibbs et al have found the boat before he staggers outside?

Nope.  Show has been doing this magic transportation thing forever, Pax River, West Virginia, the Shenandoah, Norfolk/Virginia Beach, all of it closer together then London & Hogwarts.

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4 hours ago, kassygreene said:

I believe this is only the second time in the history of this show where they have acknowledged that Virginia Beach is three hours away from Washington (without adding in rush hour traffic).  If Torres was late for work, how is it that he wakes up around 9:40 (according to his phone) and Gibbs et al have found the boat before he staggers outside?

Nope.  Show has been doing this magic transportation thing forever,

As a native Virginian, I could not possibly agree more.

Then it hit me.  The writers may be from New England and figure that all the thirteen colonies are about the same size.  Right now they have Virginia confused with Rhode Island.  (And their buds in TV school have been working their understanding of distances into Walking Dead.)

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Ugggh I hate every "Member of the team has evidence pointing against them" plot in every procedural ever because ALWAYS the accused goes into a pearl-clutching "I can't believe you don't trust me!" and alleges that he/she would OF COURSE trust the other team members if it were one of them. 1) Bullshit on that. 2) News flash, plenty of criminals seem like nice law-abiding people. Which is not a news flash because any law enforcement professional is VERY AWARE of that. Don't look too sad, Ellie, you're better off without him.

I'm glad Vance's subplot is wrapped up, and also glad that it did so without too much screen time, but I agree with the above that it would have had more impact if we'd had any idea how it got to where it was. The scene with Vance and Psychologist talking about the jewelry, I assume they were aiming for misdirection to make us think they were just talking about him buying a nice piece of jewelry when it turned out that he was on to her, but it doesn't work that way either. Last time we saw her, he had just asked her out and at the beginning of the episode, they were at the sleepover and then some point. Also, I refuse to believe that it is ever necessary for CIA agents or anyone else to go as far as a sexual relationship with someone they're trying to get information from. Also, I'm not sure who's more incompetent, Vance who got played (even if he did figure it out), or CIA lady who didn't realize the necklace had a bug in it.

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45 minutes ago, JessDVD said:

I'm not sure who's more incompetent, Vance who got played (even if he did figure it out), or CIA lady who didn't realize the necklace had a bug in it.

Exactly. Vance is not my favorite character on the show (Gibbs!), but after all he went through losing his wife and holding his family together, it does not sit well with me that an undercover agent managed to, uh, infiltrate his home and family, even if he was on to her (and who knows at what point that happened). She seemed to show a little remorse at first, but then came across as a hardened professional when he wasn't buying it. I wonder which response was the truth, and if we'll be seeing more of her...

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50 minutes ago, ForReal said:

then came across as a hardened professional when he wasn't buying it. I wonder which response was the truth, and if we'll be seeing more of her...

I wouldn't mind seeing more of the house keeper he hired back when his kids had just lost their Mother.  She was good (was written well).

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