The 150th episode of the number one show on TV ushers in some classic Hollywood flavor in the form of one Robert Wagner. What it means for NCIS fans is that we finally learn more about Tony Dinozzo since the former Hart to Hart actor is playing Anthony Dinozzo, Sr. Kudos to all involved with the show for this perfect casting decision.
Hey there, I'm Tina Charles. I'm normally the Supernatural blogger, but I'm also a pretty recent NCIS addict. I can't even say fan, I've definitely moved on to addiction where this hit show is concerned. I couldn't let the milestone 150th episode of NCIS go by without paying the show the respect it deserves. So for one time only, I'm blogging an episode.
I admit to being very curious about Tony's past. Sure, Tony drops hints every once in a while, but for the most part his past has remained a mystery. Bringing on Daddy Dinozzo is such a good thing. We get to see Tony in a much different light than we've really ever seen him before. With his father, he's not as confident. Tony Sr. can give him one look and he's spilling information about his case. Tony's fixing his hair in the mirror but as soon as his dad says "Junior," he's rushing to follow his dad out the door. That was such a telling action. From the moment McGee tells Tony he has a visitor and he sees that it's his dad he kind of regresses. He gets embarrassed over a lot of his dad's behavior (especially of the flirty kind). It's much like Gibbs did in "Heartland" and the more recent "Faith."
Usually I get caught up in the cases as well as the character-driven goodness they give us on a weekly basis, but this time around, I didn't pay as much attention to the assassination attempt on the Prince. It's all about the relationship between Dad and Junior; Tony and Gibbs; as well as the scenes between Mark Harmon and Robert Wagner.
Gibbs and Daddy Dinozzo in interrogation
Gibbs keeps trying to get Tony Sr. to sit down but he only does it when he wants to do it. These two guys size each other up in sort of a relaxed manner, but you can just tell there's something more intense simmering underneath.
Junior and Senior having a drink at the hotel
So much information about Tony's past comes out of this scene and other facts are reinforced. I believe we know his mom died but we learn Tony was eight when it happened (now we need to find out how). Tony brings his dad his favorite drink. You get the feeling he's done that before. Tony feels his dad didn't approve of him going into law enforcement. Tony's anger starts to come out a little bit there but he quickly tries to rein it in. He says he hardly ever knew where his dad was because he was off in boarding schools and summer camp. Tony brings up the Maui vacation where his dad left him in the hotel room for two days while he went off to seal the deal with an attractive and rich divorcee. The two haven't talked in a while because somewhere along the line Tony had no idea his dad added a couple more ex-wives to the mix. It's a sad conversation.
"I don't like to advertise my failures."
"Well, my condolences, my congratulations, my condolences."
Gibbs and Daddy Dinozzo in the conference room
This is a stellar scene. So far the entire episode we're not sure how Gibbs is feeling about this whole Tony's dad thing. The functional mute shows us he knows exactly what's going on with his senior special agent. And he lets us know something we've never heard before:
"What has Junior done now?"
"Tony likes to hide behind the face of a clown. He's the best young agent I've ever worked with."
Gibbs sticking up for Tony is one of the high points of the entire hour for me. Love the team leader bringing up Tony's bout with the plague (from five seasons ago): "Four years ago, your son came very close to dying from pneumonic plague. And I expected to see you. You didn't show then, why are you here now?" What a satisfying conversation.
Gibbs and Tony in MTAC
Dinozzo apologizes to Gibbs for goofing off at the hotel. Love that we learn another rule. We know number six is "never say you're sorry." Gibbs says it's covered: "Rule 18."
"Oh yeah, it's better to seek forgiveness then ask permission. Am I forgiven?" "No, you've been distracted by your father."
Tony realizes his father has been lying to him his entire life. Dad is completely broke. He thinks his father's in town to confess the charade but changes his mind once Prince Omar enters the picture.
Junior and Senior checking out of the hotel
Tony makes the decision to bust his dad while he's checking out. He knows his pops won't have the money to cover his tab. All of a sudden, the bill is paid plus waiting there is an open-ended ticket to Monte Carlo. Daddy Dinozzo thinks Prince Omar's the one responsible. It's time for Tony Sr. to go and he's saying all the right things like they should talk more and he loves him but it doesn't feel like Tony's buying it. It's like he's resigned to the relationship they have and it's never going to be anything more.
Gibbs and Tony at Gibbs' house
Next scene Tony shows up at Gibbs' house with a six-pack of beer and a steak dinner waiting for him like they've done this a million times before. It instantly becomes my favorite scene of the entire season. Gibbs guesses Tony's the one to pay his dad's hotel bill as well as the ticket. He uses the money for the cruise he's about to take with his frat brothers. He says he's getting too old for that kind of thing anyway. The final phoof is Gibbs and Tony clinking their beers and taking a swig.
One of my favorite parts of NCIS is how Gibbs acts as a father figure to the "kids" who work for him (McGee, Tony, Ziva and Abby). Gibbs acts like a better father to Tony than his own does. "Flesh and Blood" totally rocks this exploration of Tony's past. Robert Wagner, Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly give refreshingly good performances. The chemistry is there between all three. When expectations are high, there's often a big letdown. Not this time.
I want to congratulate everyone involved with NCIS — hitting 150 episodes is a huge accomplishment. Here's to many, many more.
The case of the attempted Prince assassination resulting in his aide's death was OK, but the ultimate message about what fathers are willing to do for their sons and what sons are willing to do in the name of their fathers (or what they think their fathers would want) is what was key. It really fit in with the theme of the episode.
How much did you cringe when Gibbs caught Tony goofing off on the job while protecting Prince Sayif? That was more than a head slap. I'm surprised Tony didn't get a concussion. And you know what? Tony deserved it.
I loved Tony Sr. flirting with Ziva and Abby. You know come to think of it, Gibbs' dad Jackson tends to flirt with Ziva and Abby too. Maybe it's a father thing.
How cute was that Abby/McGee scene where they told each other their theories about the case? Pauley Perrette and Sean Murray work so well together.
We got to see more of 24's Penny Jerald Johnson, which in my book, is a good thing. Hope she continues to make appearances.
When's the last time we saw Tony in Gibbs' house? I think we saw him in the basement in Season 5's "Shalom."
I'm a bit surprised Joe Lando didn't have a more sizable role. This guy was on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and one of my personal favorites, Higher Ground. It was good to see him though.
There has always been a lot of talk about fathers on this show, so I'm glad Vance mentioned Ducky's mom, although it was really sad at the same time. Ducky admitted his mother was slipping away. Nina Foch, the actress who played the Mallard matriarch, died over a year ago. She was so great on NCIS.
Love how McGee refers to the previous episode. The whole jet-pack business that went down in "Ignition" also happened out at Pax River. Plus, we learn Ziva's still studying for her citizenship test.
Where's Palmer? He's been way too absent this season.
What's up with a week off between new episodes?