NCIS Episodes

2003, TV Show

NCIS Episode: "Cracked"

Season 8, Episode 6
Episode Synopsis: Abby delves into the mind of a brilliant scientist and becomes fixated on solving her murder. Meanwhile, DiNozzo's latest fling leads to an interesting Halloween.
Original Air Date: Oct 26, 2010
Guest Cast Robin Pearson Rose: Lorraine Thorson Steve Anderson: Daniel Redner Meredith Monroe: April Ferris Raphael Sbarge: Rupert Kritzer Brennan Elliott: Martin Stillwell
Full Episode
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Season 8, Episode 6
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Length: 09:57:20
Aired: 10/26/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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NCIS Episode Recap: "Cracked" Season 8, Episode 6

An Abby-centric NCIS episode can never be anything other than a good thing, so it was nice seeing Pauley Perrette get to pull out that black parasol — last seen protecting her from the Mexican sun — and do a little obsessive field work in "Cracked." The object of her fascination was a dead Navy lieutenant turned biotech engineer who left behind mountains and mountains of mysterious formulas, along with a history of mental illness. "How's that for dedication?" Abby asked, upon finding that the dead woman had ambidextrously tattooed both her arms with reams of scientific mumbo-jumbo. "I'm officially a fan."

This led to Abby even going down to autopsy to talk to the corpse — and, since that's Ducky's job, David McCallum inevitably walked in to warn her that "sometimes they talk back." Soon the entire team — except the understanding Ducky — was worried that Abbs was doing a little too much projecting onto or into the dead woman's Beautiful Mind. Mark Harmon, as Gibbs, finally had to interrupt her mid-Abb-alogue to tell her to shut up, prompting a little hiccup in what is arguably the show's closest relationship, when she told him, "You just raised your voice to me. You never raise your voice to me... I was wrong. About you." Trouble in Gabby-land?

Not for long, of course, as our brilliant forensics scientist's hunches about another brilliant scientist turned out to be vindicated... although she was the one who did the apologizing to Gibbs, in the end, and not vice versa. Maybe she also needed to apologize to McGee (Sean Murray) for saying "Shoo" when he was trying to give her a compliment, but any hopes those two would get back in the coffin — hey, this was a Halloween episode, after all — were way off-base.

The episode credited to first-time writer Nicole Mirante-Matthews seemed a little lighter on comedy than usual, though there was plenty in the opening and closing bullpen scenes, with Tony (Michael Weatherly) discussing "role playing" with an unseen love interest named Ethel, which turned out to be dressing up as Tony from Saturday Night Fever — or "fat Elvis," as Ziva (Cote de Pablo) initially misidentified him. It's not always clear why Ziva gets some cultural references that should be obscure to her — laughing uproariously at McGee's "I've fallen and I can't get up" joke, for instance — but her teasing stayed on just the right side of obnoxious. "We're not talking about a man here," she said. "We're talking about you." Some Tony fans may balk at this, but no one makes emasculation sexier than Ziva/Cote.

I kept waiting for some kind of connection to be made between the oft-mentioned Ethel and ethanol, the chemical culprit in this episode's poisonings. There was none, and the whole wrap-up to an otherwise intriguing plotline felt a little rushed. We sort of knew the murderer would be Meredith Monroe (Criminal Minds) — too big a guest star, and too sensual a mouth, not to be the culprit, right? But all that buildup about mental illness and greatness, and Abby's obsession with all of the above, seemed to be leading to some revelation about the dead woman that finally didn't come. But meanwhile, we did learn — very quickly, in passing — that her $2 billion formula will let the entire Navy give up oil and go green, so that's a good thing, right?

Three cheers for Abby and Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) bonding over Diane Arbus, just like Abbs bonded with Gibbs over Iron Butterfly last week. We also had references to recent obscene celebrity telephone rants ("Wow. Mel Gibson much?) and Walt Whitman as a conduit for memory cards in the same episode.

As for Abby, there was not much doubt that the show's happiest character would immediately return from gazing into the Nietzschean abyss of which Ducky spoke. Because, as with the jolts that snap characters between worlds in Inception, there is a sure-fire way to instantly bring the old Abby back. "How many Caf-Pows have you had today?" asked McGee, noticing the difference. "Um, eleven... -teen." That's in a three-way tie for the episode's best line, along with Abby's "My mojo has hit a nojo" and Gibbs' "Did" (when a grieving mom asked if he had any children). Brevity really is the soul of wit, and sorrow.

Did "Cracked" crack your echelon of recent favorite episodes?

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An Abby-centric NCIS episode can never be anything other than a good thing, so it was nice seeing Pauley Perrette get to pull out that black parasol — last seen protecting her from the Mexican sun — and do a little obsessive field work in "Cracked." The object of her fascination was a dead Navy lieutenant turned biotech engineer who left behind mountains and mountains of mysterious formulas, along with a history of mental illness. "How's that for dedication?" Abby asked, upon finding that the dead woman had ambidextrously tattooed both her arms with reams of scientific mumbo-jumbo. "I'm officially a fan."

This led to Abby even going down to autopsy to talk to the corpse ... read more

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Premiered: September 23, 2003, on CBS
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (12,858 ratings)
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Premise: A successful "JAG" spin-off about criminal cases involving Navy and Marine personnel, handled by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. For the second season, the series title was shortened from "Navy NCIS" to "NCIS."

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