NCIS Episodes

2003, TV Show

NCIS Episode: "Enemies Foreign"

Season 8, Episode 8
Episode Synopsis: Part 1 of 2. Ziva's father attends an NCIS conference, and the team is assigned to protect him, but the visit produces some surprises.
Original Air Date: Nov 16, 2010
Guest Cast Michael Nouri: Eli David Alex Morris: Kurt Nelson Arnold Vosloo: Amit Hadar Catherine Dent: Whitney Sharp Michael O'Neill: Riley McCallister Stan Ivar: Ben Robinson Maura Soden: Melora Koss
Full Episode
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Season 8, Episode 8
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Length: 11:33:54
Aired: 11/16/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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NCIS Episode Recap: "Enemies Foreign" Season 8, Episode 8

"I don't think a round of applause would be out of order," DiNozzo told a conference of former agency directors toward the end of "Enemies Foreign," the latest — and, for this season, so far, greatest — episode of NCIS. Michael O'Neill and the others assembled big-wigs refrained from cheering, but we can. As the first of a two-parter, it's hard to say exactly how satisfactorily the whole scenario will play out in the end. But this setup was NCIS firing on all contradictory cylinders at once: simultaneously comedic and suspenseful, serious and self-mocking, plot-driven and character-centric, tight and loose.

"Enemies Foreign" represented Jesse Stern's first credited script this season, and from last season's "Truth or Consequences" and other episodes, series fans know he's particularly adept at writing shows that achieve the tricky balance of international espionage plotting and all-out screwball comedy writing. It's that combination that allowed an exchange where Tony (Michael Weatherly) talked to a male Israeli agent who was part of a visiting Tiva-esque team, envying the other duo's ability to hook up without becoming emotionally involved. "Next year in Jerusalem, my friend," said the agent.

But this year, in NCIS, this year is looking pretty good, after last week's return of Robert Wagner and this week's return of Michael Nouri. As the fatherless Abby (Pauley Perrette) openly pointed out in a scene with Ziva (Cote de Pablo), estranged dads are popping up left and right these days, to considerable reward. Presumably next week's episode will have Nouri explaining the reasoning behind his seeming abandonment of Ziva a season and a half ago — if there's time for that when we're also being promised a Vance origins story and the revelation of who "enemies domestic" might be.

When was the last time an NCIS didn't open with the discovery of a body? Anyone? The pre-credits sequence had our team setting upon a credit card identity thief who had accidentally located the visiting Israeli agents. They were there to track the Palestinian terrorists who were there to assassinate Ziva's pops, whose motivation for the tourism was either to attend the summit meeting and clear some old matters up for buddy Vance (Rocky Carroll) or to draw out the enemy combatants (or, apparently, both). In the end, the three terrorists got socked, but not before — well, yes, actually before — a bomb went up back at the safe house where Vance and David Sr. had not so safely returned. It seems safe to say that Hadar will not be a recurring character.

Can't be sure that Vance and David survived the explosion, but as Tony would say, "Also can't be sure that Gibbs will be swilling coffee when we get back to the office, or that (Ziva) will fumble a simple American expression, or that McGee will sleep alone tonight. But people" — and episodic TV hits — "do tend to follow patterns." We have it on good authority that next week's follow-up will involve some flashbacks for Vance — whether experienced consciously or as part of a delirium, we don't know.

The addition of a doppelganger Ziva made for some fun, as the real Ziva, who is used to only having ladies' room debates with Tony, got to have one with her Mossad replacement. "I feel this measuring contest would be more at home in the men's room," said Ziva 2.0. And then there was this priceless exchange: "You're very tongue-in-ear," says the comely Israeli. "She means tongue-in-cheek," corrects Ziva, master of American idioms. "Don't put words in the girl's mouth," says Tony. 

Other Asides That Make The Show (soon to be registered by us as a trademark): Gibbs (Mark Harmon) angrily barking at his staff to get to work one moment, then inexplicably stuffing half a sandwich into his mouth for the duration of a scene the next. Gibbs' knowledge of the plot points — or lack of them — in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and his appreciation for Phoebe Cates' oeuvre. The revelation that Ziva is a grandmas' name in Israel.

And — though this may be a matter of contention among those fans debating just how funny Michael Weatherly should be allowed to be — Tony's hilariously scrappy entrance into the directors' conference, where, in his rush, he mistakes the honchos for civilians who can't handle the truth. "Son, we've all been behind the curtain," said guest star Michael O'Neill. "We know how it goes." "Dead bad guy," responded Tony, cutting to the technical/classified information. "The end." Applause, please.

Do you agree that "Enemies Foreign" is the series' best episode so far this season, or are you waiting on next week's domestics before making any calls?

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"I don't think a round of applause would be out of order," DiNozzo told a conference of former agency directors toward the end of "Enemies Foreign," the latest — and, for this season, so far, greatest — episode of NCIS. Michael O'Neill and the others assembled big-wigs refrained from cheering, but we can. As the first of a two-parter, it's hard to say exactly how satisfactorily the whole scenario will play out in the end. But this setup was NCIS firing on all contradictory cylinders at once: simultaneously comedic and suspenseful, serious and self-mocking, plot-driven and character-centric, tight and loose.

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Premiered: September 23, 2003, on CBS
Rating: TV-14
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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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