NCIS Season 12 Episode 8 Review: Semper Fortis

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Often, as Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist put it, "the law is a ass."

Never was that made more clear than in NCIS Season 12 Episode 8 when a former Navy corpsman was charged for unlawfully saving the lives of two people injured in a car crash.

It's amazing to see such an important law being applied in such a ridiculous – though truthful – way. The law against providing unlicensed medical assistance is there to protect the public from posers, well-meaning or otherwise. It's not meant to prevent informally qualified medically trained people from saving lives, though that's the strict result of it.

It's all well and good that Anna Dillon didn't have to go to jail... but dammit, she doesn't deserve to be forced to do community service either. That was obviously a face saving measure for the D.A., a story wrinkle that rings true to life. Providing that "punishment" to her means she didn't get off scot-free, which means no precedent was set. The law remains intact.

It's no accident that the story was written this way. Gary Glasberg expressed his surprise about the law in a recent interview with TV Fanatic's Jim Halterman. The fact that this condition exists is unacceptable, which the episode presented quite clearly.

It kind of makes you wonder what the law considers "medical assistance" – and it makes you leery about offering any help at all. If you pull someone from a burning car wreck, are you at legal risk? If the law says you're okay, does the rescued person, if injured, have the right to sue? Good Samaritans would be well-advised to hesitate.

The hit and run crime is a little sketchy, too: it's hard to imagine a scenario where someone decides to kill a guy for getting him kicked out of the Navy. The killer had a great job that he enjoyed – why mess it up with a revenge killing?

Still, the jails are filled with unthinking sociopaths and lowbrow types who thought they could get away with criminal acts – so maybe it's not that much of a stretch.

Next, we come to Abby and her love life.

Wasn't it just a little while ago that we saw Abby read Tony the riot act about his dating activities? I defended her to the wall on that, suggesting they were all family and that this is what families do – they call each other out on their ridiculous self-destructive behavior. 

But then what does Tony tell Bishop? 

Trust us, Bishop. The Abby dating world is a vortex you do not want to get sucked into. Sometimes it's complicated. Just let Abby be Abby.


I say no. Don't "let Abby be Abby." If she can dish it out, she can take it as well. Tony's afraid of her, but he shouldn't be.

She even told McGee to back off, and that her bizarre two month ritual was private and "none of your business." She's wrong there too. Tony could have told her that when she confronted him, but he recognized the nature of their relationship – the only reason he let her browbeat him.

I was glad to see McGee keep making the attempt anyway, and – hopefully, though it's hard to tell for sure – winning at the end.

I'd really like to see her list, though.

And finally there's Gibbs and a potential romance on the horizon with Carrie Clark, the lawyer we met in NCIS Season 11 Episode 8. The hint was subtle but unmistakable: she described Gibbs' dad as being as challenging as his son. When Gibbs agreed, she smiled and said I like a good challenge.

The two are birds of a feather when it comes to justice, which is kind of obvious now. What else do they have in common? Maybe we'll find out soon.

What did you think? Was Abby being two-faced? What are your thoughts on the law that restricts Navy corpsmen from providing medical assistance after they are discharged, but not Army and Air Force corpsmen?

Be sure to watch NCIS online and then hit us up in the comments!

NOTE: NCIS Season 12 Episode 9 will be titled "Grounded" and it will air on Tuesday, November 25 at 8/7c.

Semper Fortis Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (77 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter


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NCIS Season 12 Episode 8 Quotes

Last week she used chocolate milk to make mashed potatoes.

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You're under arrest sweetheart.