Ducky finally reunited with his long-lost brother and Bishop kicked her cheating hubby to the curb.
NCIS Season 13 Episode 11 gave us lots to cheer about. It also gave us some poignant and sweet moments, as we watched Ducky's life long journey to get back to his brother.
Add your thoughts on this great story – join TV Fanatic panelists David Taylor, Christine Orlando, Kathleen Wiedel and Douglas Wolfe as they hash out some of the finer points of this episode.
How would you describe this episode?
David: Let's say it together now: "Awwwwww......" *sniff*
Christine: The Epitome of Brotherly Love
Kathleen: What Once Was Lost
Doug: My Brother's Keeper.
What are your thoughts on Bishop and Jake’s discussion?
David: Wasn't much of a discussion in my opinion. For him to blame their now "separate" professional lives on the reason why he developed the wandering eye seemed like a ginormous cop-out to me. You'd think he'd want to proactively address it before he found someone else who "understood him."
Christine: I hate that Jake went from being a good guy to a complete jerk almost overnight. That said, I’m glad Bishop ended it. I think she was right: whether consciously or not, I think he admitted to the affair because he wanted her to make the tough call. Their issues should have been workable but the affair was the nail in the coffin.
Kathleen: I agree with Christine in my annoyance with how Jake's character has been completely sabotaged. Furthermore, his apologies came off as trite and meaningless. If you are trying to express remorse and a sincere atonement for something that serious, mere words are not going to cut it.
He should have at the very least cut off all non-professional ties with his paramour (and professional, too, if at all possible), and there was no obvious indication Jake had done so. I'd like to think that the marriage may have been salvaged, but I know that not everything can be mended, even when both parties are fully committed to doing so (which is not the case here, on either side).
Doug: Jake used all the right weasel words. Did you notice: he kept talking about saving the marriage. There was no "I love you" in the mix. There was no real remorse that I could see. The affair was a result of them working apart, and not being able to "be in the bubble" of the NSA together. Right. There was no personal failure on his part, none whatsoever, as far as he was concerned.
She was right to kick him to the curb. I'm just sorry she let him get away with blaming their separate employment situations for it.
Share your favorite scene.
David: That's easy: the last one.
Christine: There were so many. I loved the reunion at the end even though it was heartbreaking that these brothers had lost so much time. Honorable mention has to go to Tony for asking, “You rent him the rope too?” That line literally made me laugh out loud.
Kathleen: Oh, that closing scene, with Ducky and Nicholas exchanging their hair-ruffle-nose-boop ritual. And Nicholas recognizing Ducky in that moment, despite his Alzheimer's. That reunion was so emotional, so meaningful, because until this moment Ducky thought he was the last member of his family.
Doug: I'm going to echo Kathleen here. You couldn't help feeling Ducky's pain as he told Palmer there was simply no hope in believing his brother was alive. Juxtapose that against the sudden realization his brother was alive and....well it was just a bit overwhelming.
I sat there as the credits rolled, struggling with the emotion of it all. This...this...is some great writing and acting!
What are your thoughts on Lorraine Mallard?
David: Well, I think it's safe to presume that the wretched old slag is dead so all I can say is "I hope it hurt!"
Christine: What do I think of Lorraine MalIard? I don’t think I’m allowed to use that kind of language here at TV Fanatic.
Kathleen: Dear me, but Christine pretty much summed up my feelings on that woman. What a cruel, selfish person! It's appalling to imagine that there are people like her out in the world, and I am profoundly glad I've never encountered one.
Doug: I tried to find some redeeming quality about her. Something that would make sense. In the end, it was a futile effort. The woman was just a rotten piece of work.
Was there anything that didn’t work?
David: Clearly the PI didn't do a very good job--he located and kidnapped the wrong Nicholas Mallard.
Christine: That Ducky wasn’t more willing to go find his brother once the letter proved he was alive. But at the same time I can understand that after so many years of heartache, having any kind of hope can be hard.
Kathleen: My only complaint, such as it is, was that awful convenience of having Gibbs and company show up at the exact same crime scene where Ducky is tied up in a kidnapper van. Seriously, I was literally thinking, "Well, that was convenient!" when they found him!
Doug: I was gobsmacked at Abby's magic abilities to read the movements of a watch so that she could figure out what the guy typed. That's some amazing technology right there.
Where does Bishop go from here?
David: Well, I don't think Gibbs will let her work remotely from Reno so my guess would be she moves out and crashes with a co-worker. Gibbs has a nice big house but given their emotional wounds, that'd be a pretty depressing place. Tony and McGee only seem to have room for one in their homes and that'd be creepy anyway....so that leaves Abby. I think it'd be hilarious for Bishop to sleep in a coffin.
Christine: I think she’s definitely going to throw herself into her work but I like David’s idea of having her move in with Abby. That could be hysterical.
Kathleen: Wait, why does Bishop need to move out? Throw the *cheating moron* out! If Jake had any decency left, he'd move out without her prompting.
I hope they don't immediately try to throw Bishop back in the dating pool, though, because that would come off as seriously tacky. First, she should have a serious conversation with herself as to what she actually wants in her romantic relationships, in the hopes that this sort of complete and utter breakdown doesn't happen again.
Doug: I agree with Kathleen: she should stay where she is, and Jake should hit the road.
As for dating, let's not have her get back into the dating pool until at least two years. If we're going to remain true to life, she's going to need to sort through some issues of trust, and she's going to need time to do it.
She should do more training, for combat readiness, and really absorb some more of the NCIS structure and command. She needs to become a seasoned agent, and now is the perfect time to make that happen.
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.