'NCIS' Fan Columnist: Of Cowboys And Family
'NCIS' Fan Columnist: Of Cowboys And Family
Jacky Jackman, our NCIS Fan Columnist is back. If you'd like to become a fan contributor, click here.

The friendship between Special Agent Jethro Gibbs, (Mark Harmon) and Mike Franks (Muse Watson) is the stuff of legend.

This week's episode, "Outlaws and In-Laws", examines the things that matter most in life. Things like family, friendship and cowboys. Well, I live in Texas and that's what matters here. 

The story of Franks and Gibbs begins when young marine Gibbs' family is murdered. The tale continues with Gibbs seeing a file on the killing left open by Franks. That ending was satisfying. The good guys won. Justice was served. More tombstones were carved.

Gibbs joined NCIS because of Franks. They were the law in 'them thar' parts of Bethesda. They arrested bad guys and drank whiskey.

Gibbs' heroes are the legendary duo of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.

I stop here for a smirk at another NCIS 'in joke'. Mark Harmon starred with Kevin Costner in Wyatt Earp though he didn't portray either Wyatt or Doc.

In that relationship Franks is Doc Holiday coming in with guns drawn. Gibbs is Wyatt Earp the lawman. Wyatt could shoot accurately when needed, but tried taking the varmint to jail first. That's the way it's done in the movies.

Franks retired across the Rio Grande the old law dog taking a siesta in the sun. Gibbs was promoted to 'sheriff' with a team of deputies to ride with him.

Gibbs' hobby is building sailboats in his basement. He named one after his deceased daughter, Kelly.  As a present he gave it to his goddaughter. Which leaves me to wonder how he got it out of the basement and gift-wrapped.

The Kelly drifted into the San Diego Harbor with two dead men aboard. They both had more holes in them than granny's rusted washtub. Gibbs is ordered to round up his old friend and haul him in for questioning. Since Gibbs is the godfather of Franks' grandchild, he risks his job and jail by ignoring the Director of NCIS. This was a family matter, and family will deal with it.

The investigation leads to Franks. His daughter-in-law had shot the two men paid to take her and her daughter back to Iraq. Franks sets up the crime scene to make himself look guilty. This sacrifice may put him in the hoosegow.

Apparently Franks' daughter-in-law's mother had a contract on him! Think you have in-law troubles? Since most of her family was killed, Mom wants to reconcile and realizes that her daughter and grandchild are more important than power and social dishonor. Gibbs arrests the bad guy, Colonel Merton Bell  (Robert Patrick) and that terminates the contract.

Mom joins the family in Mexico. Sitting on the porch with Franks, watching their grandchild play, each gives the other fleeting glances.

It isn't birth or blood that makes you family. It is the sacrifices you're willing to make for each other. Wyatt and Doc knew it and so do marines like Gibbs and Franks.

In my opinion these cowboys say Semper Fi. 

--Jacky Jackman, Fan Columnist
(Image courtesy of CBS)