Fan Columnist: 'NCIS' Returns Comfy and Reliable
Fan Columnist: 'NCIS' Returns Comfy and Reliable
Jacky Jackman
Jacky Jackman
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
NCIS is back. I wish last night's episode had more twists. It wasn't completely predictable but it was close. It wasn't bad! You can go someplace often and still enjoy it. 

This episode covered a lot of ground fast. If you dropped the remote you probably missed a bit. I'll do my best to fill you in.

The Bullets Fly

"The Spider and the Fly" opens where "Rule Fifty-One" left off. Paloma Reynosa enters the store of Jackson Gibbs. He tells her to leave and pulls out his shot gun. Paloma pulls her gun and we have a Mexican standoff. (Bad pun.) She leaves. Once outside she has her men fire round after round into the store. Paloma reenters to find Jackson gone.

It's four months later. Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) sits at his desk watching a surveillance video of the ambush in Mexico. The bullets fly. Mike Franks is shot several times. Tony rebukes himself for not seeing the ambush set up by Reynosa's brother Alijandro Rivera. Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) walks in carrying a cup of coffee completely at ease. He tells DiNozzo they have a case. This is the Gibbs we know. The unflappable Gibbs. The man who does his duty.

At the crime scene are a charter helicopter and two dead bodies. There's a camera inside the helicopter that's recorded the passengers. Not too surprisingly it's Paloma and two of her men. One is the other shooting victim.


Welcome Back

Ziva David is in Florida following a Cuban lead with possible ties to the Reynosa cartel. Tim McGee is at the Canadian border chilling his mukluks. Tony hits McMountie with a few Canadian wise cracks. (They really weren't that funny eh.) The authorities in Canada stopped a drug shipment which was tied to Reynosa. When Ziva returns she reports a shipment of drugs was taken from a boat. Paloma's brother Alijandro Rivera paid a political visit as well.

Jackson's living with Gibbs. Someone arrives through the back door. What a surprise, Mike Franks survived the ambush. Gibbs asks Franks what kept him.

McGee returns from Canada with a greater appreciation for the orange stained walls of NCIS. Tony asks if he missed him. No he says. I missed other things like breakfast without beer. Isn't that the Irish Ziva asks. Ha! My grandmother never once served Guinness with eggs.

Ducky goes over the body of Paloma's expired employee and finds bug bites. He sends samples and stomach contents to Abby. She gives Gibbs a map of Reynosa's travels while securing her drug pipeline based on what was eaten and the type of bugs. With business attended to Paloma is coming after Gibbs. Abby asks if he has a plan. She wishes he would share it with her. This is familiar, Abby worrying and Gibbs kissing her cheek. The only thing missing was a Caf-Pow.

The Unspoken Rule

Gibbs tells Franks he thought he was dead. Franks replies that he got better. Gibbs warns helping him would be dangerous. Franks answers that you do what you have to for family.  Gibbs asks, which rule is that. Franks grins and says it's the unspoken one. Franks is here to help protect his probie's father. Gibbs' family is extended. It includes friends and his team. Everyone within Gibbs' circle is a family member and like any Marine he takes care of his own. Director Vance wants Gibbs and Jackson to move to a safe house. Gibbs says they're in a 'safe' house.

Come Into My Parlor

Tony and McGee investigate the shooting of a butcher who dealt drugs. Amongst the cold meat the butcher has been iced by who else but Reynosa.

Rivera comes to Vance with a diplomatic solution. Why the brother of a drug kingpin represents Mexico is an imponderable.

Rivera says he will give Vance the details of Paloma's operation in exchange for her extradition to Mexico. Vance is skeptical. He goes to the door and Rivera plants a bug in the office. Once Vance escorts him down stairs he sees Abby and asks for her report. She tells him she sent it and there is no other copy. He advises her to be careful driving home. Gibbs steps between them and tells Rivera to threaten him not his people.

Ducky and Abby find skeletal figures on their windshields. Paloma calls taunting Gibbs. The call is traced to outside Gibbs' home. He arrives to see the front door open. Jackson and Franks are safe unaware of the break in. A skeletal figure is found.

Gibbs and Vance confront Rivera who calls the Mexican embassy. They back off. Rivera walks to Paloma's waiting car and gets in. She is done toying with Gibbs. She tells her brother it's time to avenge their father's death.

The Web Unravels

Gibbs, Jackson and Franks get ready to move to the safe house. Franks asks Gibbs if he's sure this is going to work. Gibbs answers no.

Vance calls Rivera to come to his office and talk about a diplomatic compromise. Vance agrees to extradite Paloma to Mexico. DiNozzo enters with a note. The director reads it and places it in a file. He tells Rivera something has come up and leaves the office with DiNozzo. When the door closes Rivera opens the file and reads the note. Paloma Reynosa killed. (Does Rivera not see a set up? He's left alone with the file. How dumb is this guy?) McGee blocks calls to Paloma and has a fix on her. She's heading for the safe house.

Rivera drives to the house revenge on his mind. Lights are on in the windows. He walks up the path. The music builds. He empties an automatic weapon into the house filling the front room with broken glass and bullets. Tony and Ziva arrive and take him into custody. Of course Gibbs walks up. He, Franks and his dad were in another safe house. Rivera can't believe Gibbs is still alive. Gibbs tosses a skeletal figure on the ground in front of Rivera's face.

Can you see what's coming?

In the house Paloma Reynosa lies in a pool of blood. She lives just long enough to stroke her brother's cheek. 

Gibbs goes to Stillwater to help his dad fix up the store. When Jackson asks if he has the time Gibbs tells him you do what you have to for family. This is the main theme. Paloma Reynosa was avenging her father. Alijandro Rivera stood by his sister.

In a scene reminiscent of Indiana Jones Director Vance takes Abby's report to the NCIS archives. He walks along the aisle stopping in front of a box. He places the report inside and puts another box on top and walks away. The file will never be found. Perhaps.

"The Spider and the Fly" didn't keep me guessing unlike "Rule Fifty-One". The story was unsurprising. But the show is like a pair of favorite shoes. It's comfy and reliable. It fits its viewer. In a way we too are part if Gibbs' extended family. We gather every Tuesday night to spend quality time together. That's what I love about NCIS. Its characters. Any night spent with Gibbs, Tony, Ziva, McGee, Abby and Ducky is a good one. 19 million people agreed and that doesn't surprise me at all.