Mind games are the theme of this episode of NCIS. Shrinks abound in a case about a murdered Navy psychiatrist. The question is, who’s playing who?

Hanging Around

Two thieves break into a house and hear a noise upstairs. They fire shots at the culprit and see that it’s a newly dropped body hanging from a rope. Surprisingly, the thieves call in the murder, seeing as how they’re confident that they didn’t kill the guy.

The victim is Navy reservist Dr. Robert Banks. He’s into all kinds of super secret programs that use mental manipulations against enemies of the state. Now it looks like somebody’s turned those games around on him.

Brain Games

Dr. Samantha Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis in fine form) worked with Dr. Banks. She’s all over Gibbs’ case and clearly delights in taunting him. It’s not clear whose side she’s on, seeing as how she’s brave enough to bug Gibb’s basement. I know the guy leaves his door unlocked, but I would never be brave enough to venture down there uninvited. I half expect him to have the place booby trapped. And after finding the bug, I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts.

The two dance around each other throughout the episode. Gibbs seems to be the only person who can throw Ryan off her game, but not in a weak-in-the-knees way. They’re both clearly accustomed to controlling any situation they’re in, and they both refuse to back down. This isn’t a Tiva-type sexual tension. These are two people who have a grudging admiration for each other while never giving up anything they don’t want to.

Old School

Gibbs figures out that it’s too easy to track the information the tech happy members of the team uncover. He dictates a “paper only” investigation, which means McGee has to file through actual pieces of paper instead of running magical computer searches. Poor McGee just about has seizures not being able to do his tap-tap-tap thing. It reminded me of when the power went out and the team had to do everything by hand. I sympathize with Timmy. If it were a choice between my job or my cell phone, I can’t say I wouldn’t consider updating my resume.

Follow the Money

With all of the high tech mind tricks going on, the end of the story ends up being closer to a private detective novel from the 1940’s than an information age cautionary tale. It’s the old story of a daughter killing her father for the insurance money. Well, actually having one of his co-workers drive him to suicide using methods the military developed. Kind of disappointing ending, considering it’s almost the exact same ending as a recent Halloween episode. I know the show just celebrated its 200th episode, but couldn’t we find a more interesting killer considering the head shrinker possibilities?

Crystal Waters
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV