The episode started with a very interesting idea. It would reveal exactly what happened to Ziva and resolve her NCIS/Mossad issues. The end result was a fairly average episode that could have been so much more.
A marine, Daniel Cryer, is found and it turns out he was on the Damacles, the ship on which Ziva had boarded. The wreckage of the Damacles is found, and a bunch of other bodies are found with bullet holes. Vance proceeds to interrogate Ziva and we see what happened in a series of flashbacks. She and her fellow Mossad agents board a ship headed for Somalia. That's where she met Cryer who claimed to be a private contractor and they talk several times, though he's up to something. People on the ship get cabin fever and turn violent. The Mossad solution? Kill them all. Ziva ends of pointing her gun at Cryer and neither on them wants to shoot. Another agent kills Cryer, so Ziva is innocent.
Ziva being innocent was a foregone conclusion and there was almost no uncertainty. The big shootout on the ship was completely senseless and unnecessary though I suppose the action loving fans had to get something in this episode. Ben Guidon introduces the slightest bit of doubt, telling everyone that Ziva killed Cryer. It turns out he was the one who shot Cryer and he leaves. He also came under the order of Ziva's father to throw her to the wolves.
There are significant moments between Ziva and Gibbs which reaffirmed the fact that Gibbs is more of a father to Ziva than Eli. Gibbs is wonderful and Eli is terrible. NCIS and other Bellisario shows most of the time operate under the presumptions that everything is absolute and there is only black or white. This is probably one of the reasons critics never seem to care about the show. For the fans, it allows them to cheer for someone, and hate others. I wish there would have been more doubt introduced about Ziva even if it was for one episode where the team had second thoughts about her loyalty. Ziva will probably have to prove herself, but not as Mossad Liaison Officer Ziva David, but NCIS Special Agent Ziva David, which makes that much of a difference.
Gibbs playing nice with Vance was very refreshing, and calling Ziva probie was priceless. Tony and McGee had to have something to do in the episode, but I really didn't care whatever games they were playing this time.