Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review - NCIS Season 8 Episode 20 Two-Faced

With five episodes left in the season, things are starting to heat up, with the return of E.J. Barrett, the introduction of Ziva's CIA boyfriend Ray, and a serial killer who remains uncaught. "Two-Faced" is short on investigation and instead plays on the ongoing character developments.

We see Ziva's reactionary defense posture towards relationship, acting very illogical when she learns that Ray and E.J. know each already. She sees that E.J. has already taken Tony and may also have something with Rah, in conjunction to her past relationship failures, and it adds up to be a volatile confrontation with Ray.

And we see Tony trying keep the balance in the office. He seems reasonably happy with E.J. but is prays at the altar of Gibbs and can't defend E.J. under Gibbs's overt attacks. Meanwhile, he also tries to size up Ray since he's Ziva's boyfriend.

Gibbs is usually portrayed as the hero who is awesome in every respect, but it's hard to see anything positive from his behavior in the episode. E.J. gets assigned to the case and is only doing her job as she knows how, with a hands on approach. That may brush up against Gibbs's territory, but that doesn't allow Gibbs to be so rude to her, especially when E.J. tried to be accommodating from the beginning. Afterwards, Gibbs and the rest of the team expect her to roll over for Gibbs, but she stands firm, drawing further ire. If Gibbs expects her to prove herself to him, then he should prove himself first--like being cordial, for starters.

I know lots of people are split on E.J., but I'm fine with her for now. She's willing to stand up to Gibbs, has a thing with Tony, and changes things up in general. I've gone on the message boards and those who dislike her seem to be spouting the same logic Abby was using, not liking change--although we have to keep in mind that Ziva was also an outsider when she joined the show in the third season and a vast majority of people like her now.

The killer remains free at the end of the episode, leaving an eyeball for Tony, and I have a couple questions. Why would Ray tell Ziva who the killer is not and not tell  E.J.? What else is Ray holding back, and if so, does he have another agenda?

Score: 8.8/10
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