Tag Archives: Jacqui Vance

NCIS – Shiva

12 Mar

After the first part of the two part story arc, “Shabbat Shalom”, I was really expecting great things from “Shiva”.  I was bitterly disappointed.

“Shiva” came nowhere near the standards of “Shabbat Shalom”.  It was messy, trite and horribly predictable.  I do wonder if over writing was the problem.  “Shabbat Shalom” was written by Chris Waild.  “Shiva” had input from Chris Waild, Gary Glasberg and Scott Williams.  Not so much too many cooks spoil the broth, as too many writers screw up the script.

After a brilliant performance the previous week, the writers gave Cote de Pablo absolutely nothing to work with as Ziva this time round.  By having Ziva close down emotionally they screwed it up.  There was no emotional hook for the viewers.  We couldn’t share her pain, because she wasn’t showing any.

The only great performance came from the actor who played Deputy Director Jerome Craig.  From ineffectual little dweeb to competent leader in the space of one episode.  Mind you, he did have Leroy Jethro Gibbs at his back.  That would give anyone confidence.  Or a nervous breakdown, depending on the circumstances.

For once the humor injected into the script felt false.  Usually it flows well and naturally, but not this time.  The only truly funny exchange jarred because of the subject matter of the episode:

Tim: Gabby is a spy, Tony.  Flirting is just another weapon in her arsenal.  Tony: And what an arsenal!

Note to writers.  You’d done a reasonably good job on making Tony gentle and understanding throughout the rest of the episode.  Then you had to throw Frat Boy Tony into the mix, didn’t you? *sigh*

Rocky Carroll gave a brilliant performance as Leon struggled to cope with the death of his wife.  His scenes with Mark Harmon were of the wonderful standard I have come to expect from both men.  Leon: Do me a favour, Gibbs.  Get these bastards!”

The great shame was that the episode concentrated too much on Ziva’s pain and Vance barely got a look in.  Lack of balance.  The death of Jacqui Vance was the greater tragedy.  Wantonly killed.  Collateral damage is the term.  Eli David courted his death with his life style.  That he would die violently was almost a certainty.  In my opinion the greater tragedy of the murder of an innocent should have been the focus of the episode.

Let’s get the the villain of the piece shall we?  The Deputy Director of Mossad and Eli David’s right hand man.  For a spymaster Eli David had lousy judgement when it came to picking subordinates.  The writers were also lousy in their creation of Elan.  He was so nasty, unpleasant, and bullying that it was obvious he was the villain, and behind Eli and Jacqui’s murders.  Elan was almost a cartoon villain.  I could almost see the dramatic black cape twirl behind him as he flounced about. 

The final scenes as the shots flowed between Jacqui Vance’s funeral and Ziva in Israel were beautifully done.  Problem is, it wasn’t enough to rescue a poorly written episode from the mediocrity it deserves.

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