Tag Archives: Sean Murray

NCIS – Shabbat Shalom

5 Mar

The NCIS episode “Shabbat Shalom”, written by Chris Waild, showed here in Australia last night.  This episode is probably one of the best to come from Chris’ fertile mind.

A journalist masquerading as a sailor is found dead in a river.  Was it an accident or deliberate?  Meanwhile, Ziva’s father Eli is paying a surprise visit.  Sounds like a volatile cocktail – and it is.

The character of Eli has always interested me.  Cold and amoral  In his mind nothing done for the sake of Israel is wrong.  Even to the point of using and destroying his own children.  A character who has polarized viewers since this first appearance. 

This time, however, some of the most thought provoking lines were given to Eli.  For example:

“Nothing is impossible, Ziva, only difficult.”

“Leon, my friend, you and I were forged in blood, but peace can be our legacy.”

“Ziva, the truth has many faces.”

Eli’s somewhat discordant appearances are offset by small moments of humor.  Not much.  This episode did not lend itself to the usual jokes and comments that have become the hallmark of NCIS.

McGee’s pronunciation of the work buttock (but -tock) was hilarious.  Leon’s acid comment of “Not exactly inspiring a chorus of Kumbaya” struck the perfect note.

Unintended humor for me was caused by my clash of fandoms, when McGee turned up wearing a purple shirt.  McGee in the Purple Shirt of Sex is a worry.  Sherlock fans will know what I mean.

The thing about this episode that blew me away was Cote de Pablo’s performance as Ziva.  Cote has really grown into the role since her first appearance in season 3.  Last night, she blew it out of the water.  Ziva’s distrust of her father, and her hoping that this time he was genuine.  Any illusions she had about him then being brutally shattered.  Then the final blow.  Eli David dead at the hand of an assassin.  Cote’s performance as she finds her father’s body is one of the finest pieces of acting I have ever seen.

Kudos need to go to Sean Murray and Michael Weatherly in this scene.  Both men said so much, without being given a single line of dialogue.  Their characters’ anguish and pain, as well as their love for Ziva, came through so clearly.  I am not ashamed to admit I was sitting there literally sobbing.

The final scene, however, was the emotional icing on a punishing episode to watch.  Leon walks out of the operating theatre, his face a mask of pain, and delivers the final horror:

“She’s dead.  My wife is dead, Gibbs.”


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