Swan Song

Episode Reviews (16)

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  • 9.5

    P2P killer has a face and claims someone close to the team and the loss hits everyone hard.

    By Rick_1000, Dec 08, 2012

    This episode is another fine example of why NCIS has lasted so long and was given an early okay for a 9th season. While most tv drama start losing steam long before their 5th season, NCIS seems to be going even stronger in the 7th and 8th season - a testament to the incredible cast of actors and writers.


    This episode begins with Gibbs in what can only be described as in shock and in grief. We see Leroy Jethro Gibbs as we rarely see his character - totally devastated and lost as someone obviously close to him is placed into a body bag. While the show did not show who was in the bag until towards the end, I didn't think it was a deliberate attempt to hide or keep audience guessing as to who was killed - former NCIS Agent Mike Franks, as much as keeping us guessing on HOW he was killed. This made for a very touching and poignant scene when Gibbs opened the body bag and we see Mike's pale face and torso lying on Ducky's autopsy table.

    As the story unfolds, we see the last moments of Mike Franks' life as he confronts the P2P killer in a heroic True Grit fashion. You can't help but cheer Franks onwards and, yet, feel saddened that the curmudgeon but lovable Franks would be no more. And this leads to the glimpses into the NCIS team as they each deal with the loss in their own way which in turns revealed a side of Ziva that was only hinted at in the previous episodes. We also see Tony without his wiseguy facade which he dropped for Ziva and we see a hint that Gibbs and Vance may finally come to a truce if not outright friendship.

    As the setup to the season finale, we are taunted with the fate of Agent Barrett as she straggles against the P2P killer.

    Overall, this is one of the finest episodes of NCIS, and one can only wonder that if this show can hit it out of the ballpark with episodes like this in their 8th season, we can only imagine what season 9 is going to be like or season 10, 11, 12, 13...?moreless

    8 1

  • 9.5

    The NCIS Team Chases The Port-To-Port Killer When It's Revealed That He Has Infiltrated The Navy Yard. Who The Trail Leads To Angers Gibbs.

    By Matt16020-FIN, Sep 12, 2012

    "Swan Song" is a remarkable and important episode. It marks the final appereance of Mike Franks, who was probably my favorite guest star in the series. Yes, sometimes he was very annoying, but I genuinely liked him. I did not follow the story at first when Gibbs stares the body-bag and I think it could have been done better. How exactly did Kort work his way to the story right away? The biggest problem here was how the CIA tried to clean up their own mess. What I liked here was the suspense throughout the episode which keeps the viewer guessing until the very end. Despite the flaws, "Swan Song" is definitely one of the best episodes. It was very flawed, but the very engaging story and good acting overcome those flaws. The finale is next!moreless

    3 0

  • 4.5

    Almost every episode of NCIS is gold, but this one isn't. This episode was a CONFUSING.

    By McTrooperNow, Dec 11, 2011

    Almost every episode of NCIS is gold, but this one isn't. This episode was a CONFUSING. It was hard to follow the story line and what motivated characters actions. The flashback storytelling really took ALL the drama out of the episode and only added one genuine laugh to the show. Even as a regular viewer I didn't follow how Cort worked into the story right away. Cort is kind of a confusing character anyway. One thing that the episode did accomplish was getting inside Gibbs head. But, that didn't really add much to the story. Also finding out that the killer's back story was a real let down after all this build up. And the CIA wanting to clean up there own mess was a very weak excuse for not sharing info. I don't understand . .

    How Mike Frank had the box of info on Vance or why Gibbs needed it. Or why Franks thought he was dieing.moreless

    2 9

  • 10

    Superb episode!!!!!!! Sad to see Frank gone.

    By eytanbrch, Sep 25, 2011

    The episode kept me on my toes-a very ingenous plot with the very sad part of one of my favorite characters -Mike Frank - gone from the show. I strongly suspect that the port-to-port killer is NOT what he seemed to be. The clue is in Dr Mallard statement that the standard MO has been changed. The strong underlying CIA element of the story make me suspect that the "killer" is a decoy of the true p2p killer. This fact, if true, leaves Raymondo the leading candidate, since I am sure that we are in for another surprise about this on-going puzzle, which in the NCIS tradition will be revealed in S09E01.moreless

    9 1

  • 9.0

    A recurring character will be missed **spoilers**

    By MoRestrepo, Sep 25, 2011

    Mike Franks will be missed. In every single episode his character was in, the NCIS story was fully enriched into a thrilling viewing experience, and now he's gone. I wonder if he had smoked too many ciggies, anyway, but I mostly recognise him as the maker of Gibbs rules, and in every episode he was in, a true rebel inside (or outside?) the team´s investigations, even the shadow behind Gibbs' agenda to take revenge on his (first?) wife and daughter killings.

    I was hence not surprised to get to watch Ziva, Abby, Dinozzo, and McGee's emotional reaction to his departure, along with Gibbs' mourning during the whole episode... it was truly heartbreaking.

    The episode was a near perfect set preparation for what I hope will be a magnificent season finale, unless, as in previous seasons, another troubling episode is set for us, emotionally charged at the end as the one that was given in the season 2 finale when Kate was killed by Ziva's half brother Ali.

    Can't wait to watch it.moreless

    4 1

  • 10

    Confusing first 10-15 minutes, but then we had a very enjoyable, interesting, and saddening episode!

    By amazing_race, Jun 06, 2011

    This was definitely a good one, even though I have to admit that I was a little lost over the course of the first quarter ofr third of the episode.

    The storyline was definitely a good one, as has been the whole storyline with this P2P killer! It was interesting, but admittedly confusing. I didn't see it coming, when the most shocking thing in this episode happened, and I will not spoil i t for you if you are yet to see it.

    I definitely was very sad with the events that transpired in this episode, and it was a littl e touching. Hopefully the nest episode (season finale) will be just as good, becaues this whole season was mostly great!

    I definitely recommend this episode, and I eagerly anticipate the season finale!moreless

    3 1

  • 6.5

    I feel quite conflicted about this episode and about the whole port-to-port killer story arc.

    By Astardis, Jun 03, 2011

    Now that we know more about the serial killer, I can't shake the feeling that it seems far too scriped, written till it fits.

    First, there is this cliché, stereotype CIA-trained killer gone rogue. I all but groaned when this was explained by Cord.

    Next, there is this whole Barrett situation. It seems to me Barrett was brought in for the solo purpose to become the focus of the port-to-port killer. Gibbs had never given up the lead of an investigation on his turf and the same second someone takes from him, a psychopathic killer feels some kind of connection with Gibbs and targets his rival? Hard to swallow.

    And last but not least, Mike Franks. I can't shake the feeling that the only reason he was called to Washington, was to die there.

    The last thing I feel a bit ambigious about is Ziva's behaviour. Our battle hardened mossad agent and experienced ncis agent gets all emotional in the autopsy room and elevator.

    First, it felt wrong, out of character for her but then I thought how far she has evolved over the years and how open and emotional invested she has become towards her choosen family and I believe I can accept it.

    Since we are still short of the seasons final, the overall conclusion is still pending, but so far this seasons ending is not up to par to recent years.moreless

    7 21

  • 10

    A solid lead into the season finale!

    By Azriel1990, Jun 03, 2011

    I found myself a little critical of the last couple of episodes for minor things. But this episode for me helped to put those criticisms to rest providing us with much needed answers.

    While for me anyway, it was fairly apparent who was in the body bag I still enjoyed the way in which it was handled and, thanks to the great character development, was able to actually feel an emotional connection to the team whose visible portrayal of grief was spot on. This in turn brought about one of the best team moments of the season, if not the entire series - the elevator group hug!

    Of particular note also, was Zivas' emotional response, and the comments she made in the elevator. This is a nice evolution from the character we were introduced to in season 3. Also of note was the definite moment between her and Tony - and judging by the trailer for next weeks episode, the on going chemistry between these two characters may very well be finally addressed.

    With the P2P killer gaining momentum and with Barrett and her team in immediate danger the stage is set for what's shaping up to be one hell of a finale.moreless

    8 3

  • 5.5


    By thefanof, May 29, 2011

    Well, we know who the Port to Port Killer is. I am a fan of NCIS and I actually liked the fact that the show ventured into Dexter territory with this arc of a killer over a couple of episodes, it was a nice little way to shake things up, but frankly this episode was a little bit too dull. Too many sob scenes, too many forced arguments among the crew, and to be blunt, "Swan Song" just did not entertain me much.

    The season finale should be good when we see the aftermath and how everything plays out and the shootout was not bad, guns firing is never boring, but this episode just really did not entertain me. A rarity for NCIS, but it is true.moreless

    4 28

  • 9.0

    A 9 on the reliability scale!

    By bmanx2, May 29, 2011

    All in all, I felt this was a good episode of NCIS. From last week, I was super nervous about who would kick the bucket. Franks was somewhat of a surprise, and yes it was a little sad. The look on Gibbs' face at the beginning of the episode said it all. Somewhat of a slower episode, but most certainly not boring. It was so sweet to see Tony hug Ziva in the elevator when she broke down, and it was even better when the elevator opened up on Mcgee and Abby hugging it out. Awww... a bit of Tiva and Mcabby there. :) They found the ptp killer, now it's just a matter of tracking him down. Can't wit for the season finale next week, its gonna be epic!

    As for this episode, it was much better than the guy below said. Overall 9/10!moreless

    13 2

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