Season 8 Episode 14

A Man Walks Into a Bar...

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 08, 2011 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
405 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The team has to investigate the death of a naval commander found shot to his death on a navy vessel, while undergoing mandatory psych evaluations.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • 6 years too late!

    Really quite silly to bring up the loss of a character thats been gone for almost 6 years!

    Maybe if it were done at the end of the 3rd season it would have gone down better, but doing it in the 8th season just irritates me.

    Lets not even discuss the ethical standpoint of psych-evaluating people your dead sister used to work for, but to be putting the characters under that microscope and then for the episode to get yanked in the other direction with no resolution for the character we love and see every week now was just ridiculous!

    POOR episode.moreless
  • While Investigating The Murder Of A Naval Commander, The Team Undergoes Its Long Overdue Psychiatric Evaluation Which Reveals A Dark Incident From The Past.

    "A Man Walks Into A Bar" is a remarkable and important episode. The case was dull, but the look back at some important moments was much appreciated. This episode also has a few laughs in there. For example, the psychiatrist said that many people talk about their sex lives and Tony answers that it rules out McGee. I laughed very much during this show. Another high point is the psychiatrist. I didn't realize who she looked like until it was revealed in the end. I don't think many others saw it either. Despite this, this is one of the stronger episodes of this season. This is the one I recommend.moreless
  • The cast so far is still together. They seem to be a well oiled machine that just keeps on turning out stronger episodes one more powerful then the next. This episode speaks volumes to me. It kinda makes me wonder how much longer this show will march on.moreless

    It took me maybe ten to twenty minutes to figure out who Dr. Rachel Cranston is related to and looked like. Its really amazing how the team was on a case and we saw many good memories from the past and some sad ones aswell. Its hard moving on without a cast member who was part of a really great team. Moving along to the future when Ziva arrived she was nothing like Kate Todd. I think its taken a good long time for Ziva to fit into the team. In the back of my head I am left wondering how much longer the show will go on. It was good flashing back to the past and the cast coming to grips with what happened with Kate. I think the only way now is for the show to move on and go forward. When the time does finally come to say goodbye I expect some big suprises at the end. And maybe alittle mystery to. One can wonder and only wait and see what happens.moreless
  • I thought this episode was absolutely perfect for several reasons.

    1. NCIS is setting personal records in rating recently, and the flashbacks in this episode gave insight into each character (with the exception of Palmer, who I did wish had been there) so that the new viewers can have some background about the characters. But the important thing is, NCIS did not make the mistake of using flashbacks to take over the episode, making it a waste for viewers who are already familiar with the flashback scenes. Instead, they used a few short yet important scenes intermixed with the new storylines for a perfect balance.

    2. As a hardcore McAbby fan, I was glad to see their relationship acknowledged, even if nothing happened to progress its status.

    3. I liked the murder/suicide case in general. While it wasn't the most interesting case they've ever done, it fell in line with the seasons 1 and 2 theme that the Kate flashbacks brought in that it wasn't trying to provide a political message or dig deeply into any of the main characters' lives. Plus the suicide angle was surprising, at least to me, which is a nice break from the obviously guilty suspects on some shows.

    4. I liked Kate's sister, who really did look like Sasha. Plus even though Sasha had decided to leave, I feel like an episode like this is good PR to show (or at least make it seem) that no party is bitter about the split. Kate was an interesting character, so it was nice to bring her back in a creative yet realistic way, especially since she was a major part of the pilot and first two seasons that got the ball rolling. Cudos, NCIS. This has been my favorite episode of the season so far.moreless
  • 814

    "A Man Walks into a Bar" it sounds like a Mad Men episode title, but this episode was nothing like Mad Men. Strangely, it was not all like NCIS either.

    The team had to undergo mandatory psych evaluations here. Of course that was going to lead some good comedic moments, but when you watch this show it is about the combination of comedic moments along with a nice dramatic case that the team is investigating, and the latter was conspicuously absent today.

    When the lady said that most people talk about their sex lives, and DiNozzo said, "That rules out McGee," I laughed, but I think they missed out on this show. A lot of potential for this episode, and while it was good, it could have been great, given the cast involved.moreless
Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Special Agent Tony DiNozzo

Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo

Special Agent Ziva David

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

David McCallum

David McCallum

Chief M.E. Ducky Mallard

Rocky Carroll

Rocky Carroll

Director Leon Vance

Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Wendy Makkena

Wendy Makkena

Dr. Rachel Cranston

Guest Star

Scott Lawrence

Scott Lawrence

Navy Captain Thomas Lind

Guest Star

Kim Johnston Ulrich

Kim Johnston Ulrich

Nancy Hargrove

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • GOOF: It's stated that Tony's mother died when he was eight, but in the third season episode "Frame-Up," he tells Gibbs that his mother dressed him in a sailor suit until he was 10.

    • GOOF: About 10 minutes into the ep, McGee says that the dead Commander was 18 months from retirement. Then, about 50 minutes into the ep, Gibbs says the Commander was 9 months from mandatory retirement.

    • TRIVIA: Tony's mother died when he was eight years old.

    • TRIVIA: In the background of the last scene where Kate is talking to her sister on the phone, McGee can be seen sitting down at a computer and Tony is looking out of a window. This is from the season one episode, "Dead Man Talking", where the three of them are on a stakeout. In the same episode, she receives a call from a "Dwayne" and answers it in the same way, showing McGee and Tony in the background.

    • TRIVIA: Among the weapons in Seaman Leonard's gun room is a pair of duelling pistols, several Katanas, a Colt .357 Magnum, a Colt M1911 and an M1A1 Thompson submachine gun.

    • TRIVIA: It is revealed that Kate has a sister called Rachel.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • McGee: Didn't I tell you to wait outside?!
      Dr Cranston: Psychiatrists never listen.

    • Dr. Cranston: The-the-the thing that puzzles me, with all this change of allegiance to country, of the type of men you're drawn to, what is it that you're looking for? What is it that you want?
      Ziva: I want... something... permanent. Something that can't be taken away. Is that too much to ask?

    • McGee: What are we supposed to talk about?
      Dr. Cranston: Well, believe it or not, most people talk about their sex lives.
      Tony: That rules Tim out.

    • (Dr. Cranston's letter to Director Vance)
      Dr. Cranston: Director Vance, spending time with your team has been... enlightening, to say the least. In clinical terms, they're a disaster. But their selfless dysfunction is ultimately why it works. It's clear to me we all react to life's challenges in different ways. Your people are no exception. Some fight death and some embrace its sorrows. Some recognize their fate, and others do whatever is necessary to alter it. Sometimes we defy other's expectations and occasionally we rise to meet them. But the constant is being true to ourselves. We do what we have to when we have to. We react for better or worse. It's why your team succeeds. But be careful. Eventually, it might catch up to you. A man walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a glass of water. The bartender pulls out a shotgun...

    • (Gibbs takes Dr. Cranston to his basement, the site of Ari's death)
      Gibbs: You feel that, right there?
      Dr. Cranston: What?
      Gibbs: This is where the guy who murdered Kate died. This is where Ziva shot her own brother. That, Doc, is closure. Now the rest is just memories. Nothing wrong with memories.

    • (McGee and Dr. Cranston stumble upon Seaman Leonard's gun room)
      McGee: Care to analyze this, Doctor? What you think? Gun nut?
      Dr. Cranston: Well, I was thinking something more clinical but "gun nut" works.
      McGee: Yeah...

    • (Tony is in Autopsy discussing the Commander's death with Ducky when Dr. Cranston walks in)
      Dr. Cranston: Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt. Just came to say hello. (To the corpse) Hello!
      Tony: Goodbye.
      (Tony starts walking out the door)
      Dr. Cranston: You don't have to leave, Agent DiNozzo.
      Tony: I do if you stay.

    • Abby: (To Dr. Cranston) Trust me, honey. You don't have enough hours in the day.
      Dr. Cranston: We'll find the time, Ms Sciuto. Don't you worry.

    • (Tony is doing a horse impression as Director Vance and Dr Cranston walk down the stairs behind him)
      McGee: Tony, you may want to stop acting like a jackass.
      Tony: That's not an ass, it's a hor- (McGee nods, indicating someone is behind him) I can explain, sir!
      Director Vance: (To Cranston) Settle in, Doctor. This should be good.

    • (Tony is fanning some money in front of Ziva)
      Ziva: Where did you get that money?
      Tony: Ever heard of a trifecta?
      Ziva: I do not want to hear about your threesomes.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode features clips from (in order of appearance) the episodes "Aliyah", "Silver War", "Legend, Part II", "Kill Ari, Part II", "Singled Out", "Hometown Hero", "Reveille", "Cloak", "Enemies Domestic", "An Eye for an Eye", "SWAK", "Yankee White", "Twilight", "Recruited", "Rule Fifty-One" and "Truth or Consequences." Among the clips used is also a lost scene that never aired, where Kate and Tony are talking on the rooftop. This is from the episode "An Eye for an Eye."

    • Original International Air Dates:
      : February 9, 2011 on Global
      : March 8, 2011 on Channel Ten
      : March 8, 2011 on TV3
      United Kingdom: April 1, 2011 on FX/FX HD
      : April 12, 2011 on TV3
      The Netherlands
      : April 12, 2011 on SBS 6
      Finland: June 14, 2011 on Nelonen
      : June 17, 2011 on LaSexta
      Germany: September 4, 2011 on SAT 1
      Slovakia: October 26, 2011 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: April 2, 2012 on TV Nova

    • Guest star Scott Lawrence previously played the role of Cmdr. Sturgis Turner on JAG.


    • Dr. Cranston: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. And sorry I could not travel both.

      Dr. Cranston reads the first two lines from Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken, published in 1916.

    • Abby: Well, it's too late for that, Sigmund.

      Abby refers to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), a famous Austrian psychologist best known for his theories on the unconscious mind and psychological repression.

    • Tony: I went to the track. Pimlico.

      Pimlico Race Course is a horse racetrack in Baltimore, Maryland, most famous for hosting the Preakness Stakes, that is, a thoroughbred horse race for three year-old horses.

    • Dr. Cranston: I thought it was Secreteriat?

      Secreteriat was an American Thoroughbred racehorse, that, in 1973, became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in twenty-five years, earning $1,316,808.

    • Tony: Listen, Doc, about my Man O' War impression...

      Man O' War was a thoroughbred racehorse considered to be the greatest in the world at the time (post-World War I), winning 20 out of it's 21 races and netting a total of $249,465 in winnings for it's owner, Samuel Riddle.

    • Title: A Man Walks Into a Bar...

      The title is a reference to the popular joke format, where the punch line differs each time, similar to the "Knock knock" jokes.