Season 6 Episode 13

Broken Bird

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 13, 2009 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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out of 10
346 votes
  • When Ducky is stabbed it reveals his past.

    I was surprised to see that Ducky got stabbed at the crime scene after NCIS had solved the original case in about a minute What was even more surprising is the things the attacker was saying about Ducky Only some of it was true which was that he killed but only stop people from getting tortured more Overall it was a good Ducky episode where we learn about his past.
  • While Investigating A Crime Scene, Ducky Is Stabbed By An Unknown Woman. The Investigation Leads Down A Path That Could Destroy Ducky's Career.

    As a huge Ducky fan, I was thrilled when I heard that this episode would be centered to him. In my opinion it was great. This episode worked on so many levels. It had a great and very compelling story. I found myself hooked from the very beginning. The scene where Ducky got stabbed was terrific. It was well done. Ducky's past has never been explained so I was glad that we got answers. I was shocked about the accusation of the stabber. David McCallum was excellent and he gives his best performance to date in the series. I hope he is not forgotten when the Emmys are handed. Great episode! Do not miss this.
  • Wait, when did NCIS become a quality show?

    Don´t take the score wrong, here. NCIS is a corny procedural that I just happen to enjoy as a guilty pleasure. It's the kind of amiable cheese I need to explain to friends and family who often wonder why I bother with it at all. Elsewhere I already mentioned that the fun way the characters are built, almost to golden holywood support cast standards, is the main reason why I stick with NCIS. Even so, this show has no business building an episode around two old timer TV actors, much less doing it so well.

    McCallum and W. Morgan Sheppard share one scene, and it makes the episode. All the credit for it falls on the actors, as their dialogue is overwritten and on the nose. The two just elevate it. It helps that Ducky has been built as a rambling literate old man, of course, but making the lines they had poignant and honest is a feat. Sure, the episode has highs and lows, it's definitely not perfect, but unlike other procedurals, NCIS has survived an attempt at social commentary and, surprisingly, even managed to end it in a high emotional note. I guess the move from me-too CSI to a successful show in its own right has happened for a reason. I can't say I'm disappointed with that.
  • Quintessential hypocrisy and angel complex.

    Not for the first time I feel disgusted by Ducky's character...He always follows the same pattern: makes a difficult, but necessary choice, agonizes over it, then apparently reluctantly, but deliberately, finds somebody else to blame for what happened. Quintessential hypocrisy and angel complex. Why did he keep quiet for so many years? They tortured and murdered an innocent man. Now chickens came home to roost, and of course the good doctor allowed himself to be persuaded to give up someone else to take the blame. He submitted himself to the judgment of the victim's family (knowing they'd have to forgive him once they found the truth), so now he can go back being an angel and riding the high horse with everyone else.
  • Confusing.

    Sorry but this is not one of my favourite episodes although it has its moments.
    I thought that the premise of the woman who stabbed Ducky, recognising him after thirty years when she had been only eight at the time was stretching it a bit.
    The idea that it was Ducky who was being tortured psychologically I found confusing. Why? Just for the torturer's sadistic pleasure? It seemed a very strange idea to me.
    In fact, Ducky annoyed me intensely in this episode. All that fuss about the starling in the house - I liked the Corgis though!!
    Jimmy Palmer and his search for the explanation of why there is no J street in Washington was amusing and indeed we now know why. Capital J was too similar to capital I in the script of the day. So there you are.
  • The first half of the episode was amazing, but the second half was just plain confusing!

    This was a decent episode of NCIS, but I have definitely seen better. I lvoed the idea of edelving into Dr. Mallard's past, and this was certainly an interesting storyline.

    Ducky being attacked at the crime scene was just a creative and great scene, but it was also a sad one, and fortunately, it wasn't a serious attack.

    I thought the storyline was interesting at several points, but as the episode unfolded, it became increasingly confusing and more and more frustrating to understand. I know I was definitely confused at various points.

    Overall, it isn't an exceptional episode, but I would still recommend it neveratheless. It's a great show, and even one of its weaker episodes can be seen as great. Keep it up, NCIS!
  • A must watch for any Ducky or David McCallum Fan. Outstanding!!!!!

    "Broken Bird" is one of those episodes that really makes you see what the charactrers are made of. From the start to finish you feel a certain amount of pain for Ducky. It is only thru the unflagging support of his friends, especailly Gibbs, that the good doctor is proven innocent. I have to admit when I first heard what the story line delt with I was hesitant to watch. Ducky is my favorite character on the show and to see the type of charges brought against him was hard to comprehend. After watching in though, I now have a better understanding of his character and a much more sympathtic outlook. By the way I cried for a solid two hour after the episode went off. David McCallum proved what a WONDERFUL actor he really is with the wide range of emotion he displays in this episode. OUTSTANDING
  • Disturbing secrets of Ducky's past are revealed when he is stabbed at a crime scene.

    A nerve-wracking episode with just the right amount of humor and pain, and a little more enlightenment of how Ducky's mind really works. It opens with the death of a navy officer, like all episodes. But what makes this episode unique is the observation of the killer at the moment of the officer's death. Moments after the opening credits, Ducky and Mr. Palmer arrive at the scene late (as has happened in many prior episodes) and immediately fall into the conversation of how Mr. Palmer missed the street, while kneeling over the dead navy officer. While Gibbs and the Gibblets arrest the perpetrator, in what Tony describes as the 'quickest case ever', Ducky is stabbed by a woman wearing a green scarf. Ziva chases after the new perp, and Gibbs and Palmer rush to aid the doctor (in this scene I was a little disappointed that Gibbs wasn't more worried about Ducky. A friend of so many years is surly one to worry for when he's stabbed.). I enjoyed the next scene after this, with Ducky being taken out of the surgery, hopped up on 'just a drop' of morphine. In the scenes with Gibbs, I found myself wondering, for some reason, if his glasses had turned into a necessity. I don't remember him wearing them for as long as he did in this episode. And that also led me to take in the shape of the lenses. I believe that they are different from the ones that he received in the first season. Anyhoo, the rest of the episode revolves around Ducky and why a random woman would want to stab and possibly kill him. It came as a shock to me when Gibbs found him at the embassy, prepared to turn himself in for a crime he did not mean to commit some three decades ago. The reconcile between Ducky and the one eyed man at the embassy was a very interesting scene. How Ducky was the one who was really being tortured and all that was said. (By the way, was anyone else kind of hoping that Mrs. Mallard would make an appearance in this episode?) The last scene I though was extremely touching, with Ducky sitting in the morgue, crying. It really shows how Ducky is a 'broken bird'.
  • Really, a Ducky episode!

    Not a lot of episodes, get to showcase. Ducky, the wise ME. But this one, showcases him, as well. Because, it shows part, of his past. A woman, tries to stab him. Over a three decades war crime. Despite knowing, that he did it. He didn't do it, for murder. But he did it, to end, the person he killed. Putting him, out of, his misery. Ducky tries to turn himself, into the Embassy. There, he and the one-eyed man, began to play, a game of, cat and mouse. Ducky is cleared. But still, he feels so guilty. He cries at the end. Really it touched me, that he cried. As viewers wanted, to cry with him.
  • wow DUCKY!

    Who knew that Ducky had ever regreted something from his life? i love how its a Ducky episode and you get to learn more about Ducky than you ever have before. Its really thrilling and a great episode to watch, its an easy way to picture Ducky as a young repectable man and makes you think that all of his stories had some kind of more thrilling action behind them! I also love how in this episode Ducky has a love intrest, its just so cute! Its also great to know how Ducky is suppersticious about the birds in the house, its very interesting episode!
  • good Ducky episode...

    Ducky gets stabbed at a crime scene and is later accused of crimes against humanity. It turns out, that he humanely killed a tortured man and that the torturer was actually torturing Ducky. The torturer at the end was creepy and I hope he rots in jail. Anyways, I like this episode because we get to learn more about Ducky's past and another part of his character. I liked having the other ME come in and I want to see her more with Ducky and the cast. (though, I watch stargate and it's weird seeing her in a different role) Anyways, great character development episode and I love learning more about characters' pasts.
  • Ducky's past comes back to haunt him

    In this episode of NCIS, the following happens. A marine is stabbed in broad daylight and so the NCIS team are called in. The team soon track down the killer, who is the marine's ex-fiancée. A woman watching Ducky and Jimmy from the crowds covers herself in her scarf, picks up the murder weapon which is next to the dead body and attacks Ducky. Jimmy manages to fight her off, but not before she stabs Ducky in the hand. Ziva chases after her, but before she can caught her, the woman disappears. Ducky is taken to the hospital, and a video tape of the incident is played back and a translator comes in, we learn why Ducky was attacked. The woman was screaming, you killed my brother. Then Ducky admits that she was shouting it because he killed her brother. Ducky later goes to the Afghan Embassy and confess to his War Crimes. Only we learn then, that he did not kill anyone, he was protecting them. At the end of the episode, Ducky goes back to the morgue, and starts to cry; luckily Jordan is there for him.
  • Not a horrible story line, but i have seen better.

    Most "flashback" episodes do tend to have the same quality about them, this one wasn't so different. but i did have a certain draw to it. we learned a fair amount about Ducky, that was nice. But what wasn't to my head was this:
    about halfway through the episode i realized this was a sort of "hiatus" for Ducky, because in those episodes we learned about gibbs and his past, and in "broken bird" we learn more about ducky. Which made me happy (because i loved the "hiatus" eps) or at least it made me happy for a about five seconds until i remembered that gibbs left at the end of part two, which put me in a panic until "broken bird" was over, overall it was a good episode, not one of the great ones, but one of the better ones.
  • We finally get an insight into the history of Dr. Donald Mallard.

    A very interesting and revealing episode... I must say I am glad we finally get a glimpse into Ducky's past. The man has so many facets, it's fascinating and I am looking forward to more. Especially his knowledge amazes me.
    Anyway, an Afghani woman stabs Ducky when finally seeing him after 30 years. The last time she saw him, he killed her brother Javeed (which is a name I absolutely love, by the way).
    Of course, there is a story behind it, and how could we ever believe that sweet Ducky intentionally murdered a person/people? There is a hint of doubt throughout the episode: just a small hint, not enough to mean anything, but it's present. It turns out that Ducky did kill Javeed, but only to rescue him from further pain, from further torture. It was really an act of humanity... One of thos noble things you read about in books.
    The end was just painful, with Ducky crying. While he doesn't come across as a physically strong man, he does come over as a man who has faced and survived much, and thus is strong. Therefore it is surprising and even more painful to see him break down. So many bad things have happened...

    I was touched by everyone's faith in Ducky and especially Gibbs pulling strings for him. He contacted someone at the CIA he really didn't like (wasn't that guy also involved with the La Grenouille case?) to find out more about Ducky (for Ducky is not talking at that point) and eventually the guy gives him a 'bonus': the file on Vance. I, for one, am very curious as to its contents.
  • So then why there is no 'Jay' street?

    Part of Ducky's past is finally revealed as he ends up stabbed at the crime scene. The attacker is soon identified as an Afghani woman who accused him of war crimes.
    Our favourite ME will be forced to bring back old painful memories of his past to reveal the truth behind the woman's claim.
    In the mean time Gibbs' team work hard to help Ducky, and Gibbs manages ti find clues of what happened thanks to and old ally: Trent Kort.
    Ducky is eventually cleared but that doesn't mean the whole case didn't leave any scar on him.
    Nice episode, a good development for Ducky's character even though Team's dynamics were a bit neglected.
  • Doctor Mallard confronts secrets that even he did not fully understand.

    What Ducky believed was the truth of his past turned on him in the space of a few words, as it did for the woman who stabbed him. She honestly beleived that Doctor Mallard was a monster who murdered her brother and part of that was true. He did take her brother's life but it was an act of mercy to save her brother from the torture of a man with out mercy. Yet the torture was not intended to break the young man suffering the pain but to break the doctor so that he would no longer wish to end their pain. I supposed in reality it worked, Ducky did break down and do something unthinkable, perhaps that was where all the tears came from in the end. Or maybe just maybe he heard something in Palmer's odd ramblings... No J street so that people would not get lost... perhaps Doctor Jordan and Mr. Palmer were his J street helping him find his way home and keeping him from getting lost!!!
  • Only in Ducky's Mind......

    This episode starts off with a relatively easy, open and shut case until Ducky gets stabbed by a Afgani woman while at a crime scene. The team pulls together to find the woman and why. Both seemed to cause an even bigger puzzle. The woman accuses Ducky of war crimes, specifically murder. Ducky doesn't put up a arguement or fight. It's up to Gibbs to make sense out of everything. Ultimately, Ducky is guilty of a crime but it was done out of mercy, not hatred. The true criminal is revealed and unfortunately he used Ducky to meet his own goals.
  • Ducky is stabbed at a crime scene by an Afghani woman, who later accuses him of war crimes.

    This episode had it all. Great beginning action, intense story and a twist.
    When Gibbs figures out there is more to the story, he calls on his hated CIA contact, Cole to get the true story on what really happened there. What he gets is a movie and a bonus folder, one on his boss, Vance. We know this will show up later.
    We see a different side of Ducky at the end of this episode. Is he now no longer the man we love and is he going to phase out of the show and be replaced by Torri Higginson. I would not want to see that happen as he is an integral part of the team.
    This was the best episode in a long time, if not one of the best ever.