NCIS

Season 6 Episode 4

Heartland

7
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 14, 2008 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (28)

8.8
out of 10
Average
534 votes
  • The Team's Next Murder Case Leads Them To Gibbs's Hometown And Secrets From His Past Are Revealed.

    10
    To date this is my favorite episode of the sixth season of "NCIS". With this episode the show continues its streak of well written scripts and cleverly plotted episodes. The reason why I liked "Heartland" so much, is that we learned more about Gibbs. Mark Harmon is always in top form as L.J. Gibbs and with this episode he doesn't miss a beat. He is my favorite character. His father was also interesting. It was a good idea to cast Ralph Waite as Jackson Gibbs. He looks exactly like Leroy. The murder case was also interesting and I surely was hooked all the way through. I also liked the twist in the case, mainly because it seemed plausible and it worked well. Another reason why "Heartland" works well is the end. We learned how Jethro met Shannon and we also learned the origin of the "rules". Overall, this episode was fantastic and it is not to be missed. One of the best episodes of the shoe.
  • The end of a good show...

    3.5
    NCIS is turning into a soap opera. Gone are the days where the script stuck to the true character: Gibbs turns into a little boy when he sees his dad, Abby has now regressed to a little schoolgirl, back are the bad jokes with Ziva's communication problems dropped two seasons ago, and Tony is the jerk he was in season one. Bellisario kept a close eye on the script for a reason, lest not forget that Harmon's career was on the down before NCIS came along - now we have a second grade actor dictating the script and bring in 'character development and depth' rather than concentrating on what made NCIS the success it was in the first place...

    Censor me if you must, you cannot deny the truth though...
  • I love the episodes that delve into the team's past, and this one was no exception to that rule!

    10
    I thought this episode had a lot of great aspects to it, and when you combine all of them, it adds up to a pretty remarkable episode, if you ask me.

    The case wasn't exaclty the most interesting, but it was still well thought out, and the little clips into Giibb's past were very interesting.

    I also didn't find the episode to be particularly funny, but Jackson Gibbs was so cute and great to see!

    I loved the last scene, and I thought it was very touching and well thought out. Very good job in that department, and this season is looking spot on for me.

    A great episode, and please keep it up, as I am enjoying this season quite a lot!
  • one of my favorites...ever!

    10
    this episode was amazing. it was a tearjerker, mysterious, humorus, an overall package. i just have to say wow. i loved gibbs father, hes funny, and a very cute old person. and i loved the teams discusion on how gibbs didn't just come out of nowhere. but anyways, they're trying to solve a case about this dude from gibbs home town. it turns out the dead guys ex girlfriends father had him killed by the dead guys ex girlfriends husband. but yea just loved gibbs and his dad. one of my favorite parts was when gibbs got his car his dad kept for him after all those years.....anyways, i loved it!
  • Boring

    6.0
    This was a big season six episode of NCIS as it introduced Leroy's father Jackson to the viewers. The scenes with the rest of NCIS obsessing over him were pretty funny, I will admit that much, but the rest of this episode was pretty forgettable. The flashback scenes came off as incredibly cliched and weren't really of any value to the storyline at hand.

    The actually murder mystery was pretty generic as well, and was nothing the show has not done before.

    NCIS became the most-watched show during this season, but this was not one of the reasons why, in my opinion.
  • No words can make it to the greatness of "Heartland". Just go watch it, now!

    10
    I mean it, no words can express how amazing it was, you will only understand this after you've watched it, and if you're a fan. I'm afraid i'm only wrinting this to fullfill the 100 words thing... because this has to be *the BEST NCIS episode ever*, nothing else to say!
    I can't believe i actually even cried watching it, and i'm still crying now, and i hardly ever cry, even for "non-fictional" reasons! Congratulations again to whole crew and cast for the great job."Heartland" was a 43 minutes episode that felt like watching a full 120 minutes theatrical movie, such was the the high level of the drama, the plot, the acting. Of course we have of all our dearest NCIS funny moments, like the gang making jokes on how they thought Gibbs came into this world, Ziva and McGee "rush-hush" call to Tony and Abby, Tony and his list of questions to be made to Jackson Gibbs - and no, Gibbs rules did not come from his dad, but we do find out where they came from, and there's something beautiful to it's origin. We never learned so much about Gibbs during all these years as we have in this episode. I can say we can now almost fully see through Gibbs personality. It's impossible not to like Jackson Gibbs, it's impossible not to be mesmerized by the scenes between Ralph Waite and Mark Harmon... now if you haven't seen it yet please quit my over-sentimental fan babbling and go watch Heartland, it's worth every minute!!
  • Great back story and Harry Chapin connection make this a must watch episode

    10
    I do love the episodes that get into the back stories of the main characters. Gibbs brief first meeting with Shannon was well done and sheds interesting light on his behavior. We now know where the numbered rules come from. The choice of Ralph Waite as Gibbs' father was also inspired. Watching the team go all gaga over Gibbs' dad added a better than average comedic element to the episode. The show also thematically shares a great deal with the Harry Chapin song "The Mayor of Candor Lied". Being a big admirer of Chapin's work made this show even more fascinating. In this version the seemingly evil father has the son sent overseas instead of the daughter as in the song. But the underlying reasons remain the same. http://www.anyoldkindofday.com/index.php/The_Mayor_of_Candor_Lied.
  • The editors need to do a better review of the information used in the episode.

    9.0
    This episode and series is great; however, occasionally there are little things that make it into shows that should have been caught by the writers or editors.

    The fictional town of Stillwater, in the not so fictional Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; had a sheriff. No where in all of the cities, boroughs, township and even the only town in PA (Bloomsburg), will you find a local sheriff. Sheriffs in Pennsylvania exist only on the county level and have primary duties of prisoner transport and security of the courts. The character of local sheriff and lapdog to the big wig may have worked in most of the 46 states and perhaps even in a few of the other commonwealths, but not in Pennsylvania. If you want a similar character in PA, make him a Chief of Police.
  • We met Gibb's father

    10
    In this episode of NCIS the following happens. The NCIS team are called in when 2 sailors are attacked outside of a club. One is dead and the other one is in the hospital. A third one was with them when they were out, but he went back into the club to pick up his credit card and when he came back outside the other 2 have been attacked and there is no one around. The team learn that one of the victims is from Stillwater, which is also Gibbs home town. We learn he hasn't been home since summer 1976. We learn that everyone believed that Ethan had died over 4 years ago. Ziva bumps into an old man named Jackson who turns out to be Gibbs father. Ziva and McGee phone Tony & Abby to let them know the news, that Gibbs has a father. Ziva and McGee collect evidence and put into their car. Their car is soon set upon and it explodes. We learn that Gibbs and his father haven't spoken since the funeral of his wife and daughter. We learn that the reason Ethan was attacked was because he was a brother to the girl he loved. Only he didn't know. It was the son-in-law who set up the attack. At the end of the episode we see how Shannon and Gibbs met. It was so beautiful that it made me cry.
  • Personal favorite of the early season of NCIS

    10
    After watching the preview for this episode following the previous episode of NCIS i was thinking this episode will be the best of the season. A week later, i was proven right. Heartland is the best season 6 episode so far.

    Personally, any episode of NCIS that involves a Gibbs-centric story, its automatically going to the top of my favorites. The fact that we get to see his hometown and finally meet Gibbs father was very very exciting.

    The interaction between Gibbs and his father is great as well as when Ziva, Tony and the others talk with him too. Also worthy of noting we see the origins of Shannon and Gibbs "List of Rules"
  • funny and great

    10
    This was a great episode, with the returning back to gibbs home, it was great. Especially how Dinozzo knew exactly where they would end up going. Gibbs father was a tadd odd, but still no other could have played him. Its funny because Gibbs has sort of taken after his father if you think about it! It was interesting to see that Gibbs also hates his father, and what ever will happen to his NEW car of his? Hopefully we will get to see it some time later in the season!

    But i think it was an amazing episode with everything happening!
  • This was definately a change up in the usual NCIS ways- but it was for the better!

    10
    This was definately a change up in the usual NCIS ways- but it was for the better! We find out a lot more about Gibb's family and his past in a way that intrigues us..... Was it because of all the question marks about Gibbs and his past..... or was is just because of the non- stop laughter. None the least, this was one of the best episodes by far! This episode has definetly set the standards to succedd this seasons! NCIS has definatly been living up to their expecitations this season! I can't wait to see what else they have in stored for us! Great Job! This is one of my top fifteen episodes!
  • When the NCIS travel back to Gibb's home town secrets are revealed about his past.

    10
    This episode was the best of Season 6 so far. It was cleverly plotted and was an excellent storyline. Who would of thought Gibbs would have a father? Anyway how old is Gibbs? In season 2 gibbs mentioned on the phone to a gang that his father had passed away years ago. We actually got to see how gibbs met Shannon which also was nice. For me this episode filled in many of the blanks i didn't know about Gibbs character. I hope there is many more great installments and cleverly plotted and excitng episodes to come in Season 6.
  • Gibbs goes Home!

    9.5
    Great episode! This episode had lots of fun and drama.

    It was nice to meet Gibbs father. He was very sweet. He restored that car for Gibbs. It was very special. I'm sure Agent Dinozzo was slightly envious.

    I loved the scene when McGee and Ziva were running into the store in order to tell Abby and Tony that Gibbs had a father.

    I was glad Tony was able to meet Gibbs father. It was very nice to see where Gibbs rules originated from. I hope Gibbs senior pops up again in antoher episode. I would like to see him again. I think the interaction between the two put forth a different side of Gibbs.
  • Gibbs returns to his home town following a lead and we are introduced to Senior Gibbs

    8.5
    This episode was particulary enjoyable as we were introduced to a different side of gibbs that we havenot yet seen. its interesting that he does things his dads way until they dont work unlike how he usually handles things. i loved how the team got to know things about gibbs past and how they interacted with his dad especially between abby. This series just keeps on getting better and better although that is not hard as the team was split up and they killed off jenny. Does anyone else find it interesting that out of the main characters they will only kill off females?

    Another great installment of NCIS
  • Definite insight into Gibbs' life.

    9.0
    Excellent episode. From Tony's excitement about going to Gibbs' hometown, to the other Giblets' reaction to meeting his father, this was a defining episode for everyone. The case was well-plotted with a nice twist at the end, but most of the focus was on Gibbs and his reaction to being in his hometown. Some very good lines from the Giblets about where they thought Gibbs came from. Very entertaining.

    And Jackson Gibbs was also a very interesting character. Their personailtites seem to counteract each other and they are quite different people. Definitely a good episode and great acting from all of the characters.
  • This will be one of my favorites.

    9.0
    The addition of Ralph Waite was absolute perfection. How the script worked the interaction between Jackson and Jethro was poinent as well as funny. It showed that there were issues, a history, but most importantly caring. The team's reaction to Jackson's existence was hysterical. The case as a whole was interesting but the fact that it was being played out in Jethro's hometown took center stage. It was excellently written as Jethro goes home to face old ghosts as well as old enemies. I like the ability of imagining Jethro as a young man. I'm just hoping this isn't the last we see of Jackson.
  • Cried my eyes out at the end

    10
    I really enjoyed this episode and the interaction between Gibbs and his father. You really get a sense of his hurt at not being contacted for so long even if there is blame on both sides. I was in tears at the flashback of him meeting Shannon and if only DiNozzo could know where the rules came from. We've had flashbacks of Shannon before and it was good to see Gibbs being able to deal with his memories without such sadness now.

    I also enjoyed the twist in the tale, how jealousy consumed Nick to the point where he will now miss a lot of his son's life.
  • A murdered Marine, and Gibbs hometown, what's not to like?

    10
    A Really great episode, the actual case was kind of flimsy, but I watch NCIS for the characters, not the cases. Again we get to dig a little bit more into Gibbs past and see the man he was before we all came to know and love him. I liked the way they set up him and Shannon meeting, i'm not into sappy romance things usually but even i'll admit it was sweet. Would of liked to see a little bit more of my main man Tony, but all in all the was an exceptional episode. In short, this episode has all the things that fans of NCIS have come to know and love: funny, funny humor, mystery, and sexual tension (though not as much as usual since this was a Gibbs episode) Mark Harmon again reaffirms why he's one of my favorite actors, the scenes between him and Raplh Waite (his father) are truely awesome (Him acting like a teenager was a hoot), all things said this was a series classic!
  • Not a good episode...A Great episode

    10
    First of all I find it very funny that both this show and House that air on the same night both had an episode that dealt with the main character's father. Now that that isout of the way I'll say it now, this was one hell of an episode. It's so informative. We learn a lot of stuff about Gibbs that we never really knew before. Best of all we get to meet his father, Jackson who is a riot. I like Jackson and I hope we will be able to see him again because he and Mark Harmon have very good chemistry. We get some insight into how Gibbs met his first wife Shannon and where he got all of his rules from. All in all this episode deserves the title of series classic because it's not every day we get to meet Gibbs' father and get such a great mystery worked in as well.
  • One Marine murdered, and One Marine injured. Gibbs investigates and it leads him to his home town. There he meets his hometown rivals and the fun begins. Along with Ziva and Mcgee, Gibbs stirs up trouble, much to his fathers dismay.

    10
    This episode shed some much needed light on Jethro's life. We found out how he met Shannon, and where the rules came from. He saw the reason he became a sniper, and how he loves to rebuild things. First cars, now boats. Wonder where he will be putting the car (will he get rid of the boat). It was heartwarming to see Jethro and Jack go from "Leroy...Jack" to "Son....Dad". I hope that the final scene where Jethro had a personal good-bye with Shannon will help him shut that door so he can really move one. I for one liked LTC Mann, and would like to see her come back. I believe her not being a redhead (therefore a replacement of Shannon), and her being a strong minded woman, she would be good for Jethro. One last thing...Poor Tony, not really getting the answers he wanted. Oh well I have a feeling we will see Papa Gibbs in future episodes. Christmas is coming up.
  • A murder behind a club leads Gibbs and his team to the small town of Still Water, Pennsylvania, which also happpens to Gibbs' hometown. "No brothers, no uncles. My father passed years ago..."

    10
    And now we now that that's not true.
    I must say, probably the best episode I've seen since Requiem. The story itself wasn't that attention catching for me, the true story began, I felt, when Ziva began talking to Jackson Gibbs.
    Another good thing about this episode is that it gave us, the viewers a little bit more insight into the mind of Gibbs. One scene in particular that I enjoyed was the scene with the sports car. That was probably the first time I've ever seen Gibbs smile so broadly.
    On thing I wonder, and I'm sure many other's wonder too, is will Jackson Gibbs make any further appearances on NCIS? It's too much of a good story not to make a duplicate of some sort.
    Another thing I'd like to know is why Jack never said anything to Gibbs about referring to him as dead. Was that pure anger that had persisted for more than a decade after Shannon's death, or was that something more?
    Only future epsisodes will tell.
  • Beautiful episode with many questions about Gibbs answered. This episode has become my favourite.

    10
    Beautiful episode with many questions about Gibbs answered. This episode has become my favourite. The interaction between Gibbs, his father and the other people in his home with Gibbs' own personal flash backs speak volumes. These flashbacks unravel more questions but the ending answers them all. It shows Gibbs' vulnerable and softer side, before he saw war and before his wife and daughter died.
    It's a great story of how, even after all the years that Gibbs has been away from his home town, his dad is still there for him.
    It's funny how the team is excited about going to Gibbs home town and meeting his dad. The episode, in all, leaves you feeling happy with Gibbs' dad giving him his car and Gibbs' flashback of when he met his first wife and how he came up with his rules (which you find out in season one were not from the army.
  • Eye Opening

    10
    Gibbs returns to his hometown to investigate the murder of a Marine. On his arrival, Jethro meets up with an old rival. Gibbs said his father was dead. Now, Jackson Gibbs is alive and well and running a small store in Stillwater, PA.

    Tony had to stay behind with Abby to do some investigating, much to his dismay. Ziva and McGee accompanied Gibbs. All of them had a childlike glee about peeling back the layers of their enigmatic boss.

    The story is almost secondary to learning anything about Gibbs' past. We find out how he got his name, his love of tinkering, the origin of the list and a fateful meeting at the train station as he leaves Stillwater for good.

    The interaction between Ralph Waite and Mark Harmon was priceless. Yet again, we learn that love is more than what is spoken and actions speak louder than words.

    And lastly, the show was misnamed. Heartland was Heart Rending.
  • Gibbs goes home to check out a murdered Marine from his home town and runs into his past.

    10
    I read other reviews and most of them are right on the mark. One is way off but that is his or her opinion.
    The show has always had good episodes, average episodes and not so good ones in every season. If you watch them as often as I do, you have favorites and story lines that really work, at least for me.
    To say that Bellasario is the only reason the show was any good is just plain hogwash. The cast and their interaction made a show that probably should have never made it past a season into a winner. Take away the cast and the show dies quickly even with Bellasario at the helm. The reports from the set support the fact that Bellasario was a tryant and the cast was getting tired of the twenty takes and 16 hour days and without him being removed from his position of power would have walked.
    This episode showed a different side of Gibbs and was well written and had me guessing, often wrongly as to who did it. They captured some of their old magic back this week, not lost it. This is one of my favorite episodes in a long time, even my friend who watches it once in a great while saw it and commented on how good it was.
  • great show

    10
    Well what can i say i loved to episode. it was smart and funny. I really loved the interaction between gibbs and his father. we also learned where the rules came from that was nice to learn that the rules came his wife. Abby was great in this episode hope that they do a epidose about zeva and tony soon that would be fun. I hope that we get to see more of gibbs and his father. maybe his father will visit the navy yard soon. I can't wait to see next weeks episode. FBI vs NCIS yahoo the action that will be coming
  • Burst forth full grown from the mind of Zeus!

    10
    Gibbs' past gets revealed in this outstanding episode. After more than 5 seasons the only thing known about it was that his wife and daughter were killed some years ago. This episode, a case leads him to his home town of Stillwater, Pennsylvania. His youth rivals, now Mine Owner and local Sherriff clash with him right away and finally, his father does as well. In flashback scenes, Gibbs' past in Stillwater is revealed from high school to him joining the Corps, his separation from his father after his mother's and wife's death and him learning "The Rules". I could have not asked for more about my favourite character on the show. Without Gibbs, it's pointless.
  • Never date a lumberjack!

    9.5
    Who said flashbacks sucks?
    A case brings the team to Stillwater, a small town in Pennsylvania which happens to be Gibbs' home town. Gibbs teams up with his father who is more than glad to help his son to do his job; even though sometimes during the episode we almost forget that he's there for work.
    Between old friends and old unresolved issues Gibbs and the Gibblets eventually manage to solve the case; but for once, I got the feeling that Gibbs wouldn't have mind a few more days in the field.
    Great performance of the whole cast; although Gibbs is the main focus of the episode, the others managed to do their part in the usual surprisingly good way.
    Some dust has been removed from Gibbs' past. we couldn't ask for more.
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