Season 7 Episode 16

Mother's Day

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 02, 2010 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
318 votes
  • Well played Gibbs!

    It has taken a long time for something from the root cause of Gibbs' nature to come back and bite him in the proverbial butt, however, I think its long overdue.

    I have been surprised that more of this kind of episode in the life and work of Leroy Jethro Gibbs has not arisen in this series; given the line of work, and given its the reason he is there in the first place. Questionable procedures aside, and lets not pretend we don't know this happens...a LOT, there is something bigger going on with this case than Mommy-in-Law-Dearest as an avenging angel.

    Vance knows it too, or he would not have played along. B**ch lawyer "Hart" thinks she played Gibbs, but baby, she is the one being played by the biggest and baddest pro in the business. And its she and her South American friends who are the big fish NCIS is after...methinks leastways...Hart of course, being a barracuda! :op
  • Assasination of a much beloved show!

    Worst episode ever!

    What were the writer's thinking? Were they thinking?

    The answer to that question is a very emphatic NO!

    Firstly the plot, as it is seen onscreen, made no sense! ******SPOILER ALERT!****** The premise that Joann Fielding (Shannon's mother) spent some sixteen-plus years devastated by the loss of her daughter and grandchild before deciding to go after the people who were responsible is ludicrous.

    Whilst the mother's loss and desire for revenge is understandable, the manner in which it unfolded here is ridiculous. No explanation is even tentatively given for why now, after so long, Joann Fielding decides to take such drastic actions.

    We are expected to swallow the fact that suddenly she decides to hire a P.I. to track down the people responsible for her daughter's murder, and then plan an elaborate and devious revenge.

    No clear connection is ever made between Shannon and Kelly's deaths and the two Navy drug smugglers in this case - and yet the mere fact that they operate with the same cartel responsible for those murders so long ago, is apparently enough for Joann to lure one bad guy into a relationship deep enough that he's ready to propose marriage before gunning him down, and frame his partner in crime for the death.

    And as for the NCIS cover-up conspiracy? Are we actually supposed to swallow that tripe? Whilst it is perhaps explainable that Gibb's would feel unable to judge his ex-mother-in-law for her actions, as he had committed a similar crime - it is not the same thing at all!

    Gibb's went out and killed the man who murdered his family, in the midst of intense emotional trauma. Any decent lawyer would have been able to get him off a murder charge by means of temporary insanity. But waiting well over sixteen years and then killing someone not directly involved, and framing another?

    Back to NCIS and the cover-up. Both Ducky and Abby reveal independent evidence which strongly indicate that not only was Joann lying about the events of the shooting, but that she is the actual killer. I cannot believe that either of these character's would ignore such evidence in favour of going along with the party line and getting a man convicted of a crime he did not commit.

    Since in previous episodes, both Abby and Ducky have shown strong moral fortitude, and would neither of them skew evidence to help Tony DiNozzo, their friend and teammate, escape his charge of murder; I find it extremely unlikely that they would do so for Joann Fielding.

    And their evidence completely nullifies the inadmissible 'confession'. Gibb's may have purposefully orchestrated events to ensure that Joann's admission of guilt could never be used against her, but that makes little difference in light of the forensic findings.

    The fact that the NCIS director would sanction such a blatant cover-up also leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It is one thing to step across the line once in a while; to see that justice is served, rather than the letter of the law, but quite another to completely disregard the existence of any such line.

    Just because a man is a bad guy, involved in a drug smuggling operation, does not make it okay for him to be pinned for a murder he didn't commit!

    The only way that this episode could work, is if a great deal more were going on than we, the viewers, get to see. Perhaps some sort of sting operation, or deeper plot arc that would resolve all the insanity of this episode. But that doesn't stop "Mother's Day" from being a confusing mess of claptrap.

    Bad writers! Bad! No cookies for you!
  • Arn't you hot? I've been called that before.

    Okay, so not my favorite, gotta say. Im becoming a little impatient with the writers. They have been giving no hints about whats to come, and the Tony Ziva plot line is all over the place. We've seen better than this! C'mon! But i have to admit i have been starting to warm up to Allison Heart.... This was okay, they could've explained a little more so it would've been clearer. For some reason i have a feeling we are going to be seeing, or atleast hearing of Shannons mom again. Anyways, im expecting more from the writers. I've been a little dissapointed these past few episodes.
  • You gotta be kidding me!

    The past never seems to stop to affect Gibbs: The murder of a Navy Captain forces the team to investigate on Gibss's mother in law; old feelings and past tragedies are brought back to memory, and Gibbs's having a hard time trying to keep his emotions at bay.
    Not my favourite type of episode, it had the potential to turn either predictable or even pathetic, but it still managed to stay on a good level.
    I'm beginning to feel worried about Tony and Ziva's storyline: it seems like the writers are throwing in some random references every now and then but without a solid plot beneath. bring the good old UST back!
  • The first disappointing NCIS episode I have seen: unexciting and implausible story.

    This is my first NCIS episode review at I started watching NCIS about a month ago -- had to watch something after "Monk" ended. I have about 50 episodes on my DVR, and I have seen about two dozen episodes. One thing that struck me about the series is that I had never seen a bad episode, ... till now! Except for some of the usual good character sparring, the episode was flat, slow and far-fetched. A lot of the episodes are far-fetched, but they had excitement and creative detail. Not this one. The motivations and tactics in the episode (from the mother-in-law point of view) was crazy -- spending $28,000 to hire a detective to see if the guy (her boyfriend) was "dirty"? And he had no real relation to her girls' murders of 20 years ago. Nuts.
  • This was a travesty to what is normally a great show. This is not the first time that Gibbs has let someone go, the last one I remember was Tribes in season 5 but that was very different circumstances.

    As soon as the connection between Gibbs and the woman revealed as his ex-mother-in-law was made, Vance should have excercised his authority and excluded him from the investigation. He should not have relied on Gibbs to make that decision. This was not revenge in the heat of the moment but cold calculated murder after many years of careful planning, murder to which Vance was an accessory afte rthe fact. This extremely devious plan is surely beyond her capabilities or is she a secret mastermind of some intelligence agency that she was able to fool two naval officers. Or is this an indictment of a low level of intelligence neccessary in the US Navy and that's not likely.
    Further, Gibbs manipulation of Ms. Hart would surely anger her knowing she had been used and thus ending any possilbe relationship between them. Very poor by the writers.
    On a separate note, is it only me who is getting fed up with DiNozzo's buffoonery? It's defintely worn thin.
  • great acting by Mark, but not so great story line by writers...

    I think Mark Harmon did a wonderful job portraying the emotions Gibbs is going thru in this episode, but I think the storyline wasn't very good. The characters we have got to know so well over the last 7 seasons would not have let Joann get away with the murder. It was planned over a very long time... The connection between the killing of Shannon and Kelly & the naval officer (Joe Norton) was weak, if it was even there at all. I can totally understand the motivation of what she did, but not sure if I believe the characters would allow her to get away with it.

    Yeah, not really impressed with the storyline of this episode. Either it needs fleshing out a whole lot more, to make a little bit of sense... But no matter what - I think Mark Harmon did a great job. As did Sean Harmon too! :-)
  • Worst decision I've ever seen by Gibbs.

    Spoiler alert: I rated this fair because everyone but Gibbs and Lance were great. I didn't buy Gibbs letting his mother-in-law off on a technicality he fabricated. I also didn't buy Vance going along with it, and letting that lieutenant go down for murder (which he didn't commit), a bigger crime than drug smuggling. Gibbs did cross the line and Vance let him do it. I really don't like the lawyer lady either and I don't buy Gibbs being romantically interested in someone who purposely works to obstuct his investigations. I lost some respect for Gibbs when he ran off to Mexico and then sauntered back. I lost more with this episode.
  • The witness of a shooting happens to be Jethro's ex-Mother-In-Law. The ballistics of the crime and the facts don't match up with the crime scene so Gibbs and the team must recreate what really happened and then find the person responsible.

    Not one of the better episodes of the season. This episode was a mess to begin with. The family relationship got in the way from the start and Gibbs did not act like Gibbs. Somehow you knew he knew what had really happened after his first talk with Ducky. Especially when we saw the flashback of what he had done himself following his wife and daughters deaths.

    Now no doubt the two men, the one who was killed and his cohort were guilty of drug crimes, but the rest of the story gets a little gray to the viewer. A stroke of genius by Gibbs to get Ms. Hart involved. She always manages to get this stuck in the mud only this time it was in Gibbs best interest to have that happen.

    I was surprised that Director Vance went along with all of this so easily, but he and Gibbs have known each other a long time. By the way one must mention the Academy Award winning actress Gena Rowlands as Gibbs Mother-In-Law.

    In general the plot was pretty straight forward and they tried to make it convoluted and didn't succeed. Only the fine acting by the cast kept this from a lower score. Thanks for reading...
  • Not the first time Gibbs has manipulated evidence to protect someone....

    Nothing is ever simple in the Gibbs family, is it? Nor is grief and anger. In this case, Gibbs is thrown back in time when his mother-in-law from his first marriage is a witness in a murder case, who still blames him for "not being there" and "doing nothing". Things get even more complicated when it turns out the murder victim had ties to a Mexican drug cartel, the same cartel that was connected to the man who had murdered Shannon and Kelly.
    Then things get even more messier when Gibbs realizes Joann had a hand in the murder and, technically he has to arrest her. Oh, wait, according to Ms. Hart (whom Gibbs retained as Joann's lawyer, funny enough), it was an illegal arrest and thus the case would fall apart in court. So Ms. Hart wins.... or does she?
    Overall, a good episode and an interesting insight in to Gibbs past.
  • Gibbs is going too soft, what happened to out tough guy team, I think they've been kidnapped and replaced with pansies

    What the heck happened to this show? I ask that because, -and disagree with me I don't care- this show has gone downhill.

    I didn't really enjoy Mann or Jeanne but my god I'd take both of them over this lawyer, she's just an annoying little prick.

    This episode had nothing, just like the other ones. I enjoy it still don't get me wrong but my lord its just so boring.

    I mean how predictable can you get? I knew once I saw the evil woman again, the woman was guilty and Gibbs wanted her to be free. Why else drag the idiot in?

    This show needs new people above anything. This is a one hour drama not a soap which its turning into.

    It was wonderful in the beginning, and I pray it gets back into the drama I loved
  • Good case, but where's the action gone off to?!

    I did enjoy the concept of having Gibbs' former mother in lasw back in town, but the episode had zero action and this was a major disappointment for me.

    I found the case to be very interesting, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, but once again, it was way too dull and dramatic for me.

    The end was very good, and I loved Gibbs' strategy to lure M. Allison Hart to save his in law, but once again, no action, no suspense, just many scenes of people talking to each other.

    I wouldn't recommend watching this one, as it is very plain and dull for the most part, but I do think that the episode had some great parts. I would also like to add that I've been fairly generous with my score for this one.
  • Come on Gibbs!

    Leroy Jethro Gibbs has been a tough, minimal nonsense agent for 7 years on TV. But this was just so unlike him, to purposely disobey the regulations so as to get his mother in law off the hook for murder. Excusing a woman for murder? Come on Gibbs, you would never do that.

    This was a pretty average NCIS overall, but this just irritated me to no end. I also could care less about the autopsy loser going on a date, although I will admit to being surprised when he ended up being with a hot girl.

    Average NCIS, I expected a little bit more.