Season 9 Episode 1

Nature of the Beast

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 2011 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
360 votes
  • This show is moving in the wrong direction.


    Why can't we go back to the days of Gibbs walking by and shouting, "Dead marine!" and we kick off the whodunit for the week? The show the past few seasons has embraced this controversy and scandal mentality and it is alienating fans who want to just sit back, relax and watch these characters work their magic. I get that it wants to be more "high concept" but that's not why I watch the show and I do not even think it was more complexity. It came off as more dull than sophisticated tonight.

    Maybe it is just me, but this was not a strong start to a crucial season for the program.

  • I would call it rubbish, but that would be a compliment. The start of NCIS Season 9 was beyond abhorrent.


    Go through my reviews of past NCIS episodes, and you'll discover that I have never in my life rated an episode lower than a '7', except perhaps one '6.5' - and over 90% of episodes I have rated '9.0' or above.

    As for this episode, it was so despicably bad, that I have to wonder whether NCIS is dead. The storyline was so boring, that this episode can be noted by scientists as a cure for insomnia. There was absolutely zero development of any of our main characters - instead, the episode was centred around Tony dealing with EJ , her team and the enew Secnav.

    Let's compare this to a year ago, when we had the suspenseful and brilliant Paloma Reynosa storyline. In factm, I stated that 'Spider & The Fly' was the most clever storyline NCIS has ever come up with. Let's reflect on two years ago when Ziva left NCIS and the team went to save her. Let's reflect on three years ago, when we were all dumbstruck as our team was divided and all of the subsequent action with Michelle Lee. I can continue this process and every season premiere of NCIS was truly miraculous - up until now.

    The cliffhanger last season was stupid - and that is a euphemism. They didn't improve it at all here today.

    Compare this to the premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles, which was so gripping and interesting, as well as suspenseful and provocative. The spin-off has usurped and superseded the parent show.

    I hope NCIS can bounce back and deliver a decent ninth season. If not, there may very well not be a tenth season.

  • Where did NCIS go?


    The show has become way to complicated with the cases. I miss the old NCIS where they focused more on the characters. It's just not fun to watch anymore.

    This episode was... Not bad, but boring.
    I want the old NCIS back, with lots of humor, more characters and less complicated cases.

  • Maybe it will grow on me.


    It is hard to keep TV shows interesting forever. The show becomes gimmicky. No matter how good. People need to grow, but ratings must stay high. So people don't really grow. Gibbs can't really develop a real relationship with a woman. How long can David and Dinozzo tease each other? Abbie and Mcgee? So Abby is going to dress like that in her 40s? They just killed off Levin, Franks, Cade in 3 episodes. It hasn't fallen into the toilet like House, but I sense some shark jumping is coming. Gibbs will jump the shark in the last episode of the season.

  • interesting


    But i was interested and confused most of the time until the very end.. I finally got it.. Although i love the dead naval officer part when Gibbs is talking to SecNav.. I am hoping we are going back to the old routine soon because it was entirely too much of freaking flashbacks

  • Could have been better


    If you compare this season premiere to any of the other seasons, i think it was far too complicated. there was just something about it. while i enjoyed the few tiva scenes, and the way tony dealt with talking about his mother etc... the episode moved so fast, and was so complicated, that i had to use all my energy to try and keep up with the flashbacks and current scenes, and make sure i understood it. has ncis got a new director or something? it just didn't seem like the normal ncis. to be honest, i was really not expecting that Cade would be in the picture, and i think the plot was too complicated. i would have liked to see the writers attempt to do something with the existing characters instead of throwing in new people, like Jarvis, and the FBI guy, because personally when i watch a season premiere, i expect there to be character stuff. another complaint: what happened to the team? i like rachel canston, but not that much that i could put up with her for so long. firstly, i think her introduction to the show is all wrong. the fact that she says she could never come to Kate's funeral is a pathetic excuse from the writers, and a really stupid way of introducing her to the show. there was hardly any abby, i think we saw her twice or something. and i swear palmer said like 3 lines and that was it.

    The tiva was a bit confusing. i mean, who is ziva going to see on holiday? it all seems very interesting, and on the positive side, it will make an intriguing plot.

    ugh, she is still with ray. what is wrong with her? does she always have to date the ugly no-good men like michael? i don't know how other people would react, but personally, if i was given an empty ringbox by someone, i would probably throw it in their face and call them pathetic.

    it's a weird start, but maybe it will improve (hopefull)
  • disappointing, implausible episode in every way

    This story of Tony's undercover mission for the SecNav, the microchips imbedded in the arms of agents and the Watcher Fleet-Phantom 8 ends up being a pretentious, hollow tease which concludes abruptly and disappointingly, like practically all of NCIS's story arcs and season finales. They should stick to stand-alone episodes. (The arc of this episode's story ends pretty much in "Housekeeping.")

    Due to the show's past reputation and the cool characters, we dutifully follow this interesting story, not knowing the full plot, but hopeful none the less. There is a HUGE flaw in this story that regards the Watcher Fleet-Phantom 8, LEGITIMATE secret agencies set up within the US military -- spies to work against other countries' spy agencies. The HEAD of the agency (Latham) is illegally selling US government secrets. Members of the agency have microchips embedded in their arm so they can more easily get secret information from computers. Now, two of the members have left the secret agency -- Levin who joined EJ's team in NCIS, and Wright who has moved into the Pentagon. The big part of the story arc is that the head of Watcher Fleet-Phantom 8 is sending men to kill Wright and Cade and EJ (who have Levin's chip) in order to recover the two microchips. BUT WHY? Watcher Fleet-Phantom 8 are legitimate US government agencies. If Levin and Wright left, why shouldn't they simply return the chips? Why doesn't EJ just hand over the chip like she is supposed to? In fact, at the end of the episode Latham does get one of the chips (EJ's) handed over to him in the normal course of NCIS business. It's like the whole bit about the violence and intrigue over the chips was unnecessary.

    I have these further objections to the episode:

    why was Tony told to keep his mission secret from Gibbs and Co.? Why was Tony told to handle Cade anyway? Cade didn't even have the chip.

    silly the way Gibbs didn't tell the psychiatrist all about Tony in the first place. For example, Gibbs said Tony was shot in the chest -- not true really (bullet proof vest), and just to tease the TV audience.

    disrespectful (and worse) for Gibbs to barge into the SecNav's diplomatic function to demand that he be told about Tony's assignment.

    questionable for EJ and Cade to go into hiding, in my opinion.

    Stratton should have disguised himself when pursuing Tony and the others, and he should have finished off Tony and EJ when he had the chances.

    how could it be that Wright's arm was cut open to retrieve the microchip, but he was left alive to drive to the SecNav's diplomatic function and die in the arms of the SecNav?
  • The 9th Season Opens With Tony Recovering From A Gunshot Wound In Hospital. He Got The Wound During His Secret Mission. Gibbs Must Piece The Truth Together.

    Following the cliffhanger ending of the eight season, "Nature Of The Beast" was a confusing but solid season opener. In my opinion, this episode's plot had some similarities with the premiere of the seventh season as we saw what the team did in May, June, July and August. It was actually hard to guess who the "leak" was. Casey Stratton's character was great and hopefully this is not the last time we will see him. I hope the writers get rid of E.J. Barrett. I do not like her and she could ruin the show. I thought the scene where Cade, Barrett and Tony were shot was shocking. I also thought the "leak" was E.J. but it was revealed to be Cade. Another thing I did not see coming was Stratton's involvement in the case. Good season premiere. Hopefully next episode is better.
  • interesting plot


    First episode of the season seems interesting. I am sure this story line will unfold as we progress in the season and I hope the ending will not be disappointing. I like Tony's serious side. It shows that he is not a shallow person at all. I like Gibbs showing his concern towards Tony too. As always, the antics of Abby and Ducky will never grow old. I am a bit annoyed by the assistant of Ducky though.. He's just a copy cat.

  • TIVA status.... & New Sec-Nav....

    After Gibbs,Tony is the next one to have gone through the emotional ringer than either of the

    rest of the team,so why not let Tony and Ziva slowly start a relationship....(it works in CSI:NY).

    But of course the writers have to do some excellent writing,which includes a changing or bending of Gibbs (re:rule 12)......Again is it just wishful thinking on my part or what ?

    I'm not over confident of the new Sec-Nav........ He's being the usual politician,or he's got an

    aggenda which if it's the latter he'll not be on the show for long.....there again I could be wrong about him but I don't trust him at all....!!!!!!!
  • The episode was actually interesting in terms of linking last season's arc with a new direction.


    The fatal flaw in my opinion is Kate's sister - I disliked the episode she was in last season and I find the actress annoying and the character merely a plot device. I strongly believe that had the writers told the story in a more linear way (some flashbacks are good) with someone like Leon pushing Tony, it would have made for a much more dramatic and enjoyable season opener.

    I honestly think we'll see some good episodes this season, the show hasn't jumped the shark just yet! These flaws occur. Like many loyal viewers of NCIS, I'd like to see less spy games and more Naval and military related activities - sadly, it's not like we don't have enough stories from real life for writers to draw from for inspiration.

    I'm keeping positive. Tony's character was funny and strong without bordering on ridiculous, there wasn't much for Ziva and McGee to do - largely due to the focus on the psychologist character (notice I can't even remember her character's name!)

  • I really liked this episode - I thought it was a great season opener. It was dark and chilling, which makes for a good combination.


    It was something different and didn't follow your typical episode of NCIS; having said that, it missed out on the usual humour that goes on in NCIS, but that's what this episode needed. Although there were flaws in the episode that bugged me slightly, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It would've been great to see more of the team together, but I think that's what the writers intended: even though Tony had the support of his family at NCIS, it was very much a lone man's journey for him.

    It reminded me very much of why I've been watching the show ever since it began.


    These people don't just go to 'work'. It's their home, it's their family. Like most families, they fight, they tease, but they're also there for each other at the end of the day, when they need it and even when they feel like they don't need it. The dynamic of the show is based on this. Although there was not much Ziva, McGee, Abby or Ducky could do for Tony, it was deeply accentuated in many ways throughout the episode.

  • I think it was great !


    I don't agree with some reviews stating that it wasn't like NCIS or it was a bad premiere. I think that it was great. My main point is that you just can't expect a show to follow its routine all the time. Following a routine must be feared. There was actually no case in this episode, almost no Ducky, no Abby, no Palmer, but there was every bits and pieces of NCIS and it followed the last season's finale.

    I also think that seeing Kate's sister one more time was quite good. Plus, DiNozzo's interaction with SecNav (Jarvis) and also Gibbs' interaction with Jarvis was worth watching.

    Beside these, it was a dull episode, but I missed it for 4 months, so I am not disappointed.

  • Don't jump the shark...


    I'm a little worried my old NCIS is gone.Not impressed with the season opener. I have a fear that I now know what the underlying subplot is going to be this season. Come on, get Abs a caff-pow, slap Tony on the back of his head and get back to doing what you did well.

  • Kept me on the edge of my seat.


    But if there is more of CI-Ray, I'm ditching. It seems to me the new SECNAV is going to cause a lot of trouble, and he can't clean his house. It'll be up to Team Gibbs to clean the mess.

    The scene of Ziva and Tony tells me that he seems to harbor some sort of hope in regards her, one does not unselfishly ask "We as in me and you" without some interest.

    Personally I hate Ray it makes things wrong, besides what woman does not take offense at an empty ring box?! If I had been in her place I would have thrown that box in CI-Ray's face.

    Can we hope that they get rid of him before too long?

    I hope Tony gets his head straightened out, poor guy, being put in the middle of the SECNAV's secrets...

  • Ok start to season 9


    I've recently started watching NCIS, so i've watched the whole series in the last couple of months. It quickly became one of my favorite shows.

    The season openers are usually close to flawless, with the only exception being season 1 and 8 IMO. Season 9 unfortunately joins that group.

    This episode really did not fee like NCIS to me, the team dynamic was not present, and without that the show felt a bit soul less to me.

    Weatherly gave a strong performance, but Harmon pretty much phoned it in. The lack of the rest of the group also left a sour taste in my mouth. The story was predictable for the most part, and even the 'twist' was underwhelming.

    Still looking forward to next week, NCIS are usually better when they stick to case of the week.