Season 11 Episode 17

Rock and a Hard Place

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 18, 2014 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (24)

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out of 10
142 votes
  • Killing it off again

    To start with the good things: Every scene in which that girl DIDN'T appear was okay, sometimes almost like in the old days. Especially the interaction between Tony and Manheim was great. Having house rules is typical for him, and it was quite funny. Hilarious, when he stopped the party. And it was nice when he made Manheim to go onto the stage. The scenes with Palmer, Abby, and Gibbs were nice, too. So I'm starting with 10 points.

    The story with Manheim's son seemed to be too much at first, turned out quite funny then, to drop flat in the end. Minus 1/2 point.

    Would have been great if they had Weatherly played the guitar, or let him do more on stage. Could have saved some points. / Never liked that idea with the gold fish. That he has two fishes now is pathetic and stupid. It's like having an elephant in the room. No one is allowed to say her name, but Tony has a second fish. Because of "My mother was a fish"? (No, no, stop thinking about good ol' times)! / As long as Tony won't have to PAY for the wedding it's pointless to let him plan the whole thing. + Why should McGee have wedding sites as a hobby? Doesn't make much sense to me. But these are only small details. Minus 1/2 point.

    Two mistakes in the script: Tony went alone with Manheim to the venue, without any other agent. / Not changing the safe house after several people were invited to the party. Minus 1 point.

    Storyline started well, then got flatter and flatter, and finally lost the plot completely. Minus 2 points.

    At the moment I'm at 6 points. Average episode that the cast would have saved just one season ago. They would have papered over the cracks of the script, and it could have been an 8-point-episode easily. BUT -

    Every scene in the office in which that girl appears is slightly annoying. Minus 1/2 point.

    Every scene in the field in which that girl appears causes pain. Oh dear, it's so awful to watch. She seems to be unable to cross the road on her own, but she arrested that guy while more experienced McGee was pushed aside. Yeah, sure, I'm buying it. Minus 1 point.

    Unbearable - that girl solved the case because she is smarter than anyone else. And really, really unbearable - she killed off the final scene because she had to start a discussion about Gibbs' gut. Minus 10 points. No, kidding. Minus 1 point.

    And minus 1/2 point because I can't stand that stupid facial impression of her, that bloody frowning that makes her look as if she isn't able to count to three. It makes me sick!

    So, again that girl killed off half of the episode. I'm really trying to like her, or to give her a chance at least, but I can't. Every time she appears on the screen I wish I could push her aside. Go home, Bishop, and let me watch the rest of the cast - with or without Ziva, with or without whoever, but definitely not with YOU!
  • Rock And A Hard Place

    Good to see Keith Carradine still trying new guest roles at his advanced age, but this episode drifted off course so many times. It got really boring near the end.
  • Tony grows up! yay!!!

    At last some character development for Tony. He's growing up and it's about time too. Ten years without any character growth is a bit much - writers pay attention - less juvenile is good. Also McGee - I'm glad he's getting a bit more story development. Still would like him to get more than the once-per-year-bump-or-bruise. Honestly - he's like practically injury proof the way he always comes out with only a scratch while people die around him. Can't say that I like the know-it-all Bishop girl - but I'm willing to give her a chance.
  • Unsure

    I did not know quite what to make of this episode. Most of the team dynamics seemed good, and it was funny in places, but I don't know if this episode is the reason I watch NCIS. To me, NCIS works best when they use good investigation to solve good cases, and the good team dynamics and humour used to look after themselves, not need a separate focus or to occur at the expense of a nuanced case. But I think the cases have got less interesting on average since about the middle of season 7. And a note to the Bishop haters: it's probably a good thing she is featuring in more watered down plots - the idea of her in episodes like "Honour Code" or "Under Covers" (or "Grace Period" or "SWAK") is pretty laughable.
  • Excelent

    I loved the episode.
  • Oh Tony..

    I must say... as much as I love quirky Tony and his movie trivia... I absolutely love him when he's actually in serious mode. The Tony that grew up.. I really would like him to do that a little more often, becoming the Gibbs of the future and helping us imagine a teamleader Tony in the off screen future...

    Not really that invested in Bishop.. but please.. dye your eyebrows... please!!!

    Was heartbroken for Palmer...
  • Ouch.......

    Is that the bottom of the barrel I hear being scraped.

    That was embarrassing. I think it was meant to be a funny one.

    BTW Love Bishop.
  • I've seen enough......

    I'm removing the steadily sillier NCSI from my favorites. Too much 7th grades nonsense except 7th graders do it better. If the show would stick to crimes and solving them would make it better.
  • Loving CLASSIC NCIS!

    I'm enjoying all the episodes this season! This episode felt very natural to me and team friendly. I like bishop and how she's interacting with the team. I'm enjoying Gibbs enjoying his team again, and I'm enjoying Tony and Tim back to being friends and colleagues rather than sniping at each other.

    Brian Deitzen did an amazing job with Palmer's bad news this week - looking forward to Breana and him getting their family going in the near future! So glad the NCIS characters are returning to the one's I fell in love with during seasons 1-4!

    Also, love how Steve Binder scripts contain continuity from season's past and allow the characters to interact more subtly :D
  • Fathers And Sons

    Am starting to think NCIS episodes need two score boxes. One for the episode and one for Bishop. After two weeks of her being contained ( at long last ) I actually found her irrelevant in this one. Not sure that's a good or bad thing. But I loved that she didn't enter the interrogation room, and I found her narrative of the Gibbs' gut in motion quite sweet.

    Dietzen was hands down the MVP. Palmer is quite often the ray of sunshine so this was very poignant and made it even more heartbreaking to watch. Not sure what happens next, but sensing happy ending later which will be even sweeter.

    Good references to recent events with Tony the Wedding planner, and nice tip of the hat to past episodes / characters. The opening bullpen scene is the best we have had since Bishop arrived, at least for me. This was followed up by a classic team moment with the car seat fitting. But yet again the sparkle came from watching Weatherly interact with Carradine. Weatherly really has been on fire this season.

    As for the case it was interesting enough with a very good start. Not sure the son was needed but it meant a lovely insightful Tony scene later on. Wish we could have had Weatherly play the guitar though and please, please, please, let them cast Stefanie Powers as Mrs DiNozzo Snr.

    I see Bishop is going to the Big Easy for the Spin Off eps. I am not impressed with that decision. I hope she isn't going to take center stage again. I didn't miss Ziva in this one. The next one might be different, I certainly missed her in the Parsa trilogy. Think it's going to depend on what else is going on in the episode for me.

    One of the better episodes this season. But this season isn't the greatest by far. Onwards......
  • Awesome Episode

    Thought Steve Binder did a great job with this one. I loved the references to previous episodes (McGee's sister, the agent using the same excuse Tony did for having a party). I loved Tony having house rules and am guessing they were the result of Senior's Christmas visit. I enjoyed the relationship Tony had with Manheim and thought Keith Carradine knocked it out of the park as usual. The Palmer baby story really had everything - humour and heartbreak. It was a great stand alone NCIS episode. I also think it's incredibly unfair of people to trash an episode simply because their favourite character is not in it. Honestly Shakespeare could be writing for the show this season and some people would complain.
  • Bishop isn't the WORST but she sucks on this team

    Keith Carradine was a bright spot in this weak ep. Loved his interactions with Tony.

    Adoption plot is just weird, they are young and newly married, why aren't they just having a kid? but, ok.

    As for Bishop. Kudos to Steve Binder for writing her as an analyst trying to be an agent. She did what an analyst should do. She wanted to know WHY Gibbs came to his conclusions, what were his criteria. that made a lot of sense for her.

    Trouble is, she did that in the MIDDLE of an operation, yammering away, STOPPING Gibbs in his tracks to try to make him explain. Ruining the operation. and honestly, the quality of the writing proved that Bishop doesn't fit on the team. She is an analyst, she should NOT be in the field. She is utterly clueless and unaware. She is GREAT with solving puzzles. and that kind of person should never be given a gun.

    It's very hard to figure out why Gibbs would have hired this person as a field agent, or would keep taking her out when she is clearly a hazard and a nuisance. Steve Binder proved it in this week's episode.
  • Boss, we were just -- scaring me.

    This was a bizarre yet spectacular episode of NICS, with a lot of interesting moments ranging from a weird ex-music star being in the centre of things to an intricate heist and some awful personal news for one member of the team.

    Really not too sure why McGee is so familiar with wedding sites - is there something we don't know? lol

    Really liked the scenes with Manheim Gold, even though the case in the end had nothing to do with him, and they can establish that really early. Nonetheless, it was different and it was fun.

    NCIS continues to excel! Keep on going!
  • Gibbs

    Well said Papa Gibbs!

    Yes the old 'adoption falls through' after episodes of build up. great job NOT.

    Common writers at least rectify it by having breena get pregnant soon ! (yes complete the cliche)

    otherwise good solid episode, i had trouble recognising caradine untill he spoke aka landry from dexter.

    bishop seems to have changed in to this fem version of old mcgee goofy, curious and nerdy, but with a hint of kate/ziva cos she kicks ass.

    tony has always been a a bt of a neat freak when it comes to his 'home' it is his place of tranquility/peace. i'd get people to sign a waver if i didn't trust them/they had history.

    not to mention the jobsworth manager :)
  • We don't need to Replace Ziva - wouldn't happen anyway

    BUT PLEASE get rid of bishop - GET SOMEONE WHO IS REALLY A PART OF Gibb's TEAM...

    not this flake.

    she may be good in other shows - BUT she is HORRIBLE on NCIS. What were the writers thinking - I guess they weren't.
  • That's weird man!

    Tony has house rules you have to sign; McGee has a wedding fetish; Gibbs gives the best daddy advice in the world. Touching funny and clever.
  • Classic NCIS - Take Off Your Ziva Glasses

    Wow the haters are out in full force for this episode. Fine you hate Bishop. Get over it. It is still the same show with all the same stuff we all fell in love with. One of the better episodes this season IMO. I would have liked to see more of Tony on stage.
  • Not worth a review

    Bishop must go!

    So boring I fell asleep about 10 minutes in! Whoever renewed NCIS after this horrible season obviously hasn't watched any episodes this season!
  • How long until Bishop is gone?

    NCIS was my favorite show for over ten years and almost every actor on the show was great but this season the showrunner must have decided to ruin the show for a character nobody is interested in!

    I decided to watch after I skipped a few Bishop centric episodes but there it is again: zero chemistry, all characters are completely out of character just to make little Miss Sunshine the star of the show!

    Gibbs and Tony are my favorites but they are unrecognizable now: since Ziva left Tony is talking about silly things and doing silly things and that fish bowl scene, horrible! And Gibbs only purpose seems to be to praise probie agent for everything she does!

    I have no doubt that this Bishop actress and all the storylines written to make her the star of the show will ruin NCIS and with Bishop in the spin off episodes she will kill the NOLA spin off too!

    Congratulations, maybe the showrunner should write a book about how you ruin a Number 1 show for a character only a handful people are fond of!
  • not the ncis that I loved

    I'm very sad that my fave show is going south episode per episode .. One more episode which was terrible thank God I have the dvds and watch reruns... I hope season 12 to be much better but if the writers continue the same rhythm the raitings casualties will be much more.. I won't watch any ep until season finale hoping on an appropriate episode.. I hope cote returns And these rumours aren't just fan speculations... by the way get rid of bishop please!!! The show with guests stars would be much much better..
  • Need new writers to breathe life into a suffocating show :-(

    I am shocked that the ratings for NCIS are not falling faster. What used to be my fave show and I still want it to be, is now repetitive and boooorrrring. I mean Tony's Dad asking him to plan the wedding? That seemed ridiculous to me, why would his wife to be even want someone who has never had his own wedding, plan theirs? Also, has no one else noticed how the show has no real life action or smart story arcs like the La Grenouille arc? Plus no one ever gets hurt anymore, I mean realistically hurt or in danger like past epic epi's (SWAK, Hiatus, Undercovers)? If they do get hurt it's unrealistically minor and they are magically better by the next scene. The writers need to be shaken up w/ addition of new writers to stop them from getting lazy and stagnant. Having said that Tony is still hilarious and steals every scene he's in. :-) But I still like serious, smart Agent Tony the best. Need some new sets for the show as well, or scenes outside of the studio like NCIS LA gets to do.
  • Annoying Bishop

    Bishop - can anyone say annoying. I wish the people that make the show would listen to the fans and get rid of Bishop and bring in the other Abbey from the Coast guard. I like everyone else on the show, just can't stand Bishop. I wish they would let her get shot and put her out of our misery.
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