Season 7 Episode 24

Rule Fifty-One

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 25, 2010 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (21)

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out of 10
409 votes
  • Totally unbelievable!

    Another horrible finale. The plot was just too unbelievable. In reality, the daughter of the man Gibbs killed would have just Killed Gibbs, not kidnap him, release him and have him pick up a package! Plus, there is no way he would have not been at Ziva's citizenship ceremony. She is like a daughter to him and there is just no way he would miss it by talking to Hart! And was it really that important for Vance to send Tony to Mexico immediately rather than after the ceremony? Are we to believe there are no other competent agents on staff that he had to send Tony!? Please, please get rid of GG. He is just not competent for the job!
  • The 7th Season Ends With A Cliffhanger. Gibbs Faces Paloma Reynosa In Mexico, While Ziva Becomes A U.S. Citizen.

    Like other reviewers of this episode, I am not a fan of cliffhangers but I have to admit there are a few times where they do work well and this episode is definitely one of those cases. "Rule Fifty-One" was a fitting way to end the season but it could have been better. The high points are gripping suspense and great performances. However, there were a few problems which prevent me from giving it a higher score than other have. How exactly did Gibbs escape from the cartel people? First he is threatened by Paloma and suddenly he is released. The character of Paloma is frightening. And the cliffhanger ending the best part here. See you in season eight!
  • Sometimes you're wrong...(possible spoilers)

    I had high expectations for this episode. Like, really high since I always have high expectations for NCIS. But're wrong. What I'm trying to say is that this episode fell short of my expectations. It just seemed like a normal case. A normal episode. Not a finale. I expected something...bigger. And what was Gibbs' shocking descision? There was no shocking descision. At least I didn't see one. There was just way too much hype. The little blurb made it seem so exciting and shocking! But when I saw it, nothing. No GASP (except maybe at the very end).
    So Gibbs goes to Mexico and there's something about the cartel and how the lady was going to kill everyone Gibbs has met. Then there was a bit of secrecy and some *Super-Gibbs!*. We find out that Alejandro is working with the cartel (which I suspected all along for the record). There's more secrecy and a heated argument with Vance. Then Team NCIS sets out to search for Deans (I think that's his name) and he get's away (or was he killed?). We find out Mike's still alive and the episode ends with a cliffhanger.
    To me, this episode was forgettable (I barely remember it now). It was kind of boring and I found myself flipping to American Idol every so often. The one thing that kept this episode from getting a 7 or worse is the very end. With Rule #51. That was phenomenal! That one scene was better than the whole episode! I mean, WOW! Rule #51 was...deep. Moving. Emotional. It was a beautiful portrayal of the different side of Gibbs. The one we all love to see every once in an while! Also, the very last scene was pretty intense. When she goes after Gibbs Sr. That was pretty epic.
    Anyway, I think NCIS could've done a lot better than this season finale. It was boring, forgettable and it really didn't live up to NCIS. I'm still looking forward to next season though, I really hope it'll be a lot better.
  • Very diappointing show for a season finale.

    I had really expected someting entirely different than what happened in this show. I expecterd more answers from past episodes instead just got more questions. It started out on a good note then became very confusing and disjointed. Example; Gibbs is staring down the barrell of a gun then next he is behind the opening doors a C130. You are given no idea of how he got away from the cartel people. I feel there are way too many questions from this espisode. One, How ould Colonel Bell be shot with Gibbs gun? Very few things are explained. The flow of the show is off. Gibbs was too humanized in this script. No Super Gibbs or know all personna. He seems unsure in his choices. The show ends with Gibbs in a room looking over past memories, Ziva becoming a citizen, Tony in Mexico with Franks, and Jackson Gibbs possibly being killed by the Cartel woman. I hope with all these unanswered questions and events next season is better than this last episode. It was just an episodes without any ends. Maybe it was meant to be that way but it just seemed to disjointed and confusing to follow. This has been the least favorite episode I have seen.
  • SPOILER ALERT: They better leave Jackson Gibbs alone if they know what is good for them!

    Time to bring the brother & sister duo down!! Let Mike Franks take down the brother and then (HOPEFULLY) Jethro or Tony are there to take out the sister! AFter Tony left Franks he could have rushed over there to guard Jackson! Better yet, ZIVA, after her swearing in ceremony...she makes that her first kill as an American! Saving another Gibbs! That'd be the best ending to that part of the story! They really do need to get those two out of the way and hope for the best with the rest of the cartel in Mexico. Maybe they'd be happy the two were dead and they'd leave Gibbs alone for doing them the "favor" without the cartel getting their hands dirty! Should be a good first long as Jackson Gibbs is still alive at the end of the episode!
  • My desire is that Gibbs (or another agent) is behind Gibbs' father and they take down the drug queen and later her brother is brought down since he 'looks the other way' as she continues killing and selling drugs.

    As always, you don't want to miss anything. Exciting and spell-bounding.
    - I, eagerly but disappointingly, will wait until the Fall. Disappointingly because I have to wait!
    - I look forward to watching NCIS this Fall. - For those who have not watched NCIS - this show is never wrong. - Even when Kate was killed in the line of duty, her replacement, Ziva, is just as good or better. Everyone looks good together & works well together. - Great acting & great producingr & great writers.
    - Is great that a TV show can continue doing so well even when new actors are included.
    - A series noone should miss!
  • Loved all the story lines. Can't wait to see what happens in the fall. This is actually the only TV I watch so I hope the writers keep up the good work.

    I do hope Gibbs Sr gets to talk with the drug queen. I am sure he could crack her tough exterior, but he probably would have to shoot her in the end. I love all the different storylines. I hate when I can guess the ending and this time I did not. It is good to know that Gibbs has a new rule about being wrong. We all need to admit our failures and move on. Of course the interaction among the characters make this series worth watching. There is very little entertainment on TV these days. Thanks for the series.
  • There were many good things about this ep and a few things not so good (not going to say bad). Here is my list of good and not so good things about Rule Fifty-one

    The GOOD:
    1. Director Vance's "wink" - he's really starting to grow on me. He's a much better Director than Jenny
    2. Tony explaining to Ziva that Vance gave him a wink and his name for the Gibbs-Vance language. Classic Dinozzo moment. LOVE.
    3. Director Vance finally showing that he has confidence in Tony's abilities as a Senior Field Agent
    4. Tony getting an assignment, a real assignment, not a personal vendetta assignment (like what Jenny did), from the Director of NCIS. HUGE moment. I did not expect THAT. Loved it. When they were showing Ziva at the ceremony and then they changed to the scene with Tony, tailing Alejandro, I could've died with happiness. 5. We find out the origin of Gibbs' rules
    6. Loved that those who've known Gibbs the longest (Abby and Tony)know a lot about Gibbs' rules even the 40's which are only for emergencies
    7. The events in this episode makes for a very promising season 8. They can do a lot more character development after this. I can't wait for season 8.

    The NOT SO GOOD:
    1. M. Allison Hart - sorry still don't like her despite her stopping the so called "bullet" that would have killed Gibbs. I don't like that she has to latch on to someone to be their lawyer. First Colonel Bell and now Gibbs...come on!! Maybe she'll grow on me like Vance, whom i did not like in the beginning.
    2. Wished that Tony had killed Dean in a different way. Not just shooting him. You know like that fight scene with Rivkin at the end of S6...that was so good. Give Tony more fight scenes like that i say. Hopefully we'll get more of that in season 8.
  • Yet again another PERFECT finale.....

    In this episode of NCIS, the following happens. We open this episode with Gibbs in Mexico. We quickly learn that the officer helping NCIS in Washington is the brother of the woman who has Gibbs. Tony and Ziva are sent to Mexico to collect, the dead bodies, and vow to bring Gibbs back with them. As they are about to leave the plane, Gibbs is there. Once back home, things get even more exciting. Knowing that if he doesn't do want they want, everyone Gibbs has ever meet will be killed, he struggles with what to do. As we see Ziva finally becoming an American, we see that both Tony and Gibbs are missing.
    We see Gibbs sitting in house, making a new rule, rule 51. Tony is in Mexico following Directors orders. As the finale scene comes on we see Gibb's father in his shop and someone entering, and that it the head of the Cartel. Overall yet another wonderful finale. I really hope that nothing happens to Gibbs's father. I was sad for Ziva that both of the important men in her life missed out on her important day. Overall I was hooked during this episode, loved the little TIVA moments, and can't wait for season 8!!
  • Sometimes... you're wrong!

    Secrects and long forgotten deeds will be haunting Gibbs for the rest of his life; question is: will he be able to also protect the people he cares about?
    Another NCIS season comes to an end and as usual we're left with so many unanswered questions and a worrying cliffhanger.
    I did find thsi episode a bit too confusing, although I'm sure it's part of the trick to force us to watch the next's season premiere. Overall a nice ending for a spectacular season; undoubtely the best of the whole series.
    Too bad even though the writers managed to turn this show into a "classic", they also throw away the opportunity to do something about Tony and Ziva; the fear to succumb to the classic "romance at the office" clichè made them procastinate what could possibly become a fresh and very endearing storyline.
  • I loved this episode... The second time I watched it.

    This episode was freakishly confusing at some points. The first time I watched with my Mom we were both like "What?" when it ended. It wasn't until the second time I watched that I realized how good the episode really was. Now, I'm writing this a few weeks after watching so I can't remember perfect detail but I can say that it's a really good season finally. It makes me look forward to the season 8 opener. The NCIS writers have a hard task making as good of an opener as they did last year, but I think they can do it. Final thought: If you watch it once and don't get it, or don't like it, watch it again and you will appreciate it more.
  • This was good, but such a confusing episode at some points!

    The season finale of Season 7 ws pretty interesting, in all honesty, but it was quite confusing, also. I don't understand what was going on with that box that Gibbs had to deliver, so I was a little lost for a moment there.

    Franks showing up at the end there and rthe great little finish that they had in store for us really made it a great cliffhanger, and it sets up reall y nicely for next season!

    Rule #51 ' "Sometimes - You're Wrong", I loved that one!

    Overall, you've gotta watch this episode because it's the season finale, and the ending in the last 10-20 seconds was amazing, but the storyline was a little confusing for a while there, which is why I rate it a 9.5 and not a ten.
  • Another finale in the NCIS fashion that reminds you why you watch the show. Starts off intense, maintains the pace, dies down toward the end, and the last few seconds are what make you fall to the ground and shout that this season is over :)

    First off, I would agree what some people say that this episode had its confusing parts, like the package Gibbs brought back, but I think they're confusing cause I forget about the NCIS formula.

    One of the first things I learned about the show is Gibbs is a fierce guy of principle. He will never compromise with bad guys or politicans (often the same people). If pushed, he pushes back…hard. This episode was just another showcase to this fact.

    The people who kidnapped Gibbs at the end of the last episode are revealed to be part of big conspiracy. The leader of the drug cartel of Mexico, Paloma Reynosa, is actually the daughter of Pedro Hernandez, the man who killed Gibbs' family and who Gibbs killed in revenge 20 years ago. The head of the Mexican task force, Alejandro, then is revealed to be Paloma's brother. Although they both want Gibbs to pay for killing their father, they have different ideas about it. He wants Gibbs to suffer in jail by securing enough evidence inadvertantly gathered by Abby on his father's cold case to get a conviction while she wants Gibbs to do things for her or she'll have everyone he cares about killed. I think she finds this more painful for him cause it's a hit against his very character. First thing she has him do is deliver a package back in DC. In traditional Gibbs style, he does deliver it but does so in a secretly planned sting involving Director Vance. Alejandro's role and tretchery are revealed to Vance. Because of his title and such, he can't be touched…yet. As we all know, Gibbs also never gives up.

    As a big fan of Tiva, I loved the interaction between Tony and Ziva in this episode, and the events continue to show that the two characters want to break Rule #12. Ziva is now officially a US citizen and a ceremony is being held on friday. While she obviously wants everyone to attend, you can tell by her looks that she especially wants Tony there. Sadly after Gibbs' sting and the resolution of the case involving Dean and Colonel Bell, Director Vance assigns Tony, against Tony's objections, to follow Alejandro to Mexico and gather information. Because of this, Tony misses the ceremony and Ziva looks at the empty chairs (Gibbs couldn't make it cause of the annoying lawyer Miss Hart) and is noticeably upset. I think this is to set up more personal discussions between Tony and Ziva. I think they should have an episode like the SWAK one in which something dramatic happens to one of them and the other is forced to confront how they really feel (Agent Todd broke down into tears when she thought Tony might not make it).

    And where did anyone get the idea that Tony might not come back next season? He is one of the most important characters to the show. It'd be like if Ducky or Abby were killed off. The show wouldn't work if any of them were gone. If something happens to him, I'll be very upset.

    With the villains in the drug cartel and the Mexican task force and the threats against Gibbs' friends and family, the next season is going to be even more involving. More action, more laughs, more great scenes of dialogue – the great formula that makes up NCIS.
  • Season finale

    A good, not great, season finale for NCIS here, that hopefully put the "Gibbs has a past" story arc to rest. I would have liked a little more with Ziva and her American citizenship, but that was clearly the more lighthearted event of the evening. Cote de Pablo has been phenomenal since stepping in for Sasha Alexander on this show and they are lucky to have her. Her exchanges with Tony are always entertaining and tonight was no different.

    That brings me to the one lingering issue that is preventing fans from enjoying the finale completely and that is that a few stars may not be coming back (Michael Weatherly being one of them.) I would hate to see Tony not back on the show, but if this is his last episode at least he went out in a good way, making movie references, and not stalking someone like he did a few weeks back.
  • One of the joys of this series is the increasing subtlety and complexity of the characters. Just keeps getting better and better. The finale was no exception.

    Gibbs is captured by the cartel, but we find that contrary to exacting revenge, they are interested in punishing him by forcing him to work for them, or see his family and friends killed. How typical Gibbs to have gone along, without really going along. He goes back home, seems to perhaps be working with the cartel, but we find in a scene in the park that, true to his principles, he is still the same Gibbs we have always known and trusted. All is well. Two really high points in this episode for me.

    One, the increased insight into the relationship between the director and Gibbs. They may yet end up friends. I love the Casablanca references. Classic, and worthy of Tony. The second was the insight into the depth of Gibbs at the end of the episode. The power of the usually confident Gibbs, questioning his own judgment and his calling as a cop as he pens Rule #51. Alongside the uncharacteristic tenderness and smile as he remembers his first wife -- you can lamost imagine what their relationship was like. It's like watching Monk with his flashbacks to Trudy. An insight into a time and a person that is gone from his life, and yet still so present.

    I love the Franks is still with us, and hope that the Sr Gibbs is the same as we start season #8.
  • Really good finale!

    This finale was really well done. I really enjoyed it. Gibbs is still in Mexico and he is captured by the Reynosa Cartel. Turns out that Paloma wants to get even with Gibbs by destroying his life. She tells him that he has to deliver something for her but Gibbs doesn't want to. But she threatens him by killing everyone he loves starting with Mike Franks who she shows him his index finger and ending with his father. Later on it turns out that the finger is from Mike Franks. Also it turns out that Alejandro Rivera is Paloma's brother. After this Gibbs returns to the U.S. with Tony and Ziva who came to look for him. Gibbs is being monitored very closely by the Cartel and by Vance. Turns out that Rule 44 is "keep children and women safe" also at the end of the episode it turns out that Allison Hart the lawyer who I really dislike also knows that Gibbs killed Pedro Hernandez. We see Ziva's citizenship ceremony which everyone is with her except Gibbs and Tony. Gibbs because he was stopped by Allison and Tony because he's in Mexico following Rivera and we see Mike Franks and he tells Tony that he'll take of it.As the episode is ending we see Gibbs go into his room and he has a flashback of Shanon reading his rules. He sits and we see that he pulls out Rule 50 where it says "Never involve lawyers" and he circles it and behind that paper he writes Rule 51 "Sometimes you're wrong" which is his new added rule. At the end of the episode we see Gibbs' father Jackson in his shop and we hear the door ring and when he turns we see that is Paloma Reynosa. So this is how this season ends with a cliffhanger. At this point I was tearing because I don't know if Paloma is going to kill Jackson or not. Now we have to wait and see!
  • rule fifty one

    i think that this episode was a pretty good episode but a pretty bad one for a season finale. i'm not saying i didn't like it, i'm just saying that with all the hype and some really good episodes this season along with some really bad one's, i just expected more.

    if you have not seen don't read (spoilers)

    it starts with another of the ncis team members being a hostage, speaking of course about ziva in somalia and the cartel lady saying to gibbs that she will kill every1 he ever met yadayadayada then showing him a peice of mike franks which at first i thought it was something else, not a finger but a third leg... just saying

    story lingers on for a while tony ziva and mcgee kill dean and bodyguards really cool fight scene and nothing happens in the middle. we get to the end and ziva is now an american citizen. i felt really sorry for her the fact that gibbs and tony weren't there it would have meant heaps to her. tony got a mission probably objected but got sent away by vance and there is talk he won't come back from mexico he'll be dead but gibbs, i mean come on, missing ziva's big day for that stupid lawyer who nobody likes, seriously.

    anyway we end up seing that cartel lady about to kill gibbs father.

    i really hoped we would see tiva finally getting together but i reckon tony missing her citizenship thing that it put that of for at least a season if tony stays alive, i mean how can you have a season with jetlag and at the end not have them together the writers are off there heads. they really lost the plot starting with masquarade

    really dissapointed hope we see more from season 8 which i can't believe we have to wait 4 months for
  • Gibbs is held hostage and is threatened that if he doesn't obey orders everyone he loves will be killed. Good insight into Gibbs as an investigator and we learn that sometimes you can be wrong and sometimes you have to change the rule's you live by.

    Pretty good episode but we've seen better in the past I think they were holding back because more is going to happen in Season 8. Ziva finally becomes and American citizen but Tony and Gibbs were not there to celebrate with her. Not much Abby and a very blank Ducky, we don't find out whether Mike Franks is dead or alive until the end but it's certain he's injured. Gibbs changes his own rules at the end of the episode to Rule Number #51 sometimes your wrong! We are left in suspense when the lady who held Gibbs Hostage at the beginning of the episode walks into Gibbs Dad's shop possibly with a gun in her hand to put the bullet in Gibbs father that she promised she would do if Gibbs didn't obey orders.
  • Gibbs' rule #51 applies to me.

    ...Sometimes you're wrong, and who would have believed I could find a character to hate more than Hart. But I did.

    If little miss drug cartel harms a single hair on that wonderful old head, I will...well, I'll condone Gibbs' doing it again. In fact, I am all for season 8 starting out with Gibbs or Tony or Ziva, or even Ducky popping up from behind that store counter and plugging dear Paloma just like daddy got it!

    Leave Mike Franks to clean up after little brother, because even missing a thumb, he can't be beaten. Worse yet, turn Franks' mother-in-law loose on him! I knew he was a sleeze ball the first time he made an appearance. Surprised Abby fell for him...but then I guess maybe she did so because Vance wanted it that way; to get to the heart of the cartel.

    Having said all this, it is going to be one tough pill to swallow if I have to like Hart. And if she ends up in Gibbs' life, well I may just have to be ill.

    But I am really curious as to where Gibbs may be packing up to go...Good season ender...
  • Yes, I liked this episode. It was loaded. It totally set the stage for a dynamic new season.

    I think it was good finale. The end of last season when Ziva was being tortured by heartless terrorists... that one wasn't a whole lot of fun either but look what they gave us when we came back to Season 7. This was a really GOOD setup for what's coming. I really liked how the story eventually worked around to the lawyer. That was good writing, a good twist. I liked how Tony explained to Ziva that Vance had winked. I liked how Jethro took out his box of rules to think about them; it's cool to know they ARE written down, somewhere. I don't understand the relationship between Vance and Jethro; I don't think anybody does not even Vance and Jethro but they seem to be friends anyway, when it counts. I like how the Lady Lawyer set Jethro back on track; he has been derailed by all of this but she helped him see his priorities. I bet the premier for Season 8 is going to kick the *** of the drug cartel in Mexico. They even threw in a bit of relief for the viewers when they sent DiNozzio to Mexico to look for Mike... and found him. Mike is up to something, he doesn't want Tony to interfere. He's got it covered. So what is Mike up to? Yes, I liked this episode. It was loaded. It totally set the stage for a dynamic new season. Of course, the last scene with the lady Drug Dealer in the same room as Jethro's father; that's nasty but that's the way finales leave you hanging. And this IS Jethro's father after all. He's not a wimp, and he's been warned. I'm sure the lady drug dealer is not going to survive another episode.
  • Pretty decent, but more confusing than usual with all the insinuations. But the Gibbs/Reynosa story is a CYA/deniable plausibility kinda thing, so some insinuation is understandable.

    It seems like every top NCIS member kinda knows Gibbs killed Reynosa, but are being very careful not to "really know" so they won't have to charge Gibbs, or testify against him. And Gibbs is also being careful to protect his friends/coworkers from "really knowing", to protect them from the above, as well as protecting himself. So I get that they all have to be very careful about what they say, and how evidence is handled.

    I was confused at first between Gibbs and Vance's heated exchange, until I realized Vance was fishing for what was going on without "really knowing". But I'm still baffled about the Gibbs, Vance, Rivera meeting, even though they did clear up what happened to Abby's report on Reynosa's cold case later in the show.

    I don't completely trust Hart though, even though she stopped Abby's report from being handed over to the Mexican officials and Rivera. IMO, she's fallen for Gibbs, and would turn on him if he didn't return the feelings. I think she had a thing for Bell until she learned enough about Gibbs to flip her affections. And would Gibbs have ever considered breaking his rule for her if she wasn't so gorgeous? And like another reviewer mentioned, so what if she stopped the hard-copy from reaching the Mexican officials? I'm sure there's an electronic copy of it.

    It was nice to see Tony's serious side again, picking up on very subtle hints, and even telling Franks he was assigned in Mexico to "follow" Rivera.

    I don't think Ms. Reynosa will kill Gibb's father, at least not right away. I think she'll abduct him to use him as leverage against Gibbs.