Season 9 Episode 5

Safe Harbor

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 18, 2011 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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out of 10
275 votes
  • Safe Harbor

    This episode was very different. I havent seen anything like this on NCIS ever. The storyline was great, I loved Ziva, and how the Mother and her had something in common. It was nice to see Agent Borin again, I really like her character and hope we'll be seeing more of her. The hinting of how her and Gibbs should date was a good touch to this episode. NCIS has never done an episode with immigration, and I thought that was something cool about this episode. I couldnt even predict how it would end. I gave this episode a 9.0. It got an 8.2, thats okay. But I feel NCIS did better.
  • Liked this episode.

    It was interesting to see Ziva talking to the mother. And the bit with Ziva and Gibbs was so sweet. "You're never alone when you have kids. Night kid" :)
  • Safe Harbor

    NCIS tried to do a Flashpoint style episode here with a crisis at the end, and a talk needed to get the guy to not utilize the bomb. I'm fine with that, I like this show, and I like that show, but this was just not a particularly strong show. Didn't care about the woman for Gibbs, or even the case tonight. Mediocre at best is what "Safe Harbor" was.
  • This mediocre by-the-book episode is another sign that my favorite show is imploding. Of the five episodes so far shown of season #9, the only one I liked was ep. #4 "Enemy on the Hill."


    About "Safe harbor," nice touches were (1) the presence of CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin (though she wasn't given much to do), (2) the search for a woman for Gibbs, but nothing much came of it; and (3) Gibbs' telling Ziva he wasn't lonely because he had a family in the NCIS team and kissed Ziva's forehead as his "kid".

    I didn't like these tired by-the-numbers things, which are repeated in too many episodes, and give new meaning to the word "procedural:"

    (1) I like the characters of Abby and Ducky, but I am getting tired of their making bizarre forensic discoveries that solve the cases in practically every episode. Why not a simple killing that needs no scientist to understand? Here, Abby smells ancient gun powder.

    (2) We get another spectacular/monstrous or high-level threat or breach. Here, they are planning to blow up half of Norfolk Harbor (in a really convoluted plan). We need more simple personal crimes.

    (3) Of the four suspects, it always ends up being the most unlikely one as the culprit. Always red herrings.

    (4) In too many to count episodes, the team saves the day by conveniently descending on the culprits at the last second before they can do their dastardly deed, like shooting someone. Here, the culprit is about to put two wires together to blow up the harbor. And why not kill him when they get the chance; instead they rely on the mother convincing the guy to relent!

    But the worst part of the ep was the maudlin, politically correct dialogue between Ziva and Mariam, every word accompanied by ponderous loud music (if you could call it that) -- conversations about mothers' duty, family, freedom, maternal instinct, proud parents, murdered cherished relatives, etc. I wouldn't have been surprised if Mariam had adopted Ziva at the end.

    As mentioned in another review, it is so unbelievable that that family of 4 could alone navigate that huge ship through the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar, and across the Atlantic Ocean to Norfolk Harbor.

    Finally, I was turned off the way they handled the interaction between Gibbs, Vance and the Secretary of the Navy. I had trouble following the dialogue between them, and felt Gibbs was too insubordinate to the SecNav.

    The funniest line in the episode was when the snarly "lady" lawyer referred to the SecNav as Vance's subordinate.

  • Not one of the better episodes.


    The premise of this episode was a Lebanese Muslim family that was seeking refugee asylum in the USA because of persecution in Lebanon. This is a politically correct distortion of the reality in Lebanon, where Muslims are in the majority, Hezbollah is in control, and Christians are the ones in most danger. It follows the politically correct episode a few seasons ago in which Ducky refused to perform a standard autopsy on a Muslim out of respect for the religious beliefs of the family (so he performed a "virtual" autopsy).

    The episode ends (SPOILER ALERT) with the bad guy turning out to be, predictably, the youngest son who had appeared to be the most reasonable one in the family. And (SPOILER ALERT) the CSI agents stand there, guns in hand pointed at the youngest son, with the son having two lead wires one inch apart. If the son touches the wires together, the ship, several other ships in the harbor, and hundreds/thousands of innocents would be killed. But the agents stand there while Mom talks calmly to the boy. There's no way the agents could have stopped him if he had decided to touch the wires together. They should have shot him but Mom talks the kid out of killing thousands and everyone lives happily ever after. I'm a big fan, but this this was one of the worst episodes ever for NCIS.

  • Perhaps not quite as great as last week's, but this episode was still promising signs for NCIS, after the abysmal first and third episodes of this seasonl.


    This episode features a reather enjoyable case. It is very interesting and the team has many angles to work in order to determine which family member is the killer. I loved the fact that they found the stowawy family on the boat and especially Ziva's conversations with the mother were very interesting and rather insightful.

    I'd have to deduct marks for the side-storyline with DiNozzo and McGee searching for a woman for Gibbs. It was rather pointless and I didn't find any of that to be funny.

    So regarding today's episode, case wise, it was very, very good, but comedy-wise, definitely not good enough. They must come up with something a bit more funny that this. I was not impressed with that aspect of the episode.

    On another note, I rather enjoyed seeing CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin tossed back into the fray. She is a character that I have really enjoyed during her annual visits to the NCIS team. She was great, but not quite as good as her other episodes.

    All up, great case, terrible side-story. I gave 10.0/10.0 for the case, but if I were scoring the comedy, it would be about 3 or 4.

    On a conclusding note, I also really hate this new SecNav. He is so incredibly boring. I enjoyed that lawyer mistaking him to be Vance's assistant!

  • Superb episode showing the dark side of the vendetta oriented mentality.


    A very well planned episode. The naive coast-guard agent gets shot by a revenge seeking person who blames the US for his daughter's death thirty years prior to the current state of affair. The power of this episode demonstrates that not all thatt appears to be true is really the case. On the other hand a careful scientific analysis can reveal the truth and the factual situation. (In this episode Abe toilette analysis was really unexpected and very witty!)

    In my opinion this is the best episode of season 9 so-far

  • The storyline didn't allow for a lot of suspects yet the kookiness of the cast made this episode well worth the watch. A lack of Abby scenes was disappointing considering the previous episode's revelation. However, the last scene was a tear jerker!


    The whole 'America-hating terrorist' thing makes us wonder if the writers have run out of new ideas or if they want a raise and are refusing to write original ideas until the producers agree to theirblackmailingattempt!
    Because it is very difficult to believe that they consciously chose to write such a well used story.

    Although, the female version of Gibbs, Agent Bourne came back on the show, the scenes that emphasise Gibbs and Bourne's similarities is lacking.

    The teams sudden conclusion that Gibbs is lonely because he overworks them is shaky considering he always calls them at inappropriate hours to come into work.
    However, Tony and McGee's attempt to find Gibbs a girlfriend from Bourne's address book while hiding this from Gibbs highlights the jocular relationship between the team.

    We do however find out more information about Ziva's mother and her issues with Eli David is brought up again.

    But the highlight of the episode has to be the moment when Gibbs answered to Ziva's question regarding his loneliness. He answers, "You're never alone when you have kids Ziva"...then leaves for the night saying, "Night, kid!"

    So with a stinging eye and a smile on my lips, I rated this episode an 8 out of 10!

  • Ziva's story


    Tonight's episode is a bit serious, still with a touch of NCIS humor. The drama is about Ziva's past and the humor well, the search for a playmate for Gibbs haha.

    It is nice to hear stories about the character, their past, their family etc. It gives more depth to the character.

    I like Gibbs' line when Ziva asked him 'are you lonely, Gibbs?' His first reply to that question was NOPE, but to Ziva, his answer was 'you're never alone when you have kids'... I think that was a nice reply.. and a sweet one. Good episode.

  • Great great great episode !


    This was a great episode. The best of the season so far. It was funny, sentimental and had some action: good recipe for a very good episode.

    First I liked that we had a lot of Ziva after the last episode. I especially loved the scenes between Ziva and Mariam. There was a great dynamic between the two actresses which made the scene so emotional. The similar background of their character added to that. And we get to hear about Ziva's family again and for the first time she talks about her mom.

    Then I really enjoyed, as usual, the dynamic between agent Boren and Gibbs and the rest of the team. The search for the perfect woman for Gibbs was hillarious especially with Boren teaming with the others and giving her address book to McGee. I loved Tony naming the Gibbs-Boren relationship when he said I think "I'm team Bibbs" lol like we do with Tiva and McAbby and so on.

    I loved the scene were Boren tries to remove the stain from tony's pants and when Abby asked Tony to take off his pants. Very funny, especially the look on the other agents faces ^^

    The main plot of the episode though not original was entertaining enough and we had some good action.

    i don't know what to think about the new secnav but it's interesting that we see him intervene in the NCIS work and got some intel on his relationship with Vance.

    Finally I loved the final scene of course, between Ziva and Gibbs where they talked about her mom and Gibbs considering his team as his kids. Of course we knew that but it's nice that we got him to say it. And what was funny also was that, when the team got the perfect woman for Gibbs and told him, he was joking about it. He seemed amused that they were playing matchmaker.

    So I really loved that episode!!