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
  • 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.

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