NCIS

Season 5 Episode 11

Tribes

3
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 15, 2008 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

8.6
out of 10
Average
315 votes
  • A Muslim American soldier is murdered and the team investigates.

    9.0
    I'm disappointed by some of the anti-Muslim reviews, especially since this episode is meant to educate the viewers. David clearly stated the city she was from and how possible it is to have Muslim friends back home. Also, I totally understand why Ducky gave special treatment to the family. I don't necessarily agree/disagree with his actions, but it's a very complicated matter and, to me, seemed like a very realistic reaction. Yes, they could've brought someone else in, making it even more realistic, but people have to remember that this is a television show. There is a point for every major action.
  • Too politically correct and unbelievable.

    5.0
    I give the episode low marks because of its infernal political correctness, one reason for it probably having to do with foreign syndication.

    The worst exchange was when Ducky was talking about the war on terrorism problems. Speaking to Palmer he takes up a moral equivalence line, as though one side is as bad as the other. He says "religion has been the basis of conflicts for generations," and worst: we'll continue these problems "till we learn to respect one another," as though the West shares the blame for all of this. ... ... .... To hit all bases, it was precious that the other two Muslim Marines killed by the recruiter were one a Sunni Muslim and the other a Shiite Muslim... .... No comment needed on Ziva's poor 12-year-old Arab best friend killed by an Israeli rocket on his hotel! Boy!

    There were many unbelievable scenes in the episode:
    (1) OK, Ducky might refuse to do an autopsy, but let them find another Medical Examiner to do it. Instead several people risk their careers (and go through the expense and time) by doing a CAT scan and MRI instead.
    (2) the episode is about terrorist recruiters killing those soldiers they fail to recruit in a mosque. Has that ever happened? I doubt it. Such recruiters, I am sure, are trained to feel out the subject first, to see how likely they will join the terrorists before they make an outright unambiguous terrorist proposal. (3) poor everything when the ex-prisoner convert to Islam said his old "slave name" was so and so. A lot of black Americans do convert in prison and take Muslim names over their "slave names." But white Muslim converts don't refer to slave names. It is particularly funny since the Muslims are more associated with the slave trade than just about any other group.
    (4) I agree with Gibbs (and the other team members) not apprehending the Muslim cleric for killing the murderer of his son. Logical and understandable. We could have avoided a lot of grief if Abby and the others followed this example in reference to the angst at the end of season #7 regarding Gibbs' similar action.
  • Being muslim doesnt mean you are a terrorist, but it shows that among you there is differences you must respect.

    10
    Very good episode, at least it was logical when showing that humans have another kind of judgment when they are Muslims, which I consider it as inhuman.
    Gibbs reaction is what any decent man will do and feel after facing the tragedy of losing one's son.
    As for terrorists we saw through so many episodes when Zifa referred to Palestinians as killers and tony agrees with her, and the world knows that the killers are the Israelis so either show the 2 faces or stop producing these shows.
    One day the world will see the true face of terrorism coming from whom we think them descent.
  • A dead Muslim marine brings Gibb's team in search of his killer.

    3.0
    Words cannot describe just how bad this episode is my opinion. It's chief insult to myself was it's "Sesame Street" moralistic line of "not all Muslims are terrorists - and vice versa" which was laid on so thick you couldn't see anything that was really thought provoking. Ducky's deference to Muslim faith, while somewhat in character, seemed entirely artificial. I'm also uncertain that Muslim's have such serious strictures against autopsies. Ziva's proclamations of Arab childhood friends was even worse. The devil is in the details as they said and Ziva's lines were so incorrect in the details that my father and I actually winced whenever she opened her mouth. As an Israeli I can attest that most of her lines of religious and national tolerance were seriously incorrect. Someone on the writing staff did not do there homework properly! If Ziva grew up near Arabs and had an Arab best friend as a child, then there are only so many places IN Israel where she could get friendly with an Israeli-Arab (like Jerusalem, Haifa and near Jaffa). Most other places are generally homogeneous from a demographic point of view. Also, the supposed friend was killed by Israel in a military attack. This makes no sense whatsoever since Israel attacks Palestinian towns outside that which is considered its sovereign territory and not its own towns that happen to have Arabs living in them. This episode was absolutely abominable in that respect and I for one want the person who wrote to get fired before he can damage this series any further!
  • It wasn't that great, honestly, but still worthwhile.

    8.5
    In a fairly average episode of NCIS, this one starts off with a Muslim Marine being killed outside his mosque, and it seemed quite interesting at first.

    The case dragged on and became rather dull at a few points, but there were some interesting concepts to it, which was the good part, such as Ducky refusing to do the autopsy.

    I felt that the episode also lacked humour, so that was the second flaw in this one, in my opinion.

    I do think that the end was very good and they ended it on a great note, as they usually do.

    If you aren't a major fan of the show, I wouldn't recommend this one to you. There are plenty of much better episodes, although it is still decent, and somewhat interesting.
  • Ducky refuses to do an autopsy on a dead muslim

    10
    This episode opens in a Sunni Mosque during prayers. We see one of the men leaving and he is being followed. He collapses into an alley way and is then found by the man following him. He is then shot and killed with his own gun and it is made to look like suicide. He was a marine and so NCIS are called in. They go to the mosque with his photo and learn that the victim was the leader's son. The team believe that he may have been targeted due to him being a Muslim and a marine. Ducky refuses to do an autopsy due to religious reasons. Abby finds traces of C4 on his prayer rug. He had venom in his system. The team learn that 2 other Muslim marines have died within weeks of each other. All three of them had the same Personnel officer. He killed all three of them. Ducky then revealed that the bullet didn't kill him the venom did. Since they can't prove murder they tell the P.O that he is going to be transferred. He reveals who the main person is, and admits to being the go between. When they go to arrest the main man they find him dead, holding the prayer beads of Abdul (they were returned to his father). When Ziva is asked again if they are the same ones, she changes her story to protect the father.
  • A Muslim Man Is Killed, And The Father Declines Permission To Perform An Autopsy And Ducky Gets In Trouble, When He Doesn't Perform The Autopsy Under The Directors Orders. Then They Find A Way To Have An Electronic Autopsy.

    9.6
    I Say This This Episode Was About Average Because, Not A Lot Happened In It, But Still It Was Very Interesting. Its A Good Way Of Showing How Religions Affect Crime Investigations, And Also Learning About The Different Aspects Of Religion. It Was Also Interesting To See If Ducky Would Lose His Job, After Disobeying Direct Orders From The Director. I Found The Part Where Gibbs Said To Abby "Your My Favorite." Really Funny, As We All Knew That She Was Anyway. Also Finding Out That The FBI Had Already Planted A Bug, Was Really Well Planned, As The Agent Used To Work For NCIS Under Gibbs. The Best Part Of This Episode Though, Was The Movie War Between Tony & Ziva, And Tony Seemed To Get A Bit Jealous When The FBI Agent Gives Ziva His Card. Overall An Average Episode, Think It Was To Do With The Writers Strike.
  • excellent

    10
    A muslim marine gets murdered near his mosque right after prayers. Ducky is having a hard time figuring out what killed the marine because muslim law forbids autopsies. Gibbs and his team figure out who the murdered marine met before he died. They get around a bunch of really odd characters. When McGee plants a bug in the most, they figure out that someone already planted a bug in the mosque. This is an excellent episode. The writers came up with a really cool episode this week. I can't wait for the next one. This episode is full of intrigue, it's well made, the story is excellent.
  • Ducky doesn't do a traditional autopsy.

    9.0
    This episode wasn't anything special. Some of the humour seemed forced, but it did have some good moments.

    I liked the battle of movies between Dinozzo and Ziva. It was sweet she was trying to understand Tony more.

    When Gibbs told Abby he was her favorite I smiled, but we all knew she was his favorite didn't we? It would have been wierd if he told someone else they were his favorite. This episode was the last made before the writer's strike. It really wasn't meant to rest the season on. So I hope we have a few more episodes atleast this season, so we can end on a high note.
  • This was not out of character for Gibbs, this was and is who Gibbs is.

    8.8
    He allowed a man to take revenge for the death of his son, is that out of character for our man Jethro Gibbs? No it is not. That emotion is something Gibbs understands all too well. He knows what if feels like to have a child murdered since his wife and daughter were taken from him in a violent act... and yes he went after the killer. Gibbs took the man down so he would never begrudge any man that act since he himself took that vengence. In some ways that is Gibbs weakness, he will always side with a grief stricken parent because he still mourns for his daughter. Thsi episode was not out of character, it was exactly what I expected.
  • Gibbs would not let someone get away with murder.

    1.3
    Nothing seemed right with this episode. Ducky's whole attitude about the autopsy, and how he was having flashbacks about mass graves in Bosnia made me first wonder if he was thinking about the scores of Serbs beheaded by the "El Mujaheed" or the muslim prisoners that were later killed. And Gibbs whole attitude did not seem right in most of the scenes, and his relationship with the father of the Marine seemed so unlike him, especially when the father says something like, "Why have you occupied our lands for 500 years?" and Gibbs did not say, "Why the hell are you in mine?" And he sure as heck would not have let this guy get away with murder (and neither would Ziva). Out of character. As someone else asked here, Who the hell wrote this episode?
  • Decent episode that has been done a time ago.

    8.3
    This was a decent episode and this was the last one that was completed before that dumb writer's strike got in the middle of it and screwed up everything. But we get to see the Muslim Marine say a prayer before he is murdered. As I liked Ducky respecting the man's religious rights and not performing an autopsy right away. As we find out that it is the FBI that planted a bug way before the NCIS team did. Liked it when we found out that the FBI agent used to be a NCIS member. And what is this about Ziva and Tony quoting movies as Ziva seemed pop culture illiterate.
  • If you're son is a muslim marine you can break any laws you want, and you can even have vengeance and be protected by the NCIS.

    6.2
    It seems to me that this season has become too involved in politic and terrorism issues. This episode has nothing valuable to add to the series. It didn't have any great moments to remember, the storyline was weak. And I cannot accept that Gibbs let's the father kill the recruiter. Are we going back to eye for an eye? And Ducky that didn't want to perform the autopsy.... speachless. Tony and Ziva are back flirting with little games, that's maybe the only positive note, but at the end they seemed to have become two kindergaren choldren playing instead of solving a crime. Not to mention the shiping clerk converted to muslim.... "My slave name is.." Who the hell wrote the episode? Will we see great investigation that have nothing to do with terrorism or politics again?
    Will we have the old good murder investigations again?
  • Has this storyline been used before? Yes, it has, but at least it was done well.

    8.1
    As a whole, I was impressed with the way the writers managed to show the different points of view on the subject. It can't be easy to show the same subject in so many different ways, but the writers did a good job.

    The oversized coffee mug was a bit out there, even for one of McGee's quirks, but I can live with it. The Tony/Ziva movie quote competition was pretty funny. The way that Ducky honored the familys' wishes about the autopsy was not particularly unusual. What I think made the story work was Gibbs let Ducky voice his reasons without censure or interruption. The fact that Gibbs was in that part of the world at the same time, and had seen much of the same insanity that Ducky had, no doubt factored into Gibbs' reasons for not fighting Ducky.

    I think the weakest part of the show was the ending. Personally, letting the father get away with killing the terrorist recruiter was a bit much. But then again, considering the fact that Gibbs killed the man responsible for his familys' death was certainly in character.

    Even with being one of the weaker NCIS episodes, it's still better than 95% of the rest of what is out there.
  • Another story centering around a Muslim issue not only for the show but for tv in general. The story itself centered around a terrorist recruiter who was targeting American

    8.0
    Another story centering around a Muslim issue not only for the show but for tv in general. The story itself centered around a terrorist recruiter who was targeting American military men. We went through the usual shuffle of whether all the Muslim characters were terrorist and thankfully we found out they weren't. However the attempts to show this were very heavy handed. Showing a forced acceptance of the Jewish Ziva. Also the supposed controversy of Ducky not wanting to perform an autopsy on the Muslim man. Ducky caved very easily hence giving us a typical tv advertisement that didn't live up to it's promise. The only good thing about this episode was Ziva and Tony's interactions. Ziva was very funny playing film buff with cliff notes of course. A very weak episode and the fact that we had to wait for it made it all the worse how generic things turned out.
  • Writer's strike affected this one big time...

    1.0
    So in this episode we learned that:
    a) Not all Muslims are terrorists
    b) Some Muslims are terrorists
    c) Ziva is an open-minded, politically-correct Israeli, who likes Arabs and regrets the ...um...current series of "misunderstandings" between arabs and jews.
    d) Ducky believes that performing an autopsy against the will of the relatives is a horrible sin, but has done it in the past and would do it again to keep his job. Well, he looked very sad, so I guess that makes it all OK.
    The trouble I have with his position is that he, of course, understands it has to be done, but pushes the decision up the chain of command, so he is "forced" to do it, and therefore, his conscious is clean.

    What a load of corny PC cr@p. One more of these, and I'll drop the show.
  • good episode...

    8.0
    The team investigates the murder of a muslim marine. Ducky has problems doing an autopsy because the victum's father asked him not to for religious reasons. He ended up not having to do it and still finding the killer. A terrorist recruiter was to blame, with the help of a marine officer. The team found it out, but the victum's father got to the terrorist first and killed him. Awesome. I liked that. Gibbs decided to look the other way. The story was good in this episode. What I didn't like was the whole movie thing with Ziva. It was really getting annoying. Overall, good episode.
  • Weird episode, but that's why I liked it.

    8.9
    So finally after a long and undeserved wait we got to see this episode.
    The investigation is obstructed by the religious belief of the victim; the fact that he was a muslim not allow Ducky to perform the autopsy.
    Religion and terrorism are mixed and the team needs to find out if the dead Marine was a terrorist or just a victim.
    Among this issues, we assist to some good moments between the characters; especially Tony/Ziva and McGee. First Tony discovers that Ziva is taking "Movie Studies", and then he deal with a McGee that showed up in the bullpen with a enormous Neverland-Coffee mug... Looks like Tony was the only one normal left there!
    Not exactly the usual NCIS episode; but I guess it's not a bad thing.
  • While not the best episode ever, it sure beats reruns. This season has a different feel to it, and I am not sure of what to make of it as of yet, and the writers strike is not helping.

    9.0
    I thought the way this show was done made us look at ourselves, our beliefs and our values. Sometimes we say one thing but actually mean the opposite. I think by showing that the Marine and his family came here to start a new life and were trying to help their new country.
    Terrorism may be getting overplayed a bit in a lot of shows, but it is a fact of life. When you go to the Nicosia Cyprus Hilton, you can see the bullet marks on the stone front from an politically motivated killing, that one fact that I saw personally years ago has stayed with me. To kill because you are different or believe in something different has been going on for centuries, we here in the states are now just getting a first hand view.
    Was Ducky right in refusing the autopsy, I do not know. But this is not the first TV drama to show how to do an autopsy without cutting, Crossing Jordan did it a few years ago, and I am sure someone else did it before that show.
    Ducky is tasked with finding out the cause of death, he did his job. Is his method the most cost effective, no, but did it help respect a families beliefs, yes.
    I think the banter between Zeva and Tony to be a little contrived, but learning a language through movies or TV does help. Live in a foreign country for a few years and you will find out it works.
    The interaction of Zeva with the father of the Marine was realistic in the fact in may places where people kill each other, the children of differing backgrounds do actually talk to each other, go to schools together and learn about each other first hand.
    Did Jethro do the right thing by telling the father where his son's killer was?
  • A Marine of the Muslim faith is found murdered near a mosque that has been under surveilance for possible terrorist activity. Ducky refuses to do the autopsy in order not to offend the family's beliefs.

    5.5
    This is one of the worst episodes I've seen; and I've been watching from the beginning. I watch this show for the smart, intelligent story lines and the great acting - not for boring, politically correct melodrama. It was a huge disappointment. First of all, this is a murder investigation. When Ducky refused to perform the autopsy they should have brought in another ME. What happens now? Everytime a murder victim is brought to NCIS who happens to be a Muslim, are they going to haul the victim's body to a hospital for CAT scan and/or MRI? Please don't get politically correct on us. Secondly, the exchanges between Ziva and Tony about movies was silly.
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