markharmon ncis lightsout 290 'NCIS': When the lights go down in the cityTonight, “NCIS” went dark. Not in a no-episode way, not even in a covert black-ops way. They went dark in a lack of electricity kind of way. Good episode.

Starting the episode with an adult nerd in his mother’s basement complaining about his Internet going down was pretty good. Following that up with turning out all the lights in D.C. via a cascade failure was better. Forcing the team to do the entire mission without modern conveniences (except for when McGee cheated) was great.

I’m not someone who thinks we take all this technology we have for granted, but it is interesting to see how the world, including law enforcement, functions without it. There wasn’t really a doubt tonight that Gibbs would be able to shepherd his team through the lack of power, but it was nice to watch him do it.

Gibbs and the gang got called in this week because one of the bad guys was a naval officer, Emma Paxton, whose own evil comrades shot her rather than leave her behind to talk. I always appreciate that sort of thoroughness. I’m not for murder or anything, but tying up loose ends — and prisoners are loose ends — is always a good thing. They may have tried to free her first, but ended up having to end her loose end-ness in a different way. Gibbs was going to get them anyway, but I gave them an “A” for effort (until we learned that’s not what happened at all).

There was a fleeting moment of concern for me tonight when McGee turned on the backup generator in the storage container. I would have been hugely disappointed in the show if they’d allowed McGee that out. Instead, they gave him an equally bad one, allowing him to work with power back at the communications room.

It was Abby who really ran the show tonight (plus she saved things story-wise after McGee got power to watch videos). She did a ton of work to identify the tire treads by hand, made non-alcoholic whiskey, powered her CD player with lemons and matched fingerprints by having DiNozzo, Ziva and McGee sort through a ton of them with her. Watching her do all that hard work after McGee was able to just watch a couple of videos taken by a PI following Paxton really put the show back on course. I’m still left wondering why they didn’t have McGee just use a handheld video camera borrowed from the PI to work their way around his needing to watch on the big screen. Surely that could have worked. Anyways, it was Abby who got the gun for hire, which might have ended things if only he — and the other gunman — hadn’t both been dead when Gibbs and team showed.

I was okay with the final set of reveals: Paxton was really doing covert stuff with Resnik and had been held hostage by the security guard so he could steal a whole lot of data, but it did seem to break on us awfully quickly. I know that tends to be the show’s M.O., but I would still like to see one or two fewer twists in the last 10 or so minutes of an episode.

Odds and ends:

  • “Plundered my elderberry fields,” that was almost as nerdy as McGee referencing the TARDIS. I love McGee. I love the TARDIS. I love The Doctor.
  • How is it possible that it took more than nine hours to get McGee and Ziva out of the elevator and all that had to be done to make it happen was tying the backup generators to the elevator? That I didn’t buy.
  • Gibbs’ magic bag of goodies – how impressive was that?

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Posted by:Josh Lasser