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“It was a dark and stormy night…”
According to the prolific writer, Snoopy, of PEANUTS fame, that phrase starts some of the most compelling stories of our time. And so it goes tonight on NCIS when a change in the landscape rides in on a dark and stormy night in the form of new cast member, Maria Bello (PRIME SUSPECT, ER).
Golden Globe nominee Bello joins NCIS as Special Agent Jacqueline “Jack” Sloane, a forensic psychologist, whom Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) convinces to transfer to D.C. from California. (Carroll also directed tonight’s episode, “Skeleton Crew.”)
Normally, this close to Halloween, insistent knocking on a door during a raging storm is usually an excellent reason not to answer the call, but Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has faced more danger than Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers combined.
Enter, a beautiful blonde, Jack Sloane, whose car has stalled in the pouring rain. Taking shelter from the storm at Casa Gibbs, the thunderous entrance foreshadows the slightly fractious relationship that the two will share.
When “Hurricane Jack” storms into the NCIS bullpen, tosses Gibbs’s house keys to him and hugs Vance, it is hard to say who seems more surprised, Gibbs or McGee (Sean Murray).
Outside, the weather continues to rage, knocking out power and shutting down Washington, D.C. Vance sends home most NCIS personnel, but Team Gibbs sticks around to investigates the kidnapping of a sailor.
Despite the inclement weather, Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and Bishop (Emily Wickersham) set out to sea to follow a lead, and Gibbs dispatches McGee to interview a credit union employee, Mitch Greyson (Andrew Asper), who may be connected to the case.
After their ordeal in Paraguay, Gibbs and McGee probably could benefit from having an extra psychologist around, but Jack’s temperament may signify more banter than bolster.
Like Joe Spano’s Fornell (who is rumored to be making a welcomed reappearance soon), NCIS is at its best when engaging in snappy banter.
The MOONLIGHTING aspect has definite possibilities as Harmon’s ability to say so much with a raised eyebrow and slow burn is always entertaining, and the addition of Bello’s character will provide the opportunity for comedic one-upmanship among the cast.
Guest stars on tonight’s episode include Trevor Donovan, Alberto De Diego, Andrew Puente, Gates McFadden, Alexis Stier, Megan Stier, Jill Czarnowski and veteran Los Angeles news anchor, Kent Shocknek.
“Skeleton Crew” was written by Jennifer Corbett.
NCIS airs in the States at 8:00 p.m. on CBS and in Canada on Global.