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The opening line of Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT, is “If music be the food of love, play on.” The comedy involves the twists and turns of romantic relationships and a lot of “will-they-or-won’t-they?” situations that ends happily for its characters. Back in the ‘80s, television dubbed this conundrum as the “Moonlighting Syndrome,” based on the relationships in the popular TV series starring Cybil Shepard and Bruce Willis. Is NCIS doing TWELFTH NIGHT, MOONLIGHTING, or undergoing some simple “relationship drama?”
Gibbs (Mark Harmon) disappears mysteriously again tonight, leaving McGee in charge. No explanations about his extracurricular activities or how he is filling in as “substitute dad” to his young neighbor, Phineas, helping him with science projects, history lessons and baseball.
What about Gibbs’s “thing” with Jack (Maria Bello)? The jury is out on exactly what that “thing” is, but there definitely is some kind of chemistry taking the pair into an unrevealed-to-date direction. Will that burgeoning “whatever it is” be affected by the return of Jack’s daughter, who was given up for adoption and may be reentering her life? How much does Vance (Rocky Carroll) know about that dynamic? The two seem to be fast friends, and his history with Jack predates her current post at NCIS.
McGee (Sean Murray) slides nicely into the team lead role having shed his insecurity of the past, and Kasie (Diona Reasonover) and Palmer (Brian Dietzen) are evolving out of their uncertainty.
Palmer has an occasional lapse into “autopsy gremlin” mode, but the words “Dr. Palmer” uttered by group historian, Ducky (David McCallum) snap Jimmy back into full-on Medical Examiner mode.
“Moonlighting Syndrome” sufferers, Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and Bishop (Emily Wickersham) linger in “will-they-or-won’t-they” limbo, even though the team seems to more inclined to believe “they will” than the duo does. Meanwhile, all this relationship drama is scored to the music of the Navy’s most elite band, as the NCIS team investigates the murder of a musician that performs at diplomatic events around the world. With murder and music in the background, will Gibbs and Jack seem to be inching toward some “thing,” whatever that thing is?
To quote a more modern sage, Lionel Richie, “Throw away the work to be done. Let the music play on. Everybody sing. Everybody dance. Lose yourself in wild romance.”
Guest cast on tonight’s NCIS episode, “Musical Chairs,” features scream queen Emma Bell (SUPERNATURAL, THE WALKING DEAD, DALLAS, FROZEN), Eyas Younis (NCIS: LOS ANGELES), Owen Saxon, Link Ruiz, Eric Winzenried, Kate Hamilton, Richie Rosales and Peg Shirley whose familiar face celebrates her 60th year in the business this year, having made her debut in the 1959 film IMITATION OF LIFE (the version with Lana Turner, John Gavin and Sandra Dee). “Musical Chairs” was written by Kate Torgovnick May and directed by Michael Zinberg.
NCIS airs tonight (November 19) at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS in the U.S. and on Global TV in Canada.