Wednesday, March 3, 2010

NCIS 7.16: Gibbs' Mother-in-Law Dilemma

The murder of Gibbs' beloved first wife Shannon and their daughter Kelly, years ago, has been one of the primary shaping factors of Gibbs in all things personal and professional. He's been through three other marriages, who knows how many red heads, and has never found a long-term stable relationship with another woman. And his extra-curricular killing of Shannon and Kelly's murderers has carved out an acceptance, a necessity, in Gibbs for breaking the rules he usually follows, when necessary.

Last night's excellent episode 7.16 brought us another installment in this part of Gibbs' story: his former mother-in-law, Shannon's mother Joann Fielding, played just right by Gena Rowlands, holds her fiance, a navy man, in her arms as he dies of gun wounds.  She and Gibbs have been out of touch since Shannon and Kelly's deaths.  I had a feeling Joann was the killer - she was really the only one around - and Gibbs pretty soon gets on to this too, as Abby and Ducky go over the ballistics of the murder, and Gibbs learns the victim was himself a drug dealer.   Joann killed him as way of avenging her daughter and grand-daughter's deaths - she wrongly thinks he was responsible.

This pitches Gibbs into a classic dilemma:  Does he do his job and bring Joann in, or does he go with his heart and soul, his gut, and figure out a way to let her live the rest of her life out of prison?   Her victim was, after all, a drug dealer, no good to the Navy or anyone.

I knew Gibbs couldn't send her to prison.   And he does that in a satisfying way.   He hires Margaret Allison Hart to represent Joann (I think Margaret may well end up the next Mrs. Gibbs, but that's another good story).  Then Gibbs arrests Joann for the murder, but in an illegal way, that Margaret sees - so there will be subsequent conviction for Joann.

Throw in some good Ziva misuse of the language, some good DiNozzo media references, and what more can you ask for in  good, enjoyable NCIS episode.

And back to Margaret:  the more Gibbs is able to finally come to terms with Shannon and Kelly's deaths, the sooner he'll able to have a meaningful relationship with another woman.   I think this incident with Joann helps him do that.   

Meanwhile, my wife mentioned that Margaret's dark hair could be significant - Shannon had red hair, all of Gibbs' wives and romantic interests since then, as far we know, had red hair.   This could mean Margaret being a brunette could rule out her becoming Gibbs' next significant relationship.   On the other hand, I'm thinking that the change in hair color could be a signal of Gibbs finally letting go of at least little of Shannon.

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