‘NCIS’ Season 9 Finale Review: Was It ‘Till Death Do Us Part’?

NCIS season 9 ended with episode 24, “Till Death Do Us Part,” which showed why this show has been renewed for its 10th season and why week after week, millions tune in and make it TV’s number one drama. It’s because it’s that good.

<em>NCIS</em> on CBS.The episode was teased as having a final two minutes that you didn’t want to miss, and those previews were right. Vance had gone missing at the end of the penultimate episode, and the finale opened with the team looking over his car. It was clean, and when they got a call from Vance and found him alive, they got on the search for Dearing. They didn’t think about the fact that they didn’t strip down Vance’s car to see why it was left there. Instead, they followed other clues and distractions.

The best enemies are those who know how to keep the investigators constantly following up leads and with their attention elsewhere. That’s exactly what Dearing did, and that’s why, even though it seemed obvious that he would be the big enemy to end the season ever since the casting news was announced, Dearing was a worthy villain to end season 9.

Meanwhile, things did come to a bit of an end for Gibbs and Samantha, as she took Parker and left once Dearing worked his magic and got her ex-husband out of prison. Though they didn’t end things, for now, she’s gone, and what will come next for their relationship has yet to be seen. Considering everything else that happened—and how the episode ended, that’s the least of Gibbs’ problems.

The entire NCIS cast stepped it up in this big finale, and that includes Brian Dietzen, who plays Jimmy Palmer. He may not be a series regular, but this may have been his best episode as Jimmy considered cancelling his wedding since the others couldn’t make it, then ended up going with Ducky. However, it was the conversation between Breena and Jimmy, where he asked to move up the wedding so he could return home, that was his best moment. He wanted to be back with his team, but his wedding may be what saved his life. He was likely in the airport or on a plane when everything went down. Jimmy has come a long way since he was first introduced, and that’s down to Dietzen’s acting. Hopefully there’s much more to come from him in season 10.

The cast is always good, and that starts with Mark Harmon as Gibbs, continues with Michael Weatherly as Tony, Cote de Pablo as Ziva, Sean Murray as McGee, Pauley Perrette as Abby, David McCallum as Ducky, and Rocky Carroll as Vance. Each person got a chance to shine in this finale, even in small ways, and you just have to hope they’ll be able to continue to do that in season 10. One of the reasons the show is so good is because of that cast.

In the end, it was Cole who may have saved Gibbs’ life—and Abby’s—as he had the fearless leader of the team go inside to save her while he took care of the bomb. You had to love his “It’s not the danger. It’s the fun” as he sent Gibbs away. He may have come to them lying from the beginning in the premiere, but Scott Wolf was a good addition to the series this season, and of everyone involved, it seems safe to say he’s likely dead. Unless he found a way to run in time—which didn’t seem likely—he didn’t survive that bomb.

However, the fate of almost everyone else is uncertain. As the bomb went off, McGee was finally leaving his desk after backing up the files—which, while necessary, was a dangerous move, Gibbs entered Abby’s lab to grab her, and Tony and Ziva were in the elevator. They all felt the impact of the blast. However, that wasn’t the end of it. That would be when Ducky got the phone call about what happened: “Tell them I’ll be there right away. It’s imperative that no one touch any of the deceased until I—until I re—” A calm walk on the beach ended with Ducky lying in the sand and everyone’s lives hanging in the balance. It would be hard to imagine the show without any of these characters. Will they all survive the explosions that ended the episode?

Some of the best moments of the show continue to be those between the team, and that has to include, in this episode, Abby’s concern about Jimmy’s wedding and Ziva, McGee, and Tony giving Jimmy wedding presents (sheets, a security camera, and a classic film), which led to that group hug. The interrogation room always brings some good scenes as well, and the one with Cole and Gibbs has to be added to the highlights list as well.

NCIS has a way of finding a way to leave its fans hanging at the end of a season. Just last year, fans were left wondering whose picture was given to Tony. This season, it’s much worse. Now, viewers are left wondering all summer if everyone survived. It’s a testament to the show that it still finds ways to surprise you even after nine years. As long as it keeps doing what it’s been doing—and bringing episodes like this one—it should be around for more years to come.

What did you think of the NCIS season 9 finale, “Till Death Do Us Part”?

Photo Source: TV.com

© Meredith Jacobs 2012

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College graduate, television fanatic, writer.

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