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Paul Levinson's Open Salon Blog

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson
New York City, New York, USA
March 25
Fordham University
Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006), Unburning Alexandria (2013), and Chronica (2014) - the last three known as the "Sierra Waters trilogy". His science fiction and mystery short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), New New Media (2009, 2013) have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into twelve languages. Paul Levinson has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2010. He reviews the best of television in his blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City


OCTOBER 27, 2011 3:48PM

NCIS 9.6: Too Good to be True

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NCIS 9.6 was a too good to be true story - not the episode, but the story presented in the episode, which was in fact a little hackneyed and even predictable. Ducky's in love.  This provides a good occasion for DiNozzo to sing a few bars of Rickie Lee Jones' "Chuck E.'s in Love," with a D instead of a C.  But because this is a television series, not real life, you just know that that head-over-heels love can't last.  And so it goes with poor Ducky, with the twist that his love turns out to be the killer the team is hunting, which is also a standard television move.

But the show did have Cheryl Ladd, from the original Charlie's Angels, playing the killer.  And it did have one of Gibbs' best rejoinders of the season, given when DiNozzo says he's fallen off the ladder of trust.   "Not a ladder," Gibbs laconically comments,  "more like a step stool."

In other words, the writing was excellent as always, even though the story was disappointing.   I admit, I'm a romantic.  I like to see our major characters find the happiness they deserve.  I understand why, in this line of work, that often doesn't happen.  But making Ducky's love the killer in this one was just too much.

Gibbs once again plays the comforter at the end of the episode, which, as I've been saying, has been a good leavener for the show.  This time the recipient, of course, is Ducky.

But why can't at least one of our major characters find some continuing happiness in life outside of work?  In Ducky's case, it's because the source of that happiness turned out to be his and the team's work.  To which I crankily say - give the man a break.

See also NCIS 9.1: Unpacking Partial Amnesia ... NCIS 9.2: Lying to Yourself ... NCIS 9.3: McGee's Grandmother ... NCIS 9.4: Turkey Vulture as Explained by DiNozzo ... NCIS 9.5: Behrooz's Mother

And see also NCIS Back in Season 8 Action ... NCIS 8.2: Interns! ... NCIS 8.3: Tiff! ... NCIS 8.4: Gary Cooper not John Wayne ... NCIS 8.5: Dead DJ, DiNozzo Hoarse, and Baseball ... NCIS 8.6: The Written Woman ... NCIS 8.7: "James Bond Movie Directed by Fellini" ... NCIS 8.8: Ziva's Father ... NCIS 8.9: Leon's Story ... NCIS 8.10: DiNozzo In and Out ... NCIS 8.11: "The Sister Went Viral" ... Bob Newhart on NCIS 8.12 ... NCIS 8.13: The Wife or the Girlfriend ... NCIS 8.14: Kate ... NCIS 8.15: McGee and DiNozzo's Badges ... NCIS 8.16: Computer Games ... NCIS 8.17: Budget Cuts ... NCIS 8.18: Gibbs vs. the Kid ... NCIS 8.19: The Deadly Book ... NCIS 8.20: CIRay ... NCIS 8.21: Mask and Eye ... NCIS 8.22: "I'd Rather Have a Lead" ... NCIS 8.23: Answers and Questions ... NCIS Season 8 Finale

And see also NCIS  ... NCIS 7.16: Gibbs' Mother-in-Law Dilemma ... NCIS 7.17: Ducky's Ties ... NCIS 7.18: Bogus Treasure and Real Locker ... NCIS 7.21: NCIS Meets Laura ... NCIS Season 7 Finale: Retribution

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