First, a big shout-out to Christopher Waild for a great job writing last week's shocker, "Shabbat Shalom". This, however, left me with a tough act to follow. Thankfully, Chris and our fearless leader Gary Glasberg lent a hand conceiving the story for tonight's follow-up, "Shiva."
Initially, we agreed that the natural response to the murders of Eli David and Jackie Vance would be all about revenge. This was supported, after the fact, by the fan response to Shabbat Shalom, which was off-the-charts. Shock, tears, outrage. You wanted revenge for Ziva and Vance as much as we did in the story process. We shared visions of Ziva kicking down doors and Vance pushing the limits of his power to catch their loved ones' killer.
But then, we took a breath. And we realized that it might be better for our characters to take a breath as well. Let them mourn their losses, albeit reluctantly. Our people are fixers. They fix problems. They right wrongs. But some problems are too big to fix immediately. Satisfaction is not guaranteed in life, so why jump to it in a single episode? Ziva and Vance will get to pursue justice soon enough, but first they face the much tougher task of looking inward to deal with their unspeakable losses.
As usual, the best cast in television brought its "A" game. Cote breaks our hearts as only she can, and Rocky expertly embodies a shattered man. Michael, David, Sean and Pauley are stellar in support, and Mark is the constant rock to which everything is fastened. Great work by guest stars Oded Fehr, Greg Germann and Nasser Faris. Good people, who fit in nicely with the NCIS family (even the villains).
Throw in excellent direction by Arvin Brown, terrific editing by Mitch Stanley, and the inexhaustible efforts of the best crew in show business, and hopefully, Shiva does suitable justice to its predecessor. Thanks for watching.