What's Worth Watching: 'NCIS' on CBS for Tuesday, September 22
NCIS, "Stop the Bleeding" (Tuesday, Sept. 22, 8/7c, CBS)
Shows like NCIS don't stay atop the ratings for a dozen seasons without providing a certain comfort level for its mass audience. So it's hardly a spoiler alert to announce that Mark Harmon, the series' MVP as Special Agent Jethro Gibbs, is not going anywhere. Gibbs is in bad shape as the new season opens, brought aboard a Navy vessel in the Persian Gulf after being shot twice in last season's cliffhanger. While a wisecracking surgeon played by Two and a Half Men's Jon Cryer goes to work—"Time to dance, Agent Gibbs. Mind if I lead?"—back home the rest of the team frets, although pop-culture savants who listen closely will make a fun connection between Cryer's movie past and another member of Gibbs' circle.
We go deep inside Gibbs' psyche during surgery, meeting old departed friends and loved ones, who attempt to renew his sense of purpose and duty despite his disillusion from having been fired upon by a young boy he had tried to rescue from the clutches of a terrorist organization known as the Calling. That group's suavely sinister leader, Daniel Budd (Giles Matthey), becomes the object of a manhunt led by Tony (Michael Weatherly) and the CIA's Joanna Teague (Mimi Rogers), who head to Shanghai to track down this merchant of death and corruptor of youth. The fight between good and evil is what fans expect from this effortlessly watchable military procedural, but the real shock comes later once Gibbs emerges from surgery and rehab with something of a fashion makeover. Did someone give him a Brooks Brothers gift certificate as a get-well gift?