Tag Archives: NCIS

The Problem With N.C.I.S. Season 18…

Before I nag and complain about this long running television series, I want to state a few things first. The first is that ultimately, this is not a hate post about the show. Far from it. I grew up with the likes of J.A.G. and other such series. When I’d come home from school at least someone in my family had it playing, and therefore I grew to enjoy the crime drama myself.

My parents and I still make the habit of watching N.C.I.S. together every Tuesday night. In the era of Covid-19 when so many routines have been upended and obliterated, this one unspoken tradition was something of a boon. Something that I personally clung to, because let’s face it. The world will be upside down for everyone until the virus gets under control.

However last night, this long running television series made a choice to do something. If you haven’t seen the episode, warning MASSIVE spoiler ahead…

I mean it, don’t scroll down if you care about spoilers…

This is your last chance…

On February 9th, 2021, the series took a turn. It decided to kill off Jimmy Palmer’s wife to Covid-19 so offhandedly that fans took to twitter and fan wiki pages to see if we somehow missed something. That’s how offhanded it was!

As fans of the show, we received a few sections of dialogue coming from a man in grief. Mourning a loss that apparently had taken place a few months back. His nearly unbeatable sunny spirits at war with how he really feels, trapped in his own denial.

I haven’t been a huge fan of season 18. It’s been a bit of a muddy one to be sure, but the true issue showed its face in spades. Season 18 is a season when hope is lost to desperation, and sacrifices come in forms so unsavory that they’re just too dark to swallow.

I don’t like most crime dramas because they’re just too gritty. The reason I enjoy N.C.I.S. is because no matter how dark it chooses to dive into the depths of cynicism, a small light of hope usually lingers upon its surface. Last night’s episode, and the episodes of most of this season lack that all too important thing.

In this season I’ve witnessed Gibbs shooting Mcgee several times to keep him down. To protect him against an explosion that would have otherwise killed him. The show’s ace sniper turning to bullets to protect a comrade… by shooting the comrade. If you’ve watched this season at all, you likely know what I’m getting at by now.

Instead of our heroes coming out on top of their struggles, and carefully laid plot lines to address their problems head on, what we’ve received is a poor attempt at best. At worst, we have character related baggage that won’t ever be healed. It’s too soon to tell if the writers can get themselves out of this mess.

I won’t sit here and complain about Breena’s apparent off-screen death. Or the fact that it has left Jimmy as a single father and deeply grieving man.

Instead, I’m just going to say this.

The virus is real. The loss of life isn’t a story or fabrication. That’s real too. I have been profoundly lucky that I have not yet personally suffered a loss at the hands of Covid 19, but my family and I have also been as sheltered in place as much as possible since the pandemic began. Taking every precaution we can in order to stay safe. While the world loses thousands by the day, I know there are others like myself out there. Families who have gotten incredibly lucky.

Not everyone was so fortunate, and a little care taken to character progression is paramount in situations like this.

You don’t just write off a character’s death to a pandemic virus this way,..a few pen strokes of dialogue unwittingly toying with the confines of reality, in a way that just doesn’t do the real truth of the matter justice.

Jimmy as a character will be a changed man by this, and sure it further’s his story line. It makes him more interesting. At what cost, though? Are the writers just that damn cynical? This choice of theirs was thought out, but it wasn’t in any way meticulous.

Like so many episodes this season, it gazes down into the abyss, but it doesn’t provide any sense of true closure. The true light of hope just wasn’t there… And you know what? We could all use a little hope right about now.

Is that really so much to ask?

This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets…. I’m not going to fill the bottom of this post with the usual links… instead, I’ll just say this. Keep your loved ones in your heart, and always look for that little light of hope.

Until next time everyone.

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Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.

Fandom: Little Moments Matter Most

Note: This was an old post on the original “The Demented Ferrets” site, and prior to that it belonged to my personal blog. It is being placed here because this is now where it belongs.

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Minako and Rei from Sailor Moon are without a doubt a solid character pairing, even if they aren’t exactly cannon across all of the Sailor Moon media. Why do they stand the test of time? Simple, because their romance comes natural to those who see it within the subtext.

In popular media, when I think of reasons to sail any ship, it’s not the large cannon elements that come to mind. It’s the tiny things. Moments when characters might brush their fingers together when exchanging an object. Times when short quips and witty dialogue carrying a greater subtext within a scene.

Know what other ships sails really well because of this? Pretty much any ship containing at least two of the main four girls of RWBY. I ship nearly every combination because of how versatile they are.

Small moments make a ship, that’s a fact. It is particularly important if a series isn’t centrally focused on romance. Then the smaller moments matter even more. Long running series with advancing story arcs might not spend a whole lot of time focusing on romantic overtures. Instead, they tend to spread large romantic elements few and far between. Sometimes, the best ships don’t have any big moments at all. Sometimes they only have a series of small elements to craft a greater narrative. In this instance, subtext quickly becomes fan fodder.

I look no further than NCIS as an example. Tony and Ziva, or “Tiva” as the ship is named by the fans. These two are strong contenders in shipping because the slow burn is as hilarious as it is dramatic.

Romance between these two is the show in spades, but, it walks a fine line. The pairing never consumes the show. Instead, the fans consume the romance, looking for the little details hidden between the subtle character interactions. These two aren’t obviously a cannon couple until much later in the series. However, this didn’t stop fans from sailing that ship early on. It was only through implication and subtext that the relationship held any ground, at least, at first.

I think that personally this is sometimes the better approach. Fans have a gift for running away with subtext. Collective fans like making stories of their own. When moments are rare,it’s no surprise that fan-fiction itself becomes a selfish endeavor.

Fans meet their own desire to see character romance carried further than a series could have taken it. This is true for almost all media that has an active fan following.

Depending on the character pairing, strange ships sail fast. I think of the romantic pairing of Elsa and Anna from Frozen being a prime example of fandom running amok. Seriously, fans ship these two hard. I don’t see the draw in it personally, but it’s in the fandom for sure.

There is no conceivable way that Disney would have imagined their older fan base deciding to turn the sisters into lesbians…

Or that, even if they were on the GRSM spectrum, that they would ever be seen as romantically in love with each other. Then again, I can’t say that I’m surprised. Pairings revolving around sibling romance can be common in fandom, particularly of the animated variety.

Even without sibling romance, some stories become downright filthy as fans of a medium carefully craft and contort romantic relationships between characters. Ultimately, for better and for worse, fans have always been able to fill gaps that cannon material fails to provide. If little else, fan communities keep character romances thriving when long stretches of time pass without cannon material.

This is particularly important when large series take an extended break or the series eventually ends. At that point it’s up to fans to find a new source of entertainment. Some find this solace within the media that they already care for, writing or reading stories that reflect on certain plot elements within the series as a whole.

Deceased or retired characters in media find new life, and new stories because fan fiction and far art too. I think of characters like Pyrrha Nikos from RWBY, or Kate Todd and Ziva David from NCIS, as prime examples of characters that continue to live on in fandom because of the stories people write.

Without these stories, these characters, and their ships, they might have been left stagnant and forgotten. Within fandom, these characters will always live on. They will always be shipped, and the fandom will always triumhp.

That’s what little moments do. They’re powerful, and they can’t be disregarded.

This has been Kernook from the Demented Ferrets.

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.


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