Friday, October 20, 2006

Media: NCIS - Navy Criminal Investigative Services - "Dead and Unburied"

If “Faking It” represented an order of magnitude increase in plot complexity over the previous three NCIS episodes, then "Dead and Unburied" is an order of magnitude more complex than that. The episode opens with real estate agent Jody Carvell (Rebecca Wisocky) showing a newly built property to a couple. As she walks into the great room, she screams when finding a well-decomposed body sitting in a recliner. The corpse turns out to be a lance corporal who ostensibly was deployed for Iraq but never made it. Subsequent scene investigation reveals that the dead man been buried in the back yard and only recently disinterred.

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) calls all hand on deck and discovers that the lance corporal had two fiancées – one buttoned-up prim and proper, Siri Albert (Rachel Boston) and the second, the fiery sensual (in a trashy way) Rebecca Kemp (Elisa Donovan). The lance corporal seemed to have quite the ability to charm women, both out of their clothes and money. The two women admit to having been intimate with the corporal before his “deployment” and Gibbs has Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) run DNA analyses on the good corporal’s underwear. Two sets of DNA was indeed found, but only one set matches the fiancées, the other belonging to an unknown woman.

Further investigation of the corporal’s belongings indicates that he had recently rented a storage facility that at first appeared empty to agents Tim McGee (Sean Murray) and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) but revealed a sack containing hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold coins. The unknown DNA recovered from the corporals underwear was compared to a national databank and a match was made with real estate agent Jody Carvell, whose DNA profile was present as a result of a bone marrow donation she had made to her father who had recently died of leukemia. Carvell came into millions upon the death of her father. Upon questioning she revealed that she had fallen in love with the dead corporal and intended to divorce her feckless husband Rick Carvell (Matt Winston). While meeting in the empty house, Jody Carvell and the corporal fought and the corporal fell and fractured his skull. Carvell denied burying the corporal, instead leaving the house and returning to find it empty.

In the meantime, Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum), using his newly anointed psychological forensics, interrupts Gibbs’ interrogation of Jody Carvell to tell him that she is telling the truth. Gibbs is nonplussed and returns to the interrogation while Ducky starts his own with Carvell’s husband, tricking him into admitting that it was he that not only buried the corporal in the back yard, but buried him alive.

Several relationships continue to develop in the series. Gibbs and NCIS Director Jennifer "Jenny" Shepard (Lauren Holly) begin to address their relationship in Paris years ago and Gibbs prevarication regarding his family. Gibbs and Ducky continue to spar – Gibbs in favor of gumshoe investigation and little patience with psychobabble and Ducky wanting to prove the worth of such. NCIS Special Agent Michelle Lee (Liza Lapira) and Ducky’s assistant, Agent Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) make no effort to quell their attraction for one another once Ducky has vacated the morgue. Gibbs needs to address his interpersonal conflicts with Shepard and Mallard or suffer alienating them and endangering the effectiveness of the team.


Agent Tim McGee (Sean Murray)
Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette)
Special Agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly)
Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon)
NCIS Director Jennifer "Jenny" Shepard (Lauren Holly)
Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum)
Mossad Agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo)

Bob Whitehead (Tom Kiesche)
Marine Capt. Stengel (Derek Webster) Deadman’s Captain
Rebecca Kemp (Elisa Donovan) Fiancé 2 Fiery One
Siri Albert (Rachel Boston) Fiancé 1 Prim One
Rick Carvell (Matt Winston) Jody’s Husband
Jody Carvell (Rebecca Wisocky) Real Estate Agent
NCIS Special Agent Michelle Lee (Liza Lapira)
NCIS Tech Cynthia Sumner (Stephanie Mello)
Agent Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) Ducky’s assistant

This review was first published in

© Copyright, C. Michael Bailey, 2006