NCIS Season 10 Finale 2013 Review “Damned If You Do” – What Just Happened?

NCIS - Damned If You Do

In this episode of NCIS, called “Damned If You Do,” Gibbs faces down Parsons and his seemingly endless bag of tricks. But Parsons soon comes to realize that Gibbs isn’t going down without a fight – or without the help of his friends.

After watching this episode twice, I feel like I have a bit more of a handle on what happened, but I don’t think that ending will ever make sense to me no matter how many times I watch it. So I’ll just talk about what I *think* I understand.


Parsons was quite the enemy in this one. It turns out that he hoards classified information and even has sensitive stuff on some higher ups. What I found interesting about that was the fact that he seems to be doing pretty much what he’s trying to take Gibbs and the team down for – stretching the law to serve his own purpose. But the difference is while Parsons is doing it to benefit his career; the team did what they did to save lives.


Gibbs was pretty hard to read all through this episode. I mean we all knew he was going through a lot of stuff – any time the ghost of Mike Franks shows up to give Gibbs advice, you know he needs help – but I couldn’t quite tell what he was planning. Then it hit me; maybe the reason I couldn’t put my finger on what Gibbs was planning was because even he didn’t know what to do. Other than just take the fall and keep his team safe.

The team

Speaking of the team – there were some great moments with all of them in this one. There was the normal amount of joking and camaraderie, but also a fair bit of everyone working together to protect each other and protect Gibbs. There were so many moments to love that I won’t go into any here, but leave them for you to enjoy in my “favorite bits” section.

The ending

Like I said above, I’ll never understand what that ending was supposed to mean and I’m sure that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. We jumped ahead to the time right before the show will premiere and I’m guessing we’ll find out what happened in flashbacks. Though how they will explain Gibbs putting a bead on Fornell, I have no idea. I can only assume that some or all of what we saw was faked (as in Fornell was in on it, etc), but I can’t wait to see how they pull it off. Also, with so much time having gone by I can’t help but to wonder what the team will have been doing all that time? Are they all off on vacations? Working in different jobs? Or are they all secretly undercover somewhere and their resignations were part of the big plan as well.

So many questions and we have four month to wait until they are answered. Here comes another long summer.

My favorite bits..

Wondering if Gibbs was in a dream or a memory.

“Geez, you think you got him there, Mike?”

The bodies bobbing up in the water and Gibbs seeing his team standing on the bank. Creepy.

Vance informing Tom that he may have said to let Bodnar go, but his wife was telling him something else.

“Where’s my cup of tea, son?” – Haha! I love this guy.

Tony informing the men that McGee filed all his naked anime pictures under “N.”

Abby shooting a cartoon version of Parsons.

Palmer calling Abby “Abby Oakley.”

Vance holding a super-secret meeting in the elevator.

Palmer trying to explain just how he’d come to discover a bug in the ladies room.

Tony admitting that he’d been on the roof of the elevator. Aw, how come we didn’t get to see that??

“I’m going to vote for bi-weekly elevator meetings.” – I’m so with her on that.

Finding out that Gibbs had made himself a cabin, and a road to boot.

“Are you enjoying nature, Tony?”
“Yes, I just don’t nature when it’s all over my shoes.”

Gibbs pointing out that the possum had been there first.

“I’m not sure Ziva’s ready for the full-on Mel Brooks Blazing Saddles experience.” – Literally LOL’d at that.

Gibbs inviting McGee to join the party and pull up a stump.

“Kevin Spacey.”
“You know him?”

“I already gave them a heads-up.”
(Tony stares)
“Oh, God.”

Jimmy announcing that he and Breena were adopting. Such awesome news!

Abby talking about Major Mass Spec coughing up hairballs.

“Where I come from a radiated and tortured head in a box usually means ‘back off.'” – Yeah, I think I’d agree with that assessment.

McGee’s little grin when tony figured out how he was getting his info. Way to go, McGee!

“Oh, I’ve seen this expression before. McSnoop Dogg! Are you getting jiggy with some highly classified DoD beauty?”

Tony kissing McGee on the head and McGee begging him to never do it again.

“Why is McGee’s evil doppelganger getting all the good stuff?”

Gibbs refusing to play by Parsons’ rules

“Hey it is not your job!”
“It is not about my job, this is about my family!”

Gibbs’ little nod to send Tony after Ziva.

Ziva apologizing to Tony for hurting him during all of it. Sorry, just have to get this out of my system..Finally!

Tony kissing Ziva on the forehead. I thought it was interesting that Tony also kissed McGee on the head. Almost as if they’re trying to say “See? He kisses all of his friends on the forehead,” like they’re actively trying to keep us non-Tiva lovers as happy as all the Tiva lovers.

That whole conversation between Vance and Morrow in the park. Connections upon connections upon connections – it all made my head hurt.

Franks asking Gibbs to pour him a drink.

“Maybe it’s time to stop thinking and start doing.”

Franks pointing out all the people that Gibbs had lost, including himself and telling Gibbs that he should come clean.

“All I ever wanted to be was a good Marine. Good husband.”
“And you have.”

“You’re preaching to the symphony, Tony.”

“Since when did it become illegal to catch bad people and do good things?”

Abby saying she wanted to kick Parsons in his delicate place.

The fact that Gibbs wasn’t even fazed to find out that the CIA was behind Kazmir’s death.

“What’s the catch?”
“It might kill you.”
“So could bad clams.”

Vance shredding Abby’s old forensic report.

Tony, McGee and Ziva handing in their badges. Wow.

Gibbs pulling out Franks’ old box of files and burning them.

Vance informing Parsons that Gibbs’ team had just taken responsibility for everything.

“Is Agent Gibbs so valuable, that you would allow this to happen?”

Four Months Later??

Gibbs putting Fornell in his sights and the sound of the gunshot over the finale credits. I mean…. what????

What did you think of this episode of NCIS? Got any favorite bits or least favorite bits of your own? I’d love to hear from you!

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