NCIS “Cadence” Review (Season 12 Episode 14) – Hello, Cadet DiNozzo

NCIS Cadence Season 12 Episode 14 05

In this episode of NCIS, called “Cadence,” Tony has no choice but to confront his past when a case brings the team to the military school he attended as a teen.

We’ve seen many layers to Tony, but this episode peeled away one that I never would have guessed existed. Who knew Tony once went to a military school? It doesn’t at all match with his personality and yet, when I saw the flashbacks of him there, I easily saw how it fit into making him the man he is today.

I’m sure it would have difficult enough for Tony to investigate any case that involved his old school, but this case really forced him to take a long look at that part of his life. The case wasn’t just about some cadet who had nothing to do with his time there, it involved two cadets who got caught up in one of the aspects of the school he wanted to forget: Honor Corps. I found it interesting that Tony didn’t want Bishop to know anything about what he did at the school – interesting because he was trying to hide the fact that he was actually a good cadet and even made Dean’s List.

It puzzled me, but then I realized that maybe Tony was uncomfortable getting credit for the little bit of good he did at school, because he felt like it didn’t make up for all the bad he did before that. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Tony didn’t think he deserved to be praised. As well as he did there, maybe he thought he could have done better. We saw him stand up for Travis, but we also know that he didn’t take the time to really get to know his roommate. It was a mistake he made up for in the end, inviting Travis out for dinner so they could chat. Tony does that a lot: Makes up for his mistakes in the past by dealing with them in the present.

Last week I enjoyed the heck out of Teen Dean on Supernatural and now I get to say the same thing about Teen Tony. Tanner Stine blew it out of the water as the younger DiNozzo and I’m hoping we get some more flashback episodes just so we can see him again.

Something else I enjoyed in this episode was seeing the old Gibbs back. He had some rough times after Diane’s death, but with the help of his friends and especially Hollis, he was able to come back from it. Of course he hasn’t forgotten what happened, as evidenced by the fact that he asked Jake to help him out. I’m a little worried about that, even though I thought it was great that Gibbs trusted him enough to confide in him. I just think it could get dangerous for Jake to be involved, so I hope I’m wrong.

My favorite bits:

Gibbs marching in and announcing he had happily accepted the dinner invitation from Ellie and Jake.

Jake’s reaction to finding out that his wife often changed in the car with her coworkers.

The way Gibbs’ head snapped around when Tony said he went to a military school. Ah, so even he didn’t know that? Interesting.

Ducky chatting about Latin with his guest in autopsy.

Gibbs offering Tony a cup of coffee so they could hash out his issues with his old school. I kinda wish we could’ve seen that.

The way Abby deftly avoiding answering McGee’s question about whether or not she and Burt took a couples’ massage with Jake and Ellie.

Aw, Teen Tony! So cute.

Wait. I thought we established that it was Tony’s mom who turned him into a film buff well before he met Mr. Tanner?

Tanner telling Bishop he always knew Tony would become something special.

Bishop discovering that Tony made the Dean’s List.

Coach Tanner: “We built our reputation on turning young lives around. Just look at him.”

Gibbs trying to speak Abby’s language and coming with “GPS REM thingy.” That was awesome. It was even more awesome that it gave her an idea of how to track the phone.

Bishop snagging a picture of Teen Tony in his uniform.

Tony standing up for Piggy. I knew he was a cool guy.

Tony getting told that it was graduates like him who made the school proud. Wow!

Really, really, really wanting to know what song Bishop sang in the shower.

McGee taking one step into the diner, seeing the situation, and fleeing. I lost count of how many times I rewatched that bit. Hilarious!

Tony getting saved from the Honor Corps by Coach Tanner.

The way Teen Tony melded into Adult Tony at the end of the flashback. So perfect.

McGee’s Gibbs-dar going off when he picked up Jake’s phone on Gibbs’ desk.

Tony going straight into Cadet Craig’s closet and pulling out the gray armband to prove Honor Corps still existed.

Tony having to arrest his old mentor. Man, that was rough.

Gibbs offering to take the interview for Tony, and the tiny bit of pride in his eyes when Tony did it himself.

Bishop pointing out that whatever Tony’s past was, it made him the awesome guy he is today.

Tony’s reaction when Jake said that Gibbs was easy to talk to.

Tony hanging up his old picture.

Tony calling up Travis and suggesting they hang out.

What did you think of this episode of NCIS? Got any favorite bits or least favorite bits of your own? Sound off in the comments below, I love hearing from you guys!

Follow me on Twitter @mokibobolink