NCIS “Stop the Bleeding” Review (Season 13, Episode 1) [Season Premiere]

Gibbs Surgery

At the end of last season, viewers of the long-running CBS series NCIS saw Leroy Jethro Gibb shot down by pre-teen Luke Harris, one of countless kids brainwashed by that radical group known as “The Calling”.

Gibbs was shot twice by Luke – once in the leg and once in the chest – and he underwent a rigorous surgery aboard the USS Daniel Webster in the Persian Gulf. Thank God for Dr. Cyril Taft, who performed the surgery and got Gibbs back on his feet.

I don’t know about everyone else who watched the season premiere last night, but I thought that Jon Cryer did a great job as Dr. Taft: just the right amount of wit and acumen. And, it only seemed to make sense that Gibbs would see both the late Mike Franks and his dearly departed little girl Kelly while he was under. The scenes with Kelly were, obviously, very moving and touched a chord. I have to wonder if Gibbs will actually take Kelly’s advice and move on because he has been dwelling on her death and that of his first wife Shannon for a very long time.

Where the main story was concerned, Tony and Teague were on special assignment together, tracking down Daniel Budd, the whack job in charge of “The Calling”. Currently the duo was in Shanghai hunting down Budd with an assist from undercover CIA Officer Kenny Young, who was posing as a taxi driver. Let’s not even talk about any of the film references that Tony would have made in that regard, right?

In addition to attempting to track down Budd, the team had a new, very big wrinkle, to deal with: a warhead armed and ready to launch against North Korea. Through a series of events, the team learned that the laptop of recently departed NCIS Agent Ned Dorneget (Teague’s only son) was being hacked by “The Calling” and the launch of the warhead was nothing more than Budd playing a sick, twisted game with NCIS and the military. That is one sick puppy to say the least.

Thankfully, Budd got exactly what he deserved thanks to young Luke Harris, who was caught inside a creepy looking abandoned warehouse along with a bunch of other pre-teens working for “The Calling”. Once Luke realized that he didn’t kill Agent Gibbs, he gave up Budd’s location and Tony was able to get the bastard down, shooting him exactly the same way as Luke had shot Gibbs. In this instance, though, Budd will not be coming back from that the way that Gibbs did.

The underlying questions resulting from this episode are these: Is Tony going to have any mental trauma from gunning Budd down? Sure the guy was a bastard and deserved what he got, but taking the life – no matter how evil the person – can be haunting for the shooter. It’s obvious that Gibbs isn’t 100% nor does it seem like he ever will be again. How is this going to affect Gibbs moving forward? And, will he follow his daughter’s advice, moving on from her and Shannon’s death? He hasn’t done that in all this time, and I can’t see him moving on now.

What are your thoughts about last night’s season premiere? Please share your thoughts below.

And remember the next new episode of the 13th season of ‘NCIS’ will air on CBS on Monday, September 29 at 8/7c.

Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Michael Weatherly as Tony DiNozzo
Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto
Sean Murray as Tim McGee
Emily Wickersham as Ellie Bishop
Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer
Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance
David McCallum as Dr. Donald Mallard

Guest stars:
Jon Cryer as Dr. Cyril Taft
Muse Watson as Mike Franks
Mimi Rogers as CIA Officer Joanna Teague
Giles Matthey as Daniel Budd
Adetokumboh M’Cormack as Matthew Rousseau
David Andrews as U.S. Secretary of Defense Errol Coyne
Kenny Leu as CIA Officer Kenny Young
Mila Brener as Kelly Gibbs
Daniel Zolghadri as Luke Harris