NCIS “Spinning Wheel” Review (Season 13, Episode 11)

NCIS Spinning Wheel

Spinning wheel got to go ‘round…

Those are lyrics from the 1960’s song of the same name by the band Blood, Sweat & Tears. But those words held meaning for Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard when he learned in last night’s winter finale of NCIS that his younger brother Nicholas from his father’s second marriage (a younger brother that no one, not even Gibbs, had known about until now), who Ducky believed to have been dead for many decades, was very much alive.

That revelation came, however, through an unusual set of circumstances that found a young military member killed when he tried to save Ducky from being kidnapped. That death and Ducky’s kidnapping led the team to Rufus Simms, who had been using the van where Ducky was found “trussed up like a turkey”. Unfortunately, Simms was also found dead, which ultimately led the team to finding Vigo Trellis, a no-good private investigator who was intent on making money from – of all things – a rare postage stamp. That postage stamp led the team to a letter that Abby was able to prove was written by the long-believed-to-be-dead Nicholas.

Is your head spinning yet? Now do you get where the spinning wheel comes from?

What was probably most touching throughout the whole episode was seeing the flashbacks to a young Ducky and his little brother Nicholas, acting more like father and son than half brothers. It was even more touching to see their little habits – Ducky ruffling his little brother’s hair and Nicholas pinching Ducky’s nose as he uttered “beep beep”. Those simple little touches made the closing scene all the more emotional for the viewers and for Ducky when he found his brother – thanks to the investigative skills of Gibbs and the team – at a nursing home where he has been living for a number of years due to his advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

This season may have been hit or miss so far with the fans – the show is in its 13th season after all – and this may not have been the strongest episode of the season, but as I said earlier there were touching moments throughout the episode

It should also be noted that it was rather a surprise (at least to me) to see Jake back in the picture, as I thought for sure that we wouldn’t be seeing him for quite a while. And, I have to say I was also surprised that Ellie gave him the boot so quickly. I’m not saying that I condone what Jake did to Ellie (not at all), but I figured the show would prolong this whole situation.

What are your thoughts on the season to date? Did you enjoy last night’s winter finale? Would you like to see more flashback episodes with young Ducky? What do you think will happen between Jake and Ellie? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below.

The next new episode of the 13th season of ‘NCIS’ is expected to air on CBS on Monday, January 5 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:
Adam Campbell as Young Dr. Donald Mallard
Adam Croasdell as Young Angus Clarke
Andy Walken as Young Nicholas Mallard
Susan Duerden as Lorraine Mallard
George Gerdes as Field Marshall Rand
Kim Robillard as Dwayne Parker
Ashlynn Yennie as Dwayne Parker’s Daughter
Henrietta Meire as Nurse (from flashbacks)
Jon Beavers as Sam Butler
Tom Billett as Viggo Trellis
Ralph Michael Brekan as Rufus Simms
Nicole J. Butler as Nursing Home Coordinator
Christopher Murray as Joseph Mallard
David Carey Foster as Nicholas Mallard (not Ducky’s brother)
Sewell Whitney as Nicholas Mallard (Ducky’s real brother)
Jamie Bamber as Jake Malloy