Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Great Character Arcs

I just started watching the eighth season on NCIS on DVD. In the second episode, "Worst Nightmare," a thirteen year old girl is kidnapped and the team, with the help of the girl's ex-spy grandfather, are working to get her back. But the plot arc is not the interesting part of the episode.

Three college students are at NCIS for a short internship for a class. They are sent to Abby, Ducky, and McGee for the case. McGee's intern is a finance major and is completely not interested in helping. He doesn't want to stay the extra hours to work the case, especially since he only took it because "it was the only class that fulfilled the requirements and didn't meet on a Friday." There are several spats between him and the agents, like when he tells DiNozzo they could make a killing in the private sector a Tony replies "But then who would catch the bad guys?" and McGee keeps giving him menial tasks because he's still upset about the quips against NCIS.

Little things start to change his perspective, however. He is impressed that Gibbs would put everything on the line when he takes money out of the evidence locker to ransom the girl, when Gibbs is fully aware of the repurcussions if he was caught. He sees a "proof of life" video of the little girl, and gets choked up watching it. Finally, the girl is reunited with her parents, and he says how he could get used to the good feeling, catching the bad guys and saving the innocents. After all the hassle he gave the NCIS crew, McGee hands him an application for the student program at NCIS. I love that! =] Such a great arc, where the attitudes of all the characters change for the sake of one character's arc, and we know that the intern will be changed forever after what he saw there at NCIS.

It's a great episode, and I would highly recommend watching it. It's full of humor in typical NCIS style, but also gets emotional and dramatic at times. I wonder if the writer of this episode is the same as the writer of "Bounce." (Another of my favorite episodes. Season 6?)

And if you don't watch NCIS, you should totally start.

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