'NCIS: The Complete Ninth Season'
(Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2012 / Paramount)
Overview: NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is more than just an action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it's a show that focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a team of special agents forced to work together in high-stress situations. From murder and espionage to terrorism and stolen submarines, these special agents travel the globe to investigate all crimes with Navy or Marine Corps ties.
DVD Verdict: For the record, I love this show ... LOVE it, and so when a new season comes around and you can watch all the episodes in a row without those pesky adverts, well, you just gotta jump on that continual-viewing bandwagon!
Taking it from the top, and 'NCIS' returned for a cracking ninth season as network TVs highest ranked drama. As always, the band of merry men (and women) are led by their job-weary boss, Mark Harmon who returns as Senior Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. As usual, and throughout, he is still feuding with his boss, the Director of NCIS, but manages to still keep his team together; as one big happy (second) family.
Last season ended with Special Agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) being handed an envelope with a photo inside. Containing a supposed picture of a traitor within the ranks of NCIS, as we progress (and not to give anything away) the assignment isn't easy. Indeed, he barely survives the assignment, which actually leaves behind an unsolved mystery; let alone newly-surfaced doubts about the relationship between the new Secretary of the Navy and Director Vance (Rocky Carroll).
As the episodes unravel, each of the team members goes through their own mini baggage of issues. Indeed, Tony has more troubles to endure, the person who is looking to kill him eventually resurfaces, Gibbs finds out that he himself isn't protected enough to not run into his own battle with fate either. Goth forensics expert Abby Sciuto (the always-caffeinated Pauley Parrette) learns that what she thinks she knows about her family might not be true and the quietly-spoken Medical examiner "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum) even tries online dating.
Agent Ziva David (the delicious Cote de Pablo) is empowered within her knowledge that is her role within "her new family" within the ranks of NCIS. The always-on-point Jamie Lee Curtis has an extended guest stint as an expert in psycological warfare, but who is also wrapped into Gibbs.
And talking of guest roles, the hysterical Lilly Tomlin plays a great role as Agent McGee's (Sean Murray) grandmother. A woman still trapped in the '60s, she believes all is good in the world, and that everyone within it is good.
From episode to episode, the NCIS characters have definitely settled into their roles. Their collective human dynamics and interpersonal cameraderie that has made this series an ongoing hit for so many years is firing on all cylinders here once again, and I can't wait until season 10.
Indeed, come the last episode, 'Till Death Do Us Part,' when Terrorism threatens to shake the foundations of the Navy and NCIS, when the team continues to be eluded by the newest member of the NCIS Most Wanted Wall, the extended story arc (that's been building all late season) finally ends with a thrilling finale. Team members are put in mortal danger and a possible death for one of the beloved cast. These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs is packed with behind-the-scenes Special Features!