And with last night’s episode of “NCIS,” I say a sad, reluctant, and final goodbye to the entire series. No, it is not leaving; I am. Reluctantly, because of the frequency with which I have found myself, on a weekday evening over the latest several years, having scanned all 700-or-so listings in the evening’s Directv program guide, finding only one watchable program: the current week’s new programming (Tuesday nights) of an NCIS whodunit or a re-run of one of the multiple seasons’ worth of prior episodes. Because I am too cheap to sign up for the trash offered by HBO, Showtime, etc., and because I have no interest in network sitcoms or in Directv’s version of public-interest programming, there is little TV – outside of sports – for me to watch. I am already nearing triple-digits in viewings of the few movies that somehow managed to dodge the Hollywood boycott of anything lacking a strong leftist bias – I am fine with the Bourne trilogy (though I am almost out of patience with its bias against the U.S. intelligence community), the James Bond movies, almost every movie made with or by Clint Eastwood, and any movie ever made with Russell Crowe. I can even put up with the lefty version of an action movie when the political agenda is suppressed until the final scenes and the movie is well-made – like “U.S. Marshals,” with Wesley Snipes, and “Michael Clayton,” with two actors (George Clooney and Sydney Pollack) whose political biases eventually drag down many of their otherwise-interesting efforts. For my money, “24” was a terrific series, so long as it stuck to the reality that the world’s leading terrorist movement is Islamism; originally, its villains were Islamist (as distinct from Muslim) terrorists. Once “24” caved in to the American Left, and decided that terror was an equal-opportunity employer and that it was politically inappropriate to cast Islamists as terrorists, the series began a slow descent into a boring sitcom, largely disconnected from reality but obsessed with political correctness.
Now, the same thing has happened to my beloved NCIS. Not a total surprise; all of this season’s episodes have moved toward the traditional lefty-preference for simplified plots, more “character development,” less action, greater ambiguity in the behavior and motives of the characters – especially the once admirably-stoic Gibbs. Boring, boring, boring. Maybe they just brought in a bunch of less-talented writers, but my guess is that these are changes in policy, not talent. Another tell, which should have been fair warning of what was to follow, was the gradual turning of Ziva David against her native country (Israel), her former employer (Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency), her father (the head of Mossad), and various former Mossad colleagues, and a growing emphasis upon the shortcomings of the personalities and personal character of the Israeli characters. Still, it was quite a shock to watch Tuesday’s denouement unfold, as it turns out that a potential peace-making deal between Iran and Israel has been prevented by – are you ready for this? – an Israeli intelligence officer who kills the head of Mossad (along with the wife of the NCIS director) in order to sabotage the peace deal and take over as the new – and more jingoistic – head of Mossad. This was truly dazzling: somehow the people behind the NCIS series figured out a way to jump on the Obama bandwagon and make Iran the good guys and Israel the bad guys and Ziva, the native-Israeli turned naturalized American, an emotional wreck because her native country (albeit through a “rogue” agent) had killed her own father! Can you imagine anyone, outside of the fantasy world of the American Left, coming up with an ending like this one? Well, I cannot, any more than I can imagine ever again watching even a single episode of what once was an excellent series.