delga: ([ncis] against the grain.)

Okay! So. As last time, I wrote more for Yuletide than I did the whole year previous, but this time it was all in one fic. This year I wrote Another Foolish Gesture (NCIS: Los Angeles) for [livejournal.com profile] jenab who was gracious enough to read what I'd written and not be (publicly) confused as hell. Title from Richard Jackson's Antigone Today which -- UGH READ IT. So excellent. All the way through writing this, I couldn't get it out of my head.

Now: my author's notes, which are about as long as the fic itself, and in which I justify why I wrote what I wrote in the way that I wrote it.

--

notes: canon, timelines, head!Nate, and trying to establish/resolve ust. )


--

I would also like to thank lunasky and chase_acow who wrote the two fics I received this year. You both did an amazing job with my godawful, horrible prompts, and I was so delighted to get these stories. I read them on my phone on Christmas day as we were driving towards family. A perfect start to what was eventually a lovely day. Thank you!

delga: ([ncis] against the grain.)

So one of the issues with my not taking time over these season finale diatribes of mine is that - as evidenced by my rewatch of the S5 finale last week - I get wrapped up in the momentum of the episode & the season, and my ideas are formed very quickly. I have no time to play them through properly before writing them down. I did okay with Criminal Minds' Demonology earlier this year, but there's still a lot of repetitious incoherence in that post. I often go back to read my NCIS posts because they give some sort of order to my thoughts but I am also struck by how my opinion changes (which is natural) and - on occasions like this one - all of that 'work' is thrown by split-second revelations in new episodes. Now, that's the nature of the beast, of course, but just because you've held with one way of thinking for so long doesn't mean you can't be more flexible. What I'm saying is: there is no sense in looking at this episode and protesting what we learned, even if it goes against your romanticised notions and expectations, because this is canon now. Fandom fills in the gaps, and makes room for itself in opposition to canon, and that's all very well, but I am going to talk about this episode in relation to a) my personal fanon (let's call it idiofanon) and b) the serial arcs as a whole. I won't speak for you so there won't be any 'I don't believe that so it can't be true' elements. That's not how this works.

--

Season 3, in many ways, is a remarkable season and I am aware of the irony of my saying that. Afterall, I abandoned the show mid-s3, only to come back to it at the top of s4. But if the obvious changes in s3 were the dynamic cast changes (Kate, Jenny, and Ziva) then the less obvious change was the shift in narrative form. S1 & S2 were fairly self-contained as seasons go, and I tend to group them together because they're tied together in nascence by Kate, and Ari, and by that peculiar liberty that serialised shows have in early seasons, not being beholden to a body of canon.

The shift happens in s3 because that's when season arcs presented themselves more clearly. The arcs aren't so straightforward, though. You can't say that the La Grenouille arc starts in 4x01 & ends in 5x19, and you definitely can't say that the La Grenouille arc is Jenny's arc, or Tony's. The storyarcs overlap and intersect. They are more fluid than the season structure. My favourite example is the beginning of Jethro's arc (oh gosh, Enigma is so intriguing to me, even after all this time) and how destructive and important Kill Ari is for so many people. It's not just one story, it's many stories, and people's emotional ups and downs don't synchronise.

delga: ([ncis] little quirk she has.)

Oh gosh, I can't think straight. A couple of initial (thinky, verbose) reactions, though.

NCIS, 6x25, Aliyah. )


--

Picspam soon, no doubt. Once I've watched it a couple more times.

edit: OH GOSH CRIMINAL MINDS FINALE TONIGHT TOO.

delga: ([Random] J'approve!)

I don't remember the order in which I watched these, so I'm going by air date. Likely y'all don't care but it matters to meeee.

Also, I watched a lot of them with The Sister this week which I think changes the way I see things. Mostly because she finds a lot of things funny, and it makes me more sympathetic to the kinds of joke that I would usually stomp all over.

--

re: Numb3rs. I didn't even finish last week's episode (5x03, Blowback), even though the first act looked good. I just. I think I'll wait for it to air on TV some time next year. Maybe time will make me more sympathetic to it? I don't know. It's a bad sign when you can't even watch the scenes with characters you don't actively dislike. And whilst Nikki Betancourt is fierce, I just don't care about her if she's been set up to be the fall guy, instead of a foil to Don & co. which is what she was originally described as being.

Farewell, show. Farewell, Don's Awful Hair.

--

True Blood, 1x07, Burning House of Love )


The Unit, 4x04, The Conduit )


Mad Men, 2x12, The Mountain King )


Californication, 2x04, The Raw and the Cooked )


Sarah Connor Chronicles, 2x06, The Tower is Tall, But the Fall is Short )


My Own Worst Enemy, 1x02, Hummingbird )


NCIS, 6x05, Nine Lives )


Pushing Daisies, 2x04, Frescorts )


Criminal Minds, 4x04, Paradise )


CSI: NY, 5x04, Sex, Lies and Silicone )


Private Practice, 2x03, Nothing to Talk About )


Grey's Anatomy, 5x05, There's No 'I' In Team )


Supernatural, 4x06, Yellow Fever )


Life, 2x06, Did You Feel That? (In which I talk in circles) )


I still haven't seen this week's Merlin (worked during the repeat on Sunday, and now I'm waiting for The Mother). Speaking of, it took The Mother a year to get into Northern Lights. A YEAR. Then, last week, she picked it up, finished it, finished The Subtle Knife and started The Amber Spyglass which she's quickly making a dent in. I am a little bit eye-roll-y about the whole thing, but also a little bit triumphant. I KNEW she'd like that damn series.

delga: ([ncis] raindusk.)

Saturday nights have become something of a time warp for me. cut because I can never get straight to the goddamn point )


ANYWAY. MY POINT. WHICH I AM COMING TO. Yesterday I was home alone, and baking cookies whilst I watched some late S4 episodes - the one with McGee's book (awwwwww!) and then Brothers in Arms. And even though I know exactly what happens in that episode, and the whole of the Jenny Sheppard arc, I realised that the story makes me really fucking tense. Tremendously so. Jenny Sheppard is SO FIERCE AND SCARY and kind of off-the-rails intense, and Jethro is basically superbly powerless, and the whole thing makes me ache. Her frustration and desperation are really kind of depressing to watch! I knew how Brothers in Arms ended (it's an iconic shot, really) and yet I was still nervous through and through. And this is an episode that has some gems in it in terms of characters - the scene when Jen and Jethro are waiting for the CIA liaison and it turns out to be Tobias Fornell? Fuck me, I LOVE that scene. The scene when Jen and Jethro meet Fornell and Kort in the car? And Jethro picks up the bridalwear magazine? The scene where Jen and Kort meet in the park and Fornell and Jethro are at a distance? The old school rocks this episode. All the awkward pregnant pauses, all the quiet misplaced humour, all those horrible references to Jethro's past obsessions (specifically Ari which is kind of cruel if you consider Ziva. But then, I wonder how many people know that Ari was her brother?) (Hmmm. I never actually made that connection before.)

There are flaws to Jenny's arc (the very beginning and the very end specifically, especially because the end doesn't line up with the middle) but they match the character, and I cannot dislike her. I cannot begrudge her intensity. And she is terrifying when she begins the second half of her arc. Horribly frightening. IT IS KIND OF MARVELLOUS, GUYS.

delga: ([ncis] brace for contact.)

I've spent the last couple of hours ironing and watching season 1 NCIS (was getting fuzzy with the Ari timeline and it was making fanfiction difficult). A couple of things. Firstly, that whole idea that Kate spoilers for Bête Noire )


I've also been trying to iron out Ari's timeline in an attempt to work out Ziva's. Ziva's should be straight forward, except that she's linked into Ari's story, and also Jenny's, the latter being fucked up by all the back-story they randomly conjure up for Jethro. Ari's is actually the easiest to work out, and is complicated solely by his vendetta against Gibbs (which springs up seemingly out of nowhere).

things I've surmised about Ari Haswari from canon. )


--

Hmm. I still don't have an Ari icon, what?

delga: ([ncis] all smiles.)

NCIS, 5x18-19, Judgement Day. )


--

Obviously this is not all of what needs saying. But I'm a bit tired, lols, and also I am forgetting details. Which is okay. Because it's time to go and rewatch season 5. Season of secrets, season of resolutions. Or not.

delga: ([ncis] brace for contact.)

A lot of this is going to link back to 'pivotal' episodes through all four seasons (Ari arc; Ziva's episodes; La Grenouille). A lot is also going to key into I am not a blind man which was my femgen entry about a year ago. I've been thinking about Ziva a lot since I went back and watched all of season 3 and the way that all leads up to Recoil (and eventually to Judgement Day) is some fairly impressive arc-work. Unfortunately, I think a lot of it is unintentional but hey, that's what negative space is all about. Fill in the gaps, everyone, that's what fandom does.

Judgement Day is going to get a post all of its own because the parallels there are too huge for this one.

here we go. Spoilers, natch. )


--

Oh god, oh god. What comes next? (You know, I really need to write that Ziva and Jenny backstory already because the show doesn't do that relationship justice.) (Also: my emotional investment is really pretty excessive.)

delga: ([ncis] brace for contact.)

OH GOD. So, I've watched up to Recoil (I'd keep going but T wants to watch X-Files). I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY. And not just about Ziva, surprisingly. But let's get some of the Ziva stuff said anyway. spoilers. )


I can - and WILL - talk about the above until the cows come home but I have to go and be social now.

delga: ([Random] take pause.)

So, yeah, I have a cold, but I'm doping up so the only thing that I really have to worry about (other than my temperature fucking over my taste buds) is a tickly throat. I've been sleeping for about 12 hours at a time, so I don't know how I'm going to get to the lecture on Monday morning. It's Robert Browning this week, but I haven't done the reading for that yet because I've been in the library working on my dissertation for which I can't actually access half the materials that I need, so I'm talking to someone about that on Monday, post-lecture #1. I have to meet with my supervisor on Thursday, so before then I have to have written a dissertation proposal, and on Tuesday I have my ExWrit seminar, so I have to have written this thing for then. It's supposed to be a critical piece, but it's also supposed to be something else. I don't really understand. I think we're supposed to try and play with the new sentence? It irks me a little because unlike the style, I don't actually think that constituent parts of a sentence are political, and thus it pains me to not be able to actually denote my subordinate clauses as subordinate clauses. I'm all about curbing comma use but clause separation is pretty fucking vital. I guess the idea is to open up language play, a la Gertrude Stein's On Poetry and Prose (so, prose poetry) but I really don't need this right now. (Hahaha, AND I have to read for Monday for that class, too.)

It's not like I'm not working, I am. But I feel like I'm not getting much done. I'm done working with Winterson's Weight and I'm about to move onto Pelevin's The Helmet of Horror but I'm floundering with my research, and I'm freaking out about that stupid proposal because it's taking up time I could be using to do something else.

--

I really liked this week's Private Practice. Charlotte King is an excellent character, and I also love Addison and Naomi's friendship. As for this week's Grey's Anatomy, there was a lot going on, and I don't think I can judge it until I see the next episode.

I also saw Criminal Minds ([livejournal.com profile] twincy, you're going to want to watch the first 5 minutes AT THE LEAST) which I loved. I mean, I didn't love that it read like fanfiction, but I loved the three guest actors (Marc Vann, Nicholas Brandon and Bailey Chase) and I loved all of the regular cast. spoilers )


This week's CSI: NY was excellent; unusually, I watched that straight after I watched NCIS (normally it's one of the last things I watch). I've yet to see last week's CSI let alone this week's; I haven't watched Bones or The Unit, or Dexter, although T and I watched the Weeds finale which was predictably wonderful. I watched Pushing Daisies last night before I went to sleep, and I find Emerson more and more delightful every week.

So, yeah, am fannishly behind, not that I care all that much. Am planning on watching Numb3rs and Women's Murder Club today, and then this evening T wants someone to watch SVU with so we're going to do that. We'll probably end up watching the CM repeat that's on afterwards, too.

--

Also: I want to get up to speed on Atlantis all of a sudden. Eek.

--

But really, the real question is: to what extent would Ziva be a necessary addition to the team had Kate not died? Could you kill Tony and have Ziva instead? Possibly. I don't think Ziva is subordinate to anyone, but I don't think she's just Kate's replacement. For one thing, she's important to Gibbs' arc in a specific, feminine way. But she's also important to Gibbs' arc in terms of Ari, and if I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: Ari's ghost only dies when Ziva goes to Gibbs in Hiatus Part II.

We always think that Kate and Ziva are separate entities, that they exist apart. But they have to exist simultaneously (a) for reasons of reality and (b) for reasons of Ari. I don't think they're as mutually exclusive as portions of fandom would like for them to be.

delga: ([ncis] Gibbs never says please!)

So, my life continues to consist of (a) the library, and (b) Friday Night Lights. I'll be doing the same thing tomorrow, too, because I finally finished my notes on Shelley's Defence which means I can start writing the actual essay tomorrow. What this means in full is: no way I'm making it to London for New Year's. If I was the kind of person to plan things better and not, you know, randomly decide to take a day off in the middle of the week (hi there, Tuesday) I'd be in London tomorrow for Diwali. But I'm not that person, so I'll be in the library.

That said: I'm totally watching Friday Night Lights right now.

--

The Flatmate, T and I just watched this week's Weeds (because, yes, last week's wasn't the finale! Which: awesome, but also confusing). I just want to hug Shane. A lot! And Celia is a crazy, crazy awesome woman. spoilers. )


--

I've spent a lot of time today thinking about Jethro Gibbs. Actually, I do that anyway, which is why the annotations took me so damn long but today I was thinking about why Requiem had to end the way in which it did, i.e. why spoilers: NCIS, 5x07, Requiem. )

And yes, I still think Ziva's hair was awesome this week. !

--

That Ari arc is so pervasive. There isn't a person on the team who that didn't touch in one way or another.

--

No, but seriously, Kyle Chandler! I don't even know. I think it's because he's so... grouchy? Maybe. Actually, I love the chemistry between him and Connie Britton. So delightful to watch. (Note to self: acquire FNL icons.)

delga: ([Random] head-first into the water.)

So, my intention today was to go to the library and do research for my essay, but I'm too low to have to deal with Real People today so instead I'm staying in and ransacking MUSE/JSTOR/MLH.

I am increasingly distressed by the work that I have to do for my dissertation. Not the amount, but the direction the project is taking. I was trying to explain to the supervisor yesterday that what I want to focus on is the post-modern, and I wanted to look at two texts, and their specific re-imaginings of the original myths. She instead suggested that I look at one text in its various permutations. Which. It's a good idea, and I see the merit in it, but it's missing the point a little bit. She did, however, suggest emailing the editor at Canongate to ask him why he decided to pursue the Myth series, and I may well do that.

But, yeah, anyway - I'm spending the day in the house working on the essay, and later I have to finish that Numb3rs fic. Eek.

--

So, there's this story, and it tells us that mothers should not be meddled with, and that fruit can do us harm. The child Persephone played on the plains, picking flowers from the earth at Enna, when riding up from the underworld came Hades. Hades, seeing the beautiful young maiden, sought to make her his own, and kidnapped her, taking her to his domain. Only two bore witness to the crime: Zeus, Persephone's father, and Helios, the bright and fiery sun.

Persephone's mother was the Goddess of the crop, the great and bountiful Demeter, and when she could not find her daughter, she pined as all mothers would, wandering the earth in search of her child. In her distress, she neglected the earth, and so it withered into a lasting winter. The crops failed, and the people hungered. They cast their faces upwards, bared their palms and prayed to Zeus, why, why have you forsaken us?

Seeing the people's torment, Helios revealed to Demeter the whereabouts of Persephone and Demeter took her pleas to Zeus. So earnest was she, and so bitter her grief, that Zeus sent Hermes into the Underworld to speak with Hades.

Now, Hades had meant the young woman no harm, and in his fondness of her had entreated her to eat. But Persephone declined to sup, only mourned her mother, and the life she led above the ground. Here, Hades offered, dine with me, supplicate your hunger; but Persephone only wept. Here, Hades offered, break bread with me, supplicate your need; but Persephone only wept. Such was the scene when Hermes arrived to demand Hades' relinquishment of the girl. Hades agreed. Now, girl, eat before you return to your mother, eat so that she does not think I meant you ill. So Persephone ate, taking from the God of the Underworld a pomegranate, of which she ate six seeds, six seeds which bound her to Hades. Lo, for you have eaten the food of the dead, cried Hades, and now you belong to me!

Zeus could not argue with the natural order of things, but the earth would die without Demeter's care and attention. So Zeus judged the case thus: for each seed that you have eaten, you are bound to Hades for one month; all the rest belong to your mother, that you may dance in the light of the sun and be young once more. And so it is that for six months the earth thrives, whilst Persephone plays under the sun, and for six months the earth dies as Demeter mourns her daughter's absence.

--

The Flatmate, T and I sat down together last night to watch the Weeds finale which was fabulous and funny and all kinds of wonderful. I also watched the Californication finale which had me in hysterics, although the ending was bizarre to say the least. The Flatmate and I later watched Spooks which I enjoyed immensely, and then, to cure my woes, I ended up watching NCIS, 1x01, Yankee White.

I still LOVE this episode. It's still so effortlessly NCIS, setting an excellent precedent for the series that proceeded it. What has always intrigued me is Jethro's job offer to Kate, and what it was about her specifically that led to him offering her a position at NCIS. In his own words, she's "ballsy", she noticed things that even the FBI washed over (soft-shelled clams), and she was loyal. (I love the scene when she gets up after being sick to take a call from her superior, and Jethro's all, I'll take that for you, and she answers, "I'd have to be dead." And Jethro lets her go and then he smiles, so amused and genial, so relaxed.) To be entirely honest, as Kate developed as a character, she lost some of her edge, but I think that can be traced through her personal arc. But, anyway, I think the offer is borne out of a personal liking, and out of a sort of cocked-eyebrow respect. In contrast, Ziva is almost placed in Jethro's team, and made his responsibility by Jenny; but also, Jethro endorses her. His respect for her is won near-immediately, but I'll still contest that he didn't fully trust her until Hiatus when, in a more vulnerable state, he remembers and openly appreciates what Ziva sacrificed for him.

--

And now to dissecting the essay question and actually doing work today.

delga: ([ncis] jethro.)

Fuck, OKAY, I think I'm just going to have to up and write this fucker: reasons why even if you want to, you can't judge Kate the same way you judge Ziva, aka, when misrepresentation of feminism bites us all in the ass.

In other words: if I see another "I prefer Ziva/Kate to Kate/Ziva" post, I'm going to rip someone a new one. It is possibly my BIGGEST hate in the NCIS fandom, which is saying something because it's generally a really zen place to be. The two characters are not the same, and that has pluses and minuses for both of them. But here's the thing: one is NOT the antithesis of the other. Ziva is NOT Kate's inverse; they share a lot of things in common. You know. The way PEOPLE are wont to do.

delga: ([ncis] she-ghost.)

When I talk about NCIS as a show, and when I talk about Gibbs' continuing personal arc, I often talk about Enigma because it's a turning point not only as NCIS matured into the second half of its first season, but as Gibbs turned from being a man who is mostly good-natured to being a man who is haunted and driven. I love that Enigma comes one step before Bête Noire; I love the emotional state that puts Gibbs in at the beginning of the Ari arc.

The package that Col. Ryan sends Gibbs contains a flask that Gibbs gave the colonel back when he was a Gunnery Sergeant. When Ryan comes to confront Gibbs in his basement, Gibbs is comparing the flask the Colonel sent him to another flask which reads from your loving, the final words obscured by a dent of some sort - presumably bullet damage. I think it's fair to assume that it's the same flask Gibbs unearths in season 3, the one given to him by Shannon and Kelly. Two things: this means Bellisario had a game plan re: Jethro's many wives all the way back in season 1, and it means that when the Ari arc kicks off, Jethro has been actively contemplating (a) his wife and daughter, and (b) his responsibility to others in his team. That the Ari arc ends in Kate's death is significant because Jethro comes back to that idea of others dying for him (which is what Enigma brings to the surface - the Lieutenant dying in Gibbs' arms, and those words that haunt Ryan. I don't understand). Yes, Kate's death rings alongside Shannon and Kelly's death, thus starting off Gibbs' next arc - i.e. the events leading up to Hiatus and his gradual immersion in those memories of his 'former life', but in its immediacy, Kate is another soldier who dies, effectively, in Gibbs' place. Which, you know, is horrible, and not entirely true, but quite likely how Jethro sees it. Or, I'm assuming so, based on what we know of his character after four plus years.

Enigma is a stand-alone episode because it pre-dates the Ari arc (which is the first solid arc of the entire show; it comes into play in the second half of the first season by which point NCIS had passed its first ratings battle and its first opportunity to be cancelled) but the episode also sets up the mood for the second half of the season. In terms of how I view the show, Enigma signals for me the point at which NCIS starts to take itself seriously. As in any episode, the show balances humour with drama and Enigma marks the start of the third act of the season. Jethro becomes ever more difficult to work with, ever more obsessive from this juncture, and whilst that facet of his personality quite clearly emerges as a product of Ari's appearance (whose name we do not learn in Bête Noire and whose face is continually being run through a facial recognition program all through the rest of the season, simmering in the background) it initially surfaces in Enigma, in all that grief and guilt. Enigma is serious, it is dramatic; it lacks the quietude and eventual resolution which Call of Silence offers us in season 2, almost a year later. (Um. Admittedly Call of Silence is dealing more with the idea of military service than military relationships, and is one step removed from Jethro because he doesn't actually know Ernie Yost from anywhere, but I think you can draw parallels between Enigma and Call of Silence because they both deal with that experience of putting your life into someone else's hands.)

--

So, it's no secret that I love Enigma and that I think it's possibly one of the best episodes of the entire show. What is a secret is that before tonight, I'd only seen it once. Yeah. But I talk about it all the time because it's a really, really important episode. It also has GIBBS and FORNELL in the ELEVATOR for what I'm certain is the first time! Their relation makes such a turn during this episode, and it's so fucking quiet and subtle. I love them a lot.

--

But, also, and this was my biggest point, really - Colonel Ryan is basically Mike Franks v1.0 beta, in which Gibbs' CO/partner makes a reappearance and (a) proves that Gibbs had role models for his behaviour and work ethic, and (b) shows that Gibbs' predecessors can out-think him, but can also depend on him. Despite Mike Franks having avoided El Norte for 10-15 years, after Hiatus he comes back up North twice more and he runs Gibbs around both those times. Colonel Ryan also has Gibbs running around trying to keep up, trying to prove his loyalty. Ryan is a good test for Gibbs' behaviour, especially in light of Franks' appearance much later on. But! Ryan does not equal Franks because Ryan seems to epitomise the moral code Gibbs lives by whilst Franks was the model for Gibbs' working code. Also, Franks sympathises with Jethro, but until his son dies, he doesn't really empathise with him. But together, Ryan and Franks tell us a hell of a lot about why Gibbs is the way that he is.

--

Lastly, Enigma makes me hurt, a lot, because Jethro looks so damn tired by the end of it, and that final scene from Gibbs to Ryan, from the soundtrack (of the Lieutenant dying, I don't understand) to Ryan's words - that's just brilliant narrative. The episode is wonderfully self-contained and self-referential whilst also being a great buffer for the Ari arc, and I honestly believe it to be one of the best episodes of television I've indulged in.

--

edit: HAHAHA. I just spent ages trying to find a post I made about Call of Silence only to realise, um, that may hav been an email to [livejournal.com profile] twincy? Because I remember re-watching it! I remember talking about it! Just... not to y'all, apparently. Oops? But I swear I remember talking about it, about what a quiet episode it is, and how self-contained it is. And the sexy JAG lady! Oh... yeah, definitely an email to [livejournal.com profile] twincy.

delga: ([ncis] what's up?)

But, see, the NCIS I watched was Eye Spy (? maybe) and definitely pre-Bete Noir and this was back before Gibbs' first Big Mental Episode (which, uh, is actually in that episode just prior to Bete Noir), in those beautiful 'I'm-a-new-show' episodes, right at the beginning. AND HE IS SO SHINY AND HAPPY AND TEASING AND EASY GOING. And then pre-Bete Noir episode happens and he takes a hit, and then Ari Fucking Haswari turns up and two things happen. ONE. Jethro Gibbs gets his Hardcore on. TWO. Jethro's relationship with Kate changes. He reinstates a stricter subordinate/CO relationship with her. It's subtle, and can be put down to NCIS stepping up (having reached its half-season mark and being renewed for a full run). But storywise it also maks sense because he has a new focus, and Kate loses a bit of that shine. Jethro knows already that certain elements of a case can cloud her judgment, but the Haswari thing takes it a step up: some trust is broken there. He doesn't directly question her until Twilight (which, strangely, is more effective as a season finale than the season 4 finale, even though Twilight felt oddly placed and lacking in point/direction). What was I saying? Oh, yeah, so, he doesn't actually question her until Twilight, but Bete Noir begins that separation of Kate from Jethro, and thus begins that (RIDICULOUS, man, I still get FUCKING IRRITATED by parts of season 2, and I spend a lot of it wanting to SMACK DINOZZO SO FUCKING HARD) unification of Kate and Tony which culminates in SWAK.

I don't really know why I'm talking about this.

No, I do, because I feel like Kate gets a hard rap sometimes because she can be a prudish, and they always set her up as this two-faced coin where on the one hand SHE USED TO PROTECT THE PRESIDENT, YOU KNOW, and on the other, she fucks things like protecting Ducky and Mama Ducky. Also, they go from making her someone who, in many ways, can step to the plate where Jethro is concerned, to someone who can't. And emotionally, that makes a lot of sense, because she gets more comfortable with the team and the rules, Jethro gets more comfortable with her as a team member, not an opponent, and like I said, ARI HASWARI turns up and Kate does exactly what makes sense for her character - she's attracted by Ari's interest in her, is attracted by that sense that he's not a Good Guy. It plays with her ideas of honour and her ideas of guilt, duty, rules and rule-breaking. In short, it plays (quietly, maybe cheaply if more overt, but it's not) with her Catholicism. And she couldn't kill him. Which comes back to bite her. But my point is, she's way more than capable.

And she wouldn't mesh with Ziva because their ideas of honour and duty though similar are founded in very different places (I'm not talking about religion here). It would be combative, and I think Kate would be ad because in a lot of practical ways she wouldn't be seen to add up to Ziva's capability. But I also think that Kate's projected femininity would be something that would intrigue Ziva, and would be something that would disturb Ziva's notions of femaleness. Because Ziva is FOREIGN and DIFFERENT and SEXUALLY OPEN and EQUAL TO A MAN. (Gah! Her power, her ability, these things are perceived to be militaristic, masculine, unfeminine. There's still something GROTESQUE and SO UNSETTLING to me about the stereotypes to which Kate and Ziva conform.) And there would be a battle of wills there that would result in a lot of resentment, the sort of resentment that emerged between Ziva and Cassidy (where, theoretically, under other circumstances it would not have) because Ziva and Kate perform different roles in the team, roles that overlap and yet - PARADOXICALLY - are antithetical.

Um. By which I mean to say, I watched Eye Spy and I sometimes miss that old dynamic (non-romantic) relationship between Kate and Gibbs which deteriorated not only because the producers were pushing the Kate/DiNozzo angle, but because of ACTUAL PLOTTY THINGS, IS ALL I'M SAYING.


--

BUT I STILL LOVE ZIVA. You can love both! The team shows us this. (I think that it's entirely possible that Ziva knew of Kate, had some inkling of her brother's passing interest. And that Ari's interest in Kate swerved dramatically from inquisitiveness, to lust, to obsession and back again depending on what he was thinking of, or what he was doing. Because a lot of his relationship with Kate was powerplay, and for him to kill her the way that he did, I think that speaks to her sexual interest in him being stronger than the other way around. And Ari really was Kate's weakness, in the way that Gibbs was Ari's because Ari/Ziva's father was Ari's weakness. So. Like-- his interest in her was very patronising. That he knew she was attracted to him in a feral way, and that he could have that effect was on the one hand something that amused him and on the other, quietly disgusted him, that she couldn't keep that desire in check? And that in one swoop she not only made him look twice, but also repulsed him in some way?)

--

Did I mention that I was randomly psyched for season 5? BECAUSE: TOTALLY.

--

RANDOMLY, I really want to see the detail on this gorgeous dress:


A huge percentage of that show was definitely India-inspired. This dress looks like a suit, and I covet it. Like, A LOT.

delga: (Default)

So, I'm browsing the latest enslaught at [livejournal.com profile] hires_hotties, as you do when you've spent the morning walking in and out of D. running errands for the paternal rental. Anyway, I'm browsing and I come across two consecutive posts, the first of Megan Fox, the second of Olivia Wilde. Damn those two look alike. That said, I find Wilde to be prettier, even if she does sometimes drape herself in table sheets. (On closer inspection, Fox looks somewhat more menacing. Who in heck is she, anyway?)

--

I have been wasting time spectacularly the past couple of days, watching Oz and Medium. More Medium than Oz because there are more episodes and I'm trying to stretch out the four episodes of Oz that I have left. Anyway, next week is all about The Wire. Or, it will be, if I can ever get my [livejournal.com profile] apocalyptothon entry written. SIGH, EVERYONE, SIGH.

--

The NCIS cast are so cute, it's near criminal. I gave The Sister season 3 of Numb3rs to watch yesterday and realised I have a lot of NCIS, too. So, I may end up ditching everything for that instead. It would be good preparation if I did. Last night's episode was an early season 1 installment; tonight's is the season 2 finale Twilight? I haven't seen that in a long time. I feel like I should, just for Ari, even if the Ari arc actually closes in Kill Ari part 2. Since doing all that 'Ziva-tracking', I find I'm sometimes disgruntled about the lack of canon regarding her and Ari. There are several reasons for this, naturally, the first being, Ari = evil, Ziva = not. Another is, there's more to Ziva than her issues with patriarchy, and here I'm not just talking about Ari and their father, I mean Gibbs, too. (Um. I NEED AN ARI ICON, OBVS.) But whilst this is true, I think the producers are to blame for not linking back to the more important parts of her heritage more often. I know the whole idea was to talk about her integration, not only into the team, but into America, and that's a lot to do with dealing with audience prejudices (there: I said it) BUT STILL.

Ari hates his father; Ziva loves her father. There's so much conflict there because in Kill Ari, Ziva believes in her brother, and by the end, her trust is shattered. But she doesn't go back to stay in Israel because she's carries two burdens - one of shame, one of guilt/grief. Essentially, she doesn't go back because she can't look her father in the eye. And yet she forms this tenuous connection with Gibbs (I've said it before: this isn't made concrete until Shalom) who Ari says has the unfortunate quality of reminding him (Ari) of his father. Thus, to my mind, it naturally follows that Ziva probably sees something of her father in Jethro, too.

As ever, I can't remember my point. I'm going to rewatch the Ari episodes, I think. The thing that I find most distressing is that on first glance, I don't think Ziva and Kate would get along so well. That's why Ziva isn't Kate's replacement: she fulfills a different role. There's more instinct to Ziva than Kate, whose profiling skills were something she systemtically learned and adopted. (I feel the latter was handled badly by production. On the one hand she used to protect the President. On the other hand, she was forever being belittled. I find it misogynistic, especially if you consider that Ziva is often made to appear much less feminine than Kate. I'm not suggesting there's a lower level of sexuality at play because, hello Cote de Pablo is mind-bendingly gorgeous, but the racial and gender undertones there are a mindfuck unto their own. At this point I'd even bat off with Kate's Catholicism, but I don't think that's entirely safe territory.)

In conclusion: yeah, I'm still fixated on wanting to know more about Ziva. I'd say we have a similar problem with Tony but I'm just not as invested in his character. (HEH. It's a good thing [livejournal.com profile] twincy is away for the weekend. I'm certain that one would get me a bump on the head.) That said, Tony's complexities say much more about his insecurities than people suspect, I think, and his own pater issues, which is something he shares with Ziva, whether the two of them admit it or not.

ENDING THIS NOW. I mean, damn. Chatty! I still want to talk about Jenny's RANDOM plotline.

--

My latest musigasm is over Gustavo Santaolalli's Santaolalla's score work. (Thank you, Deadwood soundtrack.)

--

Likely someone has already done this, but there really needs to be Medium fic where Allison's premonition regarding the red haired girl comes true. Or, fic from Ariel and Rachel's perspectives as they get older, with Ariel losing her knack and Rachel not, and the mutual resentment that lends them. No, seriously, I'd read that if it was good.

--

edit: !!! There should be fic concerning Ari's Oedipal Complex! Because there's a fair amount of that going on, y/n?

delga: ([ncis] brace for impact.)

So, you guys remember Bonnie from Grey's Anatomy? You know, girl who died after being impaled? Bleed all over the place when Meredith saw her again? Earth-shattering information: that was the girl who played Abby in Dawson's Creek. YEAH, I KNOW, CONTAIN YOURSELVES.

It's these tidbits of knowledge that illuminate my sense of self. (I'm, um, watching Greek? I DON'T KNOW. It's hilarious so far, though. I thought the lead was maybe Monica Keena aka Abby/Bonnie but no, it's Kelsey Grammer's daughter. I don't even.)

--

Naturally it was raining when I went out this morning. Naturally it dired up once I got back indoors. UGH.

--

So, here's the thing about Ziva: if her first season arc was about intergration and trust (which, let's say, she fully develops only at the beginning of season 4), and her second season was about-- well, what? Her emotional independence? Reciprocation of the team faction? Let's just say that's true. What comes next for her? Not TONY, of all things, one hopes. I don't know. I want to know if she has more family than just her parents, Ari and her dead sister. I think everyone else is dead, yes? I guess what I'm jonesing for is for us to finally meet Ziva's father. But really, her emotional arc, much like Kate's, is beginning to be bogged down by what I consider to be fairly misogynistic concerns. But who knows? DPB isn't at the helm anymore.

--

UGH. Two of the three books I picked up? Boring, boring. Just my luck.

delga: ([ncis] brace for impact.)

Ziva David why are you so difficult for me to talk about when I quite obviously WANT to talk about you and your Daddy Issues and what have you. It is possibly more difficult because I've yet to rewatch all of the first half of season 3 again (most of which I blahed through the first time because NCIS and I were having a falling out which led to me leaving the relationship, only to come crawling back when S4 started. I KNOW. I'M SUCH A H0R). I think it is also difficult because I don't have a lot to say, but it feels like I have a lot to say, and possibly I have already said it to [livejournal.com profile] twincy who I think is (possibly?) the only person to care.

But you came to us! You came, with your open sexuality, your femslashy vibes with Jenny, your wobbly family history (Daddy Issues and I spoiler! )

Issues included), and your uncomfortable fit into the team. I still maintain that the first episode I felt comfortable watching you in was Frame-Up although I'm certain the re-watch will lead me to think that you were awesome long before then.

Since then, things have happened. You're not an assassin anymore, you don't just kill people willy-nilly (by the way, Jethro is a bastard to you over that, and your Sacrifice is a double-edged blade by the end of S3, which is why it's even more awesome when you go to see him in the finale), you often sport an orange hat and apparently you have a DiNozzo Complex (à la [livejournal.com profile] twincy Kate, which, please. Ziva, get a grip. Unrequited Whatever That Is doesn't look good on you). You're still having trouble with those damn idioms, and you're still making mistakes that semantically speaking make no freaking sense. I go through periods of loving that and loathing it, so, we'll see.

So, let's say that season 3 is about finding somewhere to belong in the team and that by 4x01, Shalom, you're fully, actually there (it's not certain in 3x23, Jeopardy, that's for sure, even if fandom would like to think so because the one person who wavers all the way through is Gibbs and Gibbs matters what with him taking on the pater-role) and all debts are paid. Then season 4 must be where you fit the team and you're free to lose some defences. But apparently you gain defensiveness too because, hey, Orange Hat Man and then the Possibly Unrequited Whatever That Is. Gibbs trusts you (by the end of Shalom, that's certain; his spoilers! )

and you make that point again: a year ago, you would have. Now you know - not better, I don't think, but you do know different. That's not how things work here. That is not acceptable behaviour).

Ah, Shalom. Are debts really repaid? I mean, Jethro says in Hiatus, "I owe you," but if you consider Shalom, that's never equal, is it? It's only equal if Jethro spoilers! sort of! )

and Ziva assumes that it's a one-off thing, that he makes an exception. Except. DUDE. It's not. It's not that at all. ZIVA. HE STILL OWES YOU. And you've felt like you've owed him since Kill Ari Part 2. Two things: (a) you're the only person who Knows before Hiatus and (b) you believe in Ari so fucking much, and you're wrong. So in a way, I don't know because this is stretching it, but in a way, it's almost as if Kate's death - and all associated grief - it's like you take that on yourself. Is this because of Tali? I mean, you were an assassin. Was this before Jenny? Did working with Jenny 'redeem' you? I don't know. I find it sad. (Ari says Gibbs has the unfortunate quality of reminding him of his father. SO FUCKING TELLING if you consider what Ziva reveals only minutes later.) (Not like that isn't obvious, though.) But I wonder, Ziva. I do. Because your Daddy Issues want to transfer and they sort of do (because Jethro simultaneously accepts and rejects her) but they also really don't (because Jethro simultaneously accepts and rejects her).

Anyway, my dilemma is this: I don't know how to write you. If I write backstory, I'm going to be playing with fire. I have no idea what your childhood would have been like. I'm tempted to do it that way anyway, though, because that's where things begin (your father, your God, your sister, your brother). Alternatively, when Jethro arrives (LATE) to Kate's funeral, he tells Jenny that Ziva is escorting spoiler )

back to Tel Aviv. Your grief is private, isn't it? And there is both winning and losing in that situation. So that works well, too. I think I can mix it up and play with both halves of that. So.

WHATEVER. Ziva. I'm glad I fell for you. I mean, it was touch and go, what with my leaving and returning and missing vital pieces of information. But here we are.

(Addendum: I love wiki, if only because it reminded me that you boast numerous talents such as a near-photographic memory and the ability to rappel down a cliff without safety ropes. Girl, you hardcore.)

delga: ([ncis] never doubt the gut!)

I love this show, I really do. So the question begs: why the hell does it always take me so long to watch a single episode? (Three hours for a forty-five minute show, what?)

NCIS, 4x19, Grace Period. )


Why yes, I will be watching old-school NCIS tonight. Unless I decide to go out at 8pm. DECISIONS, DECISIONS.

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