On Ziva David (NCIS)

I know, I know, I’m supposed to like her. I mean, she’s a representative of my country, my people, so she should be one of my favorites, right? So very, very, incredibly wrong. She’s more like the very two dimensional character of Draco Malfoy from the first book of Harry Potter. Instead of “My father” it’s all “In Mossad, we –” “That’s not how we do it in Mossad” “If this were Mossad” et cetera, et cetera.

Beyond that, from the very beginning I felt like I needed one of those cranes used on industrial commercial buildings to suspend my disbelief when it came to her character. Here we have an intelligence agent sent to a foreign agency and she is placed as a liaison on one of their leading teams and asked to help with investigations. Yet, she has no investigatory experience, is not put through any kind of official training, is allowed to compromise evidence left, right, and center, interrogate suspects – even though her total experience of interrogation is that of terrorists. I just have this feeling that the techniques are going to be different. Just an inkling.

Let’s move beyond the legalities of her having access to crime scenes and people she shouldn’t – and probably files as well, who knows? Let’s move on to character interaction. Suddenly the character interaction has moved from sibling rivalry to cruelty. There’s no more teaching moments, it’s all one up-manship and mean and tear downs. Abby is suddenly five years younger in attitude than she was when the show started, McGee is a caricature of who he was when he joined the team, DiNozzo gets shit on constantly, and Ziva gets to smirk and be the queen bee along with Madam Director. Gibbs – well, his character is suddenly less badass and more lead around by his balls and I’m a lot less impressed by the show.

But I keep watching anyway because I’m a sucker.

As the years go by, all of these flaws are reemphasised. The Michael Rivkin incident, Bodnar, to name specific people; Dead Air, Boxed In, Cloak, to list some episodes – the list just keeps going.

I feel like her character was put in there for one purpose and then left there for another. As if she was a plot device at first, and then they changed their minds and made her a permanent character, even if that isn’t true. I don’t like it when writers think their audiences are stupid, when they treat us like we’re all the lowest common denominator. How can you have a character work so hard to divide a team like she does and then expect them all to be family in the next episode? It doesn’t make any sense.

Also, at what point is a foreign agency liaison put on an investigative team instead of a counter-terrorism unit or a task force? All of this was so far-fetched that it was hard to watch any episode during the Ziva years without wanting to scream at the television. Not to mention that no Israeli I know speaks Hebrew as slowly as she does. Seriously. But that’s just nitpicking. My bad.

About the only thing they got right was the driving.

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