The Namesake (NCIS)
|Directed by||Arvin Brown|
|Written by||George Schenck and Frank Cardea|
|Original air date||October 30, 2012|
"The Namesake" is the fifth episode of the tenth season of the American police procedural drama NCIS, and the 215th episode overall. It originally aired on CBS in the United States on October 30, 2012. The episode is written by George Schenck and Frank Cardea and directed by Arvin Brown, and was seen by 18.83 million viewers.
The fatal and violent shooting of a Petty Officer in possession of an expensive sports car leads to the team to wonder how he got the car and why he was killed. They manage to trace the gun used in the murder to a local pawn shop, where Gibbs finds a Medal of Honor on display, despite the fact that selling the medal is illegal. The pawn store owner reveals that she bought the medal from an elderly veteran who needed the money badly. Gibbs discovers that the previous owner of the medal was Leroy Jethro Moore, a close friend of his father and the person he was named after.Gibbs also finds a Cast Iron Shopsmith, Model 10ER, that he purchases. He remembers that his father and LJ had a falling out many years ago and LJ disappeared afterwards, leading Gibbs to decide to track him down. He finds out from his father that LJ allowed Gibbs' mother to commit suicide by drug overdose in order to end her suffering from terminal cancer, something that Gibbs' father had never forgiven him for. Additional investigation reveals that the deceased Petty Officer worked part-time as a valet, and stole the sports car for a joyride. The team also traces ownership of the gun to a local university student. His true target was the car's actual owner, a billionaire entrepreneur who he believed stole his idea for a filesharing network, and the Petty Officer was killed in a case of mistaken identity. The suspect is then quickly apprehended. Meanwhile, Gibbs has his father and LJ meet each other for the first time in years, and convinces them to end their feud, pointing out that all three of them shared common ground in their love for Gibbs' mother. Gibbs' father and LJ finally make amends and renew their friendship, with Gibbs' father buying back LJ's medal and returning it to him. LJ also decides to move back to Stillwater now that the feud has ended.
The episode ends with a dedication to the Montford Point Marines.
"The Namesake" is written by George Schenck and Frank Cardea and directed by Arvin Brown. Schenck and Cardea wanted the episode to reveal the story behind Gibbs' birthname. To do so, they introduced Gibbs' namesake, the World War II veteran he was named after. "The initial intent of the episode was to explore the origin of Gibbs' given name, Leroy Jethro. It had been established in the "Heartland" episode in Season Six that Gibbs was named after his father's boyhood friend and business partner." The picture of Billy Dee Williams and president Clinton shown in the episode is real, and the producers only needed to "matte the medal around his neck" to use it.
According to Williams, Leroy Jethro Moore could recur on NCIS. "That's the whole idea, that he's recurring character. I think they were happy about the way things turn out, so I would suspect I'd be back on there."
"The Namesake" was seen by 18.83 million live viewers following its broadcast on October 30, 2012, with a 3.4/9 share among adults aged 18 to 49. A rating point represents one percent of the total number of television sets in American households, and a share means the percentage of television sets in use tuned to the program. In total viewers, "The Namesake" easily won NCIS and CBS the night. The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles drew second and was seen by 16.28 million viewers. The episode also was the second most watched television program the week it aired. Compared to last week's episode "Lost at Sea", "The Namesake" was up in both viewers and adults 18-49.
Carla Day from TV Fanatic gave the episode 4.0 (out of 5) and stated that "The course of the NCIS investigation seemed off to me. As soon as NCIS found out that Colin Boxer took the car for a joy ride, I assumed that he was killed by mistake. Maybe I've just watched too many procedural shows, but a fancy car like that draws attention."
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