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Published:November 1st, 2008 21:34 EST
NCIS Season 5 DVD Review

NCIS Season 5 DVD Review

By Garrett Godwin

Since its debut on CBS in the fall of 2003, NCIS has gone from being a spin-off of parent JAG into the #1 series on Tuesday nights.  The series, which follows a group of Navy federal agents, is a mixture of forensics and crime procedurals with mystery, drama, action, and comedy. 

However, creator Donald P. Bellasario stepped down as NCIS show runner after four seasons due to a disagreement between him and star Mark Harmon.  Head writer Shane Brennan and co-executive producer Chas. Floyd Johnson are taking over his duties yet Bellasario will remain as "Executive Producer".  Still, the series hasn`t lost a beat, for it continues to get better and better, gaining more and more viewers every year.

Season five consists of 19 strike-shortened episodes: picking up where season four left off, with the continuing hunt for international arms dealer La Grenouille (Armand Assante).  It turns out that he is the daughter of Jeanne Benoit (Scottie Thompson), who is also the girlfriend of Special Agent DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), who was undercover at Director Shepard (Lauren Holly)`s request to bring down the man who may have been responsible for her father`s death.  That arc didn`t resolve until the FBI did an "Internal Affairs" investigation on NCIS, and there was no happy ending for no one.

More of Gibbs (Mark Harmon)` past has been revealed more in this season -- including meeting one of his ex-wives, who`s involved in one of his cases that causes problems not only for him, but also with current lover, Army CID Col. Hollis Mann (Susanna Thompson) and ex-lover Jenny. 

The 100th episode finds the team on a naval ship that may or may not be haunted; Ziva (Cote de Pablo) struggling to hold it together professionally and personally when an undercover job went south, and "Judgment Day" comes to more than one member of the team -- with a jaw-dropping finale taking place at the final seconds of the season.

Extras on this five-disc set includes audio commentaries from cast and crew, a look at season five, and much more.

Like Magnum P.I., NCIS is an ensemble piece that focuses more on the characters and their relationships rather than just solving the case -- making them very real and likable to the viewers.  Now in its sixth season, the series has broken into the Top 10, for it is due to sharp writing, excellent casting, and wonderful chemistry.

Gear up and uphold the military chain of command, with NCIS: The Complete Fifth Season -- now on DVD.