NCIS Critiques by suspense Authors


NCIS  Critiques by suspense Authors

ExFed authors of High Velocity Suspense bring their expertise as a former Special Agent with NCIS and as a former Federal prosecutor, to write critiques of weekly NCIS episodes and to encourage discussion from NCIS fans. Diane and David Munson are authors of seven Christian thrillers, which like NCIS  episodes are "stand alone" and in which the cast of characters reappear.

Members: 22
Latest Activity: Nov 26

2012 Jul 10 – New comments of NCIS episode, Enemy on the Hill


About Authors Diane/David Munson

It's been said of Diane and David Munson, that "he nailed 'em...and she jailed 'em." David was an NCIS Special Agent and an undercover DEA Special Agent and Diane was a Federal prosecutor. Now these ExFeds write high velocity suspense novels that combine their exciting cases into factional fiction by changing the names and places. When a millionaire drug-dealer wrote a memoir that became a movie staring Johnny Depp, Diane decided the good guys wearing white hats should be the ones to write memoirs. As a former Federal prosecutor, she knew the back story. She asked David, a former undercover DEA Special Agent, to join her in writing about David's arrest of Johnny Depp's character in Chicago and other criminals. Now, this husband and wife weave the thrills of back alley deals and major courtroom drama into international suspense novels that are enjoyed by men and women alike.

Diane Munson is an attorney of more than thirty years who transitioned from writing briefs for judges to writing inspiring fiction for readers.

David Munson was a Special Agent with NCIS and later the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). As an undercover agent, he infiltrated international drug smuggling organizations.

Diane and David have co-authored together ten suspense thrillers: Facing Justice (2005/2009), Confirming Justice (2006/2009), The Camelot Conspiracy (2008/2009), Hero's Ransom (2010), Redeeming Liberty (2011), Joshua Covenant (2012), Night Flight (2013), Stolen Legacy (2014), Embers of Courage (2015), and The Looming Storm (2016)

Discussion Forum


Started by Nora St.Laurent Nov 24. 0 Replies


Tags: NCIS, Attorney, Special, Agent, GIVEAWAY

2016 Jan 05 NCIS Critique of “Sister City”

Started by Diane and David Munson Jan 7, 2016. 0 Replies

We’ve written in the past how we don’t enjoy NCIS episodes that are so long they have to be continued on another night. The writers accommodated us last night as the main NCIS show continued over…Continue

2012 Jul 17 Critique of rerun of NCIS episode, “Safe Harbor”

Started by Diane and David Munson. Last reply by Diane and David Munson Jul 18, 2012. 2 Replies

We have some great news for NCIS fans. Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, and Sean Murray have each signed contracts to reappear on NCIS this fall! The whole team will be together once again for…Continue

Tags: Diane, and, David, Munson, authors

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Comment by Diane and David Munson on May 16, 2017 at 10:21pm

2017 May 16 NCIS Critique of “Rendezvous”

It happens every year about this time, so we’ve come to expect it. The NCIS’ seasonal finales have been ending with a “to be continued” cliffhanger, and it happened again tonight. Each year the finale scene is a dramatic explosion or gunfight and we have to wait until the autumn season premiere to see if everyone survived. Then throughout the summer, blogs and TV critics will speculate about which of the actors from the NCIS show will not be included in the fall lineup due to contract negotiations.


Tonight, Gibbs’ team is investigating the discovery of the body of a Navy SEAL in Paraguay, when they learn that two SEALS (Petty Officers Matthew Dean and Charlie Hudson) went on an “off the books” rescue mission to find the young son of a Paraguayan citizen who aided a team of SEALS during an earlier mission in Paraguay. Now the young son was being indoctrinated to become a revolutionary soldier. Those of you Hallmark movie fans might recognize PO Dean’s wife Elizabeth as being played by Erin Krakow from “When Calls the Heart”, which by the way is a favorite of ours and worth watching if you are looking for something different over the summer.


Long story short, Special Agents Gibbs, Torres, and McGee go on a daring rescue mission in Paraguay to save PO Dean, and when the Navy rescue helicopter is trying to depart, the three NCIS agents are engaged in an active and dramatic gunfight with rebels. So we have to wait until the fall to see if the whole team survives. It was really an exciting, well-written, and well-portrayed episode.


Any opinions about who survives and who if anyone beside Ducky might be leaving the show?

Have a great summer and watch for us to weigh in on various important news events until the NCIS team returns.


Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on May 9, 2017 at 10:12pm

2017 May 09 Critique of NCIS Episode ‘Something Blue’

What better way for a TV series looking to prop up it’s dropping ratings than to have two of the characters get married on TV? It happened in Happy Days when Joanie and Chachi were married on TV. A famous wedding happened on General Hospital in 1981. Luke and Laura married on the show and that episode scored 31 million viewers. When Phoebe and Mike were married to a national audience on Friends, all the other cast members played a part in the wedding and it took place outside during a show storm. It was so cold the bride joked that she would be ‘her something blue.’ Sound familiar? Isn’t it interesting that is the same as the name of tonight’s episode of NCIS?

In featuring Tim McGee and Delilah Fielding in a wedding to close out the season, it seems the writers chose a lightweight “who-done-it”, which wouldn’t overshadow the nuptials. So a prank to embarrass a Navy ship’s commander goes completely awry resulting in the death of one of the food service petty officers aboard ship. The attempted cover-up requires just enough investigation to permit the wedding to occur in the allotted forty minutes of the TV show, minus advertisements. The clues and workmanship of Gibbs’ team is just in time to get a confession and still allow time for the NCIS team to fulfill their various roles in the bridal party.

McGee was his usual nervous self. Gibbs was given a chance to shine, when during a private conversation with Tim, he presented Tim with a watch given to Jethro his father. Tim was surprised and felt Gibbs should not part with such a valued memento. Don’t you think it was touching? Gibbs, who has no son, gives his valued watch to Tim McGee one of his most hardworking and loyal team members. This scene ranks as one of the best all season.

Next Tuesday is the final episode for this season. Are you all going to watch the exciting conclusion?

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on May 2, 2017 at 9:58pm

2017 May 02 Critique of NCIS episode ‘Beast Master’  

Do you like horses? If so, you will enjoy tonight’s episode of NCIS. The show had very little to do with the Department of Navy, but it was a great way to reach the increasing population who love animals. Given that much of what is posted on Face Book features animal antics and stories, the producers are no doubt trying to elevate their ratings by highlighting horses. While we thought Abbey was the only animal lover on NCIS, tonight’s episode reveals Leroy Jethro Gibbs is an animal whisperer of sorts. Thus the episode’s title of ‘Beast Master.’

Diane found this episode nostalgic for another reason. This was the story of a Marine Corps sergeant who stumbled onto some wild game, or ‘bush meat’ being smuggled into the U.S. from Liberia and stored at a cabin in Rock Creek National Park. During her years as a Federal Prosecutor in Washington, D.C., Diane worked with many officers of the U.S. Park Police as she prosecuted crimes that occurred in Rock Creek Park.

In tonight’s show, we meet Mounted Officer May Dawson, who works closely with Gibbs’ team investigating the Marine’s death and also the death of a mounted officer who was killed by the smugglers. The dead officer’s horse becomes depressed after the death of his partner and refused to eat. Officer May Dawson develops greater respect for Special Agent Gibbs when he is able to console the horse and the horse begins eating once again. Mark Harmon rides off in the final scene, as he is apparently an avid horse enthusiast.

History buffs will be interested to know that President George Washington started the U.S Park Police as the “Park Watchmen” back in 1791. Today’s mounted division serves in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and New York.

Two more shows remain for this season and we wonder if all the team members will finish out the season. What do y’all think?

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on April 26, 2017 at 3:58pm

2017 Apr 25 ’48 Hours:NCIS’

Tonight, CBS televised their first of six episodes of ’48 Hours: NCIS where they will feature reviews of real NCIS cases.


As we watched the show we found it to be much more like a documentary with police officers and NCIS agents describing a case and telling of the outcome. In the featured murder case, female Navy Petty Officer Elise Makdessy was training to be an air traffic controller. Her coworker was Navy Petty Officer Quincy Brown. The only witness was Elise’s husband Eddie Makdessy. According to the evidence presented on the show, Eddie claimed to the authorities that he was jumped and tied up by Quincy Brown, who then raped and killed Elise. Eddie asserted that he broke free in time to shoot Quincy Brown, but not in time to save Elise’s life, as he reported Quincy had already killed her.


The show confirmed what we often say in our critiques of the NCIS show: If a crime occurs outside a Navy or Marine Corps base, then the local police are the ones to conduct the investigation. Fans of the fictional show realize Gibbs’ team investigates murders in downtown Washington, D.C. instead of the Metropolitan Police, while the case featured tonight was investigated by the Virginia Beach, VA Police Department until several years later when they requested the assistance of NCIS. It was NCIS who brought in an expert from the Army Criminal Investigations Division (the Army’s version of NCIS) to help solve the case.


We are interested in the response from NCIS fans that watch the fictional episodes each Tuesday night. Did you find the 48 Hours show interesting? Will you watch the next episodes? Were you surprised by the complexity of the investigation and how long it took? We found the involvement of the television reporter interesting.


In future, we expect we’ll watch again to see if the next case is one that is done totally by NCIS and if the case involves all Navy personnel. There has been a really interesting case in which several high ranking Navy officers have been convicted of cavorting with and supplying sensitive information to a foreign contractor of provisions for Navy ships in foreign ports. It will be interesting to see if this is one of the cases featured. 


Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on April 18, 2017 at 10:57pm

2017 Apr 18 NCIS Critique of “One Book, Two Covers”

Undercover cases don’t make usually good episodes because in real life the undercover operations last long term and don’t fit well into the forty minutes plus commercials of the average episode. In tonight’s episode, One Book, Two Covers, writer David J. North used a flashback to weave one of Agent Torres’ undercover cases to spin a really good tale. In the end, the episode could have been titled “Redemption” as it featured the redemption of Agent Torres, which in many respects parallels the redemption of the life of Leroy Jethro Gibbs after a misdeed early in his career.

In this episode, a young Marine joined a dirt bike gang who were robbing banks. He was killed when he was no longer of any use to them. Agent Torres discovers it’s the same gang he’d infiltrated years before as a new NCIS agent. Torres is reunited with Royce, a gang member who Torres flipped and who testified against the gang in exchange for being placed in the Witness Protection Program instead of prison. Drama escalates when Royce blackmails Torres because he knows Torres planted evidence against the gang’s leader. In the end, Gibbs confronts Torres to learn the details of Torres’ early career indiscretions. Unlike some supervisors, Gibbs refuses to report Torres’ mistake and exonerates him.

A huge error occurs when Torres’ is alone with Royce in Royce’s home to confront and arrest him. Gibbs and Agent Alex Quinn are outside providing surveillance. Royce knocks Torres out and escapes on a dirt bike. Gibbs and Quinn pursue Royce and nobody goes to help Torres. At a minimum, Quinn should have gotten out of the car to check on Torres.

David worked many undercover cases during his career and developed personal relationships with the criminals whom he later arrested. Some became protected witnessed. Some went to prison and later contacted Dave. There is a strange respect that develops between the hunter and the hunted. It’s not always hostile. This episode brought back many memories. Many of these experiences of David are highlighted in our suspense novel, “Facing Justice.”

Despite the one flub, we give the show 5 stars, not only for the exciting action, but also for the deep and personal connection that is achieved between Gibbs and Torres. What do you think?   

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on March 28, 2017 at 10:42pm

2017 Mar 28 NCIS Critique of “The Wall”

Tonight’s episode was inspired when an elderly veteran took an Honor Trip to Washington, D.C. to see the monuments. His granddaughter-in law is Gina Lucita Monreal, the writer of this episode. Gina fictionalizes a Vietnam era Marine Corps Sergeant named Henry Rogers (he says he is no relation to the sweater-wearing Mr. Rogers) and tells the story through his eyes. When the active duty marine who is assigned to be his escort dies mysteriously, Henry becomes the reluctant witness who is detained against his will. British MI6 officer Clayton Reeves is assigned by Gibbs to babysit Henry. Problems develop when circumstances reveal how Henry and Officer Reeves have similar psychological hang-ups. Both are loners. Leroy Jethro Gibbs assumes the role of mediating between the two, and it begins to look like a recovery group for misfits.


The investigation determines the Marine was really poisoned. The investigation that follows is used as a means to honor our nation’s veterans and also the Honor Flight Network. Such highlights are interspersed with the usual drama that unfolds as the team searches for the killer. We viewers find out more about the close-knit family the NCIS agents have become to each other. The ridiculous efforts by McGee and Bishop to determine if Torres and Quinn were once romantically linked are somewhat juvenile. It’s interesting and heartwarming how Henry (the witness) analyzes Officer Reeves and determines that he’s a loner too, which coincides with Reeves’ request to leave the NCIS team for another more dangerous overseas assignment. Gibbs as always, is one step ahead of Reeves. He sees what is developing and in a great ending, perhaps one of the best ever on the NCIS show, affirms Reeves decision to remain in the group.


The most laudable part of the episode features the many older vets who’ve been traveling to the nation’s capital to pay tribute to their colleagues who gave their lives in defense of the nation. Tonight’s is a tribute to Vietnam Veteran’s and focuses on the Vietnam Memorial, a long wall made of granite and inscribed with the 58,286 Americans who died or are still missing from the Vietnam War. Many of you may have fought in that war or know soldiers and airmen who did. Many of you may have taken a piece of paper and a pencil to trace the name of a loved one as Sergeant Rogers did this evening. We have also gone to the memorial to pay our respects.


Justice is finally achieved with help from the entire team. Recognition is also given to our veteran’s and active-duty military in a touching way. Kudos to the writers and producers of tonight’s show. Very well done.


Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on March 14, 2017 at 11:30pm

2017 Mar 14 Critique of NCIS episode “M.I.A.”

Thank you Jennifer Corbett for writing the script for this episode of NCIS. Just when we think the show has passed its prime, writers like you come up with a great story line. Tonight’s show brings up events and people from the past in Gibbs’ life when one of his former commanding officers asks Gibbs to help his terminally ill daughter, Navy Lt. Laura Ellison, who thinks one of her subordinate sailors who fell overboard was actually murdered.


The story involves a Navy ship that was patrolling the coastline of South America looking for drug running ships. It is a realistic portrayal. U.S. Navy ships are used in this way, usually with a team of Coast Guard officers on board to transform the military ship into a law enforcement mission. Tonight’s suspicious death involved cocaine transferred from a suspect drug smuggling ship onto the Navy ship, and U.S. Navy sailors stealing a single package of cocaine worth $25,000. David could relate to the illicit drug scenario from his many years as a Drug Enforcement Agent. Because the sailors offloaded the captured drugs to DEA, David was heartened there were not any crooked DEA agents on the show.


As Jennifer Corbett wrote the episode, she dug another skeleton from the closet when Gibbs assigns NCIS Agent Nick Torres to the hospital room of Lt. Laura Ellison as a protection detail. Tension sizzles in the air as Torres nearly becomes insubordinate, arguing with Gibbs. It’s obvious to us the viewers that Torres doesn’t want to go. Then a whole new emotional angle develops. Lt. Ellison confronts Torres with her belief that he suffered the loss of someone he loved to terminal cancer. The show has the correct balance of investigation and the strong emotion that develops within a close knit investigative team. The only flaw in the show was when Agents Gibbs and Quinn confront their suspect on a ladder aboard ship (that’s a set of stairs) for you landlubbers. They in interrogate their suspect in the presence of other sailors, which would never be done.


That being said, the lighthearted back and forth banter among the four agents at the diner about upcoming marathon training reminded us of how we season our suspense novels with humor. We loved the twist at the end where Agent Quinn admitted she has no speed. Rather, she beat Tim and Ellie because she took an Uber car to catch up with them. What a hoot. In the end, Gibbs knew exactly what Torres needed. And do you agree, we all need a good laugh after this heart wrenching drama about cancer?


Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on March 7, 2017 at 10:49pm

2017 Mar 07 - Critique of NCIS episode, ‘What Lies Above’

Not bad. This was an entertaining show, but once again the first question is, did NCIS have jurisdiction to investigate a shooting in the apartment that Tony DiNozzo once occupied and where Tim McGee now lives with his fiancée Delilah. Some viewers might say there wasn’t jurisdiction, but what about “assault on a Federal Agent”? After all, McGee was shot at. He killed a burglar in his apartment while returning fire. Wrong! McGee wasn’t on duty at the time, and for an assault on a Federal Agent to be an actual crime, it has to happen during conduct of his official duties. In reality, the Washington Metropolitan police should have investigated. Aside from having the wrong investigators, the writers did a pretty good job.


We were treated to some feisty drama among the team members. Director Vance is being courted, in more ways than one, by the Congresswoman we criticized in our previous blog. She wants Vance to run for Congress, and as she told Gibbs earlier, she desires for Gibbs to be elevated to the Director’s position. Why?


And we have another question for you? What did y’all think about the constant debate between the NCIS team about whether McGee should ever tell Delilah about the never-ending murders in their apartment?  Dave thinks the actor who played the part of Paul Triff, the convict serving time for three murders, did a good job. His acting and mannerisms were similar to those of a sociopath. In the end, Director Vance realizes he’s too honest and too blunt to be a politician, and because of his bluntness, the Congresswoman cuts him loose. So he and Gibbs will stay in the jobs for which they are both best suited. Diane kept thinking the Congresswoman was involved in the diamond heist as her interest was beyond realistic. Their relationship was meant to show the conflict between the career employees and the politicians, which can impact the pursuit of justice at times.


On a final note, Diane has a message for McGee. Run and don’t walk away from that horrible apartment!


Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on February 21, 2017 at 11:22pm

2017 Feb 21 Critique of NCIS episode ‘A Many Splendored Thing’

We suffered through tonight’s episode of NCIS. It seemed schizophrenic. As we’ve written in the past, we keep hoping the writers and producers would move past the departure of some of NCIS’ best actors/characters and again produce real quality shows with the newly assembled cast. There have been a couple of episodes recently that encouraged us, but tonight’s was bad enough to make us wonder why we continue to watch and even critique them.

Have you ever heard it said, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.” With this critique, we’d like to stop at this point, yet some might wonder why we’ve written no more. So let us say this much.

Anyone who’s served in the military or government service understands the separation of power between the three branches of the U.S. government, i.e. Executive Branch, Judiciary (courts), and the Congress. The Executive Branch, which includes the military and the NCIS, is responsible for investigation and even collection of intelligence through the CIA. While the Congress authorizes the budgets and funding for the Executive agencies and even holds some oversight that permits the Congress to be briefed on what the agencies are doing, the Congress is NEVER involved in the investigations conducted by the agencies of the Executive Branch. To have a congresswoman from the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives giving orders to Director Vance and the CIA, and also having her show up in Gibbs’ basement is beyond absurd.

Tonight’s episode was just too painful to watch. There were some moments intended to show the emotional bond forming between the NCIS team members, but the ridiculous plot used to get to those scenes made no sense. If you never see another NCIS critique written by us, you can blame this episode.

We will keep commenting on news worthy events, and we have one coming up on a Russian spy ship lurking along the east coast so please stay tuned to our blog!

Be Blessed,

Diane and David Munson

Comment by Diane and David Munson on February 7, 2017 at 10:05pm

2017 Feb 7 NCIS Critique of “Nonstop”

If you’ve recorded tonight’s episode of NCIS and you are wondering if it’s worth watching, the answer is yes. Unlike some episodes where it is gory and too complex for the one hour allotted, “Nonstop” is a light hearted suspense that includes Robert Wagner as Tony Di Nozzo Sr. He’s always a hit. As the story develops, Di Nozzo Sr. tells Gibbs that he came back to the U.S. after visiting Tony Jr. and his child Tallie in Paris and Sr. was in a funk. At Junior’s suggestion, Di Nozzo Sr. joined a Virginia Sheriff’s volunteer group of Sherlocks. Imagine that Junior was thinking his Dad would be driving around with another silver haired volunteer in a ‘volunteer posse’ checking for violators illegally parking in handicap spaces. That is not was his Dad was doing. He and two other volunteers (one an attractive female senior played by Jessica Walter) were actually sworn as special deputy sheriffs and the Sheriff was insisting on shared jurisdiction on an NCIS murder investigation in his county. Actually, NCIS would really have no jurisdiction in that case.


After a female Seaman returns home for deployment on a Navy ship, she is found dead in her home. As Gibbs and his team proceed with their investigation, they find the local Sheriff and DiNozzo Sr and the other volunteers insist on helping. It is nothing like what would happen in real life, but it does make for an hour of light-hearted fare. Gibbs solves the case using his wits. We understand there have been other “Sherlock” episodes in past years, which we haven’t seen. Let us hear from you how this one stacks up and also if you believe Tony Jr. will appear on NCIS again this season.


Whatever your plans might be for next week, here is a head’s up. NCIS fans will see part 1 of Pandora’s Box at the regular time, and part 2 will air on NCIS New Orleans at 10 pm. 


Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson


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