It seems to me that there are several things wrong with this current season of NCIS. First, I just want to say that I'm a big fan of the show and its past season. Right now, I'm not feeling so bad if I miss an episode here and there though. And last season, was not like that. I have a few observations and theories about this season and the state of the show in general. This is not to say that the show doesn't still have the occasional awesome episode or that it doesn't still have great potential to continue at the top of Tuesday night television line up. Both of those still hold true. And there have been some good episodes so far this season. It's just that some of these problems are getting to big to ignore. The following are some areas which I think the show could improve on.
1. more steady release schedule
Anymore, I don't know if I should expect to see a new episode this Tuesday, next Tuesday, or some time next month. If we weren't already in the middle of the new season, that wouldn't seem so bad. And I know that once in a while there will be a sporting event or holiday which will take presidence over the show. However, I'm talking about all the reruns that are playing of the show from week to week for no apparent reason. There have been three substantially long breaks in the season so far this year by my count and that seems excessive. I don't know if the writers are having trouble or what.
2. Dangling plot lines that need to be settled
Recently, we saw Gibbs talking with Mike Franks or at least what appeared to be Mike Franks at the time about the "murder" of the man responsible for the deaths of Gibbs' wife and daughter. This is something which really should have been put to rest with last season's storylines in my opinion. The fact that they addressed Abby's "keeping Gibbs' secret" seemed ridiculous to me for several reasons, including that Gibbs never asked her to, it seems as if most people around him probably already know, and this was a ruthless druglord. Who's really going to be that mad about what Gibbs did? Another big subplot is the continued flirting between Ziva and Tony and their nonrelationship. Either do something with this or don't. It's stupid to dangle it in the fans' faces like this from season to season and never deal with it in a more permanent manner.
3. Weak two parter
As I mentioned before, this season has been pretty sporadic with its airing of new episodes. So, I can't be sure of this, but I think there has only been one two part episode so far and it was the story involving a missing woman in Iraq if I remember correctly and something to do wtih terrorists and a school being blown up. Now, I know that at the end of this story, the NCIS team stops a potential terrorist act and I know that Gibbs was having flashbacks to his days in the marines and a unique female marine he once knew. However, this had to be the weakest two parter I've ever seen for this show. There just wasn't enough there to put it into two episodes. There wasn't enough emotional impact. There wasn't enough drama, danger, or scale in terms of the investigation. And there wasn't enough to carry the overall story for the season forward enough to justify the extra time. It would have been a decent one part episode, but it made for a waste of a two parter in my opinion.
4. Not enough character development
This partly goes along with what I've already said. Some of these characters seem to take on step forward only to take two back. As much as the Tony and Ziva situation is frustrating at this point, the tension between Gibbs and Vance has gotten old and is starting to seem somewhat unrealistic at this point. One of the things I remember hearing about from the creators was that this season we would see Gibbs and Vance band together more to stand against a common enemy perhaps in the form of the secretary of the Navy. I don't think we've seen much of that. I still like this show, but so far this season, it's been hard to not think that they're just going through the motions from one episode to the next at this point. And that kind of bums me out personally, because I think there's still a lot more there with the show and the characters.