NCIS: Sydney 1×01 “Gone Fission” is a welcome return to episodic television after such a long time. But that’s not the only thing that makes the episode work. In fact, after a rough first half of the episode, “Gone Fission” is actually a pretty promising Pilot for NCIS: Sydney, one that by the end of the hour, makes us kind of excited for the future of this show.
It isn’t smooth sailing from the start. Olivia Swann and Todd Lasance take a while to get there. Sean Sagar and Tuuli Narkle, on the other hand, have a much easier chemistry, not just with each other, but with the rest of the cast – and the same can be said of Mavournee Haze and William McInnes, who seem like they fit in with everyone. They are, of course, not being asked to do as much as Swann and Lasance, so in a way, it’s not truly fair to judge them by the same standards.
But there’s no denying it takes a bit for this episode to click, just as there’s no denying that once Swann and Lasance do click the rest just fits. Even they have to begrudgingly admit it. It’s hard to tell if the awkwardness at the beginning was planned, or if was just a byproduct of the circumstances, but it ends up working in the show’s favor.
A Good Foundation
Perhaps the most important thing is that it feels like there’s a good foundation here, and though this is set to be a short first season, if NCIS: Sydney uses the eight episodes it has properly, there’s a lot of promise in this show. That’s great news for CBS, particularly considering there’s a great upside to international versions of NCIS (not that they make any real sense whatsoever, but whatever, why should we apply common sense to this fictional agency).
The smart move now – and probably what we’ll get, considering the filming timeline and the restrictions, is to make Season 1 of NCIS: Sydney all about NCIS: Sydney. Once that’s established as its own thing, then the show can begin to think about expanding, and bringing in characters from NCIS, NCIS: Hawaii, and even canceled NCIS: Los Angeles. For now, all we need is some entertaining cases and a little bit of backstory on these characters we’re getting to know. That’s where the show needs to invest because that’s where we need to invest. And that particularly holds true when it comes to …
The rule of thumb with procedurals is that opposites attract, but for that to work you need a lot of things. You can’t just throw two opposite personalities in the mix and hope for the best – which felt like the show was doing with Mackey and Dempsey at first. Ten minutes in, the vibe was that they just didn’t like each other and that they were right not to. Thirty minutes in, however, the sense was that they deep down had more in common than they would have wanted to admit, and that’s why they were clashing.
Now, that’s a more interesting dynamic. Especially because we’ve only scratched the surface of what these two might have in common – and the very different ways they handle their issues. Add to that the sense that their superiors seem to be delighting in the fact that they don’t seem to want to work together, at least for now, and we’re in for a very interesting early dynamic for Mackey and Dempsey, who will likely also clash when it comes to who is actually in charge.
Though, we’ll just say – her title is “NCIS Special Agent-in-Charge.” That counts for something. Not that we’re picking sides or anything (except we kinda are).
Enemies to lovers isn’t the vibe here, but antagonistic reluctant partners to “you’re the only one I trust” to more? We could get behind that, just saying. We have gotten behind that before.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Sydney 1×01 “Gone Fission”? Share with us in the comments below!