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Today I hand out my midterm grades for the three NCIS shows.

“NCIS” — I thought the show in Season 12 took a step down in quality, but it made a comeback in Season 13.
What I have been especially impressed with is the character of Elle Bishop (Emily Wickersham) is finally taking shape. Wickersham had the unenviable task of replacing the extremely popular Cote de Pablo, who played agent Ziva David.
But now, the viewer is getting to know Bishop and there have been story lines devoted to her. She no longer seems like a seat filler.
Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has shown a little more of a human side after being shot during a mission in the Season 12 finale. Jon Cryer (Dr. Cyril Taft), who plays the surgeon who saved Gibbs’ life and who is now counseling him, has been strong in a recurring role.

“NCIS: New Orleans” — The show has shown improvement in Season 2. The characters seem less milquetoast and the addition of Shalita Grant as ex-ATF agent Sonja Percy and the continuation of the character of computer specialist Patton Plame (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell) are big positives. And story lines that take place in “The Big Easy” will continue to help this show along.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” — I have always liked this show because it has a little more action than the other two NCIS programs. And who wouldn’t like a show where the good guys are trying to stop the bad guys in L.A.? However, I thought the current season, the seventh, was showing the initial signs of staleness. But the episode which aired Dec. 7 showed there’s plenty left in the tank of this program as Deeks’ past as a Los Angeles police detective is coming back to haunt him. The last couple of minutes of the episode certainly surprised me. The second half of the season should be interesting especially how Deeks’ situation will affect his relationship with Kensi (Daniela Ruah).

“NCIS” — A
“NCIS: Los Angeles” — B+
“NCIS: New Orleans” — B-