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The Worst Storyline In NCIS Season 1

Not only has "NCIS" remained on the air for nearly two decades now, but even nineteen seasons in, the show continues to reward its longtime fans with details that connect new episodes to its earlier years. That's possible at least in part because "NCIS" was already laying a solid foundation for what it would eventually become all the way back in its first season. That said, some particular aspects of Season 1 would quickly become outdated or overridden as the series progressed.

For example, upon their initial appearances, certain characters' personalities are noticeably different from how they end up for the balance of the show. Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is one such character, whose gruffer Season 1 personality comes out in full force during the pursuit of recurring villain Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin).

While fans have criticized Gibbs' pursuit of Ari for bringing out an unpleasant side of the series' longtime central character, a video game-focused investigation in Season 1 Episode 4, titled "The Immortals" is arguably the worst storyline from throughout the entire first season.

NCIS gets a lot wrong about video games

In Episode 4 of "NCIS" Season 1, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service team must investigate the death of a naval officer found weighted down at the bottom of the ocean. While this sort of premise is typical for the series, the episode holds the lowest rating from throughout Season 1 on IMDb, suggesting that a number of viewers took umbrage with it.

This is most likely because of a fictional MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) at the episode's core. It's specifically what appears to be a lack of behind-the-scenes video game knowledge that makes this arguably the worst storyline from all of "NCIS" Season 1.

In a Reddit comment, user McLyan claimed that they had "never seen anyone f*** up MMORPGS" as bad as the writers of "The Immortals." On Twitter, user @bIoodichor described its fictional MMO as being discussed in a "'tv show written by people that don't play them' way." In a subsequent reply, they then recounted Gibbs repeating the MMORPG acronym incorrectly. Twitter user @CarbunkleFlux, meanwhile, criticized the content of the game itself, characterizing a charter the NCIS team uncovers in-game as something that could never exist in real life.

So, while an episode about video games isn't inherently objectionable, the fact that the game central to the storyline of "The Immortals" is blatantly unrealistic means that, more than in any other Season 1 episode, this storyline misses the mark considerably.