The exercises from Chapter Seven of Story Sense, Paul Lucey.
Written regarding NCIS, Season 5, Episode 1.
1. Analyze in terms of the dramatizing strategies discussed in this chapter. Note when each convention appears and briefly describe its nature and purpose.
coincidence: Jeanna’s father picks Tony and Jeane up at the hospital. Rene is also a catalyst (he’s the frog).
coincidence: Abby finds the search results the director tried to erase.
reveal: the director tells the team the woman tony has been seeing is the frog’s daughter.
obstacles: can’t get satellite coverage.
reversal: the bad news: no coverage, good news – traffic cameras catch him. back to bad: Catalyst- Tony’s car blows up.
misunderstanding: the whole team thinks Tony is dead. (We know he isn’t because he’s still in the show seven seasons from now.)
contrast: Abby refuses to believe it is Tony until Ducky says so.
reveal: Abby tells Gibbs the prints on the bottle and glass are the director’s father.
undeserved suffering: someone is going to great lengths to convince the director her father’s alive
reveal: the director thinks the frog killed her father
coincidence: Ziva identifies the limo on the camera feedback-was Tony following it.
misunderstanding: Palmer doesn’t get why Ducky is so taken my the minimal lung scarring. Leads to catalyst/reveal-the dead man is not Tony (plague)
catalyst: Cort shows up demanding Tony. (CIA)
false alarm/reversal: Cort tries to choke information out of Tony, only to find himself facing multiple guns
reveal: Tony explains what happened in the morning (surprise meet the parents). The frog had known for months that Tony was undercover. He forces Tony into the limo and takes both cell phones. The car blows up. The Frog thinks he was the target. Tony wonders if he was the target. Tony is angry because Jeanne knows the truth now. The Frog wants out, he’s going to call and arrange a meeting, because he trusts NCIS.
catalyst/coincidence: who bombed Tony. Jeanne is the target
coincidence and contrast: the frog is in the director’s study.
catalyst: Gibbs shows up in the house.
reveal: the frog paid the director’s father the bribe
reveal: Gibbs tells the director the gun is not loaded.
reveal: flashback. Tony tells Jeanne who he really is.
the false alarm: the team is searching the yacht, guns drawn. But the frog is not there.
superiority: as the team walks away the audience gets to see the frog floating in the water with a bullet in his head.
2. Time the speeches and scenes in the show analyzed. Note whether the speeches end abruptly or linger. Note whether they use transitional visuals that show characters traveling from one location to another or whether the action cuts directly from scene to scene.
Multiple jump cuts per shot.
most speech is clipped and short. back and forth, snappy dialogue.
3. Examine how the film uses conflict to dramatize the story. What causes and intensifies the conflict? How does the conflict relate to the problem? How are the problem and the conflict resolved?
Constant conflict between the characters, the other agencies, and the good vs bad guys. In this show, the possible death of one of their own causes conflict with the CIA and between the characters on an emotional level. Tony is not dead, but the frog is. the problem really doesn’t resolve in this episode. Nor does the emotional conflict. Tony is heartbroken over Jeanne. The director is distraught over her father. Gibbs is in a position not to trust the director. Everyone is pissy.