OK, I'm thrilled to see Ralph Waite getting the work and doing ahelluva job, but to have him play Gibbs' father about a month after he played Booth's grand-dad on Bones is just weird, especially when there were some similarities in the parts, including inadvertent fire-starting.
The acting in both cases was awesome, and it's nice to see that Pa Walton can still kick emotional ass, but it was definitely weird. (Like finding out that House's dad is also the Janitor's dad on Scrubs.)
On the other hand...Hellllloooooo Dwarf-mom!
The main plot was interesting and I wonder if it was written before Fort Hood or in some kind of response. I also know the Righties who think that NCIS is one of their last network bastions will be pissed off, at least the ones who think that Islam is Evil.
As manipulative Christmas episodes go, it was definitely an improvement over Bones