Home Movie Review NCIS Character Analysis – Director Leon Vance
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NCIS Character Analysis – Director Leon Vance

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Director Vance is the most hidden member of NCIS, emotionally wise. He is tough as a rock, and does not back down from any challenge. This sounds just like Gibbs, but the primary difference between Vance and Gibbs is the channeling of fear. Gibbs uses fear to his advantage, while Vance cowers behind it, appearing to be unbreakable. As discussed in the show, Vance is actively concealing a truth about his past, to his team and to his family.

Leon Vance lives a double life, 2 completely separate entities: family and work. In his work, he discusses his family, but not in-depth. He shows courage and toughness at times, while at others he shows a defense mechanism. Vance is an enigma, and likes to keep it that way. When he comes home, he is the jolly family man! No other NCIS member, as far as we know, is a mystery as much as Vance. We know that Abby is a jolly goth, Ducky is a wise ME, McGee is the elf lord, DiNozzo is the goof-ball, and Gibbs is the fearless leader. Vance is the……..enigma. Yeah.

Besides being the enigma, Vance knows how to get it done behind the desk, from a management perspective. He is very talented in the field of computer science, showing a well-rounded skill-set. There is a moment when Vance is first introduced, and he shocks McGee with his knowledge of computers. Director Leon Vance runs things very differently from his predecessor, Jenny Shepard. He has a very gritty style, and doesn’t back down to a threat. He is insecure about his personal life, but he knows how to get the job done.

Now that we know who he is, let’s answer a basic questionnaire about what Director Vance would do in certain situations:

Q1. Your best friend has just lost a loved one, how do you handle it?

A. Director Vance, separating his personal and professional life, would not mention this to anyone, and would visit and comfort his best friend. If anyone asks, Vance would say something along the lines of “I’m going to a meeting, call me if you need anything”.

Q2. You just won $1,000,000 from a lottery ticket that you bought. How do you react?

A. Vance has a sense of humor, he just doesn’t feel it is necessary to laugh at work. He also doesn’t feel it is necessary to display happiness at work, or celebrations. He probably wouldn’t tell anyone about the lottery winnings, and put the money in a trust fund for his children.

Q3. Your best friend has just achieved his or her dream goal. How do you show your support?

A. Vance would probably congratulate his friend on the phone, encouraging him to keep up the great work. Because of his busy work schedule, he would have difficulty finding time to visit his friend. But if he did find a gap in his schedule, he would most likely make an effort to congratulate his best friend in person.

Q4. On your deathbed, how well did you live your life? Is there anything you would have done differently, given a second chance?

A. There are many things that Vance may regret at the end of his life. Not connecting with his team on an emotional level, taking life too seriously, and hiding his past. There are many ways for Vance to improve his life, but it looks like he is not actively seeking improvement. What would be ideal for Director Leon Vance, is to loosen up. Life is just a game, and having some fun while you’re playing is a godsend.

By Josh Lipovetsky

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