NCIS has returned, and so have the EW recaps! Yes, the cast has changed, and the show is now broadcast on Mondays, but what are a few changes when there are crimes to solve? Gibbs’ boat was badly damaged when we left him at the end of Season 18. Thankfully, everyone’s favourite agent survives, albeit with a chunk of boat protruding from his side. When he awakens, he finds himself padlocked inside a barn by a feisty older couple who suspect him of being involved with the North Shore gang that’s been causing them problems.
But, hey, Gibbs’ husband is a retired veterinarian, so he’s been patched up as well as a horse would have been.
Of course, his team is unaware of this, and they fear the worst, especially since there is no trace of Gibbs after they determine that Rule 91 was destroyed by a pipe bomb. (Imagine spending seven years in your basement building a boat only to have it blown up on its maiden voyage.)
Although Palmer wonders if Gibbs has been absorbed back into nature, the presence of a woman’s body in the lake leads them to believe there is something more going on here. Nobody is handling things well, what with Bishop’s abrupt departure from the team (and the show). At the very least, Casey LoJacked the electronic bug-finder she lent to Gibbs, so they’re off to the last location where it was used. Despite Vance’s threat to replace them with a fresh face, McGee and Torres agree that they’d prefer an experienced agent like Jess Knight (Katrina Law, who made her NCIS debut last season).
Naturally, this is a Vance ruse to make them believe they have a say in their new teammate.The LoJack location leads them to Marcie Warren (Mark Harmon’s real-life wife Pam Dawber, for those who don’t know), who is extremely concerned about Gibbs.
He calls her while she’s standing in the big orange room, and when she hands the phone to McGee, he demands 24-hour protection for Marcie before hanging up. Rude!Gibbs, on the other hand, has been dealing with the cantankerous couple.
They’d only agreed to let him borrow their phone and stop holding him at gunpoint when he recognised the sheriff’s deputy sniffing around their property as an imposter. Casey pinpoints the location where the woman was most likely dumped, and McGee, Torres, and Knight proceed to the nearby abandoned ranger station.
They storm in on Gibbs, who isn’t overjoyed with the rescue.And, yes, I’m going to say it: Gibbs is being a jerk here. His rediscovered family was all concerned that he was dead, and now he’s brusque and uncommunicative. He’s never been the warmest of guys, but have some empathy, man. Not too much empathy, though, because it’s time for a gunfight.
The cabin, which is full of meth hidden in gasoline cans, is quickly surrounded by the imposter deputy and his gang, including Sady, who has been dragged along for the ride.
Knight emerges in full flustered-woman mode, apologising for her car’s lack of gas. Her performance allows the rest of the agents to position themselves to get the jump on the gang, who quickly surrender. When McGee locates Gibbs back at the barn, he reminds his boss that the team can function without him, but they are stronger together.
Gibbs’ typical enigmatic response is to tell McGee how proud he is of him and to encourage him to keep going. When McGee asks if Gibbs is still on the team, Gibbs responds with a tiny smile and asks, “What do you got?”
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