Cliff Lipson/CBS
Sandra Gonzalez
October 09, 2013 AT 04:58 AM EDT

How did the NCIS team handle life after Ziva David’s big departure? Well, honestly, how anyone would handle the departure of a co-worker and friend.

They mentioned her. They were thinking of her. They got territorial when someone tried to sit at her desk. But, ultimately, life went on. (As ours must, I suppose.)

And they had plenty to deal with this week to keep them busy. For starters, McGee spent much of the episode stressing over his lost badge. It took a while for him to confess he’d lost it to Gibbs, but after realizing he’d probably lost it during a wild concert outing with Abby, he had to report it. Luckily, his badge was found at the venue, but McGee found himself facing an investigation. The Inspector General apparently looks down upon lost credentials — especially when they are not immediately reported.  It was bad.

So how’d he get out of it? Fate, really. And luck. Lots of luck.

You see, in this week’s episode, which took place a week (NCIS-time) after Ziva’s resignation, they went after a man named Lt. Terence Keith, who intended to use 200 pounds of C-4 for nefarious purposes. They soon realized that Keith, who was unstable after self-medicating with improperly prescribed antidepressants, intended to blow up a carrier that had a former flight school classmate on it. (According to her, he was angry about and jealous of her success.) And his plan to do so made capturing him nearly impossible — he’d rented an undetectable plane and was going to go on a suicide mission.

The first and most pressing challenge was to locate the plane (which they had to do before they’d figured out the target). Luckily, when McGee and Abby combine forces, they’re unstoppable. They determined that they could mobilize the quickly growing fanbase of the band they’d seen perform the night before to help them find the plane. So Abby used her connection to the band and got them to tweet a picture of the plane with the hashtag #findthisplane. Clever, right? (Or, as Tony said, “#thiscouldworkboss”) I loved how those two seemingly unrelated threads tied together.

Sure enough, the idea worked. They found the plane, tapped into its communication system, and talked Keith into abandoning his mission. Though he ended up killing himself, it’s better than the alternative. And in the end, McGee’s very bright idea not only earned him a trip to the White House but a pardon of sorts for the badge issue. Whew.

In all, I thought this was a very solid episode that simultaneously moved forward and paid tribute to the loss I know fans are still feeling. It also had more than few great lines. Here are three of them, presented in ranked order:

3rd place: “I shouldn’t even be in the same room with this moving target.” — Vera (guest star Roma Maffia), re: Tony. (Side note: Maffia was great in the episode)

2nd place: “She wanted to move on. So let’s move on.” — Gibbs

Quote of the night: “What’s a hashtag?” — Gibbs

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