Wait, did they just…? Is Agent Fornell actually…? Gah! Why do you do this to us, NCIS?
When we left our crew last week, turncoat MI6 agent Jacob Scott had killed former NCIS head Thomas Morrow and then escaped. But before we dive into the “to be continued,” let’s tackle tonight’s standalone case. When Marine Master Sgt. David Marshall is redeployed to Iraq following a security threat, he tells his 14-year-old son, Henry, to take care of his mother and baby sister. “Protect them for me.”
Cut to David cowering in a closet with a gun, having just shot a man during a home invasion. The bullet grazed the intruder, and one of the police officers who responds to the call says this is her third smash-and-grab of the week.
Thankfully, Abby finds a DNA match to Micky Doyle, an ex-con with ties to the drug trade. McGee shows Henry a picture of Doyle, and Henry confirms that he’s the home invader. (“That’s not how you do a lineup,” offers the defense attorney I’m married to. But hey, an ID’s an ID.)
Abby’s not just solving crimes this week, though; following Morrow’s memorial service, she creates #LivingRocks to celebrate people before they’re gone. “I’m a little bit afraid that people might think I’m talking about an actual rock that’s alive, although that would be really exciting, too,” she says. Anyway, she compliments Gibbs for catching bad guys and being “a man of gleaming silver hair” (TRUTH) and McGee for lighting up a room as fast as he can ping a phone. Gibbs asks her to please “hashtag get to the point,” and Abby’s staggered that he used “hashtag” in a sentence.
But she hashtag does, pointing out that fingerprints and ballistics from the gun match Henry’s story. What doesn’t match is when he got the gun. It wasn’t that morning as he claimed but two days earlier, according to the log on the family’s safe. To figure out why Henry lied, McGee — who knows a thing or two about growing up with a father deployed overseas — takes Henry out for a burger to discuss the mix of anger, sadness, fear, and pride that comes from having an absent, active-duty parent. (“Serving on the homefront is a very different thing,” as McGee tells Gibbs.)
Henry confesses that a few days ago, he saw Doyle murder someone in an alley, and he took his dad’s gun from the safe. So yes, the break-in was to silence Henry. But they don’t know how Doyle tracked Henry down. Consequently, the Marshalls head into protective custody, and the agents head to the local police station to talk about open murder cases. (The head detective, Det. Swanson, is played by Pete Gardner, a.k.a. Darryl Whitefeather from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and I must say, not having him sing about how having a daughter is weird was a terrible waste.)
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
Abby and Bishop strike out at the murder scene, which has no traces of blood anywhere. Also, Abby celebrates Bishop eating like Paul Bunyan and having a heart as big as he did, too. Bish in turn celebrates Abby giving great hugs, and Abby celebrates Ducky for inspiring dead people to talk and living people to listen. #LivingRocks, or as Ducky refers to it, “Anthropomorphic stones, how curious.”
Henry’s able to ID the victim when a body’s pulled from the river, and Det. Swanson confirms that the victim was part of the area’s escalating drug problems. The team finally locate Doyle’s RV and find him dead inside, along with the murder weapon. His RV is a pigsty, which puzzles Abby in light of the clean alley. She realizes it was scrubbed with a professional cleaner and then covered up with alley grime, and the person who did that probably also killed Doyle.
In short order, the team realizes that a police officer accessed nearby traffic cams to track Henry, then sent Doyle to take care of him. Thankfully, it wasn’t Det. Swanson because that would’ve broken my musical-loving heart. Instead, it was the officer who responded to the home invasion and was in league with the local drug dealers.
NEXT: Um, things don’t look so good for Fornell