NCIS is shaking things up in its 14th season. DiNozzo’s gone (but never forgotten!), and two new faces are joining the team. So how did they fit in? Let’s recap!
We open with a spot of trouble in Buenos Aires, where a man deflects a knife meant for him into the stomach of his assailant, who’d just threatened his sister’s life.
Back in the States, a mom, dad, and teenager girl are having a typical mom, dad, and teenage girl squabble when their car suddenly bursts into flames and goes sailing down a ravine or some kind of incredibly steep ditch. Mom pulls the teen free, but she can’t reach dad before the car goes boom. And gee, do you think those two scenes are connected?
Here come the DiNozzo-less credits. Pauley Perrette gets second billing now, for those keeping track at home, while poor Emily Wickersham appears behind the two brand-new agents.
So, a quick catch-up on our favorite agents: Gibbs and Fornell spent the summer reenacting The Odd Couple (three guesses as to which is Oscar and which is Felix), Bishop’s been to Scotland, Ducky’s visiting all his old haunts to document his memories, Palmer’s been digitizing all of NCIS’ autopsy records, and McGee hasn’t fully moved into DiNozzo’s vacated desk yet. Oh, and Gibbs has fired eight potential probies over the last three months. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.
Agent Alex Quinn (Jennifer Esposito) sure isn’t. She’s the official trainer of the probies and has a good feel for our favorite Grumpy Gus: “One was too smart, one was too slow, one was too physical, one was too timid. You’re like the Goldilocks of NCIS.”
She decides to spend the episode shadowing Gibbs’ team to get a feel for what he’s looking for. She gets a good view of them in action when they get called to the car crash scene. Navy Cmdr. George Campbell died, but his wife Lucia, a major in the JAG corpse, survived, as did their daughter, Amanda.
Since Lucia is a prosecutor, Tim pokes into her cases for possible suspects, which gives us a completely delightful cameo from one Capt. Bud Roberts. JAG! Forever in our hearts! Bud’s got a bit more snow on the roof, but he clearly still has mischief in his heart, particularly when he embarks on this delightfully trollish exchange:
“How are Harm and Mac? How are they doing?” McGee asks.
“Actually, it’s really interesting,” Budd says. “Okay, so Harm—”
And then Quinn interrupts them.
LOL, I see you, NCIS. Very funny.
Anyway, Budd tips them off that Lucia, who’s still in a coma, had just taken some personal time, and Abby’s lab magic confirms that she’d been in Argentina — no surprise since she’s the man in the bar’s sister. Deep-cover NCIS agent Nicholas Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) went off the grid in March, so Lucia hired a PI to track him down.
Speaking of trolling, Quinn brags to McGee and Bishop that she remembers every student she ever had (Tim loved mystery novels! Torres was the good kind of sociopath!), then claims that she has no memory of Bishop. Aww, Bish. Still way down in the credits and kicked around by the new kid, despite her having the training nickname of “Incisenator” after she knocked some poor probie’s teeth out.
Back to that sociopath thing: Quinn confirms that Torres, best in the biz at undercover work, was looking into whether the Global Enforcement Academy in Argentina was being used to recruit mercenaries.
Then Quinn ensures that we’ll love her forever when she confesses to McGee that she totally remembers Bishop but is messing with her because Ellie’s so tightly wound. “Plus, it tickles me.”
In the meantime, Torres has flown into D.C., where he’s immediately attacked by some bad dudes. Gibbs and Bishop pop up to rescue him, then bring him in so he can tell his story. To wit: While he was undercover, he befriended David Silva, son of corrupt businessman Leo Silva. He realized that Silva was the one recruiting mercenaries and generally doing crooked things to keep their oil business afloat.
Torres had to go rogue to infiltrate the group, and he did so by starting a relationship with Leo’s daughter, Elena. (Hello, shades of DiNozzo/Jean Benoit/La Grenouille!) Then his sister’s PI showed up and blew his cover.
And whaddya know, the Silvas just happen to be in town for an oil summit, meaning it would’ve been easy to orchestrate the hit on Torres’ sister’s family.
NEXT: Gibbs expands his team by two