'NCIS' Fan Columnist: Dinner and a Murder
'NCIS' Fan Columnist: Dinner and a Murder
Jacky Jackman
Jacky Jackman
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

The tree is down, the ornaments put away, the champagne drunk and NCIS is back on the tube. Did you miss it?

In "Ships in the Night," a lovely dinner cruise is the location for murder.

All Hands on Deck

Coast Guard Special Agent Abigail Borin is on a blind date and the guy is a loser. She meets Marine First Lieutenant Jeremy Nolan in the bar while escaping her date. Nice guy. Too bad the next time they meet he has a couple of bullets in him.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs' team is tired. It's two o'clock in the morning and here comes another case. At least they'll get comp time. Tony DiNozzo is adding his up. Maybe a nice relaxing getaway will recharge his batteries. Or maybe he should take one of Ziva David's (Cote de Pablo) "bat naps."

Special Agent Borin shares the investigative duties with Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and company. She is a lot like Gibbs with a strong drive and a penchant for coffee. She has a set of rules herself. OK, only one rule, but it's a good one: Never make excuses. Tim McGee tells her Gibbs has a different rule one. Well, two actually. Ha! Yup, there are two of them NCIS   probies. We veterans knew that. Still was amusing to hear Mc-Inside-Joke make the comment.

Fame and Misfortune

Lt. Nolan's family is rich. His dad created a lucrative company from scratch and left it to him. But now that he's dead, into whose hands does the company fall? His sister Kimberly Nolan, who was on the ship with her boyfriend Devin Lodge? The family attorney Wayne Grossman? Tom Adams, who worked his way up from stock boy to CFO?

Thanks to Dr. "Ducky" Mallard's investigation of the bullets trajectory and the simulation Abby Sciuto has created via computer, it is determined the shooter was on another boat. But then the shooter ends up being found floating in the Potomac, the victim of a shooting. How appropriate. Now who shot the shooter?

CGIS Special Agent Borin has been working closely with Gibbs from the start, and yet they never step on each other's toes. Not true of McGee who shoots Borin a dirty look when she takes over his part of the debriefing to Gibbs.

Rich, famous for being famous Devin Lodge is a suspect. He's dating Nolan's sister and the Lieutenant didn't like him much. He can't go anywhere without loads of cameras being shoved in his face. This works out well for him because photographers waited four hours for him to make an exit from a club. That covers the time the murder was committed.  

Bad Guys Finish Last

Gibbs breaks his rule number one -- no, the other rule number one. He places all the suspects in the same room. Let the back biting commence.

After some finger pointing and assertions of innocence, we have a triangle. Grossman hires a hit man who was a former client. That man was on the boat owned by the stock boy now CFO Tom Adams. The shooter was himself shot by Adams, and the body was weighed down and placed in the river. But the guy resurfaced. Kimberly stood to inherit the company after Lt. Nolan died. However, Lt. Nolan was in the process of having the company turned over to a nonprofit. Little sister would have ended up with zilch.

Nolan had to go.

Kimberly planned the murder with Adams. But Grossman kept a recording of all their conversations to show he didn't plan the murder. Not that his hands were clean.

The case is closed and  CGIS Special Agent Borin moves on to her next case. Gibbs tells her he will see her again next year as they only cross investigative paths once a year. Gibbs sends his team home to sleep. Something they all got very little of during the case. Gibbs stays at his desk. Sleep is overrated. (Yawn. Sorry. Excuse me.)

Ironically Marine Captain Jared Bratton, a practicing attorney, arrives at NCIS. He has the revised will Lt. Nolan had drawn up in Afghanistan. The company was already donated to charity before the night of Nolan's death. Gibbs takes the photo of Nolan and Bratton taken when they were serving their country and pins it to his wall.

I felt very sad at the end of the show. I can't recall any other time NCIS made me feel this way except when Caitlin was killed. How did it make you feel?

(Image courtesy of CBS)