'NCIS' Fan Columnist: Family Matters
'NCIS' Fan Columnist: Family Matters
Jacky Jackman
Jacky Jackman
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

It's November and time for sweeps and reunions at NCIS. Robert Wagner returns as Anthony DiNozzo Sr. in "Broken Arrow." He's handsome, charming and living the life only he can dream of. The guy drives his son Anthony DiNozzo Jr. (Michael Weatherly) crazy. What fun for us.

Prodigal Father

Tonight's victim is found in a dumpster at Annapolis by his old friend Admiral C. Clifford Chase (Bruce Boxleitner). The unfortunate fellow in with the trash is retired Naval Commander Woody Iverson. Not long before, this Iverson was riding in a private jet belonging to his employer Royce Global Group, an international mining and shipping company.

At NCIS, Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) arrives smiling and shows Tim McGee her American passport. Tony arrives like a bear with a toothache. Ziva asks why he's so testy. He tells her his father called him at 4:30 in the morning. I'd be a touch testy too. Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) informs the team they're on their way to Annapolis. They scoot.

After checking the crime scene and retrieving Iverson, they return to headquarters. McGee tells Gibbs Woody Iverson as COO of Royce Global Group was on the plane with Swiss National Theo Gaston, Dan Mayfield head of security and gasp! Can it be? Tony's dad! McTechie tracks DiNozzo Sr. to a bus terminal. Why a bus, pops? Tony and Ziva fetch him and bring him back to NCIS.

What we learn is this: 1) Sr. shared a taxi with Iverson at the airport, 2) they met for the first time on their way to attend an international trade summit Royce initiated 10 years ago, 3) Tony's Dad was the last person to see him alive, 4) Iverson spoke to no one on the plane and didn't speak to Daddy DiNozzo in the cab -- he was just looking around nervously, 5)  Admiral Chase shares with Director Vance and Gibbs that "chatter" has been picked up about the summit, and 6) Dad D. has an invite to the summit and Gibbs wants surveillance inside.

There you go, Junior Agents. The sleuthing should be easy right? No. No. No.

Family Ties

Tony has misgivings about his Dad being their way into the summit. He has probable cause. Dad has checked into the Adams House Presidential suite, the ONLY available room in the city. Really? He racks up quite a bill enjoying the finer services and food a five-star hotel provides.

McGee is with Abby Sciuto in her lab. He has found the last entry on Iverson's cell notebook is a number with 310 as the first digits. He assumes it's a Los Angeles phone number and looks it up. It's a Beverly Hills Wellness center featuring colonics to the rich and famous. Ew.

Dr. "Ducky" Mallard has provided Abby with scrapings from under Iverson's fingernails. She searches for a match but comes up empty. She expands her search parameters to include Interpol's data banks. This will take a while. Then for reasons better known to her, she goes over Iverson's clothes with a Geiger counter searching for radiation. Standard practice, Abs? Anyway she finds some around the pocket.

Gibbs has a sit-down with DiNozzo Sr. They don't like each other. They talk of Sr.'s financial situation. Gibbs knows the last time Sr. was in town Tony paid for his large hotel bill and plane ticket, letting Dad think it was picked up by his friend sheik "Al." Back at the lab McGee figures out the number on Iverson's cell wasn't a phone number but something he wanted to remember. The first three digits were the cab number and the last seven were for the cab company. They have the cab taken to NCIS, where Abby goes over it and finds an old plate from something. The plate throws off some radiation. McGee looks up the numbers on it on the Internet from forth all good things come. The plate is from an H bomb that was on a plane lost over the Mediterranean Sea. That could be a little worrying.

The director with Gibbs brings Admiral Chase into the loop. The admiral tells them that the missing "broken arrow," as the bomb was called, would be inoperable but the nuclear material would still be viable. Among other things, the Royce group is involved with underwater mining. Could it be they found the bomb? Well, they got the plate off it, so duh.

By the way, where is the reclusive Mr. Royce? His daughter can't find him and has filed a lawsuit against security head Mayfield. She says he has kept her from contact with her father for years. She believes he is the reason her father is a hermit.

Heart to Heart

The night of the summit soirée Tony visits Dad in his suite finding him being fitted for a custom tuxedo made of cashmere. Another little purchase at the expense of NCIS, who is paying his bills. The big tab Daddy D. is running up is giving the kid in accounting apoplexy. Tony is uncomfortable with the idea of Dad going undercover. It doubles when he finds out Ziva is to be Sr.'s "date" for the night. Dad DiNozzo has an eye for lovely ladies and Ziva looks dressed to kill. Behave yourself, father.

Anthony DiNozzo Sr. and Ziva mingle at the cocktail party; Ziva is sending sound and picture via a broach camera back to McGee and Tony who are holed up in a van outside. They identify four known arms dealers from the video she shoots. They ask her to locate Theo Gaston.

Ducky tells Gibbs Iverson's died of cervical dislocation, or a broken neck, as we lay people refer to it. It was done barehanded. Gibbs goes to MTAC to see a vessel owned by Royce Global in the Mediterranean Sea. What a co-inky-dink. They seem to have found a bomb.

Ziva's broach cam comes across Mayfield in a cozy chat with Agan Bayer, a Turkish arms dealer who is on Interpol's watch list. He recognizes Ziva as a former Mossad officer and now federal agent. He's interested in the proposition Mayfield has offered but is less so about spending his life in an American prison. He leaves.

Abby identifies the DNA from under Iverson's fingernails as that of Gaston. Gaston is working for Mayfield. NCIS can arrest them both. Gibbs has Tony tell Ziva to get his dad out of the building. On the way out they are stopped by Gaston and Mayfield. Ziva dispatches Gaston with some well-placed kicks and dear old dad drops Mayfield with a punch in the face.

Mayfield planned to sell the nuclear material from the bomb to the highest bidder and thus create a nice retirement for himself. Mr. Royce was found on life support in Switzerland. Royce was having doctors keep him alive long enough for him to make his sale. 

NCIS pays Sr.'s bills. Tony sits with him and has a heart-to-heart talk. He admits he paid Dad's hotel bill and bought him the plane ticket the year before. Dad says he knew that. He told Tony he was always up or down financially and he will bounce back. He always does. Tony wishes they could be more like they were when on a fishing trip Dad probably doesn't recall. Sr. pulls a picture of the trip out of his wallet. He says he looks at it every morning. Ahhh ... sniff. Time for Dad to leave ... with Donald Trump. Does he just know everyone worth knowing or what?

A lot happened in "Broken Arrow." I honestly thought this was going to be a two-parter given everything that was being covered. Plus who wouldn't want Robert Wagner around a little longer? Maybe he'll be back. We'll be seeing more family members this season. I'm sorry Abby's father is dead. It would have been nice to have met him. But perhaps another Sciuto will visit. I hope so. Family matters.

(Image courtesy of CBS)