'NCIS' Recap: Best of 'The Penelope Papers'
'NCIS' Recap: Best of 'The Penelope Papers'
On this episode of NCIS, a murder happens. The team solves it. But let's get to the real story -- McGee has a grandmother! And she's Lily freaking Tomlin! Throw in some weird hybrid caterpillars (as if regular caterpillars aren't weird enough), and you've got a relatively good time.
A Walk in the Park

We actually get to see the murder happen, instead of just being introduced to a dead body. It's a lovely fall morning, and Navy Lieutenant Paul Booth is on his cell phone. Well, he's on the phone until he's shot. I guess that means he won't be needing his rollover minutes anymore.

The team does their usual sweep and what do they find besides chemical burns on Paul's fingers? Why, McGee's business card from eight years ago, of course! Our little Timmy was so excited about being picked to be on Team Gibbs way back when that you just know he forced his card on everyone he met. But Tim doesn't remember this guy.

Don't Call Me Grandma

The course of the investigation leads to McGee's grandmother. She's not your cookie baking/knitting/bridge club kind of grandma, either. This is a chick who organized sit-ins with Gloria Steinem and was one of the original riot girls. McGee's granny is an ex-hippie. Who knew? With Tim's ultra-strict military father, I would have pictured a demure, blue-haired proper lady who wore white gloves and never spoke unless spoken to.

Granny (excuse me, Penny) isn't terribly forthcoming with her grandson. Yes, she knew Booth. No, she's not going to disclose much more than that. She just wants McGee to run along and leave well enough alone. That is, until she's nearly mowed down by a car.

Telles Everything

Penny worked for an organization called Telles back in the late '60s on a project called The Annex Principle. Well, she did until she figured out that they were really creating a hybrid caterpillar that was part-insect, part-machine. What exactly were they smoking on their breaks when they came up with that one? Apparently the analysts on the project were somewhat lucid, because the project was billed as something that could change life as we know it. Being the good little rebel she was, Penny made plans to tell everything to the press. Great plan, except the Vietnam war ended and the project was scrapped.

Fast forward four decades, and the project is on again. Now Booth is on the project and he contacts Penny since she's one of the last surviving analysts. They plan to go to the press about the project and finish what Penny started decades earlier. The presumed-dead director of the original project isn't fond of that idea, seeing as how he's completely bonkers and thinks that mechanized caterpillars are a fantastic idea. McGee and company save the day before he can kill Penny, and all is well.

Family Ties

McGee opens up to his grandmother about how inadequate his overbearing, Great Santini-esque father has always made him feel. Penny assures him that his father loves him and it's time to reach out. Then Ducky picks her up for a date. How great would it be if Ducky ended up being McGee's step-grandfather? I'd pay money to hear the stories around that holiday table.

In the end, McGee calls his dad. It's been seven years since they've spoken. Will this end well? More importantly, who will play McGee's dad when we finally get to meet him?

Crystal Waters
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)