'NCIS' Recap: Don't Mess with a 'Missionary'
'NCIS' Recap:  Don't Mess with a 'Missionary'
Cartels are back in vogue as the chic, multi-episode NCIS foe. The change for this season is now they're Colombian instead of Mexican. Also, DiNozzo has gravitas and Palmer has a sense of irony. Who knew?

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Falling for You

This week's victim is a Marine First Lieutenant who falls from the sky. According to Ducky, the poor guy was beaten, stabbed and shot before being thrown alive from a passing plane. That description just reminds me of John McClane in all of the 'Die Hard' movies. Except Bruce Willis would have miraculously grabbed onto a passing weather balloon and landed safely in a swimming pool in that situation.

Decisions, Decisions

Meanwhile, Palmer shows up to work looking like a flasher from a bad 50s school filmstrip titled, 'Stranger Danger.' Luckily (?) his trenchcoat is hiding a hideous blue and red ruffled tuxedo. Having his wedding in South Florida has apparently given Palmer license to be kitschy with the wardrobe. Now he just needs to decide on a best man. Except he decides that a best woman is the better choice, and an elated Abby accepts Palmer's request to stand up for him at his wedding. I only hope we get a glimpse of the bachelor party!

The team's investigation leads them to a missing Navy chaplain the victim was working with on a humanitarian mission in Colombia. Chaplain Maria is a friend of the missing Chaplain Theresa and is anxious to find her. Luckily, Ziva has a friend named Monique in Colombia who's ex-Interpol and willing to help. Even though Ziva wants to fly solo to Colombia to get some intel and some bonding time with her friend, Gibbs decides to send Chaplain Maria and Tony along. Hey, Tony's degree is in Spanish, right? He's bound to be useful.

Goin' South

While in Colombia, the team finds out from Gibbs that the missing Chaplain was unknowingly involved in a CIA op to gather DNA in order to track drug cartel members. The poor woman thought she was just vaccinating villagers, which is the job Chaplain Maria was supposed to have before switching with the missing Chaplain so Maria could visit her ailing father. Guilt is the universal motivator. Tony advises Maria to not let her sense of responsibility in the situation weigh her down. After all, he lives with guilt like that every day. A whole scene of Tony being sensitive and gentle makes me think he's becoming more like Gibbs all the time.

Ziva and Monique track down the CIA agents involved in the op and (ahem) politely convince them to help rescue the missing Chaplain. After watching an explosion on the MTAC monitor, Gibbs and McGee are advised that the Chaplain is safe and they're on their way home.

Like a Bad Penny

Dr. Ryan is back, sticking her nose into everything Gibbs does. I don't know why Gibbs keeps her around, because she has a ton of information on every NCIS case she's involved in and never tells Gibbs the whole story even when he point blank asks for it. What's the appeal in that? He'd never let a member of his team get away with that. She's earned more than a few Gibbs slaps in my estimation.

Of course, there's a reason for her to be snooping around that goes beyond finding Gibbs irresistible. The good doctor has a history with Monique and was hoping to have a little chat with her. Too bad Monique stayed in Colombia.

This episode is clearly a set-up for the final story arc of the season. Here's hoping that the end of the season sees the end of Dr. Ryan. Since NCIS has a history of bringing on annoying female characters to finish a season and then not bringing them back, it's possible.

Crystal Waters
Contributing Writer

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

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