This episode of NCIS
is a somber one, in honor of Veterans Day. It definitely made me stop and realize what our men and women in uniform sacrifice for us.
A military plane carrying three caskets is in distress. Is it foul play? No, it's a simple bird strike. It seems so senseless that a plane can go down because of birds getting sucked into an engine, but Sully Sullenberger can tell you a thing or two about how to handle the situation. Apparently this pilot didn't read Highest Duty, because that landing's not so successful and all but one of the crew members perish in the crash.
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Apparently it's standard to positively identify the remains on board as well as the newly deceased, even though the debris field is pretty large. Lt. Gabriela Flores was one of the bodies in the casket, or at least she was supposed to be. No DNA matches are found. In fact, there were only two bodies even though there were three caskets. So what happened to her? She supposedly died in a terrorist attack on a girls' school she was helping to build (a no-no in Afghanistan). Is she still out there somewhere? All that matters is that no Marine gets left behind, so the search is on.
Self-Reflection, No Mirror Required
The gravity of this particular case is affecting everyone, even Tony. He's making a bucket list that includes figuring out the secret of life, riding in a motorcycle ball of death, and dating a Bond girl and/or Miss Universe. Leave it to Tony to add his own little spin while keeping it respectful. Although it's pretty cool of him to want to experience a Wonder of the World (besides Gibbs).
Gibbs is walking down Memory Lane an awful lot these days. First he's dreaming about Shannon telling him to let her go, then he's lost in thoughts of a female cadet from his Marine Corps days. This week's episode is clearly about Leroy Jethro and his sense of responsibility to everyone who wears a Marine uniform. The fact that Flores' father is in so much distress only adds to Gibbs' resolve. He knows what it's like to lose a daughter.
The task at hand weighs heavy on Gibbs. It's almost like he's physically carrying the burden around with him. He needs to find out what happened to Flores, to bring closure to her loved ones. His determination to do the right thing is almost palpable. We've always known that Gibbs took his military career seriously, but we've only seen glimpses of that part of his life. What other burdens does he carry besides the loss of his wife and daughter?
Still Looking for Answers
By zooming out on satellite footage of the attack, Gibbs discovers that Flores escaped the attack along with two children. Unfortunately, they were captured by insurgents and could be anywhere by now. The top brass has told Gibbs to find Flores, no matter what. Looks like there's a little bit of a plane trip in store for Gibbs. What will he find in Part 2?
(Image courtesy of CBS)