'NCIS' Recap: Mike Franks Returns
'NCIS' Recap: Mike Franks Returns
Kim Stempel
Kim Stempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Last week, NCIS showed the team struggling to move on after Ziva's departure. McGee lost his credentials but narrowly escaped an IG investigation by foiling a home-grown terrorist plot using Twitter.

This week's episode, called "Anonymous was a Woman," features Mike Franks, although I am not sure if we are experiencing him as a flashback or ghost. I will take him either way, as I just love his character!

Eye Spy with My Eye

NCIS opens with a pillow store owner who discovers blood leaking through his ceiling. He peers through an opening in the ceiling and spies an eye staring back.

At NCIS headquarters, McGee finds Jimmy snooping around Tony's desk, and Jimmy explains that he saw a hand-written note from Tony to a woman named Jessica. McGee lectures Jimmy on respecting one another's privacy. This mystery also tantalizes McGee until Tony comes up behind them and informs them that the note is none of their business. McGee is shocked to see a drawer filled with handwritten notes addressed to women. Tony tells McGee that the last few weeks have made him think about the people that you let into your life, or not let in.

Here Comes Ms. Polygraph

Tony and McGee are surprised when Susan, the polygraph examiner, arrives and tells them that Gibbs told her to go with them to the crime scene to collect evidence. The victim, Patricia Moreno, leased the apartment above the pillow store. Her face is disfigured, probably from acid. It turns out that Sargent Moreno died in Afghanistan three years earlier.

Tony and McGee learn that Susan is applying for a full-time position as a criminal investigator, and they do not like it one bit. Since Gibbs is conducting her review, Tony and McGee decide to not show how much she annoys them. What could possibly go wrong with that plan, I wonder?

Who Are You?

Tony theorizes that Sargent Moreno's military ID was taken and used by the murder victim to create a new identity. While McGee and Tony are busy trying to show how much they love Susan, Tony receives a hearty head slap from Gibbs. Oh, how I have missed that!

Tony and McGee tell Gibbs they don't want or need anyone else, and Gibbs assumes that they feel threatened. The victim was working as a maid in a motel, and the team theorizes that maybe she saw something that got her killed. Gibbs is furious and yells at them to find out the victim's real identity.

Abby has been hard at work in her lab, and tells McGee that the victim's necklace, a lapis lazuli, has some DNA evidence on it. Also of interest is the fact that lapis lazuli are mined almost exclusively in Afghanistan, and there is an inscription on the back which reads, "To Nadira." Abby also notices that the victim listed Leyla Shakarji, Mike Franks' daughter-in-law, as her emergency contact.

Link to Franks

Gibbs and Tony head to the playground to see Leyla and her daughter, Amira. The cute little girl asks if Gibbs is coming over again to play Twister. Leyla at first denies knowing the victim, then asks what happened. She finally admits that she met her a few times, and that Mike Franks introduced them and asked Leyla to look after her. Leyla claims that she never saw her again once Franks died.

During the car ride back to headquarters, Tony wonders aloud if Leyla is hiding something from them, or if the dead woman was Mike Franks' girlfriend. Tony concludes that is creepy, and is "almost as creepy as you playing Twister." Hilarious!

Flashback to Franks

Franks appears in a flashback from two years ago, visiting Gibbs in his basement. Franks has come to ask Gibbs for a favor. Franks calls to a teenage girl, named Elina, who speaks little English. He wants her to crash with Gibbs for a few days. Franks tells him not to ask him any questions, and reminds him that he always helps him out whenever he is asked. Gibbs is reluctant to get involved.

We later see Gibbs sitting with Elina in a car waiting for Mike Franks. Gibbs asks her where her parents are, and the young girl tells him that her parents sold her to an old man. Gibbs asks Franks about the fake ID for Elina, and Franks tells Gibbs that some former associates contacted him because they were helping to smuggle a 12 year-old Afghan girl into the country.

Gibbs tries to stop Franks, but he continues his story. He was only supposed to help with the one girl, but he joined forces with a group that runs women's shelters in Kabul. He helps relocate their toughest cases and helps get the girls fake ID's. He then asks Gibbs if he can authorize military transport from Kabul to El Salvador for six refugees. Gibbs struggles with this decision, and almost sends the paperwork before ripping it up.

Finding the Suspect

Meanwhile, Abby gets a hit on the DNA from the victim's necklace. It comes back to Farshad Sarabi, who emigrated from Afghanistan some years earlier. He also has a history of domestic violence, and works in an auto parts store, which would also use hydrofluoric acid.
Ducky and Palmer tell Gibbs that the victim died from the hydrofluoric acid, which can cause cardiac arrest in high doses. Ducky feels that it may be an honor killing. The victim has scars all over her body from brutal beatings.

Tell Me No Lies

Susan shocks Tony and McGee by telling them that she is interrogating Sarabi. They find a hit list at Sarabi's house with a list of Afghan women, and each name is linked to a dead service woman. Susan has some interesting interrogation techniques, such as applying make-up to anger the suspect. Sarabi finally admits that he is providing a service to families that have been shamed by the women who are hiding in the US under fake identities.

Gibbs talks to the liaison to the only UN women's rights group in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Gorman. Gibbs wants to know who is leaking the women's new identities, and he is heading there to find out. The only link between the names on the list is a woman's shelter outside Kabul.

The Noor Women's Shelter

Gibbs and McGee arrive in Afghanistan and go to the Noor Women's Shelter. It is run by Catherine Tavier. She identifies Nadira from the pictures, and McGee tells her that the other women on the list are in danger. Tavier admits to hearing, off the record, that Nadira was smuggled into the US and was using a false identity.

So who could have leaked the cover names? Tavier replies that only she and the girls there knew that information. When McGee is out of earshot, Tavier tells Gibbs that Mike Franks spoke very highly of him. McGee questions the girls at the shelter, with Gorman translating. 

Meanwhile, Tony and Susan bring in the other women on the hit list. Tony tells Gibbs and McGee that he called immigration, and Gibbs is a tad angry. He tells Tony to call DHS and request temporary asylum. Suddenly, a woman at NCIS headquarters sees her mother on the computer screen in Kabul. The daughter is in America, and the mother was to follow, but she has not been able to leave since Franks died.

Gibbs Disappoints Franks

Gibbs reflects once again on a meeting with Franks in his basement. Franks is furious that Gibbs didn't request the military transport. Gibbs is just as mad, telling him that he cannot support a human smuggling operation. He asks Mike how he can choose who to bring, and when will it all end?

Danger Moves In

Gorman gets a call that they need to leave the shelter because a group of locals is planning an attack for later that night. The girls have nowhere else to go, and Gibbs wants to stay until UN reinforcements arrive. The liaison stresses to Gibbs that they are prohibited from lending support in these dicey situations. Gibbs is staying, but sends McGee out with Gorman.

McGee also refuses to leave and calls Tony, asking him to find out if there is help in the area. The shelter is fired upon, and Gibbs has another flashback to when six women were killed at a Kabul shelter, and the only survivor was Catherine Tavier.

Stand Your Ground

Gibbs decides that the men outside are just bullies, and tells McGee to cover him. Gibbs stands menacingly in front of the shelter. One man approaches and tries to punch him, but Gibbs knocks him out. He shoots the makings of a Molotov cocktail out of another man's hands. A third attacker comes at him with a knife, and as they struggle the cavalry arrives. Gibbs saves the day, but what about tomorrow?

Tony and Susan later learn that one of the girls who had moved out of the shelter was intimidated into providing the cover names. Gibbs and McGee arrive back in the US with the girls from the shelter and Catherine Tavier. Tavier looks at Gibbs and tells him that Franks would be proud of him.

airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
Want to add NCIS and all your favorite shows to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.

(Image courtesy of CBS)