'NCIS' Recap: Somebody's 'Playing with Fire'
'NCIS' Recap: Somebody's 'Playing with Fire'
This episode of NCIS picks up exactly where the last one left off. But what happens after the explosion on the U.S.S. Brewer could have an impact on the entire country.

Burning Up

We open on the same explosion that ended the previous episode. The bomber is identified as Tobey Abbott, a civilian who lobbied his boss at a turbine company to take a normal work assignment on the Brewer. Apparently, Abbott got rejected by the Navy twice, so he might have an ax to grind with them. Too bad he didn't realize that the drums next to the breaker where he set the fire contained flammable liquid and blew himself up instead of sinking the ship. The worst part of the whole thing is that poor First Lieutenant Eric Ramsey was killed not by the fire, but by hitting his head as a result of the blast. Dropping his cell phone onto the deck below cost Ramsey his life.

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It's Korean to Me

Abby finds Korean characters on some shredded documents recovered from Johnson's house (the Johnson who went kaboom in his driveway in the last episode). When the team finds a letter with the same types of characters in Abbott's bunk, Abby and McGee decrypt the gibberish to find instructions on how to plant the thermite device so it does maximum damage.

Meanwhile, something's weighing heavy on Ducky's mind. He pays a visit to Gibbs and admits that after his mother passed away and he made a few real estate transactions, he wound up with more money than he'll ever need. He didn't say anything because he didn't want to be treated differently. But he wants Gibbs to know because he'd be the perfect executor of Ducky's estate. Not that Ducky's going anywhere (that we know of).

Burley's Back

Special Agent Burley (Tony's predecessor on Gibbs' team) is back via MTAC. After the entire fleet is notified about the arson danger, Burley reports from Italy that an explosive device containing thermite was found on the nuclear aircraft carrier Benjamin Franklin. Since those two things don't mix, Tony and Ziva are dispatched to Naples to find out which of the thousands of souls aboard the ship is responsible.

After a surprisingly brief stakeout, Burley, Tony and Ziva capture Andre Fullerton, a tech rep for an avionics firm. Although Burley is injured in the scuffle, he'll be alright after a little R&R. In response to being seriously threatened with Gitmo, Fullerton gives up the name of the person who contracted him. Gibbs instructs Tony to put Fullerton on suicide watch so he makes it back to stand trial. Over the years we've learned Gibbs' hot button issues, and terrorism is right up there with threatening his family.

New Number One

After finding out that Harper Dearing, CEO of Dorado Hills Investments is the mastermind behind the firestorms, Gibbs promptly places Dearing's picture over Osama bin Laden's on the Most Wanted Wall. Poetic timing, given that today is the anniversary of bin Laden's death. I figured we'd see Gibbs or Tony put that red sash over Enemy Number One's picture. Interesting that instead of showing the victory, they show the successor.

Although not a wholly stand-alone episode, this installment sets the scene for a showdown between Gibbs and Dearing in the finale. Judging from the previews for next week, Dearing is targeting Gibbs. What is it about the silver fox that makes all the bad guys think they can take him?

Crystal Waters
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)



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