'NCIS' Recap: Tony Flashes Back to Baltimore
'NCIS' Recap: Tony Flashes Back to Baltimore
Kim Stempel
Kim Stempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Last week, NCIS fans saw the return of Mike Franks -- well, in flashbacks, at least. Gibbs and McGee went to Afghanistan and Gibbs returned with some Afghani women he rescued from the Noor Women's Shelter, along with the attractive head of the shelter, Catherine Tavier. The women's lives were in danger, and he refused to leave them behind. Gibbs may have some explaining to do!

This week's NCIS episode, titled "Once a Crook," features Tony reflecting on his days in the Baltimore police department when he sees a suspect from an old case at a crime scene.

Shot in the Back

The show opens with a man running through the woods. When he finally reaches the road and heads to a parked car, he is shot from behind.

McGee is concerned when he finds Tony busy at work at seven in the morning. Actually, Tony hasn't slept for a few days and is starting to fall apart. He drops a stack of folders on the floor, then bangs his head on his desk when Gibbs appears to tell him that they have a dead sailor outside of Baltimore.

Tony laughs off McGee's concern for his well-being while swigging an energy drink at the crime scene. Ducky tells Gibbs that the victim, First Class Petty Officer Wells, was shot once in the back and has marks on his body from running through the woods. Wells was a crypto tech who recently returned from Afghanistan. McGee heads off to check out the Rollins Hotel, since the victim had a key card in his wallet.

I Know You

Tony checks out the crowd and notices that one person stands out -- a man in a green hoodie and work boots. When Tony tells Gibbs, the man is gone. Gibbs orders Tony to find him. He sees him walking into the woods and yells, "I know you!" before pursuing the mysterious man. The guy in the hoodie disappears once again. Tony tells Gibbs he is starting to see things. On the bright side, he finds some Choward's scented gum on the ground.

The pack of gum causes Tony to remember back 15 years earlier when he was a cop in Baltimore. Tony looks good in a uniform He is talking to a teenager who has the same type of gum and a bag of high-end cell phones, which he is supposedly holding for a friend. Tony lets the teen, Anton Markin, know that he is facing prison time if he doesn't give up the name of his friend who was involved in the truck hijacking.

Dear Delilah

Tony is terrified when he sees Delilah sitting at Ziva's desk, and she teases him that she is joining the NCIS team. It turns out that the Department of Defense sent her over because Wells had a high-level security clearance and had access to important encryption codes.
Abby now has custody of the computer, and Delilah would like it back. Abby is not one of Delilah's biggest fans and is miffed that Delilah told her that she could not log on. Woe to anyone who angers Abby, so she decides to take the computer apart instead. She finds spyware and informs Gibbs that they are dealing with espionage.

The Doctor Will See You Now

Meanwhile, Tony pulls up an autopsy table and has a chat with Ducky. Tony says that he has been having trouble sleeping since Ziva left. He fears that he is hallucinating and wonders why a pack of gum has caused him to recall a case from 15 years ago.

Wells received dozen of calls in the last few days from Amy Linden, who is a private defense contractor. Guess who also paid for Wells hotel and travel expenses? Amy Linden, of course!  She also works for Chinese technology firms. McGee theorizes that Linden is Wells' handler.

Tony once again drifts off in thought, until Gibbs drops a book on his desk and startles him. Gibbs is starting to lose patience and tells Tony to get his act together.

A Blast from the Past

Tony receives a call from Abby, asking if Delilah is in the office. When Tony tells her that she isn't, Abby pops up bearing the gift of a DNA hit from the gum. It traces back to a fugitive who is wanted for stabbing a Russian mobster several years ago in Baltimore.

When Tony looks at the photo, he flashes back to bringing the same teenager back to his sparsely furnished apartment. Tony lets Anton know that he is aware that his friend's father from the truck robbery is Ivan Khartov. It seems that Ivan is in charge of organized crime in east Baltimore. Tony lets Anton know that the truck driver was killed by his friend and Ivan's son, Viktor. Anton finally admits that he was there that night didn't know that Viktor was going to kill the truck driver. Tony states that Anton has to solve this problem.

Old Haunts

Tony heads to his old address. The building is unoccupied, and Tony enters, finding a sleeping bag on the floor. Anton comes out from the shadows and aims a gun at him. When Anton remarks that he didn't kill the guy, Tony asks if he means the man he stabbed 15 years ago or the sailor from last night?

Anton denies killing the sailor, and Tony wonders why Anton was at the crime scene. Anton warns Tony to leave him alone and demands the NCIS agent's gun. Tony refuses to hand it over and wants to know why Anton is back in Baltimore, and if he has been to see his sister, Marie. 

Anton's patience is wearing thin, and he orders Tony to turn around and get on his knees. Anton feels that Tony used him to make detective, and that his life has been wasted living underground. In a flash, Anton runs off when he cannot pull the trigger. Tony chases him and is nearly run over by a car. Anton disappears once again.

Secret Codes

Amy Linden denies knowing Wells (surprise), but when she sees a photo from the hotel security footage, she fesses up to trying to recruit Wells for a tech company. Gibbs is subjected to a freaked-out Abby, who is sharing the lab with Delilah. Delilah is ready to blow the case open with a strange code from Wells' computer. Unfortunately, it is his fantasy football teams.

Where is Marie Markin?

Tony asks McGee for the current address of Marie Markin and asks him not to tell Gibbs. This may be a tad difficult since Gibbs is standing over McGee's desk waiting for him. That's a bit awkward. Later, McGee calls Tony back and tells him that Marie works at Rankoff's Bakery. A stealthy Gibbs is standing behind McGee and asks about Marie Markin.

Anton and Marie

Once again, we are in the past when Tony enters the bakery seeking Anton Markin. He meets Anton's sister, who tells him that he needs to do right by her brother.

In the present day, Tony asks the bakery worker for Marie's address. He goes there and discovers the door open. It looks like there has been a struggle, and Tony hears footsteps upstairs. So who comes down the stairs? Gibbs!

It turns out that the attack on Wells started in Marie's apartment. Wells served with Marie's husband, Marine Sargent Randy Hollister, who died a few weeks earlier in Afghanistan. Gibbs thinks that Wells came to pay his respects. Tony finally explains how Anton was his informant, who ended up killing a guy in the Russian mob and then running away. Tony believes that Anton did not kill Wells, but he also wants to bring him to justice for the murder he did commit.

Smuggler's Blues

The NCIS team finds Marie's necklace in the basement, and Gibbs finds a hidden room filled with the computers -- the same type that Wells had. Abby and Delilah work together and discover that the spyware on the laptops is American and belongs to US Customs, who have been monitoring a computer smuggling ring. Hollister and his partner, Jake Spoke, were smuggling the computers. Spoke had been held on an outstanding warrant, but was recently released from prison.

Tony is back on the beat again in his memory and recalls coming home one night to find Anton hiding in his apartment. Anton lets Tony know that Viktor knows he is an informant. Tony tells him that he won't let him down. Tony talks with Gibbs and confesses that he couldn't pull the trigger on Anton and that he was wrong to trust him. He also mentions that no one will speak Ziva's name, as if she is dead.

Gibbs, Tony and McGee find Anton holding Spoke at gunpoint. Tony convinces him to put down the gun. Spoke tells Gibbs that Marie is unaware of the computer smuggling ring, and he refuses to reveal who he works for.

Coming Home

Tony explains to Anton that because he killed Ivan Khartov's son, the murder of Wells and abduction of Marie are all about revenge. Anton finally tells Tony how he was picked up at Tony's apartment by Viktor and didn't have a chance to call for help. Anton came back to Baltimore for his brother-in-law's funeral.

Tony confronts the bakery owner about telling Ivan that Anton was working with the police. When he knew that Anton was coming to the funeral, he sent men to watch Marie's house. Petty Officer Wells was killed because of a case of mistaken identity. Tony apologizes to Anton about how things turned out and brings Marie in to see him before he goes to jail.

This NCIS episode is interesting because of the integration of the flashbacks. I also think that Abby and Delilah will be best friends in no time.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS   .
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(Image courtesy of CBS)