'NCIS': What Led to a Hallmark Moment for Torres in 'M.I.A.'
'NCIS': What Led to a Hallmark Moment for Torres in 'M.I.A.'
Meredith Jacobs
Meredith Jacobs
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The case in NCIS' "M.I.A." was brought to the team by Gibbs' friend, whose daughter had advanced stage four ovarian cancer. One of her sailors' deaths had been ruled an accident, but she wanted them to investigate further. That wasn't all she brought to the team, however, as her presence also reminded Torres of someone he knew.

Here's how "M.I.A." revealed Torres' tragic past and ended with a Hallmark moment.

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Torres Was Clearly Uncomfortable Visiting Laura in the Hospital

NCIS 1418 Torres.jpgWhen he and Bishop went to ask her questions for the case, he walked around the room, looked out the window and didn't really look at her.

Torres Was Distracted at Work

He was staring at the photo of himself on his desk when Bishop tried to get his attention, and she noted that she'd been talking to him for five minutes. Yes, he heard her, but he made it a point to deflect when she asked why he'd been acting weird all day.

Gibbs Refused to Let Torres Push Laura's Protection Detail off on Bishop

"That's not gonna work for me," Torres said. "I'm not a hospital guy." He suggested Bishop watch over Laura instead, but Gibbs refused, instead asking, "There a problem?" "You know there is," Torres told him. "But that's the point, isn't it?"

Laura Saw Right Through Torres and Knew Why He Kept His Distance from Her

NCIS 1418 Laura.jpgWhen his uncomfortable behavior around her continued -- he barely said 10 words to her in the hours he'd been there -- she called him out on it. "Ever since I was diagnosed, I can tell a lot about people by the way they interact with me," she explained. Most people shower her with sympathy or pity or put on a brave face and try and keep her spirits up. Then there are the ones, like him, who do everything they can to keep their distance. "They're the ones who've been through the pain of losing someone they loved to cancer," she knew. "They don't want to be reminded of it, so they avoid me." She was obviously right, but he just told her he wasn't there to recreate a Hallmark moment with her.

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Torres Found out Laura Was Turned Down for an Experimental Treatment Program

Ducky had put a good word in with a colleague running it, as the program could have extended her life expectancy by years. However, her father told Torres that her cancer had spread too far for the treatment to be effective -- and she found out before Nick showed up for the protection detail. She was going to die.

Torres Revealed That Laura Reminded Him of His Past

After she apologized if she offended him, he opened up to her. "I don't like clutter in my workspace," he admitted, and while she had been expecting something deeper, he was getting there. "I'm a minimalist," he explained. "Nothing personal. Except for this photo frame that I keep on my desk and I've kept it with me for years." It's a photo of him at 19, but it's not the photo that's important. It's who took it: Sofia, a good friend of his.

"We were inseparable since we were five," he shared. "I remember this one time when we were in high school. We're in the cafeteria, and I looked at her. In that moment, I knew. I just knew that this girl was gonna be my wife. I just knew that we were gonna get married. Never been more sure about anything in my life." She was diagnosed their senior year, and she was determined to beat it, never gave up hope, even though none of the treatments worked. He believed too, so when he got the call, he wasn't ready.

"So, you were right. Seeing you was a reminder of everything that happened. And I didn't want to be reminded. I was an ass. I'm sorry," he apologized to Laura.

Torres Did Recreate a Hallmark Moment with Laura

NCIS 1418 Hallmark moment.jpgShe gave him her surface warfare pin. She wanted him to have it for the same reason Sofia gave him the photo. "It wasn't about giving you something to remember her by," she said. "It was her way of saying she'll remember you, too." He did have a stipulation, however. "No matter how little time the doctors say you have, you keep fighting, every day for the next day and the next and the next." She agreed, offering up her own stipulation in exchange: "When you look at that pin, I don't want it to remind you of some girl who died. I want it to remind you of someone you helped. Because you did, Nick."

NCIS season 14 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our NCIS Facebook page.

(Images courtesy of CBS)