Last time on NCIS, a breach led the team to NSA analyst Ellie Bishop, who accurately predicted the breach years before it happened. While working with the team, Ellie helped catch the perpetrator, but she still has a lot to learn.

Gibbs saw something in Bishop and offered her a joint duty assignment.

This week’s NCIS episode, “The Devil’s Triad,” finds the joint ex-wife of both Gibbs and Fornell asking her exes for help locating her missing boyfriend.

Homicidal Clown Alert

The show begins with a young man being murdered by a creepy clown. I am no fan of clowns, so the fact that this is a homicidal clown doesn’t surprise me.

As Tony and McGee look on, Bishop is being buried in paperwork by Rhoda from human resources. Bishop survives that test, but also announces when Gibbs is coming up behind Tony and McGee, which aggravates the senior agents. The team has a dead Marine on its hands, and Gibbs tells the team to get the gear. Poor Bishop has no gear, so Gibbs tosses her the car keys.

Corporal Ron Flegman has been shot in the chest. The good news is Tony and Bishop speak with a witness, and Tony tells Gibbs that “Magic Fingers” has drawn a sketch of the suspect. Bishop presents the sketch of a clown to Gibbs, but he isn’t interested in hearing her amusing explanation of the sketch. He instead tells Tony to check the permits of all the street performers, and clowns, on the block.

Ducky arrives and asks Bishop if she would like to look at the victim’s wounds. She gamely checks it out and asks him if he can tell the bullet’s trajectory from it. It seems Bishop is fitting in nicely.

The Adams Hotel

Flegman has a second cell phone with a bunch of missed calls from around the time of the shooting. Tony recognizes the number as the Adams Hotel. Gibbs turns the crime scene over to McGee and heads to the hotel with Tony. They are able to trace the calls to a specific hotel room, and the manager gives Tony the key. They enter and find Gibbs’ ex-wife, Diane, sprawled across the bed. So who is her suitor? A towel-clad Agent Fornell emerges from the bathroom to Gibbs’, and Tony’s, horror. Hilarious!

Gibbs doesn’t want to hear the details, but Tony wants to hear all about it. Fornell tells Gibbs that their affair just sort of happened, and that they were keeping it a secret because of their 13-year-old daughter, Emily. Gibbs is not pleased because Diane is married, but she wastes no time telling him that she and her husband, Victor, are separated.

Fornell is shocked when he finds out the reason that Gibbs and Tony are there, and he maintains that he didn’t call anyone. He may not have, but Gibbs knows who did — Diane. It turns out that she was calling her boyfriend, Eddie Macklin, to break it off. She is certainly a busy lady!

Bishop Explains the Case

Fornell is furious, and Diane doesn’t know who Flegman is or why he had Eddie’s cell phone. Back at NCIS headquarters, Tony and McGee explain the complicated situation to Bishop. McGee even finds it hard to believe that the same woman would be attracted to both Eddie and Fornell. Bishop sees Fornell come up behind them, but she doesn’t warn McGee this time.

Bishop gets to do the run-down, and she is excited. Macklin has no credit history prior to six months ago. An agitated Fornell insists on going with Gibbs to see Macklin, reminding him that Gibbs shot him “in the caboose.”

Emily Returns

At the climbing gym where Macklin works, owner Elijah Banner mentions that Macklin missed a lesson that morning, and it was with Flegman. When Fornell tries to drop Gibbs off, he asks Gibbs if he is making another mistake with Diane. Gibbs doesn’t want any part of this uncomfortable chat and tells Fornell to do whatever makes him happy.

Gibbs goes into his house and finds Emily, Diane and Fornell’s daughter, in his home. She doesn’t want her parents back together. Poor Gibbs. He is having quite a day.

Text Time

Gibbs brings Emily to NCIS the next morning. She is angling to spend another night at Uncle Gibbs’ house. Emily confront her parents about their supposed secret relationship and lets them know she installed a keystroke logger on their Facebook accounts.

Abby bolts into the room and tells Gibbs that there are racy texts from Macklin to Diane. It is unfortunate that Abby doesn’t notice Diane, Fornell and their daughter standing there. Fornell runs toward the lab, followed by Diane and Abby.

Tony is enjoying reading the texts until Fornell interrupts him, and Diane threatens him.
Abby remotely turns off the computer before Fornell can read any of the incriminating texts. Abby tells Gibbs that Macklin sent some texts regarding a safe deposit box to a burn phone. Gibbs wants Diane to come to the bank with him to identify her boyfriend on the security tapes.

Mr. Advice

While waiting for the footage, Diane blames Gibbs for her recent romantic troubles since she had to care for Fornell after he shot him. She also wants her ex-husband’s opinion about whether they are making a mistake. Gibbs asks her what she is looking for, and she replies that she wants to wake up in the morning next to someone she loves.

Security Secrets

The bank manager brings in the box and security footage. Macklin had visited the box several times in the previous weeks, but it is empty now except for some paper. Diane is shocked to see Macklin on the security tape kissing another woman, and she is not a happy camper.

Meanwhile, Bishop goes to the morgue and asks Ducky for help, becoming more familiar with dead people. She also took the liberty of reading up on autopsies over the weekend, and manages to jump in with answers while Ducky and Palmer are trying to explain about Flegman’s condition.

Tony also brings Bishop a cupcake because her BOLO has located Macklin’s car. Her elation is short-lived when she has to take a polygraph exam.

Wrong Number

Fornell joins Abby and McGee in the garage to take a peek at Macklin’s car, which was found in long-term parking. There was a clown nose in the trunk and traces of blood from five people in the car. Fornell laughs when he realizes that Diane’s ex-boyfriend is a possible serial killer.
Tony and McGee brief Gibbs, and the clowns in the area all had alibis, which just leaves Macklin as a suspect. 

Gibbs is tired of fielding calls from Fornell and Diane, so he does the only sensible thing and puts his cell in his coffee cup.

Gibbs wants to put photos of Macklin in bus and train stations, but Bishop has a better idea. She thinks they should put Macklin’s car back at the airport, watch it and follow him when he goes to retrieve it. McGee and Tony are shocked when Gibbs agrees with Bishop’s plan.

Gibbs tries to grab some lunch at his house when he hears footsteps. Diane is looking for Emily, and Gibbs sends her home. He opens the closet door and helps Emily out. She desperately wants him to convince her parents to break up.

Secret Identities

Macklin picks up his car and drives all night before disappearing inside a storage unit. The team moves in and finds an abundance of masks, tools and handcuffs. They also see Macklin approaching, and the suspect flees. He gets away from Tony by climbing up to the roof, where Fornell punches him in the face.

Gibbs and Fornell interrogate Macklin, and Fornell blurts out that the suspect slept with his wife. When they ask Macklin why he had money hidden in the storage unit, he tells them he needs to leave town. Macklin gets up to leave, but an envelope slipped under the door states that the blood in his car is a match to a quadruple homicide. The suspect responds that his car is from a police impound.

Eddie Macklin’s real identity is Special Agent Edward McKenzie. He works for the Secret Service and is working on a classified assignment. Money from bank robberies is being run through the gym by the owner and his girlfriend, who is the mystery woman that Eddie was seen kissing on the surveillance tape. He was casing the bank at Banner’s request.

Flegman was the thieves’ getaway driver, but Banner thought that he was stealing money. Banner’s girlfriend happens to be a clown for children’s parties, and Eddie knows that Banner is too careful to commit a murder personally. He wants to put the money back and get back undercover before Banner finds out that it is gone.

Male Bonding

Diane barges in, and Eddie is unhappy that she was sleeping with Fornell while they were dating. No one is happy about this “overlap period.” When she asks why they are all buddies now, Gibbs responds that “They are thinking of starting a club.” What an awesome quote. I love it!

Eddie finds out his fears are confirmed when Banner calls him on his cell. He tells the agent that he knows that he got pinched and asks to speak with Fornell. Banner wants his money back in exchange for Emily, who he has kidnapped. Emily manages to tell her father that she is in a white van before Banner hangs up. When Banner’s girlfriend is found dead, the team fears that Banner is becoming desperate.
Bishop Makes a Play

The gym owner calls Fornell and tells him to send Bishop, alone, with the money. Once he has it, he will give Fornell Emily’s location. Banner jogs up to Bishop and takes the money. He gives her a phone and tells her he will call with Emily’s location. Bishop opens the phone to try and find out where the cell has been. She tries to assess what the suspect will do next when he doesn’t call. She spots a blue van that is being towed away and finds Emily inside.

The NCIS team surrounds Banner at a gas station. Emily had stashed her “Happy Cat” watch in Banner’s backpack. When Banner says that he should have killed Emily, Fornell punches him.

Gibbs trudges home and discovers Fornell and Diane sitting at his table with the gift that keeps on giving — alcohol. They wants Gibbs’ blessing to try again; he doesn’t respond.

I love the humor in this NCIS episode, and I love seeing Gibbs show his paternal side.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Kim Stempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Kim has been covering television entertainment since 2013. She is addicted to Real Housewives, Pump Rules, Dancing with the Stars, and many more shows.