Last time on NCIS, we watched Gibbs bond with a wounded fellow sniper and also saw Gibbs back in action as a sniper himself. It was also the show’s 300th episode and featured a performance from the real MusiCorps Band, which was very cool.
This episode of NCIS, titled “Reasonable Doubts,” sees the team investigating a rather confusing murder when the victim’s wife and mistress each accuse the other of the dastardly deed. We also continue the countdown to Tony DiNozzo’s exit. Sigh. Well, at least we can look forward to Tony doing some bonding with Anthony DiNizzo, Sr. (Robert Wagner) during this episode.
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McGee is puzzled when his phone calls himself. McGee grabbed Delilah’s phone by mistake, but he is worried that she might find out about his engagement ring shopping. Gibbs arrives with DiNozzo, Sr. who comes in and wants to volunteer to help the unit. Tony’s father needs “a project,” so Gibbs asks Senior to help him with the boat in his basement.
A woman, JoAnn Allman, flags down a police car and tells the officer that a woman shot her own husband. The alarm company arrives after receiving a call from the wife, Angelina Jennings, who is barricaded in the bathroom inside the house, stating that another woman shot her husband. Yikes!
Gibbs and the team arrive and are surprised to learn that each woman saw the other one shoot the victim. Gibbs orders both women to be tested for gunshot residue. The victim has one gunshot wound to the head and one to the chest. Ducky surmises that the man, Laurence Jennings, was sitting in his chair and turned around to face his attacker. Jennings was a civilian writer for various Navy publications and had lived in Pax River for the last two years. His wife, Angelina, is unemployed. Jennings’ mistress, who received a law degree from an unaccredited university, had her license to practice law suspended recently. I have a theory: could each of the women have shot the victim once? Anyway, Tony offers to interview the mistress, and Bishop decides to chat with Angelina Jennings.
Truth or Consequences
Angelina admits to Bishop that she had been living at a hotel for the past couple of days because her suspicions that her husband was cheating on her were confirmed. She claims that Jennings called her that morning at the hotel and apologized and promised that he would end his relationship with his mistress. When Angelina arrived, JoAnn was already at the house. JoAnn was reportedly furious and shot Jennings because if she couldn’t have him, then nobody would.
Meanwhile, JoAnn tells Tony that she received a call that morning from Jennings telling her that he had told his wife, that she wasn’t handling the news very well and she had been making threats. According to JoAnn’s version of events, she heard a gunshot when she arrived and found Angelina pointing a gun at Jennings. After shooting her husband, Angelina held the gun on JoAnn. The only part of the women’s stories that seem to agree are that they struggled over the gun, it went off and then each got away.
Father and Son Lunch Date
In autopsy, Ducky explains to Gibbs that the shot to the chest resulted in Jennings’ death. The gunshot to the victim’s head was fired at very close range, and the murder weapon was Jennings’ gun. Abby is overwhelmed and not her usual cheery self while she processes all the evidence. The murder weapon has Jennings’ fingerprints, along with the fingerprints of both suspects. Well, that was helpful.
Tony and his father enjoy their usual Tuesday lunch date. As they are leaving, a disheveled young homeless women takes Senior’s arm and addresses him as “Dad.” Tony makes a joke about a secret sister then gives the woman some money to buy something to eat. Senior looks startled and concerned.
The team is split on who they think is the actual murderer. Bishop thinks it’s the wife, while Tony is sure it’s the mistress. McGee has no opinion yet, but cell phone records show that both women were telling the truth about their whereabouts before going to Jennings’ house. Bishop adds that neighbors think Jennings was a nice guy and that his wife constantly scolded him. Both women have gunshot residue on their hands, but that could be because they struggled for the gun. Or could it be that each lady shot Jennings once?
Building a Boat
That night in Gibbs’ basement, Senior confides in Gibbs about the homeless woman. He feels terrible that he walked away when she seemed so lost and vulnerable. Senior also explains that having a daughter that age could be possible. Gibbs suggests that Senior find the woman as his new project.
The next morning, Tony’s father arrives at his son’s apartment bright and early, with the homeless woman in tow. Senior explains to a bewildered Tony that Susan can’t even remember her last name, but she sits down and plays some beautiful music on Tony’s piano. She smiles at Senior and tells him that he made her take lessons. When Susan’s old shopping cart and belongings go crashing to the floor when Senior tries to locate some identification, Tony is doing a slow burn and lectures his father about why bringing a homeless person to his apartment is not a great idea.
Bishop asks McGee why he was worried about Delilah getting his calls. Are they having problems? McGee shyly explains that he is expecting a call from a jeweler. I, for one, am thrilled that he is going to pop the question.
Gibbs is more concerned about the case, so McGee goes over the victim’s financial history. Jennings lived paycheck to paycheck, until last year when he made a deposit of over $500,000 in two different accounts at different banks. Not only do they not know where the money came from, they also don’t know where it went since both accounts were emptied. Gibbs thinks that money could be the motivation for murder.
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Desperately Trying to Help Susan
Tony gave his father the name of a shelter and booked them an Uber. At the shelter, the director tells Senior that Susan obviously needs medical attention. If Susan gives her permission, they can fingerprint her and try to get her full name and attempt to get her past medical history. Senior agrees and wants to take the prints with him. Senior has Abby run the prints, and she gets a hit. The young woman is Susan Elizabeth Lowe, and she was an Army Corporal. Senior gives Abby a big hug and kiss for helping him out.
Gibbs and McGee go to talk to Lieutenant Paul, who worked with Jennings. Paul states that Jennings was well-liked at work. As far as his troubles at home, Paul thought that his marital issues would improve after he won the lottery this past year. He went to see a lawyer, JoAnn Allman, for advice. Yes, money is looking like the motive for murder in this case.
Bishop has some results from a forensic accountant. Angelina developed a serious online shopping addiction that ate away her husband’s winnings. She also accumulated a large amount of debt. Tony still thinks that JoAnn, the mistress, is guilty since she was given several expensive plastic surgery procedures from Jennings. Jennings cut off monetary support to both women recently. Jennings also had a $2 million life insurance policy. Gibbs decides that they will ask each woman to take a polygraph test to determine who is lying. While neither woman wins a prize for total honesty, both were telling the truth when they said that they didn’t kill Jennings.
A Dire Diagnosis
Senior goes back to the shelter with the new information about Susan. She was given an exam, but when the physician went to speak with another doctor, Susan left. The shelter director tells Senior that the physician believes Susan has a brain tumor. Senior is horrified and sets out to find Susan again.
Senior goes to see Tony after searching for Susan. He can’t find her and admits that helping Susan may be making amends for the times that he wasn’t there for Tony. Tony, seeing how much Susan affected his father, did some research on her. Senior isn’t really her father, and Tony decides that he and his father will go to Susan’s last known address in the morning. I love it when a DiNozzo plan comes together!
This dynamic duo finds a building manager who remembers Susan. She lost her job, and the manager paid for her rent for a couple of months. Susan planned to try and reconnect with her father, as they became estranged after her mother’s death. Her father was unable to accept the fact that Susan is gay. The DiNozzos walk to the park where Susan liked to feed the pigeons, and they find her, barely conscious on a bench. Tony calls an ambulance while Senior comforts the ill woman.
Comfort and Grace
Abby finds some mystery fibers in one of the victim’s gunshot wounds. It is from an electric blanket, but there wasn’t one found at the crime scene. Ducky confirms that if the body was warmed, it would make the cause of death seem two hours later. Gibbs has a hunch and asks McGee to see if anything was deleted off of Jennings’ laptop that he can resurrect.
Palmer swabs under Jennings’ fingernails and finds gunshot residue. McGee also finds one document that was deleted off Jennings’ computer — a suicide note. The head wound was self-inflicted, while one of the women shot him in the chest to make it look like a homicide. His life insurance had a non-suicide clause.
Gibbs, Bishop and McGee bring both Angelina and JoAnn to the Jennings’ home. Angelina finally tells Gibbs that JoAnn wanted one-half of the insurance money when they concocted the crazy plan. Both women are arrested for insurance fraud.
At the hospital, Senior finds out that Susan’s brain tumor is inoperable and she doesn’t have much time left. Senior decides to pretend to be her father to comfort the dying woman, while Tony watches quietly from a doorway.
I really liked this episode of NCIS, especially the part with Senior and Tony. It is a very moving episode, and I love how Senior pretended to be Susan’s father.
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)