When better to go undercover as a married couple than after ruining an anniversary? (Answer: anytime.) That’s what happens in this episode of NCIS, “Incognito,” as McGee and Bishop go undercover to spy on possible murderers after he accidentally ruins her plans to surprise Jake for their anniversary.

The team is on the case when a Marine who had called Gibbs to discuss a potential case is found dead, and even though at first glance it looks like it was just an accidental fall during an evening jog, it turns out he was murdered. Meanwhile, Tony decides to look into his family’s history, but is he going to like what he uncovers?

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NCIS Agent Wannabe

A couple years ago, the team worked and solved a case with Major Newton, but he was convinced that there was someone else in involved. However, no leads have panned out, and when he calls Gibbs to meet up, Tony is convinced that it’s just going to end up being a waste of time, a feeling he makes clear over and over on their way to see him. So of course that’s when they find out that Newton’s body was found. His neck was broken, which could have happened during the fall, but Ducky is curious as to why there’s so little blood when there’s a deep gash to his forehead.

Tony and Bishop check out his room on the base, and when she asks what he has against Newton, Tony says the guy just always bugged him. But was he maybe on to something? Tony finds an envelope with a used plastic knife wrapped in a napkin inside. Does it have to do with the accomplice he thinks is still out there from their old case?

It’s the data from Newton’s fitness bracelet that helps confirm that he was murdered; he jogged 1.1 miles, then his bracelet stopped monitoring his heartbeat and steps, but his body continued to move 0.3 additional miles. He was carried and his body was dropped down a hill to make it look like an accident. The gash on his forehead happened postmortem, which explains the lack of bleeding.

But who killed him? Why did he have that knife in his room? Well, the fingerprints on the knife lead them to Lauren Hudson, a civilian wife of a Marine, Dean, stationed at Quantico. He also happened to be stationed at Camp Lejeune at the time of the robbery, so he could be the accomplice. Tony and Gibbs go to talk to the couple, and they claim they didn’t know he was in Quantico and hadn’t bumped into him, but you don’t need to be an NCIS agent to know they’re hiding something. After they have video proof that Newton bumped into the Hudsons and see him take Lauren’s knife, Gibbs decides to send McGee and Bishop in undercover.

Too Often, It’s About Money

It turns out Lauren’s very rich — her father adored her and left her pretty much his entire estate — and according to the family attorney, the only thing they disagreed about was her marriage because he thought Dean wanted her money.  

McGee makes contact with Lauren, introducing himself as the new neighbor and making small talk, while Bishop meets Dean at work since she’s based in his office. Later that night, McGee watches the surveillance feed as Dean returns from the hardware store and Lauren comments that she’s gone along with everything he’s asked, including some “freakish” stuff. But what exactly does she mean by “freakish”?

Well, that’s when the pieces begin to come together. Abby does some digging and discovers that Lauren actually isn’t really Lauren. When she compared her new driver’s license to her old one, everything was just a little off — and her beauty mark is in a different place. So who is this woman? And what happened to the real Lauren? (She’s dead. Obviously. And she was rich, so those two questions are easily answered.)

Yes, the real Lauren was killed for the money (so it turns out she should have listened to her father about Dean). McGee “bumps” into Lauren at a coffee cart and for some reason ignores Bishop’s call. They’re in the middle of the case. He should figure it’s around the time for the big break in it. Someone please explain to me why he doesn’t answer it. He’s not the only one making a stupid decision; Bishop does too, when she decides to go into the Hudsons’ house to look around for clues after seeing Dean drive off.

While Bishop’s snooping around and finding the dead wife in a box in the house (that image is going to stay with me for a while), McGee’s cover is blown when a Marine from the base who was at the earlier crime scene (and annoyed me for some reason that I just can’t put my finger on) asks him about the case. “Lauren” runs off, calling Dean to warn him about the federal agents in the house across the street, and while McGee manages to stop her, Bishop still ends up getting attacked by Dean. She manages to fight back and stab him in the back with a pair of scissors.

Lauren’s real name is Rita Applegate, and she’s all too happy to cut a deal. Dean’s the one who killed his wife, in the same way he killed Newton, but at least Newton’s body wasn’t preserved in embalming fluid and put into a vacuum-sealed storage bag.

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A Marriage in Trouble?

Bishop decides to use a day of leave for a long weekend vacation with Jake, hoping that it will stimulate some conversation. After McGee brings up the vacation when he answers her phone when Jake calls, however, he lands in hot water with his teammate. It turns out the trip was a surprise anniversary present, and McGee spoiled it, which leads to a bit of hostility while the two are undercover.

However, Bishop later admits to McGee that things with Jake aren’t the same, but before she can say more, he calls. Then, to make things worse, at the end of the episode, she tells McGee and Tony that she cancelled the trip and Jake has to go out of town that weekend. All she knows is he’s going somewhere in Asia; it’s need to know, and once again, working at two different agencies and not being able to talk about their days is affecting their marriage. I suppose it could be worse; he could kill her for her money and then stick her body in a vacuum-sealed bag like Dean did. (Just so wrong.) 

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Sometimes the Past Should Stay in the Past

Tony’s Uncle Clive used to insist they were somehow related to British royalty, and so he decided to use trackmydna.com to find out if it could be true. When the results come back, unsurprisingly it’s going to cost more for him to find out the details of his familial match to a historical British figure, and of course Tony is wiling to pay. According to his results, he’s a direct descendant of Archibald Drummond, the 17th Earl of Trent, and so he calls his cousin Crispian to see what he knows about it.

Tony admits to Gibbs that he’s been thinking about his family a lot. He only has Senior, and he’s not getting any younger. The way things are going, he doesn’t see kids in his future either, so this search of his is his way of looking for a sense of belonging.

But it wouldn’t be Tony if there wasn’t some twist. According to his cousin, the family knows all about Drummond, and he was quite the character. A scoundrel, thief and con man (seems about right, considering Senior), he died in prison, and some historians suspect that he may have been Jack the Ripper. Poor Tony.

NCIS season 13 airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Meredith Jacobs

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

If it’s on TV — especially if it’s a procedural or superhero show — chances are Meredith watches it. She has a love for all things fiction, starting from a young age with ER and The X-Files on the small screen and the Nancy Drew books. Arrow kicked off the Arrowverse and her true passion for all things heroes. She’s enjoyed getting into the minds of serial killers since Criminal Minds, so it should be no surprise that her latest obsession is Prodigal Son.