Last time on NCIS, McGee and Delilah weathered some relationship and trust issues caused primarily by their long distance relationship. Delilah got promoted to team leader after a joint investigation, and will be working back in DC (so long, Dubai!). I am glad that McGee and Delilah are still together, both romantically and now geographically.

This episode of NCIS, titled “Patience,” deals with a cold case that Gibbs and Tony have been working on for the past two years. The murder of a petty officer provides a clue that could prove important to the case.

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Not Safe at All

The episode kicks off with a young lady of the evening who gets into the car of a supposed customer, but he is there for another reason: to protect her. He assures her that she, and her family, will be safe, only seconds before the car is sprayed by bullets. I guess he spoke too soon. At the scene, the team questions the rest of the prostitutes. Gibbs instructs McGee to look for other witnesses, along with Tony, who is filling in at Gibbs’ request before heading to Atlantic City with his buddies for a fun-filled excursion.

Secrets and Lies

The female victim is 21-year-old Lolita Cortes, and the male victim is Petty Officer Second Class Daniel Harvey. Cortes had just returned from a two-day trip to her native Colombia. McGee, concerned that Gibbs doesn’t think he can handle the investigation while Tony is on vacation, tries to let Gibbs know that Tony is really, really excited about his one-week vacation.

Bishop has some news of her own, as there is no Daniel Harvey in the naval database. Harvey’s vehicle is registered to the Department of Defense motor fleet, and if his identification is fake, it’s a good one according to Abby’s expert eye. McGee offers to check the log book at the garage to see who checked out the vehicle.

Just as Tony is making tracks for the door, McGee finds out that the car was requisitioned for an operation called Lex Talionis. That bit of information sends Gibbs and Tony running up to MTAC. Neither Bishop nor McGee have heard of an operation with that name, but McGee knows that the Latin phrase means “law of retaliation.” Bishop and McGee reach MTAC, but they are locked out. Poor McGee is stunned that he is left out in the cold with the probie.

A Very Cold Case

Vance, Gibbs and Tony have a video chat with Vice Admiral Dawn Tyson at the Pentagon. Gibbs and Tony are not amused that a car was signed out to their operation without their knowledge. Tyson denies any knowledge of activity on the operation and requests that Gibbs inform the rest of his team about the recent developments.

It seems that in 1979, someone detonated a bomb in the departure terminal at Metropolitan International Airport. The perpetrator was never identified, but two years ago a similar bomb was discovered in Colombia by NCIS agents. Both bombs were made by the same person, and Tyson created an operation to locate the bomb-maker. Gibbs was placed in charge, and McGee is upset to learn that Tony was brought in to work on the case, and even Ziva knew of it. Vance steers the conversation back to the matter at hand and the search for 62-year-old drug kingpin Tomas Orlando. Tony and Gibbs narrowed the list of suspects down to Orlando, but getting his DNA is no easy feat.

Abby’s Hurt Feelings

Meanwhile, Abby is in the evidence garage, and she feels cheated on by Gibbs. Having someone else run DNA for him? Abby is hurt, but when Gibbs explains that the sample was at another NCIS office and would have had chain of custody issues had it been given to her, she is embarrassed and accepts his explanation. Abby was able to find fingerprints in the car that matched Eddie “Collarbone” Rosario, who is a pimp.

Racing the Clock

Vice Admiral Tyson summons Gibbs when she learns the identity of the dead petty officer.  His name was Lieutenant Louis Freston, and he was an Intelligence specialist who had managed to persuade Lolita to be an asset. Lolita’s family knew the location where Orlando got his hair cut. In fact, Lolita was meeting Freston to give him a hair sample from Orlando that she brought back from her recent trip to Colombia. In a clever twist, the hair was sewn into the lining of Lolita’s purse, which her pimp stole.

Gibbs has exactly 12 hours to get it back as Orlando and his top men are meeting, and the Ambassador to Colombia, Olivia Edmunds, knows the location. If Gibbs can get the hair back in time, this cold case will finally be closed. Tyson organizes a Navy SEAL team to capture Orlando in Colombia pending the DNA match.

Gibbs and Tony patch Ducky into MTAC all the way from the autopsy room. Seriously, can’t someone just walk to autopsy? Lolita had a small tattoo on her booty, and it is well-known that her pimp brands his girls. How utterly charming. Bishop is able to track down the tattoo parlor that did the work, hopefully generating a lead. Gibbs tells Tony to take McGee with him.

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A Fine Bromance

McGee makes good use of their driving time to sulk and berate Tony for not sharing the classified intelligence with him, when McGee has shared such information plenty of times with Tony. McGee doesn’t trust Tony now, but Tony nails it when he remarks that McGee is jealous that Gibbs didn’t select him for the operation. At the tattoo parlor, Tony apologizes for lying to McGee, just in time for them to nab the pimp, Rosario. Luckily, Lolita’s purse is in Rosario’s trunk. Commander Hankos, who is running the SEAL mission, lost his father in the airport attack, and he wants justice.

Rosario starts out being tough, but Gibbs breaks him in interrogation. Rosario admits to killing Lolita because she was working on his turf after telling him that she was quitting. He also tells Gibbs that he took her purse to steal her money, and that he doesn’t know anything about any DNA sample. DNA is also on Abby’s mind when she interrupts Gibbs, breaking rule 22: to let him know that Orlando is the bomb-maker.

The SEALS Move In

The NCIS team watches the SEAL operation together in MTAC, but the building is empty by the time they enter. Gibbs asks if Ambassador Edmunds notified the Colombian government about the mission, but she emphatically denies it. Hankos thinks that they are hot on Orlando’s trail, and he wants to keep the operation going. An encrypted laptop was found at the building, and Gibbs suggests that McGee and Abby meet Hankos on his aircraft carrier in the Gulf to try and extract some helpful intelligence.

Abby also finds a familial match to Orlando’s DNA, and he has a niece, Dr. Susana Soto, who resides in the Baltimore area. Soto was raised by her mother’s family, so no one even knows if she has any contact with her uncle. What the team does know is that she is running a parenting class that night. Playing the part of expectant parents are … Tony and Bishop! I love that.

Bishop plans to locate Soto’s computer and copy her hard drive. Their plans go awry when they instead fumble upon Dr. Soto’s candle-lit couples’ intimacy class. Hilarious! Bishop tries to excuse herself to use the ladies’ room, but Dr. Soto orders her to take a seat on the comfy pillows next to Tony. Tony and Bishop hold hands and stare into each other’s eyes as Vance and Gibbs watch in MTAC through the camera in Bishop’s glasses. I am not sure why the other couples are snapping their fingers, and I am not sure that I want to know.

A Bit of an Overlap

Meanwhile, on the aircraft carrier, Petty Officer Goode starts to tell McGee that he wasted his time coming because he has already accessed the laptop. Goode sort of knows Abby because she dated his roommate’s brother’s friend, or something like that. It was 11 years ago, and McGee is more than a bit surprised since he used to date Abby 11 years ago and bring her to the coffee shop where she met her fling.

While everyone’s trying to find Orlando, Tony does find him in an unlikely place — the squad room. Orlando is seeking asylum from the Unites States. He justifies selling drugs to finance his cause of standing up to a corrupt and unjust government. Orlando denies making the bomb and states that he is being framed. He claims that Lolita’s family came to him for protection and told him everything. Orlando wants his children to be safe, and he was announcing his plans to retire at the meeting that the Navy SEALs crashed. He plucks out a piece of hair from his beard and hands it over.

Ducky and Palmer get to work running Orlando’s DNA with Abby’s lab instruction book, after a brief squabble over who is more qualified to do so. It is surreal seeing them in Abby’s lab with classical music playing soothingly in the background.

The Wrong Man All Along?

Back in MTAC, Vance chats with the Ambassador again, and she is surprised to discover that Orlando is in custody. Everyone is shocked when Gibbs announces that Orlando’s DNA is not a match for the airport bomber. Vance knows that the real bomber is still alive and used his own hair to set up Orlando to take the fall.

Abby joins the MTAC party from the carrier and reports that someone had been spying on Orlando using a keystroke logger. Abby was able to trace it back to Ambassador Edmunds, who is also part of the video conference. Awkward!

Ambassador Edmunds is caught and only wants to speak with Gibbs, but she wants a deal. She claims she was threatened and was not a willing participant in framing Orlando. She was working for another drug lord, Arman Luna, because she took a bribe once and he held it over her head.

A drone strike took out Luna’s compound, and it was confirmed that he was the bomber. Palmer brings the bubbly over as everyone celebrates solving the cold case. Bishop and Tony even snap their fingers while everyone else applauds.

I must confess that I loved all the humorous touches in this episode, and it is one of my favorite episodes from this season of 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.