Last time on NCIS, the team worked with the DOD on a drone attack masterminded by the terrorist Benham Parsa. Parsa’s attack was in retaliation for a drone attack on some of his training camps. This investigation also reunited Gibbs with his ex-girlfriend, Hollis Mann. Gibbs has amassed quite a few exes, hasn’t he?
We also saw McGee try to avoid attending a black-tie gala where his girlfriend, Delilah Fielding, was being honored. He finally decided to attend, but once there he received a call from Tony. Unable to hear his colleague, McGee told Delilah that he would be right back, and he stepped outside just as the drone, loaded with explosives, flew into the building. Delilah was injured by shrapnel. Will she survive, and will McGee forgive himself for pushing her away?
This week’s episode of NCIS, “Double Back,” has the team trying to capture Parsa, who barely escaped Gibbs the night of the attack.
The episode opens at the hospital where people hurt in the explosion are being treated. McGee rushes in to see Delilah. He tells her that six people are dead and that 22 people are wounded. She asks him if it was Parsa, tells him to get the terrorist and then goes into cardiac arrest. She is rushed off to surgery.
Meanwhile, at NCIS headquarters, Bishop is trying to figure out where Parsa is, while Tony admits to feeling helpless. Of course, Bishop cannot hear him because she has ear buds in and is eating some crunchy cheesy snacks to help her think. Bishop thinks that the men in the building with Parsa were hired muscle. The getaway car had stolen plates and is also a dead end. Gibbs is impatient and tells Bishop and Tony to grab their gear.
A Shot in the Dark
They head off to the alley where Parsa made his getaway. Poor Bishop tells Tony that she has so many questions for Gibbs, but didn’t want to interrupt “his silent thing.” Gibbs is looking for the bullet that struck the driver and is able to find the bullet in a door.
Abby gets a DNA hit, and finds out that the driver is Bashir Malik, who was born in the US and grew up in Parsa’s hometown in Pakistan. Abby discovers that Malik is the suspect in the bombing of a communications center at Camp Pendleton in 1990. There were no casualties because the bomb did not fully go off. If Malik is linked to the bombing at the Conrad Institute, he has had a lot of time to become more organized.
McGee, who is waiting at the hospital, gets a strange text from Tony asking if he wants a roast, casserole or pork chops. Tony comes up with the idea to try and do something nice for McGee.
McGee looks up and sees Dr. Cranston, who is Kate’s sister. She is doing crisis counseling for the gala. He tells Cranston that Delilah has internal bleeding from the shrapnel and is back in surgery. She offers to stay with McGee, but he tells her that he is okay.
At headquarters, Bishop goes over Malik’s history. In 2002, he assaulted a police officer who pulled him over because his car matched the description of one involved in the kidnapping of Keely Jones. In 1990, at the time of the bombing, Malik’s truck was seen in the vicinity, but no one could come up with enough evidence to charge him.
Bishop realizes that Malik may be utilizing the same methods and associates as in 1990 because he got away with the previous bombing. Her reasoning makes sense. Tony contacted the Pendelton field office for the videos of Malik being interrogated by NIS Agent Duke Turner, who is deceased.
Paging Sean Connery
Gibbs stuns Tony by telling him to set him up with the videos before he leaves. Tony and Bishop then head off to the NSA. Bishop, in turn, is shocked that Gibbs uses his flip phone by choice. Hilarious!
NSA senior analyst Sofia Martinez meets with Bishop and Tony and discloses that the NSA believes that Parsa was going to leave right after the drone attack. Martinez is an expert on Hayat Parsa, Benham’s sister. Hayat and her brother were very close, but there has been no significant communication in recent years.
Martinez certainly thinks that there is something extra special about DiNozzo, and compares him to Robert Redford. Tony does his Sean Connery impression, and Martinez knows which movie it is from. Now, this duo has chemistry! Bishop finally breaks up the flirting. Tony even asks if Martinez is single, and muses that she reminds him of someone annoying.
A Profile in Terror
Gibbs watches the videos and asks Ducky to profile Malik. Both Gibbs and Ducky feel that it would be unusual for Malik to submit to Parsa. He even thinks that Malik is more human than he imagined.
Message from Parsa
Bishop bursts in because Parsa’s SUV has been located. It is found smoldering in an alley, and there is a word scrawled on the windshield in Parsa’s handwriting. It says, “Try again.” Abby believes that the vehicle was blown up to hide something inside.
McGee arrives with the news that Delilah is in recovery and that her parents are with her. Gibbs tries to send McGee home to get some rest, but he refuses. Abby gives McGee a hug, and she wants to go and visit Delilah. McGee is eager to get back to work, but Gibbs needs his fit for duty evaluation, and sends him back to see Dr. Cranston.
A Great Desk
Dr. Cranston arrives at NCIS to meet with McGee and sees Bishop perched on the wall above her desk, munching on some celery. Dr. Cranston tells her that she knew both the women who sat there before, and that being next to Gibbs, Tony and McGee is a great place to be.
Martinez has a video chat with Bishop, and tells her that Tony reminds her of someone annoying. Bishop tells her that they are cut from the “same weird cloth.” Tony joins the party and Martinez tells them that Parsa’s sister received a call at a pay phone, during which she repeated the numbers “180, 60 and 45.”
Gibbs gets an idea when he sees Malik tell his interrogator that he only delivers things. He thinks that Malik delivered the fruit and brought the bomber to the location in his truck. In the 2002 case of the missing woman, Keely Jones, she was trying to escape an abusive husband. It looks like transportation is Malik’s specialty, and Ducky wonders if Parsa could now be gone for good.
McGee is back. Tony is thrilled and wants to bring his delicious casserole by for him. Bishop hears the words “pork chop” and gets really excited!
Abby is also excited because she realized that the SUV was modified to hide a person underneath. The measurements of the hiding space corresponds to the numbers that Hayat Parsa said on the phone. NCIS hatches a plan for the CIA to have an agent tell Hayat that her brother did not escape and is in danger.
Dr. Cranston comes to see Gibbs about McGee. Although McGee told everyone that Delilah was fine, she is, in fact, paralyzed. Cranston feels that McGee’s level of denial is a concern. She takes back her authorization for McGee to return to work. McGee returns to see Gibbs, who tries to talk him out of his guilt. McGee doesn’t know what to say to Delilah, and Gibbs advises him to tell the truth.
Hayat calls Malik and he tells her that the move is underway. McGee traces Malik’s location to a warehouse. Gibbs and Tony capture Malik burning documents. Gibbs interrogates him and finds out that part of his job was destroying everything that Parsa left behind. Malik repeatedly states that he is not a terrorist, and finally admits that he smuggled Parsa onto a transport train headed to Miami. Parsa’s plan was to get off somewhere along the way and meet his body guard.
McGee goes to see Delilah and calls Gibbs, who comes to the hospital. McGee asks his mentor to sit with him for a while. The show ends with them sitting, silently, side by side.
This episode of NCIS was tension-filled and emotional. I really liked how McGee wasn’t able to accept Delilah’s condition at first, and how his fellow team members stepped up to support him.
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)