Fire is a central character in this episode of NCIS. Not only does it fuel a murder and potential espionage investigation, it also holds a key to part of Tony’s past.
Firefighters find a charred body in a United Equinox warehouse. The whole situation is curious because the victim’s body was the starting point for the fire. There were only paper files in the warehouse. If somebody wanted to destroy them, it would have been easy to do with a match and some gasoline. Why set a body on fire?
The team identifies the victim as an employee of United Equinox Electronics, a company that makes all manner of items from household appliances to electronics. Carter Plimpton was just quality control, testing products to find any potential faults. Who would want to torture and torch him?
Hot Under the Collar
Jason King is a Baltimore arson investigator assigned to work with the NCIS team until they rule out any navy connections, since some of the documents stored in the warehouse were Navy connected. He clearly recognizes DiNozzo and is not thrilled to see him. I understand that reaction in a woman, because Tony is the love ’em and leave ’em type. What does this young kid have against our very special agent?
While the relationship between those two simmers, the team is called to yet another arson investigation, this time on a Navy ship. Jason follows his nose to the electrical room, which promptly goes up in a fireball about three seconds after he opens the breaker box. The guy keeps his wits about him and gets both he and Tony out before any harm comes to them, and smothers the fire by closing the airtight door. If he hadn’t, all of the wiring on the entire ship would have blown.
You’re Getting Warmer
And now we’re back to the Phantom 8 from the Watcher Fleet. Remember them from the beginning of the season? Well, Carter was one of them. And now he’s the third one of them dead. I sense a pattern. Those microchips were sold to who-knows-who, and now yet another Navy ship’s wiring goes up in flames. So, the info on the faulty wiring was on those microchips and they’re out there. What else is on them? As we head into the end of the season, it’s time to start closing the loop on the story that was started so many episodes ago.
After McGee and Ziva confront Tony with an old news article, he confesses how he knows Jason. When Tony was still in college, he saved Jason from a house fire, but couldn’t save Jason’s little sister. That was the night Tony decided to become a cop. Of course, Jason just sees him as the guy who saved him and not his sister. Tony explains the choice he had to make. He could have either saved Jason, or the three of them would have died together. You have to concentrate on the ones you can save.
I felt this episode was a return to the classic NCIS style, reverting to a larger story instead of a self-contained episode. We’re closing the loop on a storyline that had all but been forgotten in favor of guest stars and ill-conceived romances. I’m excited to see how this storyline resolves, and who else we’ll see pop up before season’s end.
(Image courtesy of CBS)