Last time on an emotional NCIS, McGee said goodbye to his father, who passed away from cancer. It was a memorable episode set against the backdrop of the holidays as McGee struggled to deal with their complicated father-son relationship.
In this week’s episode, “Check,” the team must deal with someone who is copying crime scenes from previous cases. What is even more important, we finally meet the mythical unicorn of NCIS — Gibbs’ second ex-wife, Rebecca. Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager and Major Crimes) guest stars as the mysterious wife that the team has often speculated about. I am excited to finally see this dynamic in action!
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Happy New Year!
We kick off with some employees opening up the diner where they work. As soon as they enter, they see bodies all over the place. That is something that you definitely don’t want to see first thing in the morning.
Back at headquarters, Tony and Bishop have some fun busting McGee’s chops after they find his list of New Year’s resolutions. McGee demands to know Tony’s resolutions, but they are interrupted by Palmer, who overhears Gibbs telling Ducky that he must not drink any coffee for 72 hours because he is having a medical test done. This causes the team to become quite alarmed at the thought of a caffeine-free Gibbs. I, too, shudder at the thought.
At the diner, the NCIS team surveys the scene with the five victims. Bishop thinks that it appears that they shot each other. Meanwhile, the owner of the diner, who is in possession of some questionably-obtained pickles, is acting nervous as Tony questions him.
Gibbs looks out the window and sees a familiar face. It is his ex-wife, Diane, who is dressing down a police officer because she wants to see Gibbs. Gibbs admits that she is his ex-wife, but suddenly she is joined by another red-head who also seems to be well-known to Gibbs. Yes, it is his second ex-wife, Rebecca. I can’t ever remember seeing Gibbs look so uncomfortable.
Once Gibbs and his two exes enter the diner, Tony, Bishop and McGee are fascinated by the Rebecca sighting. Gibbs is shocked to find out that both of his exes know each other. Diane admits that she brought Rebecca along because she and Gibbs need to talk, and surprising him at a crime scene seemed like the best plan. Gibbs is not amused. Diane suggests that she and Rebecca meet with Gibbs back at NCIS, and if he doesn’t agree, Diane threatens to audit him.
At headquarters, Tony and Bishop run down the list of victims. Unfortunately, they accidentally pull up a presentation on all of Gibbs’ ex-wives. Hilarious! Tony then dares to ask Gibbs if she was the ex that he found in bed with another fellow. Gibbs doesn’t respond. The first victim is Staff Sergeant Sampson Delgado. The next victim is Chief Petty Officer Beau Lordin. The rest of the victims also have clean records, with the exception of not reporting for duty the previous week. McGee notes that the group are all late on paying their taxes.
Abby shows Gibbs a computer simulation of what happened in the diner. Captain Hanover, the female victim, was surrounded by the men and she fired the first round. She finally succumbed to blood loss after shooting the remaining men. While Abby presents her evidence, Gibbs is staring at her Caf-Pow beverage. Abby finds another common thread between all the victims: they all had appointments with a tax consulting firm called We Got Your Back Taxes for the weekend they went missing.
When Abby asks Gibbs about meeting with his ex-wife, he responds that he is going home. Someone give Gibbs some coffee now! The man is having a seriously bad day.
Gibbs Really Needs Coffee
At his apartment, Gibbs inhales the scent of a cup of coffee while getting ready to eat lunch. The team found a business card for the tax agency, so Gibbs tells McGee to pick him up at dawn. Since Diane is pulling the victim’s tax records, McGee asks if a little bit later would work. He also lets Gibbs know that Diane was pretty angry that Gibbs had slipped out.
A moment later, Rebecca enters the house and she is pretty upset at her ex-husband too. She finally calms down and tells Gibbs that she needs to speak with him. He reluctantly offers her a drink, but she tells him that she doesn’t drink anymore. She tells Gibbs that she hit rock bottom a year ago and has been in a program. She wants to make amends with her ex-husband. She wants Gibbs to know how sorry she is that she slept with someone else and that he walked in on them. Gibbs accepts her apology. When he complains about a bad headache, Rebecca massages his temples. For a moment, it looks like they might kiss.
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The Morning After
The next morning, McGee frantically tries to wake up Gibbs, as he is lying down on the couch asleep with Rebecca. When Diane bursts in, she is furious at Rebecca and accuses her of “making his year.” Rebecca responds with “Yuck,” and Gibbs takes offense at the comment. McGee tries once again to escape from the house, but Gibbs demands to know what Diane is doing there. Diane finally spills that the IRS was hacked, and that someone looked for records of Navy personnel who were late paying their taxes. Rebecca hands Gibbs a piece of paper before she leaves with Diane. It is a wedding invitation, and suddenly the pounding in Gibbs’ head reappears.
The tax office recently changed their locks, and it is empty. When McGee asks if Gibbs is going to the wedding, Gibbs becomes cranky. McGee then inserts his foot further into his mouth by saying that the groom wouldn’t want Gibbs there because of what happened the previous night when Gibbs and Rebecca innocently fell asleep on the couch. Gibbs spies a shell casing on the ground, and blood spatter all over the place.
A Crime Scene Set-Up
Abby has uncovered some interesting news. The blood type matches the victims from the diner. Abby also reports that there is no gunshot residue on any of the victims’ hands or clothing. They must have been lured to the space, killed and then arranged at the diner. This diner scenario is reminding me of the place where NCIS Director Jenny Shepard died.
All too soon, another case comes in for the team. Master Chief Ekim Beanes is discovered lying in the middle of the road at night with a single stab wound to the chest. Tony wants Gibbs to know that, during his hour of need, Tony also understands the lure of forbidden fruit, and spooning. McGee denies telling anyone anything, and Gibbs angrily tells the team, “There is nothing to know.” Bishop finds a business card for the same tax firm in the victim’s pocket.
This case also echoes another death close to the team. Mike Franks was killed with a similar weapon, stabbed in the same place and left to die in the street. Abby comes down to the morgue and shows Gibbs how the placement of the bodies at the diner directly mirrors the scene where Director Shepard died.
Gibbs has no idea why someone would be re-creating murders of significant people from his past. The team hesitantly mentions that the arrival of Rebecca coincides with the murders. Bishop shows Gibbs that Rebecca got a large deposit three months ago from an offshore account. The link to the hacking at the IRS also leads back to Rebecca.
McGee pulls Rebecca into interrogation, where Gibbs is waiting. Ducky, Palmer, Bishop, McGee and Tony are also waiting behind the one-way mirror to watch the fireworks unfold. Soon, Rebecca’s fiance and lawyer, Gene, arrives. He apparently knows Gibbs from when Gibbs walked in on him and Gibbs’ then-wife Rebecca in bed. Awkward!
Gibbs chugs down a coffee and then asks his ex where she was two nights ago. Rebecca blurts out that her uncle died, and she inherited the money. Gibbs and Rebecca continue to spar, and even argue over Rule 39: there are no coincidences.
Rebecca tells Gibbs that she has been framed, and Abby finds proof that her cell phone was bugged. There are texts going back weeks between Diane and Rebecca. Abby also discovers that the bug is rather unusual, and traces it to an espionage case. Interpol was tracking Ghenna Ulanov, who is a Russian mercenary. He also is linked to Sergei Mishnev, an international mercenary who survived being shot by Gibbs.
A Dangerous Call
The team surrounds and boards an RV, where they discover a wall of photos of Rebecca. Gibbs gets a call from Diane, who tells him that she knows everything and to meet her in 30 minutes at an address she is going to text him. Gibbs orders Bishop and McGee to rip the RV apart and tells Tony to put Rebecca and Gene in protective custody.
Gibbs shows up to a roof top and finds Diane. She was getting a manicure and asks Gibbs why he texted to meet her. Gibbs tries to pull her to safety, but she is shot in the forehead, just like Kate. Behind the rifle scope is Sergei Mishnev. As Mishnev makes his escape in a car, Gibbs shoots at it.
McGee reports that once the RV was entered, it triggered the fake message from Diane. There is also a message for Gibbs on the computer from Mishnev. Mishnev taunts Gibbs that he left him all the clues, and ominously ends with the word “check.” Bishop is particularly concerned that this means a checkmate is coming.
Too Much Death
Ducky and Palmer are in autopsy when Palmer refuses to lift the body bag that holds Diane. Palmer has reached his limit and doesn’t want to autopsy another friend. Ducky asks Gibbs if he would like to see her, and he does. He tells Ducky that he will tell Fornell in person. Ducky tells Gibbs that Mishnev wants to make Gibbs suffer by killing people he cares about.
Abby finds a link to the virus that IT tech Kevin made for Mishnev, and it granted him access to the information about Director Shepard’s death, as well as Gibbs’ personnel file and everyone he has worked with. Abby comes up with a plan to find Mishnev, by releasing a version of IT Kevin’s virus that will link back to Sergei somehow. McGee is hesitant but then agrees.
McGee calls Gibbs and tells him that the virus has tracked Sergei to an apartment in the building next to the one where Diane was killed. Gibbs goes to the apartment and storms in. He shoots several men then begins to beat and choke Mishnev. Gibbs is knocked out, and Mishnev once again gets away. Gibbs’ phone rings and it is Fornell.
I really liked this episode of NCIS. It was quite the roller-coaster between suspense, humor and shock. I was surprised that Diane was murdered, and I wonder who Mishnev will go after next.
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)