Last time on NCIS, Tony and Gibbs were finally able to put a cold case to bed. McGee was jealous that he wasn’t in the loop on the case, but he and Tony hashed it out by the end of the episode.
This episode of NCIS, “No Good Deed,” features Tony working with his girlfriend, ATF Special Agent Zoe Keates, on a case. I wonder how Tony “Spider” DiNozzo and Zoe will work together on a professional level. We will also get another visit from Tony’s father, DiNozzo Senior, played by guest star Robert Wagner.
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All about Relationships
The episode starts off with a group of men performing community service picking up trash in the park when one spies a body.
At headquarters, Bishop grills McGee about how his relationship with Delilah is going. Is it just me or has Bishop been a bit obsessed with relationships lately? Tony is in an abnormally zesty mood and tells everyone that Senior is coming down to visit for a few days because he wants to meet Zoe. Tony shares that he and Zoe are in a great place right now. Could it be that Tony has finally met the one? Gibbs doesn’t have time for such questions because they have a case.
The victim is Marine Lance Corporal David Austin. At the scene, it looks like the victim’s motorcycle crossed the center lane and went off the shoulder of the road. Gibbs doesn’t see any debris or skid marks indicating that another vehicle was involved. Ducky and Palmer note that the victim not only has a broken neck, but also a bullet wound to the chest.
The Big Dinner
As the team goes over Austin’s background, Tony’s father arrives early. He needs a key to his son’s apartment, which Tony happily hands over. Tony offers to make dinner reservations for that evening for the big meeting with Zoe, but his father assures him that he will handle it. What could possibly go wrong?
Gibbs goes to see Abby in the lab, and she is in spring cleaning mode. In fact, she wants to come and help Gibbs clean out his basement. Gibbs replies, “Hey, you stay away from my basement.” Abby has more news to report, as Ducky was able to pull a slug from the victim’s chest. The pistol, which was purchased directly from the weapon’s manufacturer, was bought by the ATF.
A Failed Operation
ATF Special Agent Zoe Keates meets with Gibbs and Vance to answer their questions. The gun was purchased in 2009 for a sting in Tucson. The operation, dubbed “Fast and Furious,” was a dismal failure. The operation allowed licensed dealers to sell to straw buyers or people who purchase guns for someone who cannot legally purchase one. The ATF planned to track the guns to Mexican drug cartels, but the guns ended up all over Mexico. Of the 2,000 guns that were purchased by straw buyers, only 700 guns had been recovered. Keates has been assigned to the case by her director.
Zoe and Tony steal a quiet moment when Zoe confesses how nervous she is to meet his father. The team briefs Gibbs on the information they received from Austin’s commanding officer. Austin was well-liked, had a squeaky-clean record and had no access to classified information. Tony volunteers to work with Zoe, while Bishop and McGee will reconstruct Austin’s steps from the time he left his parent’s farm until the shooting.
A Puzzling Clue
Abby works her scientific magic and discovers that the gunshot residue on the victim’s jacket shows that the shooter was only two to three feet away when the shot was fired. That could only be possible if the killer was on, or inside, another vehicle. In addition, Austin’s fuel light was on, and he didn’t have enough gas to make it to Norfolk. He passed a gas station a couple of miles before he got shot, yet didn’t stop. Perhaps he thought he was being followed?
Bishop and McGee go to the gas station, and while there is no security footage of the road, the owner does have an interesting tidbit to share. Shortly before 4am, someone swiped their credit card but didn’t pump any gas. The credit card belonged to Austin. The video footage of the pumps shows Austin staring at a car, then turning around and following it.
Dinner for Three
Tony wants to order some ATF agents who worked on the sting to NCIS headquarters for questioning, but Zoe feels that is the wrong approach. This is the first argument for the couple, but probably not their last while working on this case. After Tony’s method fails to net any useful information, Zoe offers to reach out to her mentor, who worked in Tucson at the time of the sting.
As the couple reaches Tony’s apartment, they hear the beeping of a fire alarm. Tony rushes in to find his father in the kitchen, with the main course on fire in the oven. An irked Tony heads to the living room where he trips over a table and knocks over a lamp in his quest to open a window. It seems that Senior has also rearranged the furniture for his son. Hilarious! Tony is furious, and when Zoe wants to leave, Tony insists that she stay. He also comments that he told her something like this always happens and how glad he is that his father doesn’t live in the same city. Senior looks embarrassed and hurt by his son’s words.
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Invoking Rule #12
Abby is able to enlarge part of the gas station video, which shows a woman in the front seat of the car that Austin followed, mouthing the words, “Help me.” The car carrying the young woman was registered to a Jennifer Vickers, but the woman in the car appeared younger.
Tony comes in late, then tells the team about his shouting match with his father. Senior stormed off, and Tony is shocked to learn that his father went to Gibbs’ house. Senior even spent the night in Gibbs’ bed. Before heading off to MTAC, Tony tells Gibbs that he never should have offered to work with Zoe. He even invokes rule number 12: never date a co-worker. McGee heads to MTAC in Tony’s place.
ATF Special Agent Phillip Caffey tells Vance, Zoe and McGee that he went on the record saying that they should have intervened sooner in the “Fast and Furious” operation, but the agents were told not to interfere. Zoe asks for help tracking this particular gun, and Caffey asks for a serial number before abruptly ending the chat. Zoe asks McGee why Tony isn’t there, and McGee mumbles an excuse before hurriedly leaving.
A Mother’s Worst Fear
Meanwhile, Bishop and Gibbs go to see Jennifer Vickers at her hot dog cart. Vickers identifies her car from a photo, but tells the agents that her daughter, Emma, has been driving it. She hasn’t seen her daughter for a couple of weeks, and confides that her daughter has been hanging with a tough crowd and has been in and out of rehab. Vickers looks at the photo of the woman in the car, and it is indeed her daughter.
Zoe hears back from Caffey and asks Tony and McGee which one of them she is working with. Tony states that they are working together, and Zoe asks if there is a problem between them. Tony denies it and says that he missed out on MTAC because he was dealing with his father. Zoe tells Tony that McGee said he was working on something with Gibbs, and she is pretty angry about being lied to. Caffey told Zoe that he couldn’t find anything on that particular gun. Tony thinks that he is hiding something, and McGee agrees that Caffey seemed a bit reluctant to assist in the investigation.
Gibbs’ House Guest
Gibbs returns home to find Senior drinking his scotch. He tells Gibbs that he when he went to Europe, all his art world contacts were gone. Senior had gone back to New York, but his friends had either moved closer to their families or had passed away. Gibbs tries to reassure Tony’s father that he will figure out this new stage in his life. Senior wants to be close to his son, but he knows that Tony doesn’t want him around. Gibbs gets a call and heads out.
Fathers and Sons
Vickers’ car was found in an alley, along with Emma Vickers’ body.
Gibbs orders Tony to come with him. They arrive back at Gibbs’ house, and Gibbs tells both DiNozzos that he is going to the basement to relax and that they both need to be gone when he comes back. Tony apologizes to his father about what he said the previous night. Tony tells his father that Gibbs told him Senior wants to move here, and Tony offers to help his father find an apartment. I love seeing this growth in Tony and his relationship with his father.
The next morning, Zoe goes to Tony’s apartment to look for her sunglasses. Senior is shocked that Zoe has a key, and he explains that Tony doesn’t commit easily. Zoe looks a bit freaked-out as she excuses herself to get back to work. Senior pops by NCIS to tell Tony some incredibly good news — not only has he found an apartment, but it is the unit right above Tony’s!
Hiding the Truth
Ducky does a rape kit on Emma Vickers because her body shows signs of abuse, and Abby gets a match to Jamie Rivers. Since Emma died of a drug overdose while the car was wiped clean, the NCIS team thinks that they are looking at a murder case. Rivers was arrested in 2008 for illegally selling firearms. In the picture of his arrest, the agent taking him into custody is Agent Caffey, Zoe’s friend.
Caffey admits to Vance, Zoe and Gibbs that Rivers was given a deal to participate in the “Fast and Furious” sting. Rivers told the ATF that the particular gun that NCIS is interested in went to the Mexican cartel. Zoe thinks that a local informant that she has been working with may know something about Rivers. Zoe’s informant confirms that Rivers has been selling guns to drug dealers and that Rivers has also become an addict. Gibbs asks Zoe to have her contact set up a gun buy.
McGee Goes Undercover
McGee is posing as the gun buyer, while Gibbs and Tony observe from one car and Bishop and Zoe watch from another. Zoe asks Bishop whether Tony mentioned if they had trouble working together, because she feels something has changed in their relationship. Tony confides to Gibbs that he and Zoe may be out of the honeymoon phase of their relationship. Unfortunately, Tony’s mic on his walkie is open, so Zoe hears his comments.
When Rivers shows up, two mounted rangers also arrive. When Tony and Gibbs approach, Rivers pulls his gun, and Gibbs shoots him.
Tony and Zoe finally talk, and both agree that they want their relationship to work out. Tony goes up to his apartment to talk with his father. Senior tells Tony that he needs his space, so he will not be moving into Tony’s building. Senior is interested in snagging a rich widow from a swanky senior facility.
I really enjoyed this episode of NCIS. I like the fact that Tony and his father are finally able to communicate and heal their relationship. I also really like Tony and Zoe as a couple, so I hope to see more of her in the future.
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)