Last week’s episode of NCIS was very moving as Gibbs struggled to deal with both his father’s advancing age and their emotional relationship. Gibbs’ father finally let his son know how proud he is of him. It was, in my opinion, one of the most memorable scenes in NCIS history.
This week’s episode, “Alibi,” has the team re-investigating a closed hit-and-run case involving a former FBI agent who is now an attorney.
The show opens at the Marine Base at Quantico where a young female soldier, who is going for a night-time jog, is struck by a pick-up truck. The driver then speeds away. The victim is Petty Officer Third Class Jody Ray.
At the crime scene, McGee and Palmer discuss how Tony is late to the scene, yet refused a ride from DC to Quantico. Tony says that he is being dropped off, and he is, but no one can see Tony’s mysterious “friend.”
Fleeing the Scene
Abby is able to pin down the vehicle from a tiny shard of plastic. She is amazing! They are looking for a 2005 red Dodge Ram pick-up truck. McGee thinks the most viable suspect is Staff Sergeant Justin Dunne as he is the only person on base whose vehicle matches the description of the truck they are searching for. Dunne’s vehicle remained at Quantico all night. It seems that Dunne has a history of driving under the influence.
Tony is positively giddy at the quick resolution to the case when he and McGee go to pick up the suspect. Dunne is in his room washing a bloody knife. I am sure there is a perfectly plausible explanation, right? He tries to escape, but McGee corners him.
Dunne says that he hasn’t driven his truck recently, and that he was home asleep the previous night. The suspect asks for a lawyer. Abby identifies Dunne’s vehicle as the one that killed Ray, but is concerned about matching Dunne’s boot print to the cast from the crime scene.
Tony’s on the Prowl
McGee is dying to find out who dropped off Tony at the crime scene, and asks Abby if she did. She says that she didn’t, and that she doesn’t think Tony is dating anyone.
Tony does flirt with former FBI Agent Carrie Clark in the NCIS elevator. Clark is now an attorney, and she is there to meet with Dunne. Tony notices that Clark is no longer wearing a wedding ring, and calls Fornell to ask about her. I guess Tony is diving back into the dating pool already.
A Strange Alibi
Dunne and Clark meet and he has a fascinating alibi — he was in Falls Church stabbing a man to death. What a refreshing change of pace from the usual denials of guilt. Clark tells the NCIS team that her client has an alibi, but that she cannot reveal it due to privilege. Since they only have 48 hours to charge Dunne or release him, Clark offers to check out his alibi.
Gibbs asks Abby to check out the truck to see if someone else could have been driving it, and she discovers that the truck has been wiped down. She also finds a spare key hidden under the wheel well. Abby finally finds a thumbprint on the back of the rear view mirror and identifies it as belonging to Private Daniel Cliff.
Follow the Clues
Gibbs receives a call from Clark, and she tells him that her client’s alibi is solid, but refuses to elaborate. Gibbs is frustrated and asks McGee to trace the call because her name didn’t display on his phone. They trace it to a pay phone in Falls Church. McGee and Tony go to the location and find a police officer across the street who is investigating the stabbing of a store owner, Donny Sullivan. The murder happened at about the same time Ray was killed. The homicide detective tells McGee and Tony to say hello to Gibbs from “Hickory’s son.”
Gibbs finds out from Dunne that he knows Cliff, but never gave him permission to drive his vehicle. Gibbs privately asks Clark if Dunne could have been in Falls Church, and she simply replies that he is innocent of the hit-and-run charges.
McGee is stunned when Tony admits to riding the bus because he enjoys watching people and reading. It turns out that Gibbs knows Detective Dockry’s father from the Corps.
Confession is Good for the Soul
Gibbs interrogates Cliff and he confesses to using Dunne’s truck after he had been drinking. He claims that he didn’t see the victim running in the dark. Gibbs then meets with Detective Dockery at the diner. Sullivan, the dead store owner, was a bookie, which might give Dunne a reason to kill him. The only suspect that Dockery uncovers is a gambler named Kaiser who is in debt to Sullivan, but he was out of the state at the time of the murder.
McGee also uncovers that Dunne exchanged numerous phone calls with an Olivia Chandler, who is a lovely young trophy wife whose car happened to be parked near Sullivan’s cigar store at the time of the killing. Tony is delighted to check out Chandler, and she states that she and Dunne are in AA together and lean on each other for support. Tony has a hunch that Olivia and Dunne are more than friends, and he finds some hotel charges on Dunne’s credit card. The hotel clerk identifies Dunne and Chandler as a couple.
Ducky stops by to see Gibbs as he feels that Gibbs is troubled by something. Gibbs is concerned about Carrie Clark, and that she led them to uncover information in the store owner’s murder.
Tony and McGee track down Kaiser and follow him to an AA meeting at a church. Tony is busted by the Reverend, who greets him by name and reminds him that he doesn’t usually go to morning meetings. McGee thinks that Tony is going to the meeting for an alcohol issue, and Tony finally admits that he does attend meetings there, but for a men’s group. The Reverend was also Tony’s mystery driver that brought him to the crime scene.
Kaiser, Dunne and Olivia met at an AA meeting and decided to swap murders. Dunne killed Kaiser’s bookie with Olivia’s help, and Kaiser is planning to kill Olivia’s husband. How can the team prove it? Gibbs sends Dockery to rattle Kaiser and convince him to implicate Dunne and Olivia in the conspiracy. Olivia and Dunne are taken into custody by the Falls Church police department.
Gibbs meets with Clark at the diner and they bond over their love of meat loaf and mashed potatoes. I think these two have some chemistry, and this could be a match in NCIS heaven.
The next episode will introduce us to the new character Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop (Emily Wickersham) who is an NSA analyst. I am excited to meet the much-talked about Bishop!
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)