The last episode of NCIS brought back Gibbs’ second ex-wife, Rebecca, and the team (and us) got to meet her for the first time. The heavy episode also marked the return of international mercenary Sergei Mishnev, who made it his mission to recreate traumatic events from Gibbs’ past just to watch him suffer. In a shocking turn of events, while Gibbs and another ex-wife, Diane, were on the rooftop where Kate was murdered, Diane was also shot in the head. I have no idea how Gibbs will find the words to tell Fornell, who had recently reignited his romance with Diane.
In this week’s episode, “The Enemy Within,” the NCIS team is hunting for an American terrorist linked to the kidnapping of a social worker in Syria.
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Freeing Miss Goode
The episode starts in Syria, when US Navy Seals storm an apartment to free a captured American social worker named Sarah Goode. Gibbs is watching the news in his basement, where he is once again working on his carpentry. Vance stops by with the news that Goode is being sent to Washington and that he would like Gibbs to debrief her. Vance also gives Gibbs a wooden jewelry box that belonged to his late wife’s grandmother. Jackie always wanted to give it to their daughter, Kayla, so Vance asks Gibbs if he can make some minor repairs to it.
Vance also has another agenda — to check on Gibbs. Gibbs tells Vance that he is fine and that he won’t give Mishnev the satisfaction of feeling guilty. Vance is surprised that there wasn’t a memorial service for Diane. Gibbs tells Vance that she never wanted one and that Fornell has taken a leave of absence to get his head on straight.
Tony’s Strange Behavior
Meanwhile, at NCIS headquarters, Tony is considering a pricy purchase for himself — a new Corvette to replace his previous Corvette that was wrecked after a freeway chase. When Tony leaves to get his caffeine fix, McGee goes through Tony’s desk to see if he is on mood stabilizers because he has been so mellow. Hilarious!
As an experiment, McGee pours coffee on Tony’s car magazine, over Bishop’s horrified objections. When Tony returns, he thanks McGee for attempting to answer his ringing phone and sets off in search of some paper towels. Bishop agrees with McGee that something is up with Tony.
Abby calls Gibbs down to her lab after she examines the material that the Navy Seals collected at the scene, and it suggests another terrorist was involved. The fingerprint that Abby pulls from a gun doesn’t match any of the dead terrorists but is a match for Maryland native Kyle Nasry. Nasry’s father was born in Syria and then immigrated to the United States as a child. Nasry’s record is clean except for being arrested during a protest over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Gibbs arrives and tells Bishop that they are going to meet with Goode at her hotel. Goode was volunteering at a Syrian orphanage when she was abducted by terrorists and held for ransom.
Goode is grateful to have her freedom after 10 months in captivity, but she has no family. She was captured when she was traveling to a neighboring village to pick up an orphan. Goode looks at a picture of Nasry but states that she never saw him. The men there wore hoods and none spoke English. Goode wants only one thing before she leaves Washington, and that is to hear a speech by Musa ibn Hasan. After that, Goode desires to return to the orphanage in Syria once the country is stabilized. It may just be me, but something seems off about her.
In MTAC, Gibbs and Vance are told by the Director of Homeland Security that there are 12 Americans currently fighting in Syria. What is even more concerning is that there are others that they don’t know about, like Nasry.
Flirting with Tony
McGee and Tony go to see Nasry’s mother. She insists that her son is not following jihadist terrorists and that he is in Greece. Kyle had gone to Europe with his girlfriend, Chelsea, but she later returned after the relationship ended. They go to Chelsea’s mobile grooming van to interview her. She explains that she didn’t like the extremist crowd that Kyle was hanging around, and that led to their break-up. Chelsea wastes no time in flirting with Tony, but he politely brushes her off. McGee thinks that Tony is seeing someone, but Tony denies it. Could that be the cause of this sunnier Tony?
Bishop asks Ducky to read her debriefing report because she feels that she missed something. Ducky shares her concern that returning to the orphanage would be too traumatic for the young social worker.
A Terrorist Returns Home
Vance gets a call from Homeland Security that Nasry’s passport cleared customs two days prior. Fornell shows up and receives a big, sympathetic hug from Tony, while the rest of the team offer their condolences. Fornell is the man who cleared Nasry of wrongdoing in the 2010 war protest. Fornell didn’t put him on a list, and when Nasry’s mother arrives at headquarters, Fornell wants to do the interview with Gibbs. Fornell finally admits that he needs to get his mind off Diane, and also to get far away from Diane’s mother.
Nasry’s mother denies hearing from Kyle and refuses to believe that her son could be involved in something so sinister. Abby interrupts the interview and gives Fornell a big hug. She was testing a laptop brought in by the Navy Seals and tested it for touch DNA.
Another Suspect Emerges
It comes back to Randall White, another American who served with the Army in Afghanistan before getting discharged for insubordination. He later served time in prison, where he converted to Islam. McGee is shocked to find out that White’s passport was scanned at the airport just 15 minutes earlier. White hops in a cab, and McGee tells dispatch to activate the tracking system, hoping that White will lead them to Nasry. The driver tells dispatch that they are on the way to the Chesterfield Hotel. White is suspicious and makes a phone call, telling someone to get out of the hotel, and then demands to be let out of the cab. Gibbs, Tony and Bishop are nearby and quickly corner White, who puts a plastic gun to his head and pulls the trigger.
Tony’s Secret is Revealed
Meanwhile, Tony gets a visit from Special Agent Zoe Keates, from the ATF. Apparently, Tony left something behind when he left Zoe’s apartment that morning: his handcuffs. Oh, McGee is so right! Zoe asks if they are keeping their relationship a secret, and Tony tells her that he doesn’t want to ruin what they have. Of course, a stealthy Bishop and McGee hide behind the cubicle wall to listen to the entire exchange.
Zoe tells Abby that anyone with a 3D printer can make one of the plastic guns. The atmosphere gets awkward when a smiling Bishop and McGee appear in the lab and try to look casual. After Tony walks Zoe out, Bishop and McGee tell Abby that Tony and Zoe are dating. Abby is shocked because Tony usually brags about his dating prowess, but McGee thinks that this time Tony could be serious.
Gibbs pays a visit to Goode and lets her know that Nasry is back in the country. He tells her that she isn’t in danger and shows her a photograph of White. Goode also denies seeing him in Syria. She starts to look emotional when she hears that he killed himself. Gibbs thinks that something is up and hands the young woman his business card in case she wants to talk.
As soon as he leaves, Goode calls Faheed, as Nasry is now called, out of the bathroom. So Goode was in on it all along.
Meanwhile, Bishop and Fornell have a heart to heart while staking out Nasry’s mother’s house. When Fornell confesses to being uncomfortable dealing with certain issues that his teenage daughter is facing, Bishop offers to talk to her. She also asks Fornell how he is doing, but he says it is just about being a father to his daughter right now. Fornell gets a call that Nasry phoned his mother. Mrs. Nasry approaches their vehicle and tells Fornell that Kyle asked her to meet him because he needs money. She wants the situation to end before her son hurts himself or someone else.
Laying the Trap
Nasry gets into his mother’s car, but when he looks at the woman in a hoodie, he sees that it is Bishop. A moment later, he is surrounded and taken into custody. Vance runs into Goode at the luncheon to hear the Imam speak. Gibbs makes no progress in his interrogation with Nasry, but Abby comes up with some information from the computer. It is an unedited version of Goode’s ransom plea, showing that she is part of the plan. Gibbs realizes that Nasry wanted to distract NCIS from Goode.
Goode pulls out a plastic gun just as she is going to speak privately with the Imam. Vance is able to get the heads-up from Gibbs in time to stop her.
At headquarters, McGee discovers Zoe waiting for Tony in the parking lot. Tony finally learns that the entire team knows about his new relationship. In fact, Zoe tells “Spider” that he is going to treat everyone to a round of drinks to celebrate the news of their relationship. Fornell and Gibbs take a rain check. As Fornell finally admits how much he loved Diane, he asks Gibbs to make him a promise that when they capture Mishnev, he “will get a piece of him.”
I liked this NCIS episode, especially the parts dealing with Tony and his covert relationship with Zoe. I like their chemistry together, and after the heaviness of last week’s NCIS episode, this development is refreshing.
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)