In a recent NCIS episode, we saw Bishop deal with the tragic death of her boyfriend, Qasim, who was shot while assisting with an operation involving Kai Chen. I am sad because Bishop was finally getting some romance, and now she is alone again.
The team is now dealing with a different kind of loss in this episode of NCIS, titled “Off the Grid.” It seems that Gibbs has gone missing without a word, and Vance expects the team to find their leader.
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The episode begins with Gibbs enjoying breakfast at his favorite dining stop. He sees something suspicious outside and abandons his breakfast. Gibbs spots Bodie Whitman, and when the other man tells Gibbs that he thought he was dead, Gibbs replies that it is “wishful thinking.”
At the bullpen, Quinn has a lovely floral arrangement for Bishop because she has had a horrible week with both Qasim’s funeral services and her work clearing out Qasim’s apartment. Torres decides to kick in half if Quinn will add his name on the card. She will not add his name, as the flowers are from her.
Reeves receives word that he is being called to the British Embassy to meet with the MI6 Special Operations Director. Reeves meets up with Bishop at the elevator. She tells him that she is okay, but all she really wants to know is what Reeves has found about Kai Chen’s whereabouts. Reeves reminds her that Gibbs told her not to get involved. Bishop entrusted the final flash drive of Chen’s to Reeves, as Qasim was shot before he could decode it. Reeves tells Bishop that he hasn’t done anything with the flash drive because he is trying to find a translator that he can trust. So does anyone think for a moment that Bishop is letting this go? Nope, me neither.
Vance arrives and alerts the team that they have a more pressing concern. Gibbs never arrived to teach a field training class, and he is also not answering his cell or home phone. Torres and Quinn think that maybe Gibbs is doing something that is really none of their business. McGee and Bishop know that something is wrong. Vance wants Gibbs found, so McGee tells Quinn and Bishop to go to Gibbs’ house. Bishop is not happy about going into Gibbs’ house with no one there, but McGee is calling the shots.
Quinn and Bishop find Gibbs’ truck missing and his door unlocked. Bishop does find one interesting clue: a book called The Sensitive Man’s Survival Handbook sitting on his bedside table. Things go from bad to worse when Quinn accidentally hits a plate against the faucet and breaks it. She is understandably upset because it was made by his daughter, Kelly.
Clues and Surprises
Torres and McGee go to Gibbs’ favorite breakfast haunt and find his truck with a parking ticket. The waitress tells the agents that Gibbs disappeared and left $20 on the table. McGee calls Abby and asks her to ping his phone. She does, and his phone is across the street from the diner. McGee calls the cell phone, and they hear it ringing from a mailbox.
Gibbs left his phone, badge and identification in the mailbox. Torres wonders if Gibbs might have dumped everything that had his actual name on it, which is the first rule of undercover work.
Meanwhile, Bishop is perusing Kai Chen’s file when Quinn stops her and tells her to leave locating Chen to the other agents. Bishop states that she is fine and that she is not hell-bent on revenge. Bishop goes to see Abby in the lab. Abby is more than freaked-out by Gibbs’ disappearing act.
The team finally gets some answers when they receive camera footage from near the diner. Gibbs looks directly into the camera and shows his badge and phone before dropping them in the mailbox. Another camera shows him walking to a vehicle with a strange man. McGee doesn’t recognize the man, but he sends Abby a copy of the license plate to enhance.
Quinn is concerned when she finds Abby using “pyramid power” to bring Gibbs home. I’m not sure why Abby would put Gibbs’ belongings under a pyramid structure and how that will help. Is it me or does Abby seem a bit flakier than usual in this situation? All Quinn knows is that she needs Abby to fix Kelly’s plate so that Gibbs will never know that it was damaged.
A Blast from the Past
The truck belongs to Bodie Whitman, who lives in Baltimore. Vance knows the name because Bodie was involved in one of Gibbs’ last undercover cases. In 2001, Bodie was a soldier in an anti-government militia group led by Bodie’s brother. Ramsay Whitman planned the hijacking of a Navy truck that was carrying used nuclear fuel rods. Two Marines died during the hijacking. The Whitman brothers planned to build a dirty bomb.
Gibbs used his backstopped alias of Leland Robert Spears to join the group. Gibbs’ alias is that of an ex-con and angry former Marine who is against the government. Gibbs was undercover for months as Spears, trying to find out where the rods were.
Only Ramsay Whitman knew the location of the rods, and they were never found. The intended target for the dirty bomb was the DC metro subway. For some reason, Ramsay became suspicious and the rest of the group scattered. The only person who was arrested was Bodie. Three of the militia members were killed in a standoff with the FBI a year later. Vance wants the team to review every paper connected with the case and talk to every agent who worked on the case.
Bodie and Gibbs stop at a gas station. When Bodie goes in to pay for some gas, Gibbs asks a woman if he can borrow her phone to call his wife. Gibbs dials McGee’s phone, but he must hang up when Bodie opens the door. McGee sees the strange number and calls it back. The owner of the phone answers and gives a dead-on description of Gibbs. McGee gets the woman’s address and tells her to leave the area. Gibbs and Brodie are in Savage Park, Maryland.
Vance has retired NCIS Special Agent Pettis brought in to chat about the Ramsay Whitman case, along with Deputy Director Roden of the US Department of Energy by video conference. Vance believes that Gibbs is trying to put away Ramsay, who has occupied a place on the most wanted wall for 15 years. These two worked on the original operation.
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Do We Have a Deal?
Gibbs and Ramsay arrive back at Ramsay’s apartment. Gibbs pressures Bodie to call Ramsay since Gibbs has a buyer for the rods. Bodie is cautious and wants to confirm information about Gibbs’ buyer. An enraged Gibbs persuades Bodie to try and contact his brother. Bodie posts a picture of an antique watch on the site, which will send Ramsay an e-mail. Ramsay will call back from an untraceable line.
Gibbs and Bodie are on the move to grab some food when Torres bumps into Gibbs and manages to pass him Spears’ wallet, which contains Spears’ identification and a bug. While Gibbs and Bodie are eating at the dingy apartment, they get a call from Ramsay. Ramsay is going to think about the deal.
When Ramsay calls back, he talks to Bodie. Apparently, Ramsay knows that Spears is a federal agent, and Bodie pulls a gun on Gibbs. Gibbs tries to talk him down and even tells Bodie that he has other agents with him. Gibbs shoots Bodie when the man turns his back.
Reeves returns to the office, and Bishop pounces on him to find out if MI6 has any new information on Chen. They believe that Chen is on a yacht off the coast of Greece. Abby also has some god news for Quinn; she could fix the plate and there isn’t even a crack!
When Gibbs returns to the office, he is treated to a hug from Bishop and some information from Ducky. Bodie had Huntington’s disease. If Ramsay and Bodie are full brothers, there is a chance that Ramsay also has the same disease. Quinn learns that the last tower pinged by Ramsay’s burner cell is in Tazewell’s County. There is one citizen of the county that could be Ramsay. Ramsay is living under the alias ‘John Manning.’ Abby runs facial recognition and Ramsay is Manning.
Gibbs knows that Ramsay will run. Ramsay sends his wife and children off to the grandmother’s house. Once they have left for safely, Ramsay loads up a gun and waits by the fireplace. Gibbs knocks on the door, and Ramsay states that he is unarmed and opens the door. He recognizes his old friend, Spears, as he is taken into custody.
Telling the Truth
Quinn is able to find out that Ramsay called Roden, who tipped him off that Spears is a federal agent. Gibbs sits down with Ramsay, who doesn’t want his family brought into this mess. He readily tells Gibbs that the nuclear rods are buried about 500 feet from where the hijacking took place.
Quinn goes to see Gibbs at his house to tell him that Roden was picked up. She confesses that she broke the dish. Gibbs tells her that it is fixed, so there was no reason to tell him. Quinn isn’t able to let it go, and Gibbs is surprised that Abby was able to remove the crack.
I liked this episode of NCIS, but I found parts of it confusing.
Do you think that Bishop will let go of the Chen case? Was Gibbs wrong to go undercover without telling anyone? Do you think that Quinn should tell Gibbs about Bishop and the Chen case? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
NCIS season 14 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our NCIS Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of CBS)