Vance had a cancer scare last time on NCIS, and I found the scenes between Vance and Ducky, as well as Vance and Gibbs, to be quite powerful. Thankfully, it turned out to be a viral condition that caused the spots on Vance’s lungs. Oh, and Gibbs had a phone chat with the President. Just another day at the NCIS office!
In this week’s installment of NCIS, titled “So It Goes,” Ducky takes a trip to London, along with Bishop, when a case has a connection to Ducky’s estranged friend. We will also get to see a young Ducky in action.
As the episode begins, a British man is driving along, talking on his car phone, saying how anyone following him will think he is a tourist. You know what that means, folks. He is being watched by a guy in a face mask with an anti-tank weapon who blows up the car.
At NCIS headquarters, Tony and Bishop are giving Abby the run-down on Burton Moore, the attractive park ranger Abby recently met on a case, until Abby calls a “code McBlue” when McGee enters. Hilarious! McGee tells Abby that he isn’t jealous, but his brotherly protectiveness is wearing thin for her. Gibbs even cautions McGee about his comments to Abby.
A Blast from the Past
At the crime scene, the team finds troop deployment orders hidden in the remains of the car. It was rented to Angus Clarke, and Ducky reminisces about a boy he grew up with who had the same name. When McGee reads the home address, Ducky is shocked that he is looking at the remains of his best childhood buddy.
Gibbs finds Ducky standing outside of the autopsy room, sadly staring at the body of his friend. He recalls playing tag with him as a child and how it is one of his fondest memories. Gibbs tells Ducky that they can get someone else to do the autopsy. Ducky stoically replies that when he did the exams on Kate, Director Shepard and Mike Franks, he had the opportunity to spend some last moments with them. He wants to do the same for his friend.
Ducky makes a stunning discovery when he sees that the victim has both of his original central incisors, while Ducky knows that Angus’ two front teeth were replaced by implants because Ducky knocked them out in a fight. Hey, what kind of friend does that?
It’s a Surprise
We flashback to a dashing young Dr. Mallard as he is preparing to go on a trip before he joins the Royal Army Medical Corps. Angus was planning to take Ducky out to celebrate before he departs, but when Angus wants to stop by his father’s hotel to get his wallet, Ducky surmises something is afoot. He tells Angus that he hates surprise parties, and the wily Angus has actually brought everyone to the train terminal to surprise Ducky. Well played, sir. Well played!
Abby determines that the victim had NCIS set as his next destination, and also had information about three naval officers. What is the common thread? Well, all three officers are dead, but from natural causes and freak accidents. Abby has better luck finding out the identity of the victim: Samuel Colpepper. It turns out that Colpepper was traveling with Ducky’s friend, Angus. Colpepper worked for Angus, and Angus headed back to England a few days earlier while Colpepper shopped and did some sight-seeing.
Bishop makes the troubling discovery that no one has heard from Angus since he got back to England. Bishop is going to England to find Angus, and Ducky is the lucky duck who is going to accompany her. The last time Ducky saw Angus was Ducky’s going away party when he socked his friend in the mouth. I can’t wait to find out what that was all about.
A Familiar Face
Ducky and Bishop are met when they arrive at the hotel in jolly old England by Gareth Godfrey, Angus’ assistant. Godfrey denies their request to see Angus’ office, but Margaret Clarke, Angus’ wife, arrives and decides to make an exception. She would like him found so that he can sign their divorce papers. And they say romance is dead. Clearly, from the expressions on their faces, Margaret and Ducky know each other.
Back When Ducky was Groovy, Baby!
Now we flash back to a hipster Ducky, in all his Austin Powers glory, dancing at his going away party. We also see that Margaret gives Ducky a bow tie as a going away gift, and he chuckles that she thinks he would ever wear one. Angus gives Ducky a scalpel. It seems that Ducky has decided he has had enough of dealing with the dead and instead is planning to go into obstetrics. Angus later makes a toast to “the three musketeers.” When Margaret wants to dance, Ducky is too inebriated, so she flirtatiously dances for him.
In Angus’ office, Bishop spies a photo of the three musketeers and remarks that Ducky was “really hot.” Bishop goes through Angus’ e-mails and finds an e-mail to Colpepper the day he died. It is the same information on the naval officers that Colpepper had. Suddenly, a half-dressed woman stumbles in, speaking in Albanian, and runs out with Bishop in pursuit.
Meet Mr. Velo
Gibbs and Tony catch up with Peter Velo, another Brit who is trying to buy a stake in a company that is going bankrupt by offering to bail out the business. It turns out that Velo met with Angus recently, and also helped Angus in the past when he had financial trouble with one of his hotels. When Velo hears that Colpepper is dead, he mentions that Angus was very angry with Colpepper about something.
In the lab, Abby asks McGee to ask her about whether she has spoken to her friendly park ranger, then tells him it is none of his business. I must say, McGee does seem a bit jealous. that Abby has discovered drugs in all the autopsy reports of the dead naval officers, and with Bishop’s information from Angus’ computer, the total comes to five murdered officers. There is one person who is still alive on the list, and NCIS needs to find him — fast.
Gibbs and McGee track him down while he is running, and he is reluctant to head back to the Navy yard with them. Commander Bucket suddenly collapses after taking a drink from his water bottle. Bucket had an allergic reaction to something, but survives the incident. Palmer later discovers that Commander Bucket is allergic to shellfish, and there was residue of it in his water bottle. Also, all of the replacements for the murdered men were Albanian-American.
Back in England, Bishop and Ducky have a lovely spot of tea while discussing the case. Bishop says that the woman from Angus’ office is an employee at the hotel and that Angus was letting her stay there. Margaret joins them for tea during the uncomfortable exchange. Ducks asks her to look at the photos of the naval officers, and their fingers briefly touch when he hands her the envelope. Bishop notices and makes a hasty exit.
Just One Kiss
Ducky and Margaret reminisce again about the night of his going away party. Ducky confessed his love to her and asked her to go away on his trip with him. She asked why he didn’t confess his feelings sooner, and they kissed. Angus returned, and he was not too happy. Angus and Margaret had been seeing each other and were going to tell Ducky. Angus was furious that Margaret had feelings for Ducky as well and called her an unflattering name, which led to that fist fight. Margaret tells present-day Ducky that she ended up with Angus because he never came back.
The replacements for the murdered Navy officers aren’t being very forthcoming. McGee finally finds another piece of the puzzle when he notices that all of them listed a Gareth Ahmeti, who is a hit man for the Albanian mafia, as their emergency contact. He has been living in England under the name of Gareth Godfrey. The Albanian mafia was using the men in the Navy positions as part of a smuggling ring.
Ducky goes to see Margaret to break the news that Angus’ body has been found in a river. Ducky is moved to see the scalpel on display at Margaret’s home. Ducky regrets his actions on that night, and Margaret confirms that Angus did, too.
Gareth arrives and seems broken up about his boss’ death. He sits down and asks for a drink. When Gibbs calls to warn Ducky, Gareth smashes Ducky’s phone and pulls a knife on them. Ducky slashes him in the brachial artery and demands to know why he killed his friend. Gareth, wanting Ducky to save his life, says that they were running a prostitution ring out of the hotel. Angus also figured out about the smuggling ring in the US. Ducky wants to know who is really in charge, but Gareth takes that secret to his grave.
Tony and Gibbs meet up again with Velo, who has persuaded that reluctant business owner to partner with him. When Gibbs and Tony suggest that he is making meth, Velo makes a break for it.
Ducky and Bishop are looking at Big Ben at night while waiting for their ride to the airport. Ducky left Margaret without saying goodbye, but she won’t let him get away that easily again. She comes to see Ducky. He recalled waiting for her at the train station, but when she showed up, he knew she wouldn’t be accompanying him so he left without a goodbye. She tells Ducky that she made the wrong choice.
Margaret asks why he never married, and Ducky tells her about a friend that lost his soul mate, then kept marrying the wrong woman over and over again. Ducky tells her he opted to skip the part of trying to recapture his soul mate.
I love how this NCIS episode ends with Ducky and Margaret standing together, not knowing what the future holds, but just enjoying their time together.
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)