Last time on NCIS, the team rescued Secretary of the Navy Sarah Porter’s daughter from a kidnapper bent on revenge. Of course, Gibbs was one step ahead of the kidnappers the whole time. That’s part of the reason why we love him.
This episode of NCIS, “Loose Cannons,” finds the team investigating a murder that takes place when some crates of weapons are stolen. Dr. Cyril Taft (Jon Cryer) lends the team a hand, and an uncomfortable Tony runs into his ex-love, Dr. Jeanne Benoit (Scottie Thompson). I love it when Dr. Taft makes an appearance.
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Take My Therapist, Please
The episode kicks off with Gibbs and Dr. Taft playing chess and bonding. Taft attempts to get Gibbs to open up about his childhood, but Gibbs is hesitant. Taft wants Gibbs to see his own therapist, Grace. Grace already knows all about Gibbs, since Taft has spent many a session discussing his former patient and friend. Gibbs, of course, resists the idea of “head shrinking” and is not willing to meet with Grace. Gibbs and Taft both receive calls at the same time, which I am sure is never a good thing. There is a shooting in Reston at the Naval Operations Center.
Bishop is the first on the scene and tells Gibbs that the victim is Petty Officer First Class Lamar Finn. His fellow Master-At-Arms, Petty Officer First Class Janet Shor, was injured in a gun battle along with one of the shooters. Finn and Shor came upon the shooters when they were sent to investigate an area of the base where the cameras were disabled. The shooters were in the middle of stealing crates that each contained a dozen M-16 rifles, along with a lot of ammunition.
Gibbs calls Taft and orders him to keep the shooter alive so Gibbs can talk to him. The shooter has major trauma, and Taft isn’t sure that he can save him. Gibbs simply repeats his order to keep him alive. After all, what are friends for if not to save the life of a murderer so your friend can get information from him?
Gibbs heads to the hospital, where Taft delivers the bad news that the shooter died. Gibbs is annoyed and asks if the patient ever woke up. He didn’t but was muttering to himself in German. Poor Dr. Taft. He’s probably almost ready to call his therapist, Grace, right about now.
At headquarters, the team has identified the shooter as Fritz Beimler. He was wanted in Germany for drug smuggling, robbery, extortion and some other crimes. Interpol lost track of him in Zaire four months ago. Dr. Taft comes in to share the good news that Petty Officer Shor is awake. Gibbs demands to know why Taft is there, and Taft is actually there to see Ducky. Taft noticed something during surgery and wants to talk with Ducky.
A Curious Find
It turns out that Ducky also noticed the red scar on the shooter’s arm. It was sewn up with fishing line or regular thread, and Taft thinks that it looks terrible. There is also a metal plate under the scar, and Ducky asks Taft if he would like to remove it. “That would be just ducky, Ducky,” Taft responds. Hilarious!
Bishop and McGee go to see Shor at the hospital. An agent from the ATF has just finished interviewing her. Agent Kitt would like NCIS to keep them in the loop and promises to do the same. Shor is wracked with guilt over her friend’s death. She is able to provide enough of a description of the man who taunted her for a sketch.
Abby figures out that the titanium plate removes from Beimler was made for a larger bone. It was actually implanted in a Catholic priest named Father Carlin, and the piece was manufactured in 1995. Abby thinks the whole situation is weird, and I agree. Tony does some digging and finds out that the plate was implanted in Father Gerard Carlin in 1995. Carlin left Texas to work in the Sudan, when his family lost contact with him in 2003. Carlin is presumed dead.
Calling the Doctors
Gibbs wants Tony to talk to Dr. David Woods, who Tony helped rescue not too long ago. Of course, Woods is now married to Tony’s former flame, Jeanne. Since doctors with experience in the Sudan aren’t all that common, Gibbs tells Tony to talk to them. Taft, who is surging on adrenaline since joining the investigation, offers to go along to explain the medical side of things. Tony, who looks like he was just ordered to step in front of a firing squad, is more than eager to have some company for this little chat.
Taft knows from Tony’s behavior and demeanor that Tony was once involved with Jeanne. Tony confides that he doesn’t think Jeanne’s husband, David, knows about his romance with Jeanne, and he wants to keep it that way. Jeanne is out doing errands, but just as Tony is about to breathe a sigh of relief, she returns.
Bad Choice of Words
David is more than happy to contact some doctors that they know in the Sudan area. It isn’t unheard of for medical devices to be removed from graves, and Jeanne isn’t happy about helping NCIS. David is grateful to Tony, and McGee and wants to take them out for dinner as a thank you gift. Jeanne quickly points out that it isn’t necessary since they were only doing their jobs.
When David asks what the bad guy who was sporting the “recycled” titanium plate did, Taft explains that he murdered someone and stole a large quantity of weapons. Jeanne confronts Tony, asking him if he is there because of the weapons, and her father, who was an arms dealer. Tony reassures her that NCIS is only asking for their help because of their experience as doctors in the Sudan. Jeanne isn’t buying it, and if looks could kill, Tony would be pushing up daisies right now.
Back at headquarters, everyone wants to know if it is weird for Tony to deal with Jeanne and her husband. Gibbs mostly wants to know if Tony sent Dr. Taft home. Taft is down in autopsy with Ducky, and Ducky found a bullet near Beimler’s spine from a previous shooting. Dr. Taft, who has issues with losing patients, is consoling himself by telling himself that Beimler had used up his ninth life already.
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A Bad Impression
Gibbs takes Taft out to the diner for a quick dinner. Taft is relishing his chance to play cop for the day. Eventually, Taft asks if Gibbs has done any more thinking about calling Grace for a therapy appointment. Just then, a woman stops by the table, and Gibbs assumes that it is Grace. Nope — it is Catherine, Taft’s wife. Gibbs apologizes by sharing his fries with her when Taft leaves to take a call. Catherine thanks Gibbs for being a good friend to her husband, since he hasn’t been doing well since losing his son.
Ghost from the Past
Abby calls Gibbs and Tony to her lab. The bullet from Beimler’s spine was part of a stolen batch of bullets that link back to La Grenouille — Jeanne’s father. Tony is visibly shaken since he promised Jeanne that the investigation has nothing to do with her father. Oskar Bruenig, one of La Grenouille’s former henchman, left his fingerprints on the wheel of the recovered van used in the gun theft.
Jeanne and her husband arrive at headquarters, and Jeanne sees a picture of her father on the video screen. She is furious and accuses Tony of lying to her again. Gibbs suggests they go and talk in the conference room. Gibbs tells Jeanne that the connection to her father was made just last night and that her father isn’t a suspect. Jeanne identifies the picture of Oskar Bruenig as being her father’s driver, but he was called Pierre at that time.
Outside of the conference room, Tony admits to David that this situation is difficult for him as well. David responds that he can see the way that Tony looks at his wife and also the way that she looks at Tony. David makes it plain that he isn’t giving up his wife. Tony apologizes once again to Jeanne, and she asks her husband to give them a minute alone. She makes it known that seeing him opens old wounds.
So Much for Sharing
Meanwhile, McGee finds an address for a Pierre Oskar in Reston, Virginia. Taft is more than ready to tag along, but Gibbs tells him to go and spend some quality time with his wife. At the house, they find Oskar dead of two gunshot wounds to the chest. The team has company when Agent Kitt and other ATF agents also raid the home. Bishop notices an empty box of detonators.
After enjoying an afternoon movie, Dr. Taft stops to answer a phone call while his wife goes to start the car. The engine doesn’t turn on, so she crosses the street to tell her husband. A moment later, the car explodes. Gibbs goes to the hospital to comfort Taft. His wife doesn’t have any major injuries, but she may need to stay overnight in the hospital. Taft has decided to leave and take a long trip with his wife.
The team receives a call from ATF Agent Kitt that the guns are on a plane to be sold in the Ukraine. Agent Kitt assumes that the third shooter is also on the plane. Gibbs isn’t buying it and asks Kitt to come by for a little talk. Kitt finally explains that, in a covert operation, they installed tracking chips with the guns, and this robbery happened at a good time to test their new program. The plane to the Ukraine was a lie, as the guns and ammunition were split up and sent to different parts of the country. Agent Kitt doesn’t know who the third shooter is, but he may be able to track which gun he has.
Is This Goodbye?
The team apprehends the shooter after ensuring that he gets a flat tire. Tony goes to see Jeanne for what he promises will be the final time. He fills her in on the case and explains that they don’t need any help from physicians in the Sudan. Tony confesses to Jeanne that if he could have one wish, he would stop the clock back to when they got home from the Sudan. Jeanne thinks that he should maybe turn the clock back a bit further. As they say goodbye, it looks for a moment like they might kiss.
At the diner, a lonely woman at the counter strikes up a conversation with Gibbs while he waits for Taft. As they bond over her crossword puzzle, Gibbs puts it together that he is talking with Grace, Taft’s therapist, who is making a special “diner call” for Gibbs.
I really enjoyed this episode of NCIS. I can’t help but wonder if Jeanne and Tony’s story is really over, or will we see more of Jeanne ahead of Tony leaving the show?
NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)