Last time on NCIS, the team suffered the loss of one of their own: NCIS Cyber Special Agent Ned Dorneget. Dorneget died in Cairo when he heroically tried to evacuate a hotel that was rigged to explode by the vicious terror group “The Calling.” This group of terrorists had been recruiting children and teens online all over the globe, thanks to their savvy use of the Internet. I thinks this is a timely but still very scary topic.

The season 12 finale of NCIS, titled “Neverland,” has Dorneget’s mother, CIA Officer Joanna Teague (played by guest star Mimi Rogers) joining the team to find justice for her only child. I am still sad that Dorneget was killed off. So will the team be able to stop “The Calling”? I am sure Gibbs won’t give up until he shuts down the terror cell for good.

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A Bad Idea

Vance and Gibbs meet with Dorneget’s mother, who wants to work the case. She works in Cyber-ops dealing with the Middle East, and has already gotten permission from her superiors. Gibbs doesn’t hesitate to tell her that he thinks she is too close to the case. Dorneget, it turns out, wanted the fact that his mother worked in the CIA to be kept secret from everyone at NCIS. He wanted to earn the respect of his co-workers, and he did. Teague is surprised by the new information from Vance but continues to implore Vance to let her work the case. She also states that Gibbs should understand about the loss of a child.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team is going over the case. Sadiq Samar, who is an engineer and the main recruiter for “The Calling,” is still on the loose.  Sadiq is linked to the bomb fragments in Cairo by touch DNA. Matthew Rousseau, who gave McGee the hint about the possibility of a strike against the hotel in Cairo, is at NCIS and readily admitted “The Calling’s” guilt in the bomb blast in Cairo.

Mothers and Sons

Gibbs brings Teague down to the main floor where everyone offers their sympathy. McGee feels guilty for leaving Dorneget in Cairo so that he could go and interrogate Rousseau. Dorneget’s mother doesn’t blame anyone at NCIS for her son’s death, and she tells McGee how much her son liked him. Gibbs gets the dreaded call to bring Teague down to autopsy to view her son’s body. While Teague says goodbye to her son, Gibbs is confronted by the ghost of Mike Franks, who asks him how many more agents will die on Gibbs’ watch. Ouch. Obviously, this loss is weighing heavily on Gibbs’ mind and heart, or else he has become a psychic medium.

Teague has an unusual request — she wants to see every piece of shrapnel that is removed from Dorneget’s body. Ducky would prefer to wait until his autopsy is complete, but Gibbs asks him to do it the way that Teague has asked. It is grisly work but yields some interesting results. The shrapnel is made of titanium ball bearings, which is rather unusual. Much of it comes from Russia, and Gibbs and Teague decide to start with their Russian contacts.

Gibbs reaches out to Pavlenko, who was key in the ultimate demise of Sergei Mishnev, who was responsible for the murder of Gibbs’ ex-wife, Diane. Pavlenko thinks that a local aerospace company, Bianca Aviation, imported the titanium used in the bomb. It was purchased by a dummy corporation connected with the name Roger Dietz.

View to a Kill

Gibbs goes to meet with Luke in a park, where he is under the watchful eye of a bodyguard. Luke wants to know what will happen to him since both of his adopted parents are dead, and it is his fault. Gibbs tells him that he is trying to help with the investigation now, and that counts for something. Luke drops a bombshell: he can show Gibbs who killed his parents.

A giraffe named Safari Sandy, outfitted with a nanny cam, was in the Harris home. Abby is able to pull up a video of Luke’s parents’ murder, but she seems hesitant to show Gibbs. I wonder what that means.

Luke enters the conference room at headquarters to retrieve his homework and sees Dorneget’s mother holding a picture of her son. She tells Luke that she doesn’t really know what happened to her son and that she has a lot of questions. Luke responds that Dorneget’s death is his fault. Teague asks him to tell her about his “friends.” Luke replies that they aren’t his friends, and Teague asks how to find them.

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Another Bomb Goes Off

Bishop and Tony pay a visit to the aerospace company, inquiring how titanium parts that they ordered ended up in Cairo. Roger Dietz, who is in charge of inventory, begins to act nervous and denies knowing anything. Of course, when Gibbs sits down to speak with Rousseau, Roger has admitted that he sold the titanium parts to Sadiq. Rousseau says that Luke is misguided but will eventually find his path.

Rousseau also denies knowing the identity of the blond young man who set off the explosion in Cairo. Ghost Franks visits once again and urges Gibbs to “break him.” Before Gibbs can do anything, Rousseau makes a comment about missing the afternoon tour in Arizona. Now, that can’t be good. Gibbs takes a call from McGee with the news that two more S-mines have been detonated at the Grand Canyon.

A Close Call

One park ranger was killed and some hikers were wounded, but tour buses were due to drop off tourists at the location where the bombs exploded; they were running late, though. Bishop finds a cell number in Roger’s phone records that was traced to a burn cell found near the Mount Roosevelt Campus.

McGee also finds something that Dorneget had been working on. All of the kids who were recruited were sent techno-industrial music. Teague asks Gibbs if Luke has any songs like the ones that McGee was just playing, but it doesn’t look like Gibbs took too kindly to her observation about Luke.
Bishop and Tony hit the college campus showing a photo of Sadiq around. Suddenly, a young teenage boy exits a building. Bishop and Tony start to ask a few questions before the kid takes off running. He hops on a motor bike and disappears.

Teague, Gibbs and Luke share a meal at the diner. Once again, ghost Franks warns Gibbs that he may be missing clues about Luke. Luke starts to listen to his music on his earbuds and refuses to let Teague listen to his it. Luke asks to go back to Gibbs’ house, and Gibbs agrees. Both Teague and ghost Franks think that Luke is playing games with Gibbs. I find it hard to believe that Gibbs has lost his famous gut instinct about people. Why is Luke so special to him?

Finding Luke

The young teen that left Bishop and Tony in the dust goes to see Sadiq in a trailer to warn him that NCIS is looking for him. Sadiq thinks that Luke still has value for “The Calling” and orders the teen to convince Luke that his brothers need him.

Abby, the resident expert on industrial music, has been listening to the songs that Dorneget downloaded. There are codes similar to Morse code embedded in the bass lines of each song spelling out messages and instructions to injure others. That is terrifying.

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Elf Lord Steps Up

Vance calls Gibbs, Teague and McGee to MTAC. Commissioner Girard received a video game that “The Calling” created and were giving out for free. Girard thinks there is another message hidden inside, but no one can get to it unless you finish the game. Elf Lord McGee is called in to play the game. In the elevator, Teague asks Gibbs who they are really trying to catch in this post 9/11 world. Gibbs responds, “Bad guys,” but he is starting to look tired of trying to save the world.

At Gibbs’ house, the teen boy sent by Sadiq took Luke and injured Luke’s protective detail. Or perhaps Luke struck her on the back of her head?  Gibbs realizes that Teague and Franks were right about Luke.

Vance calls Teague to his office to share some scotch. Teague has actually been well-versed on “The Calling” and has been working undercover. Her superiors are concerned that she may endanger her cover for NCIS. She understands that NCIS will not jeopardize a CIA operation.

Gibbs visits autopsy to see Dorneget. Once again, Franks put in an appearance. He asks Gibbs how many lives he has saved for every one that was lost. Gibbs responds that he hasn’t saved enough, and Franks asks Gibbs who will be there to save him? Way to stay positive, ghost Franks.

Adventures in Interrogation

Agent Teague locates Sadiq in his trailer and interrogates him.  She wants to know the whereabouts of Luke Harris. Teague is certainly skilled and brutal in her interrogation tactics, and finds out that Luke has been taken to Iraq. There is a knock on the door, and it is Gibbs. Gibbs is furious that Teague used CIA intelligence to locate Sadiq. He cares about the agent that he lost, and he wants things done the NCIS way. Gibbs asks Sadiq why they would take Luke when he was in federal custody. The reason, Sadiq replies, is because he was in custody. Yikes! Luke has seen the team and knows about them, so the entire team is now in danger. Sadiq also remarks that the group will get the information out of Luke, and no one can stop them.

Teague and Gibbs bring Sadiq to headquarters. They also have the identity of the leader of “The Calling”: the blond man at the Cairo explosion, whose name is Daniel Budd. Bishop’s contact has also identified Luke on the outskirts of Zakho, Iran. Gibbs tells Tony to grab his bag, as he is headed to Iraq along with Gibbs and Teague.

Once in Iraq, the group looks around in the area where a group of young people were dropped off by a van. They spot a girl wearing neon sneakers, and Teague and Tony follow her.

A Curious Riddle

At NCIS, Vance sits down with Sadiq. He wants Sadiq to give him the location of Daniel Budd or the location of their next target. Sadiq talks in riddles about old, stubborn men who sit on a bench and are against youth. Well, that was enlightening.

In the office, Elf Lord McGee is playing the game with a lot of gaming advice from Abby and Bishop. Elf Lord triumphs, and his prize is a series of locations and grids that include tourist destinations, naval bases and business centers, which apparently are upcoming targets of “The Calling.”

Vance has deciphered the riddle and thinks Sadiq is targeting the Supreme Court Justices, who are on a retreat in the Appalachians. Vance orders McGee to get it on lockdown.

Gibbs finds the girl with the sneakers, and she tells him that she is out for a walk at the direction of her “new friends.” At the same time, Tony gets a call from Budd who is watching them from a window above the square. Luke calls out for Gibbs, and when Gibbs turns, Luke shoots him in the leg and chest.

This was one heavy and depressing NCIS episode. Not only is Gibbs’ life hanging in the balance, but the team is still unable to get a handle on “The Calling.” Will Gibbs survive? Are Tony and Teague targets, too? We will have a long wait until the fall to find out all the answers.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Kim Stempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Kim has been covering television entertainment since 2013. She is addicted to Real Housewives, Pump Rules, Dancing with the Stars, and many more shows.