Gibbs’ team has an open position, and it’s no surprise that he rejected eight agents that FLETC instructor and Special Agent Alex Quinn sent his way by the start of the NCIS season 14 premiere. After all, Gibbs likes to pick his team himself, and he did just that using a poker game at the end of “Rogue” as he asked Quinn if she was in for more than just that hand.
As Quinn tells Gibbs after shadowing his team to see what he needs, it’s not about him finding an agent that the team needs, but rather, finding an agent who needed his team. Here’s why Quinn fits the bill.
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Quinn Can Provide Insight about Other Agents
When we first meet Quinn, she’s frustrated with Gibbs because he keeps rejecting the probies she sends his way, and through her shadowing of the team, we learn that she never forgets a student. In fact, she trained McGee, Bishop and Nick, meaning she knows their personalities, how they operate and what they’re lacking.
Quinn remembers that McGee always carried a paperback mystery novel in his bag. She recognizes Nick’s photo and isn’t surprised he went into undercover work, describing him as unattached, persuasive, clever and a bit unstable.
Though she tells Bishop she doesn’t remember her, even as the other agent tries to jog her memory, McGee can tell she does. As Quinn explains, Bishop is so tightly wound and needs to loosen up a bit, so she’s having fun with her because it’s too easy not to. The problem here is that it’s just a bit too reminiscent of Tony messing with his teammates, and while that may not be something NCIS wants to lose, it may not be Quinn’s best quality.
And when she reveals to the other agent that she knows who she is, she also tells her she saw potential in her, just like Gibbs did. It’s what Bishop needs to hear; that while she wasn’t the most naturally skilled agent, she was persistent and never made the same mistake twice. Bishop came to NCIS lacking some of the skills necessary for the job, and we’ve seen that. But we’ve also seen her work hard and get right back up.
This is also why Quinn sees what it is that Gibbs needs in an agent on his team: something more than what appears at face value, something that he sees in each agent. She knows that Gibbs always makes the right call. That’s why she realizes by the end of the premiere that this time he’s looking for someone who needs his team.
Quinn Knows Gibbs
She has an easy-going relationship with Gibbs, one that comes from knowing him a long time, and that’s clear right off the bat when she walks in, clapping and relaxed while confronting him about rejecting her agents. Because we’ve lost Tony, the agent on the team who knew Gibbs the longest, there couldn’t be two new team members who had to get to know everyone and whom everyone had to get to know at the same time.
Nick’s the total newbie, to Gibbs, to the others, to the team dynamic. On the other hand, Quinn is someone who knows Gibbs, knows how he operates from knowing him and whom he knows at least enough to trust to do the job. With Nick somewhat of a wild card, Gibbs needs someone like Quinn.
I also expect to see a similar rapport with Vance and Ducky, though unfortunately, we don’t see her interact with either in “Rogue.”
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Quinn Has the Experience
She’s good at what she does. Gibbs comments that FLETC is lucky to have her as an instructor, and she has to be the best at her job for Gibbs to even be willing to give the probies she’s sending his way a chance (even if he keeps rejecting them). That also means that Gibbs has to trust her and her judgement, which is important if she’s going to be on his team.
We see that in her responses to those around her. She has no problem interrupting McGee and Bud’s conversation, nor interjecting “I like this guy” after Bud’s response regarding lawyers and ruffling feathers. She also easily jumps in with “Quit burying the lead. Get to the target,” as McGee and Bishop are updating Gibbs.
It Puts Quinn out of Her Comfort Zone
As Bishop tells Quinn, being a field agent forced her out of her comfort zone. It’s going to be similar for Alex, who has been a FLETC instructor. The premiere didn’t really offer a chance to see how she works a case, so that has yet to be seen, plus sending agents Gibbs’ way and knowing the rest of the team from their time at FLETC is different from working with Gibbs and with the others in the field every day.
What she knows about her (now) teammates comes from what she observed of them in her classes. But they’ve changed since then. McGee has years under his belt working on Gibbs’ team. Bishop was in FLETC when she first came over from the NSA and has now been with NCIS for a couple of years. Nick spent eight years undercover. It could be interesting to see how she reacts to them now and they react to her.
As she comments to Bishop, she gets her kicks screaming at probies. Well, that’s not going to be the case any longer, so how does that change her?
What do you think of Alex Quinn after the premiere? Is she a good addition to the team?
NCIS season 14 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our NCIS Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of CBS)