Tuesday night's NCIS involved an intriguing murder mystery at 35,000 feet, a second component of the investigation back on the ground in D.C., and a whole lot of Tony and Ziva.
Tiva was in Paris, briefly, to escort a key witness to the U.S. But that witness was a marked woman. Our episode recap has the plot details. Now, here's our review of "Jet Lag" ...
What makes NCIS so good is the writing and the lightning-quick plot development, to be sure, but it wouldn't work without the strong NCIS cast, all of whom shined Tuesday.
Tony and Ziva traveled to Paris to escort a witness, Nora Williams, to the U.S. to testify against Bolinger, a major government contractor (her employer) who is bilking the Navy.
The problem is that someone's out to get her. A dead Marine turns up in D.C. with all of Nora Williams' personal and flight info. A hit man killed by a hit man. And away we go ...
Ziva thought the Air Marshall might have been their man.
This resulted in simultaneous mysteries on the plane and at the office, with Tony and Ziva on high alert for suspicious passengers and Gibbs and McGee working on the Marine's death.
The Marine's phone records lead Gibbs to a D.C. madam who, rather than merely matching "buyers and sellers" for sex, was also doing the same for other "services" - contract killings.
She tries to finagle a plea deal and stonewalls Gibbs' attempts to get her bank records, leaving Tony and Ziva on their own for now. They suspect the federal air Marshall is their guy.
Until he turns up stabbed to death in the lavatory with his gun stolen, that is.
They get a print off the crocheting needle he was stabbed with, but it's almost too late as Williams collapses with a major allergic reaction to peanuts. Her pillow was laced with them.
This assassin did his/her homework, and must be a crew member. Gibbs gets the financial info on who collected money for the Marine's hit - an attractive female flight attendant.
Ziva administers a vintage Ziva a$$-kicking. Case closed in the nick of time!
Did you peg that perky flight attendant for a hired gun?
That still leaves the question of who paid her to take out Williams: Not the Bolinger CEO, but Nora's own fiance, who worked as the company's accountant, and was embezzling too.
Got all that? There were so many intertwining mysteries unraveling in the span of an hour that it was a little difficult to follow, but the pacing was perfect and the action flawless.
Almost overlooked in this episode were the allusions to Tony and Ziva's trip to Paris. What exactly happened when there was only one hotel room left and they had to share it?
There was a palpable tension between throughout the episode. Not in a negative way, just a tense way, as if they were trying to figure out their relationship status just like us.
They weren't saying, but both strongly alluded in the closing sequence to having shared a bed. Hot stuff, and perhaps even hotter because they kept the specifics to themselves.
Leaving a little something to the imagination in this day and age? Refreshing.
- The dead Marine got to hear all about the Phantom of the Opera from Ducky, who was in rare form this week. We haven't seen full-on conversations with corpses in awhile.
- Loved the critique of Tony's photos by the witness, although he got the last laugh (again, only to himself) with the artistic shot of Ziva. Definitely better in black and white.
- Rule #12: Never date a co-worker. What are rules #1-11?
- Ziva's inability to use contractions does not ever get old.