The NCIS team found themselves on the outside looking in at their own offices, while wrestling with a new case and the ongoing P2P saga in "Dead Reflection."
The continuation of the port-to-port case was handled interestingly, with Gibbs ceding control to E.J., at least for this week, and going on almost in the background.
While Barrett's team, two members of which we met (one of whom made McGee very jealous), worked that case, Gibbs & Co. were dealt one straight out of MI-3.
Or was it MI-2 ...
What looked like an open-and-shut case turned out to be anything but, and I immediately thought of the Mission: Impossible masks as soon as the catch was revealed.
The fact that this was referenced, with Gayne getting the upper hand over Tony in movie trivia of all things, was an appropriate, funny touch. The mask did its job, too.
The perpetrator might have sneaked past Tony were it not for his cologne. He recognized it was the suspect in the nick of time, leading to the disguised killer's arrest.
As is frequently the case on NCIS, the ways in which the killer's plot (and the show's) were woven together were surprisingly complex for just an hour-long show.Under investigation for killing a tribal leader in Afghanistan, Tunney wanted a confidential file at the Pentagon swapped with one he falsified to give himself an alibi.
Then his former colleague, who had access to pull this off and would have done him the favor, dies. With no time to spare, he assumes his identity, but gets made.
The girl was collateral damage, not unlike the tribal leader. As for how the killer got that mask, this was explained in a great scene with Tony, McGee and Caf-Pow.
Crafting perfect replicas of faces in one of the most top secret locations of one of the most top secret agencies requires someone quite Abby-like, don't you think?
Speaking of Abby, she took quite a liking to Simon Cade, a behemoth of a man with an I.Q. of 160 and a photographic memory. He also seems really nice, naturally.
It's hard to say what made McGee more jealous, that Abby was smitten with Simon, or being out-geeked by a guy who looks like an NFL player (Matthew Willig in fact was).
Call it an awkward, thoroughly entertaining hybrid of the two. Abbs' smile when she realized it was so precious, and this made for one of the best "McAbby" moments.
Cade is, in fact, right up Abby's alley. While enormous, he's not handsome (at least not in the Mark Harmon or Michael Weatherly sense), but his brains and warmth won her over.
It will be interesting to see this relationship progresses and how McGee responds. Will he make a move? There's no NCIS policy against dating co-workers, but there is Rule #12.
Gibbs evoked this entry in his rule book in what I thought was the best scene of the night, in the basement with DiNozzo. It was then that Tony brought up his and E.J.'s affair.
Tony doesn't want to break up with E.J., but Gibbs flat out told him it's a bad move. But while he told E.J. to back off last week, he let Tony come to him, a great sign of respect.
How far that respect carries beyond this remains to be seen, but Gibbs' "I depend on you" line was not one DiNozzo will take lightly, given the esteem in which he holds his boss.
He sensed something was off in their relationship, and while he stood up for himself and his right to date E.J., not a single thing Gibbs says will fall upon deaf ears with Tony.
If nothing else, I think there was a mutual respect in this exchange, which was preceded by a nice moment on the stakeout between Tony and Ziva, friends caring for each other.
Finally, the episode ended with an awesome cliffhanger of sorts. E.J. may not be winning over the NCIS faithful, but her instincts in the port-to-port case were spot on here.
With an assist to Palmer (great episode for him), Barrett wondered if the eyeball sent to DiNozzo last week was connected with the department somehow, and boy, was it ever.
Just before the final phoof of the night, the spherical organ passes a retinal scan security system at NCIS. As Pauley Perrette teased on Twitter, it belongs to someone we know.
The question is who. You all had some interesting guesses when we turned this over to you last week. Now we do so again. Who from NCIS' past or present, is missing an eye?!
Discuss this and all other aspects of last night's NCIS below!