Rule #6: Never say you're sorry.
This week's NCIS was a good one, with the team back working together and trying to piece together the mystery of a U.S. Marine who arrived for homecoming, only to collapse dead in the foyer.
The investigation led us to the Marine's foster sister, who it turned out was awfully confused about who she is - something to which one of Gibbs' team members can increasingly relate, it appears.
"Restless" was a conventional NCIS episode in the way the plot unfurled, but certainly didn't pretend the events of the spring and summer, culminating in last week's premiere, didn't exist for Tony.
DiNozzo is still affected by the events of last week's episode - not just because Gibbs' head slaps hurt more when you're coming off a concussion. Tony's starting to reexamine his entire existence.
Throughout the case, which conjured up high school memories for all the NCIS agents, he grew increasingly fixated on a classmate he humiliated back in the day and felt he had to make amends.
Ever tell a lie, or at least alter some details of a story so many times you start to believe it? Well, when Tony went to apologize and "Stinky John" towered over him, you knew something was amiss.
Tony was really the one hanging from the flagpole in his underwear, not this guy (a humorous, yet disturbing visual). At some point, he flipped the story, and can't blame his recent bout with amnesia.
My favorite scene of the night was the last one, when Gibbs suggested he could keep this to himself, but the solemn DiNozzo knew he had to come clean. For his teammates, but also for DiNozzo.
What else do you think he's embellished over the years, and to mask what insecurities? A question for another time, but Tony himself probably doesn't like the answer and what it says about him.
I think we all love the class clown version of Tony, but his maturation in scenes like this is neat to see, with Michael Weatherly brilliantly portraying a character in flux, in search of who he is.
As for the week's murder investigation, it took the obligatory turns before leading to a satisfying conclusion. The fact that it centered around foster children and parents offered an unusual angle.
PFC Hill was the man, by any measure. His adopted military family said so. His military superiors said so. So the fact that he was hacking into the Virginia Social Services database seemed off.
That and someone injecting him with a sedative prior to killing him, of course.
The team ultimately found that Hill's foster sister Lindsay, 17, is actually 27 and has a history of being taken in by foster parents, fleeing just before 18th birthday, then relocating and starting over.
While most of us would likely not want to keep reliving high school until we're 27, Lindsay's mental scars cause her to habitually continue this pattern of deception so she can never leave childhood.
Tragically, it was Lindsay's theft of money from her uncle's robbery "business" that indirectly got PFC Hill killed. But in spite of that and the lie she'd been living, the family didn't turn its back on her.
It's great to see there are people like that in this world, taking in troubled kids and standing by them come what may. Gibbs, of course, was the unsung hero in making sure this reunion happened.
Overall, the episode returned to the show's team-oriented, murder-investigating roots while providing the character exploration and exchanges we love. Pretty much why we tune in year after year.
A few quick notes and observations on "Restless" before turning it over to you:
- Abby had three homecoming dates because she couldn't say no? Somehow it makes sense. How much do you wish you were one of them (guys)? How much do you love her (everyone)?
- Maybe Tony can open up to McGee during the mud wrestling match?
- “This seemed like a much better idea in the shower.” Don't they all?
- Ziva saying they were trying to "get your sheep"? Awesome.
- Gibbs' glares at Palmer will never get old.
- Episode head slap count: 1. Season: 1.
- Gibbs' rules mentioned: #6. Season: #3, #5, #36.
What did you think of this week's NCIS episode? Comment below!