A recently released Navy petty officer convinced Gibbs to re-try him in a military court for the murder of his ex-girlfriend on NCIS Season 13 Episode 9.
But the real drama was Jake's confession to Ellie that he's been having an affair with an NSA Internal Affairs officer. WHOA!
The NCIS Round Table gang – David Taylor, Christine Orlando, Kathleen Wiedel and Douglas Wolfe – had lots to say about all of this. We bet you do, too...
How would you describe this episode in a few words or a sentence?
David: Marriage down...repeat, a marriage is down!
Christine: Seriously, Jake?!?
Kathleen: There was a surprise, but it sure wasn't Jake's.
Doug: The Ken Doll is broken.
What are your thoughts on Jake and his confession?
David: The man is pond scum. No, he's a microbe that feeds on pond scum. No wait...he's the waste left behind after the microbes digest pond scum. Surely you see what I'm getting at.
Christine: He’s got to be kidding me. Bishop is worrying about him and agonizing over ways to save their marriage and he’s out screwing around! Unbelievable. I guess everything was fine when things were easy and they worked together but the first time they had to work through something in their marriage, he bailed. I really expected more of Jake.
Kathleen: I found his actions bizarre to the point where I'm scratching my head and wondering what the heck else might be going on. That said, he's watched his wife transform over the past couple of years from an introverted NSA analyst into an NCIS Action Girl, while he's still the same old lawyer he's always been.
Maybe he felt like he was being left behind, or no longer good enough for her, so that twistedly justified himself stepping out on her. Now, of course, he really isn't good enough for her anymore. Has no one in TV Land ever heard of marriage counseling?
Doug: Ellie had so much invested in that relationship. She was out of her mind with worry for him during the times when he was cheating on her. The fact that he used his NSA secrecy rules to deflect her questions made him exactly as David described: lower than pond scum. I'm sure we've all seen some truly nasty moves in the realm of romance, but this one beats them all. I was shocked, disappointed and angry at this pig.
If the writers turn this around as some sort of gimmick for Jake to keep his wife safe while he fed her a false story about cheating on her.....they'll have earned my undying scorn as well. I can't think of any sort of healthy marriage where the husband would agree to do something so ridiculous and destructive.
What should Bishop do now?
David: Divorce his philandering ass.
Christine: Done. So done. After Bishop is finished licking her wounds the divorce papers need to be sent. She deserves better.
Kathleen: If Bishop really loves Jake (which I think she does), and Jake really loves Ellie, then perhaps they should step back and take some time apart before they make any hasty decisions about divorce. Infidelity is a terrible thing, but it isn't insurmountable. Bishop is feeling angry and hurt and betrayed, and she has every right to feel that way, but maybe she feels that her marriage with Jake is something worth fighting for, worth saving.
Doug: I totally disagree with you on this one, Kathleen. This guy has made it impossible for her to trust him ever again. Even if they were to get back together, you know she'd always be second-guessing him every time he went out the door.
There's nothing better for Bishop to do at this point than get on with life. She needs to immerse herself in work, and with friends. It'll take a long time to heal, and she should give herself that time. I'd suggest she go for counseling as well, because betrayal like that will leave a mark. She stands in danger of becoming bitter and untrusting. Not the best candidate when, a few years down the road, she wants to date again.
What are your thoughts on the case of the week?
David: There was a case? It seems bizarre that the State Attorney would make the same mistake TWICE without thinking someone wouldn't notice the "coincidence" as a trend.
Also, I was a little dismayed to see Gibbs slap Friedgen not once, but twice--he usually gets mad and gets in suspects' faces, but I don't recall him ever assaulting them while in interrogation.
Christine: I was surprised by Gibbs hitting the suspect as well. It didn’t seem normal for him but then again, Gibbs really doesn’t like to be lied to. Overall, I liked that Friedgen was willing to risk a court martial to clear his name. At least his son won’t grow up thinking he’s a murderer.
Kathleen: I was watching this episode with my dad, and we both looked at each other and simultaneously declared that the State Attorney was the guilty party. I'm not kidding. At first, we thought it might just have been prosecutorial misconduct, that he suspected Friedgen was the guilty party but didn't have the evidence so he planted the syringe. Obviously, it was more than that, but I found it fun to watch the team figure out the truth.
Doug: The constant reminders that the State Attorney was up for re-election provided a clue that he wasn't as honorable as he tried to appear. I too suspected he was at the heart of the case, though I couldn't figure out what he had to gain from it.
Interesting that, upon arrest he was incredulous that Friedgen actually had himself re-investigated for possible military prosecution. Yet we can say the same about the State Attorney too: he could have just let Friedgen take the fall, without trying to alter his conviction by deliberately messing up the evidence in a misplaced display of generosity.
What’s your favorite moment in the episode?
David: "Get your head outta your ass!" *mic drop*
Christine: That Eleanor immediately told the guys that Jake was having an affair. This group truly is family and they stick together. Also loved Gibbs, Tony, and McGee all wanting to kick Jake’s ass. He so deserves it.
Kathleen: I loved the scene when Bishop came to Gibbs in his basement and he sat her down and just listened to her problems. Gibbs may be a functional mute, but he's also very much the Team Dad. I was half-expecting Gibbs to pop Jake's head off like my sister did with my Barbie dolls as a kid.
Doug: I really liked the banding together of McGee, Tony and Gibbs when it came time to protect Bishop from Jake when he visited the office. There was no chink in the armor of that brother brigade, was there? It was beautiful.
Go ahead and watch NCIS online to relive this unexpected installment and then tune in next week to see where it all goes from here.
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.