Did everyone manage to stay awake until the end of this episode?
There were certain points in the show where I was sure the story was going to take off, but it ultimately seemed to fall flat every time.
NCIS Season 13 Episode 13 began with Bishop writing a rambling letter to the President, involving the case of the week.
That case involved the murder of a Navy seaman, who we discover later was shot while trying to resist a human trafficking ring.
It's hard to remember a less remarkable episode.
We knew as soon as we met Adam that he was a major bad guy. The nice guy usually is. Learning that he retired after the original human trafficking case was resolved just confirmed it. The only reason he quit his job was because he suddenly had a new more lucrative cash flow coming in.
The murder of Milner – Bishop's former NSA colleague – was telegraphed well in advance too. The writing was that cliché and predictable.
"Oh I've got all kinds of news for you, Bishop. Why don't you and Adam meet me at the diner where I can share it with you?"
"Well what have you got?"
"Lots! See you soon!"
That isn't exactly what they said but it's a close approximation. And you know whenever that happens the person with all of that information isn't going to make it.
Just as you know that the third party going to meet them is the one who is going to kill her.
It was good to see the attempt to paint Palmer as something other than the class clown this time around. Even that effort felt flat and forced, though. It was hard to buy the idea of him being highly incensed over the case.
There were two bright points in the episode.
The first was the meeting between the club owner and Tony and McGee:
Dacey: My night crew won't be in for a few hours, but you guys are welcome to stick around. Actually, it's 90s night, in case you guys want to re-live some of your glory days later.
McGee: Excuse me?
Tony: Glory days?
Dacey: Yeah. Show off some of those old dance moves. Little "Can't Touch This."
The second (saving the best until last here) was the exchange between Tony, McGee and Tiffany, the owner of the GPS firm:
Tony: We were hoping, Tiffany, that you could...
Tiffany: Trace this to a particular buyer.
Tony: Good guess!
Tiffany: You're cops. This is evidence. Duh.
That whole sub-plot involving Bishop writing a letter to the President seemed fairly pointless. At one point she seemed apologetic for not realizing sooner that they were dealing with an old trafficking ring case. Or maybe she was castigating herself for not recognizing that her old pal Adam was at the heart of it. It's hard to say for sure.
And then it seemed like she was boasting about her team.
The letter ultimately was rambling and ridiculous. The story was a waste of air time.
With the knowledge that nothing ever happens randomly on a TV show, especially a procedural like this one, we can surmise that something's in the works for Ducky. The writer made a point of having him repeat the fact that he missed an important clue when doing the autopsy on the seaman. That was coupled with repeated praise for Palmer, for managing to catch what he missed.
The guess here is that Weatherly is not the only guy about to exit the NCIS nest. There's been no announcement about McCallum, but remember: the Weatherly announcement only came when news of his exit was leaked.
All in all, this was an okay episode. By that I mean: it functioned as a typical NCIS procedural, with all of the right parts in the right places. It didn't meet the high bar of what we've grown to expect, however.
And because it was so predictable and forced, it became boring.
- Rocky Carroll directed this episode.
- The "Three Little Pigs" metaphor was not lost here: first, McGee, then McGee and Tony, then McGee, Tony and Bishop all lost power and heat, finally ending up at Gibbs' place. (Okay so it's four pigs in this instance, but you get the idea).
- Be sure to tune in for the next episode of NCIS, which airs on February 9. Or if you can't wait until then you can always watch NCIS online.
What did you think? Were there aspects of the episode you enjoyed? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.