NCIS dropped heavily into personal matters on NCIS Season 14 Episode 5 when the team investigated the death of a petty officer in Philadelphia, as well as the possible connection to weapons smuggling.
The show finally addressed Quinn's issues, specifically what led her to leave the field to become an instructor, and investigated a little into Torres and his discomfort at the office life. Plus, Clayton Reeves joined the cast just in time to be betrayed by his friend!
Let's look at the Case of the Week first. I pegged Finley for a traitor the moment he gave that absurd story about how one of his captors just happened to drop his phone within reach. I mean, come on. This is a television drama. What were the chances Finley wasn't lying?
What really sold it was the completely unnecessary shooting of Nestor Carbone by Finley. Very showy and clearly meant to distract the team. Plus, it worked to get him out from the line of sight of Reeves without drawing suspicion.
After that, it was just counting down the minutes before the team finally realized that Finley was dirty and arrested his sorry backside. It did afford Reeves a cathartic moment as he socked Finley.
Plus that really funny tabletop dancing scene, which, while rather silly and over the top, was nonetheless entertaining. And gave McGee the chance to show off his awesome side as he dual-wielded his and Torres' sidearms. (Anyone else think he was channeling Ziva there?)
On a side note, I am pretty certain that McGee's bad cop routine in the interrogation room was definitely worthy of a lawsuit or two.
Suspect [McGee is playing Bad Cop]: Get him off me!
Torres: I would, but he's scaring *me*!
Yeah, on the one hand it was interesting to see McGee defy expectations by playing the bad cop, but good heavens that was definitely not something any law enforcement officer should ever do in an interrogation!
Torres, meanwhile, continued to struggle at the whole "office life" thing. Having worked in offices that range from a couple employees to hundreds, I have an idea of what he was experiencing. Let me tell you, a paper jam might not seem like much, but some days, it's just the straw that broke the camel's back.
Throw in Torres's lack of experience in an office setting, and things just got a hundred times worse.
McGee: Office equipment is your friend.
Torres: It's a bad friend, the one you lend money to and never pays you back!
It was pretty clear that Gibbs was pushing him (and Quinn, but more on that in a bit) to confront their issues and get out of their comfort zones. For Torres, that meant sitting in an office and looking at a scene from a more analytical perspective (which ultimately provided the vital clue to solve the case).
Poor Torres also managed to dig himself a pretty deep hole with that "all women want to settle down" bit. Oh, boy. It was a bit like watching a train crash in slow motion, the way he kept on talking.
The biggest drama of this episode, however, belonged to Quinn. I totally get her guilt and self-blame for what happened to her friend. But it seemed to me that she completely forgot who she was talking to at the end, pretty much saying that Gibbs – Gibbs! – had no idea how she felt.
Gibbs. You know, the guy that lost his wife and daughter, whose friend and training officer died in his arms, who had a junior agent take a bullet to the head right in front of him, who... yeah. I think you get the idea. In short, Gibbs gets it.
Which was, of course, why he forced her to visit Philly in the first place. Though she spent a good chunk of time there being incredibly rude to Bishop (who did nothing to deserve it) and Reeves (who was a representative of a friendly foreign government).
Admittedly, facing your demons is important. But I also felt really bad for Bishop, who never once got an explanation for Quinn's behavior. However much you may dislike Bishop (and I know she's not the most popular character on the series), surely she didn't deserve that from either Quinn, or from Gibbs (who forced the situation).
A few final thoughts and notes before I turn the discussion over to you, my fellow fans:
- Special Agent Francis (Tony Gonzalez) previously appeared on NCIS Season 12 Episode 2 and NCIS Season 13 Episode 5.
- I found it a bit sketchy that MI-6 was conducting an operation on American soil without any apparent American involvement. I would imagine that the FBI would be seriously put out to find out about this.
- I also found it dubious that Finley and Reeves would have a legal right to carry those sidearms.
- It probably didn't occur to Finley that he's on the hook for murder, regardless of who pulled the trigger on the poor unfortunate petty officer: any death in the commission of a felony (in this case, weapons smuggling) falls under the felony murder law.
- To add to Ducky's list of "firsts" for Philadelphia, it was also the first capital of the United States of America. That scene also lent a bit more weight to a growing feeling about a possible forthcoming retirement for the beloved medical examiner.
- Don't forget to check out our NCIS quotes page for a rundown of some of the notable lines from this episode!
If you missed this episode, no worries! You can watch NCIS online to catch up! Meanwhile, stay tuned for NCIS Season 14 Episode 6, "Shell Game," which is slated to air on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 8/7c on CBS.
So, what did you think of "Philly"? Did the revelations regarding Quinn's past satisfy you or leave you cold? Is Torres headed for a major office meltdown? Were you excited to have Reeves back? Let us know in the comments section below!