NCIS Season 17 Episode 7 Review: No Vacancy

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And the dance continues.

Torres and Bishop remained in denial after NCIS Season 17 Episode 7, despite what is evident to their coworkers and others.

There was also a case of the week that interfered with the above storyline. But I suppose those do have to come first in a procedural, don't they?

Hidden Cameras -- Tall - NCIS Season 17 Episode 7

So let's go with the case first. 

The episode was enough to put people off of visiting petting zoos or at least working farms.

Director at Work - NCIS Season 17 Episode 7

Once again, we got reminded of how efficient pigs are at destroying bodies. 

It briefly brought back fond memories of how Al Swearengen got rid of his enemies on Deadwood.

The pigs did such a good such destroying identifying features that the team was only able to ID the victim thanks to a motel key that Torres found buried in the pigpen.

A visit to the motel quickly led the investigation in a radically different direction when Gibbs discovered a network of live-streaming cameras in the attic.

So was Aaron Shaw, a former Marine, the blackmailer or a victim of the blackmailer?

Stinky Crime Scene - NCIS Season 17 Episode 6

It turned out the answer was neither and the squad was back to square one, with the victim and a mysterious blackmailer.

If a motel is in the greater D.C. area, can a cheating politician be far behind?

Funds sent to Shaw that looked like blackmail payments were found from a congressman running for reelection.

But the answer seemed innocent enough, as Rep. Riley was childhood friends with Shaw, who had been in military intelligence, and Riley sought his help discovering his blackmailer.

That mission didn't work out too well for Shaw.

Down and Dirty - NCIS Season 17 Episode 7

Then blood evidence found by Kasie led to a heating/AC contractor, who unfortunately was found dead in front of a bank of live monitors.

It was also revealed that the contractor formerly worked at the NSA, and was forced to make a radical career change after using government surveillance to spy on women.

Since the motel's cameras had been shut down, that meant there were other such cameras. They were found at 13 D.C.-area motels.

That resulted in Vance getting bombarded by calls from politicians who feared they might be on such surveillance. That was Rocky Carroll's cameo for the episode, which he was busy directing.

But since the contractor got killed in a staged suicide, that meant that the blackmailer was still out there.

Stuck in the Mud - NCIS Season 17 Episode 7

It didn't take much for Kasie to connect up the contractor with his former boss at the NSA, who was blackmailing him to take part in his blackmail scheme.

You would think that someone at the NSA could cover their tracks better than that.

But his rabid love of hockey gave him an alibi for the nights of the two murders.

So suspicion came back to the congressman who was getting blackmailed because he was passing off state secrets to a Russian agent in exchange for sex. Couldn't he have just found an intern like his colleagues?

At least Riley found a practical use for a campaign sign.

Searching for the Blackmailer - NCIS Season 17 Episode 7

But you have to feel bad for Shaw, who was just doing a friend a solid and got killed for it.

Now let's talk Torres and Bishop.

It's obvious there's an attraction between them, although neither of them wants to admit it.

It's couldn't have been a coincidence when Bishop showed up with Elena's hunky Marine son at the same restaurant at which Torres and Elena were dining.

Jimmy and McGee did their best to discourage the two from dating in totally different ways. Jimmy went into the tortured history of Tony and Ziva while McGee tried to get away from the topic as quickly as possible.

Taken In - NCIS Season 17 Episode 7

Elena could certainly see the chemistry between Torres and Bishop, which is why she broke it off with Nick.

The "will they or they won't" discussion about two characters does get old.

Which begs a couple of questions. First, it's been three-plus seasons that feelings between them have been percolating. Is that long enough that something has to change?

The other question is whether viewers are invested enough in the characters to care about their relationship. Nick and Ellie aren't Tiva, who went through so much together.

So are viewers burning for some kind of resolution? Or should it just continue as a dangling plotline, with no end in sight?

Dining Surprise  - NCIS

Nick's relationship with Elena was doomed to fail. And it wasn't the age difference. It was more Torres's general unwillingness to work at a relationship enough to learn some basics about the woman he was dating.

Granted, Elena was hiding the fact that she had a son until the relationship was further along. But Torres, an investigator, wasn't making much of an effort to listen and learn either.

There's no way he should have been surprised that Ricky was an adult, a Specials Ops Marine even.

Working the Room - NCIS Season 17 Episode 7

While it was great to see Ducky again, I felt bad when he showed up with coloring books for Ricky after getting bad intel from Torres.

It was great to see Phineas again in the final scene.

It's time for Grandpa Jethro and he and Phineas were sweet together, building the obligatory volcano for a school project.

Gibbs needs human contact to get outside himself. Since he's not in a relationship now (Phineas's mom is still a possibility), playing with Phineas is a great alternative.

To follow Gibbs and Phineas, watch NCIS online.

Torres and Bishop, yes or no?

Gibbs and Phineas (or Phineas's mom), yes or no?

What did you think of the case of the week?

Comment below.


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No Vacancy Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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NCIS Season 17 Episode 7 Quotes

McGee: Find anything up there, boss?
Gibbs: Yeah, and it's not rats.

Jimmy is in the van because he's scared of pigs.