The key thread of tonight’s NCIS episode—Abby striving to use her talents to help others and find the truth—is what motivated both of us in our careers. It is such a pleasure to see the good in a person being elevated on screen. For some, the lack of action leading to unexpected results might be a disappointment. Other viewers, who are into relationships and the deeper meaning of why we do what we do, will thoroughly enjoy “Hit and Run”, as it involves two parallel plots, one of which explores the “why” behind Abby. Agent McGee is right there as her true friend, standing by her side when the death of a Marine causes her to question what she has become.
“Can I do enough good?” is Abby’s persistent question. We are treated to a look at her childhood and a case that becomes the inspiration for her work as a criminologist/forensic scientist. The present-day plot involves the murder of USMC Lance Corporal Chad Dunn and Lyla Cutwright, the family friend he knew as a child and met again as a Marine. When it’s discovered Lyla Cutwright’s mother was once romantically involved with Chad Dunn’s father, the murder investigation becomes entangled by the family chemistry. Some dynamics between the two fathers is a little hard to follow, but the existence of a family feud becomes clear enough.
These hurtful circumstances plunge Abby back in time. As a young girl, maybe about 12 years old, she finds a stuffed Teddy bear belonging to Ricki Evans, also a young girl about Abby’s age. The actress who played the young Abby is absolutely terrific in her role. Great casting of and superb acting by Brighton Sharpino! Young Abby sets about to hone her Nancy Drew skills, when she is rebuffed by the young girl due to hard feelings between the girl’s father and the grandfather he refuses to let her see. Bittersweet memories cause Abby to have an emotional short circuit, which has the entire NCIS staff concerned for her.
Abby calls in sick; only she is found by McGee calling bingo numbers. He tries to help her deal with her issues, but she rebuffs him. Her meltdown delays the processing of evidence in the Dunn/Cutwright murder. Eventually, Ziva finds a crucial piece of evidence that topples the house of cards put into place by the murderer. Tony is skeptical when Ziva insists she is “fine” since her father’s death a few episodes ago. We think more may be developed in this area as her grief was so profound and in this episode she is smiling and doing her job, just like she is Gibbs. We think the lady “doth protest too much”.
We both wondered why Gibbs did not call Abby or go to see her, deciding instead to send McGee. When we watched the final scene we knew why. Gibbs and Abby share a tender moment as he encourages her not to give up on herself because evil exists in the world. He explains that we cannot always see the ripple effects of our helping others. To prove this to her, Gibbs asks her if she remembers the first day they met at NCIS. Abby nods and replies, “Yes. It was a sunny day… and we ate Chinese.” Gibbs surprises her by pulling out a folded fortune that she had given him that day, which he has kept in his wallet all these years. He kisses her forehead and leaves her to open it: TODAY’S NEW FRIEND IS TOMORROW’S FAMILY.
Do you agree? Did you enjoy this telling of Abby’s dreams and doubts? May you and your families be blessed!
Diane and David Munson