Tonight’s episode was inspired when an elderly veteran took an Honor Trip to Washington, D.C. to see the monuments. His granddaughter-in law is Gina Lucita Monreal, the writer of this episode. Gina fictionalizes a Vietnam era Marine Corps Sergeant named Henry Rogers (he says he is no relation to the sweater-wearing Mr. Rogers) and tells the story through his eyes. When the active duty marine who is assigned to be his escort dies mysteriously, Henry becomes the reluctant witness who is detained against his will. British MI6 officer Clayton Reeves is assigned by Gibbs to babysit Henry. Problems develop when circumstances reveal how Henry and Officer Reeves have similar psychological hang-ups. Both are loners. Leroy Jethro Gibbs assumes the role of mediating between the two, and it begins to look like a recovery group for misfits.
The investigation determines the Marine was really poisoned. The investigation that follows is used as a means to honor our nation’s veterans and also the Honor Flight Network. Such highlights are interspersed with the usual drama that unfolds as the team searches for the killer. We viewers find out more about the close-knit family the NCIS agents have become to each other. The ridiculous efforts by McGee and Bishop to determine if Torres and Quinn were once romantically linked are somewhat juvenile. It’s interesting and heartwarming how Henry (the witness) analyzes Officer Reeves and determines that he’s a loner too, which coincides with Reeves’ request to leave the NCIS team for another more dangerous overseas assignment. Gibbs as always, is one step ahead of Reeves. He sees what is developing and in a great ending, perhaps one of the best ever on the NCIS show, affirms Reeves decision to remain in the group.
The most laudable part of the episode features the many older vets who’ve been traveling to the nation’s capital to pay tribute to their colleagues who gave their lives in defense of the nation. Tonight’s is a tribute to Vietnam Veteran’s and focuses on the Vietnam Memorial, a long wall made of granite and inscribed with the 58,286 Americans who died or are still missing from the Vietnam War. Many of you may have fought in that war or know soldiers and airmen who did. Many of you may have taken a piece of paper and a pencil to trace the name of a loved one as Sergeant Rogers did this evening. We have also gone to the memorial to pay our respects.
Justice is finally achieved with help from the entire team. Recognition is also given to our veteran’s and active-duty military in a touching way. Kudos to the writers and producers of tonight’s show. Very well done.
Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson