This was a replay of a 2011 episode, which began with Tony in a hospital room, thinking he shot another agent. The only problem was he couldn’t remember anything. After bringing in Kate’s sister, “Dr. Shrink”, Gibbs dropped a bloodied gold badge onto the bed. Tony freaked out. Did he kill another agent? All Tony knew was: “I had orders.” What were those orders and who issued them? Soon, the microchip caper came into focus as bits of Tony’s memory returned. The new Sec/Nav had showed Tony a photo and gave him orders to “take care of it.” Mark Harmon, playing Leroy Jethro Gibbs, hit his stride last night by protecting Tony’s back and getting into Clayton Jarvis’ face, just in time to see another Marine die on the sidewalk, his wrist slit open in the same place as Agent Levin’s. Oooh. Another microchip.
We finally found out what those chips were for—to open cyber-intel about terrorists and their twisted activities. In his golf outfit, Jarvis acted particularly sinister towards Tony. Tony was pure Tony when he pulled out one of Gibbs’ rules, number 36. “If you feel like you’re being played, you are.” Jarvis spat a rule of his own, number 2. “I own you.” When David was a federal agent and Diane a federal prosecutor, sometimes we had go forward with cases where we wished for stronger evidence. The beauty of our criminal justice system is that we put the evidence out for the judge/jury to decide. When you merge the criminal justice system with politics, power can erode confidence. Jarvis was a brilliant metaphor for that erosion, especially when he met with the head of a secret intelligence-gathering group, Phantom 8, who commented that Tony was more inept than he thought. Hmmm. A fake FBI agent dubbed Stratton, also one of the phantoms, walked into Tony’s hospital room with a plan to kill him. The doctor thwarted his scheme and did the right thing by calling Gibbs, who pressed Tony to remember his orders and who was in the photo.
The writers of the show led us to wonder if E.J. Barrett had removed Levin’s chip for personal gain. Through the expert use of flashbacks, Tony reached out to E.J., convincing her that he could help her. Of course, the two agents go right to Gibbs, which was a smart move. McGee et. al. used stealth to try to discover who was in the photo, with one of them asking Ziva, “What if the guy in the photo is Ray?” Another flashback showed Tony, Cade, and E.J. in an alley, all brought there by a text, which none of them sent. Shots flew out. Bang, bang, bang! Three agents drop. Cade didn’t make it. E.J. disappeared and Tony showed up with a head injury at the hospital, saved by his bullet-proof vest, only “He never saw it coming.” Turned out, Cade was in the photo and Tony had to convince E.J. to lure Cade back to D.C. For his part, David survived several shootouts and much danger in his career. We are thankful God protected him each time. Maybe that shootout is why Tony has finally begun asking deeper questions, even walking into a church in a recent show. In last night’s final scene, Stratton and his “boss” auction off the microchips to terrorists. Will they get away with being traitors? The conclusion to this puzzle aired on January 3, 2012, under the title “Housekeeping”. See our blog of that date for our fun critique.
Great stuff, with the writers using techniques we’ve used in creating our thrillers. (If you liked this episode, you’d also enjoy our latest, “The Joshua Covenant,” where CIA Agent Bo Rider is accused of being a mole.) To receive our weekly critique on NCIS and other news events via email, enter your address and click the link on the right at the top of our blog.
Be Blessed,
Diane and David