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'NCIS' recap, 'Chasing Ghosts': It's on

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Bodnar, you better watch yourself.

This week’s NCIS could be seen as a somewhat disguised first installment of a two-part event that will focus on Ziva’s quest for revenge.

On the surface, the episode was about a man who faked his own death in order to prevent his wife from getting his trust fund. (What a creep.) But bubbling underneath the case-of-the-week was a storyline about Ziva’s covert, off-the-books quest to track down Bodnar, the man responsible for killing her father and Vance’s wife earlier this season.

Tony spent much of the hour sniffing out clues and noting Ziva’s string of strange behaviors (“She hates Thai food”), but it wasn’t until the final minutes that things came together. Ziva had rented out a studio in a sketchy part of town and was using it as a base for her mission. The biggest shock, to Tony at least, was that she wasn’t doing all this alone — she had McGee’s help. (Tony’s face when he found out was totally heart-crushing.)

Less shocking was the fact that Gibbs knew about all of this the entire time. While the trio had worried about their boss’s reaction (Tony pushed Ziva and McGee to come clean), they were stunned to learn that he already knew about it. Me? Not shocked. Gibbs knows all, guys.

What I didn’t see coming, however, was Gibbs — and Vance — so quickly giving Ziva permission to pursue Bodnar, whom they believed was in Rome. With a single nod, Vance put everything on the line: members of his team and his position of power. Earlier in the episode, Vance had been asked to shut down Ziva’s rogue mission, but in the end, he directly disobeyed. I anticipate some consequences.

Other quick thoughts: We saw signs of Palmer’s expanding role in this episode, and I enjoyed that. I also liked that we got to see Abby’s hesitation in helping Tony track down Ziva; it was a small but nice character-honoring moment.

In two weeks, Ziva and Tony head to Rome to look for Bodnar — and dance, apparently. Are we excited? Did you see this episode as a solid build-up? Were you surprised to see that Ziva had been working on this the whole time? (You shouldn’t have been. This is Ziva…) And are you hoping we get an explanation about why she went to McGee over her partner?

Share your other thoughts below!

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