If you walk through the world with a smile and an open heart, does that make you a force for good? Or does it make you an easy target for predators? In tonight’s two-part NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans crossover, Abby’s brother learns the perils of living a life in which your faith is bigger than your fear.
The trouble begins when a private jet headed from New Orleans to D.C. stops communicating. “Hell of a day to quit smoking,” quips the captain on the ground. It’s unclear if she’s referencing Airplane!, and the young’uns around her certainly don’t get it. Kids, man.
The plane is full of fuel and barreling toward New York, Philadelphia and Boston, and the fear is that hypoxia due to depressurization might have killed everyone on board. The plan is to shoot it out of the sky while it’s over an uninhabited area, unless NCIS can find a safer way to bring it down.
It’s impossible to remotely control an airplane, which we can all agree is generally a good thing, but Abby realizes that directional data comes from satellite, which she can control. She hacks it and sends the plane false data, prompting the autopilot to crash land in a reservoir.
Dwayne Pride from the NCIS NOLA team has been monitoring the developments, and he compliments them on a job well done. Vance responds, “It was a team effort.” Um, no, it was Abby. Anyway, the various NCISes are involved because the plane manifest shows Naval intelligence officer Gil Lively was on the plane, along with an exec from military tech firm Blye Industries, along with the pilot, co-pilot and Blye’s executive chef, Luca Sciuto — Abby’s brother.
Despite the manifest, Abby’s sure her brother is fine. “If Luca were dead, I would feel a disturbance in the Force. It’s very strong in my family.”
Sidenote: This is the second Star Wars reference of the night. DiNozzo and McGossip are chatting about Tony’s recent split from Zoe (!!), and DiNozzo claims he caught the breakup bug from Bishop. But when Bishop asks what they’re talking about, the guys say in unison, “Star Wars!” (To be fair, that’s actually been the bulk of most of our conversations over the last few weeks, right?) Also, what do we think of this breakup news? In light of Emily Wickersham saying there’s some fun stuff with Jeanne Benoit coming up, does a Tony/Zoe split clear the way for a Tony/Jeanne reconciliation? Iiiiiinteresting, particularly in light of the bummer news about Michael Weatherly that broke earlier today.
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Okay, back to the case. The team enters the plane, and they don’t see wrinkled or discolored fingers on the bodies, which would indicate hypoxia as a cause of death. They also find a badly burned body wearing a coat that says Chef Luca. Well, that’s not good.
Abby arrives in Ducky’s morgue with hand sketches from memory of her brother’s dental records and birthmarks, ready to ID the body. Ducky pulls the burned body out of the freezer slot, and she immediately knows it’s not him because the earlobes are attached, while Luca’s are free. Listen, I love my brother and sister more than just about anything in this world, but I have no idea about the shape of their earlobes, their birthmark configurations, and their record of cavities. Does this make me the weirdo or Abby?
In New Orleans, the crew’s investigating Luca now, and they find tons of photos of him and Abby. Percy wants to know why all the photos are taken on Halloween. No, that’s just how she dresses, says DiNozzo, who’s consulting via phone. Snerk.
Christopher LaSalle strolls on scene then, and since I’m not a regular NCIS: New Orleans watcher, I’m amazed all over again at the power and magnitude of his accent. That accent is Southern. It’s so Southern that it’s stoically enduring the humidity while eating a bag of boiled peanuts on a veranda next to a sweating glass of sweet tea.
Luca’s apartment turns up a stash of cash, two guns, and a high-tech bug. Between that and Lively setting up a mystery meeting with the secretary of defense for the next day, hence the plane to D.C., things are starting to look downright suspicious. In light of that, Vance asks Gibbs to bring Iron Man — a.k.a. Jenner Blye — in for questioning. Gibbs either doesn’t understand the reference or doesn’t appreciate it. Hard to say. But he heads to Blye Industries, where the head of security, Blake Huxley, tells him that Blye went missing after his meeting with Lively.
NEXT: DiNozzo makes an awkward arrest