An upsetting case from Bishop’s past has her spilling her guts to an unusual confidante tonight: President Harry S. Truman. You see, since she and Jake split, she doesn’t have anyone to discusses cases with, so she writes a letter to the man who founded the modern-day NSA to help her process the last few days.
McGee’s old MIT buddy Stewart Dorfman, the evolutionary biologist-turned-garbage man, discovers a frozen corpse in the trash, and the team shows up to investigate — including McGee, who almost froze to death when his was one of 10,000 homes that lost power the night before due to the frigid temps.
Stewie’s delighted to see his old friend Tim again and even shows the team a photo of the two of them during their senior year. They’re wearing tuxedos and tap shoes and holding canes as part of their dance duo, the Mole Tap Liars. (Say it fast. Do ya get it?) “We were good, too,” McGee brags. Recall, he has no shame about his tap-dancing past.
The victim is Alessandra Ramos, third-generation Navy with a spotless record. Tests show a blond hair in the brunette Ramos’ jacket belongs to Jane Murphy, a 19-year-old college student who hasn’t been seen since Friday. (Please note that Abby does this fine work in a lab without heat. With space heaters sold out all over town, she’s forced to huddle over the open flame of a Bunsen burner and curse her decision to pass up moving her lab out of the frigid basement earlier this season.)
Back to Bishop’s letter: She praises her co-workers’ courage and determination but kicks herself for not following her instincts about Ramos’ death right away.
She and DiNozzo learn from Ramos’ friend that she was headed to a D.C. nightclub for a concert the previous weekend. And what do you know? Front-door security footage shows both women arriving to the club separately, but it doesn’t show them leaving.
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In the morgue, Palmer spots a gash where something was carved from Ramos’ skin. (It wasn’t a rodent bite, as Ducky thought.) Abby identifies the fragments in the wound as a micro GPS tracker, like the kind used in cats and dogs.
Bishop guesses that the tracker was under her armpit, then she gives herself a mental head slap for not getting there sooner: Early in her NSA career, she was part of a joint NSA/FBI task force called Concubine, which shut down an international human trafficking ring. College-aged women were abducted and sold all over the world and were tracked with GPS under their armpits.
The task force disbanded when they closed the case, so she reaches out to FBI Special Agent Daisy Milner and former NSA Analyst Adam Connors, who retired to become a civilian account. They agree to compare notes from the old case and soon realize that six additional college women are missing along the Eastern Seaboard.
In Bishop’s letter to Truman, she muses that it’s hard to put away one bad guy while knowing there are 50 more still waiting to be caught. But you made a difference to that starfish, little buddy!
Back with Abby, numbers on the implant lead DiNozzo and McGee to a pet microchip startup in D.C., where DiNozzo’s creeped out when they’re greeted by a telepresence robot.
“You know, I got a robot for Christmas in 1985. The thing never worked,” he grumps. “I hate the future.”
Then the company founder appears to greet them, and she is so very, very chipper. I assume that if she isn’t yet the head of a murderous crime syndicate, she will be soon. This feeling isn’t helped when she cheerfully recites pet-death statistics. Anyway, she won’t turn over the buyer info without a warrant.
“Whatever dog this came out of has the same rights as you and me,” she says. But when she learns that it’s part of a human trafficking ring, she gives it right up. It’s part of a string of dummy corporations, which isn’t terribly helpful.
NEXT: What this NCIS team has are a very particular set of skills