What happens when a desk jockey ventures into the field? Well, when that desk jockey is Director Leon Vance, you get a little bit of bumbling followed by some light gunplay.
Just a Tuesday, in other words.
The case of the week starts when the body of Navy Seaman Apprentice Brian Dokes is found on the scene of a single-car accident. He just held up a bookmaking ring housed in the back of a lingerie shop, so we’re not surprised his car has a crate full of practice grenades and a bag of cash. What’s more surprising is that he’s missing his right eye.
Vance get involved in the case via someone from his past, of course. Every person on this show has a shadowy figure from his or her past just a-waitin’ to pop up. This one is Kip Klugman, a former NCIS agent Vance busted for stealing cash and drugs years ago. Klugman served his time, and how he’s knocking on Vance’s door with information on the Dokes murder.
Vance absolutely doesn’t trust Klugman and wants no part of the “I’m sorry I framed you for stealing that stuff back in the day” coming from Klugman’s cakehole. Also, Klugman keeps calling Vance “Leon,” which is weird.
Anyway, Klugman wants NCIS to know that a bookmaker named Beef killed Dokes. Gibbs and Vance quickly assume that Klugman owes Beef money and is hoping that Beef’s incarceration would make that debt go away.
DiNozzo and Bishop are duly dispatched to the lingerie shop, where they’re met by Beef’s lawyer, who shows them to the back room. Shock! The bookmaking equipment and staff are gone, replaced by your standard lingerie inventory being organized by a guy named Lump.
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Now, let’s talk about something upsetting: Abby’s tests showed that the tissues under Dokes’ fingernails are his own, which means Dokes clawed out his own eye. Just…just let that soak in for a second, you guys. Soak it in like the LSD that Beef pressed into Dokes’ skin, causing him to freak out and pull an Oedipus, according to Abby’s results. (He’s Oedipal regarding his eyes only; we have no idea about his relationship with his mother, though we do learn that Beef is his addict dad’s drug dealer.)
Now we cut to Vance going nuts on his home punching bag when the doorbell rings. It’s a badly beaten Klugman, who chokes out, “You did this, director.”
As it turns out, a framing leopard doesn’t change his framing spots. Klugman’s story is that he came to apologize and Vance attacked him. Gibbs points to Vance’s banged-up knuckles (it was the punching bag!) and says Klugman’s already talking about a civil suit, although his lawyer says they’ll drop the whole thing if Vance steps down. The case now needs to be handed off to the awesomely named Detective Stradivarius with the Alexandria PD.
Deeply involved now, Vance asks to ride with Gibbs as a member of the team, saying that he has nothing to prove but his innocence. Gibbs accepts and immediately asks, “What are you waiting for, probie?” Come on, who doesn’t jump at the chance to boss around the boss a lil’ bit?
NEXT: Butch and Sundance, Batman and Robin