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NCIS recap: Viral

Tap dancing around that rash-riddled rabbit hole.

Posted on

Darren Michaels/CBS


TV Show
Action, Crime
run date:
Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Pauley Perrette
Current Status:
In Season

“Viral” was crammed with almost more plot then it could handle as it raced through a dizzying array of topics tonight: murder, revenge porn, terrorist bombings, tap dancing, itchy rashes.

It begins with the murder of Petty Officer Adam Meyers, killed by a sniper bullet to the chest. Just the work of the heretofore unheard of Tri-state Sniper’s killing spree, right? Wrong. A man who confessed to the sniper killings was picked up that very morning, too far from the murder scene to have done it. We’ve got a copycat, people. 

While on the scene, McGee saves Bishop from wandering into the poison oak that’s all over the shooter’s nest. McGee had a couple of bad poison-oak experiences, which weren’t made any easier by DiNozzo’s teasing. “I don’t want to go down that rash-riddled rabbit hole again,” McGee says.

Bishop’s far more worried about Jake while he’s away on assignment, while McGee’s stressed about Delilah moving in with him. They’re sniping (heh, sorry) at each other about who needs to get rid of what in order to combine households. (At one point while McGee and Delilah are arguing, DiNozzo warns McGee: “That’s a trap!” Tony DiNozzo, relationship counselor.) Anyway, this leads to two amazing discoveries.

First, McGee and Delilah argue in modified shorthand binary: “Zero zero one!” And second, McGee has a VHS tape of dance recitals in his box of childhood mementos. DiNozzo assumes they’re his sister’s and declares McGee a few sewing patterns away from Buffalo Bill territory. Ah, but it’s not that creepy, McGee explains, because they’re his tap dance recitals, and he was amazing.

“They used to call me Timmy Soft Shoes Savant McGee,” he says. “I’m not ashamed.”

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Back to the murder. Gibbs sends Twinkle Toes Timmy to break the news to Meyers’ devastated sister. “Now I’ve got no one. What am I supposed to do?” she asks plaintively.

Meyers has an ugly record with the Navy, however. Two years ago, nude photos of two female officer aboard the USS Camden were taken by hidden camera and posted online, and Meyers confessed to the crime for which he received far too light a sentence, everyone agrees. (Nice to see NCIS talking about the difficulty of punishing sexual predators in the military.)

Meyers was turned in by Peter Woodruff, now a civilian in D.C., who tells McGee and an increasingly itchy DiNozzo that one of Meyers’ victims, Kara Gifford, confronted Meyers about it.

When the agents question Gifford, she can’t hide her smile when she learns that Meyers is dead, though she denies killing him. For two years, she and Ashley Ryan, the other victim, fought a losing battle to get those images off the Internet. In fact, it’s why Ashley committed suicide 10 days ago.

Back at NCIS, Delilah’s helping Abby and Ellie investigate who actually took and posted the photos. (Abby’s lab on Halloween is delightful, incidentally. Imagine how amazing her house must look like this time of year!) Abby declares them the cyber dream team. NCIS: Cyber Dream Team, premiering fall 2016, only on CBS! Anyway, all the evidence tells them that Meyers doesn’t fit the profile of a predatory voyeur.

NEXT: Bishop gets bad news