A tranquil yoga class is interrupted when Marine Sgt. Erin Hills drops in unexpectedly — from the roof, through the building awning.
The call comes into NCIS as Torres is griping about housing prices in D.C. Wait, didn’t McGee and Bishop have this conversation last season? Is one of the writers grappling with the 2016 housing market right now?
Anyway, Erin, who did two tours of Afghanistan, survived the fall, but her doctor warns that she probably won’t wake up. This prevents Dr. Grace Confalone, who was treating Erin, from sharing any information with Gibbs thanks to doctor/patient privilege. However, Grace suggests that Gibbs investigate Erin’s fall not as a suicide, but as a murder.
Erin fell (or was pushed) from the roof of her building, and when the rest of the team shows up, Torres tries to assign himself to yoga lady interrogation duty. Although McGee cop-blocks him, he does understand when Torres balks at putting on an NCIS jacket while he struggles to adjust to non-undercover life with a team.
The manager of the building where Erin lives with her sister, Devon, shows them to the roof, where they spot a security camera. Inside her apartment, they discover a large collection of watches, her Purple Heart, and some frilly undertrunks.
House-hunting Torres also gets the manager, Greg Abdell, to show him the vacant apartment in the building, which is available because its 92-year-old owner died in it the previous month. Torres is beyond creeped out, showing that he doesn’t have one-tenth of DiNozzo’s backbone.
That night, Gibbs comes home to find that Fornell, who’s still living with him and wearing his clothes, has the fireplace going and candles burning, ostensibly to set the mood for a thank-you dinner. But the warm beer tips off Gibbs, despite Fornell’s insistence that “the Germans like it that way. They know beer!”
Turns out, a DIY project gone wrong resulted in a loss of electricity for a day or two. Gibbs reacts exactly as you would expect him to, while poor Fornell’s just stir-crazy because the FBI won’t authorize his return to duty.
The next day, Abby’s examined the security footage of the building and determined that Erin was alone on the roof when she fell. Also, much to Gibbs’ chagrin, she’s bird-sitting her brother’s talkative parrot, Juan.
Later that day, Erin succumbs to her injuries, devastating Devon but leaving Grace free to discuss what happened in their sessions. To wit: Erin was guarded at first but finally admitted that she’d been involved in the cover up of a murder. She told Grace she didn’t go to the police to keep from implicating anyone.
In the morgue, Quinn and Ducky share a nice moment when Quinn shows up hoping to connect with the victim in a setting where Erin’s not obscured by hospital equipment. In his sweet Ducky way, he ushers Palmer out, leaving Quinn with Erin, who was about the same age as Quinn’s sister.
NEXT: Juan flies over the cuckoo’s nest