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NCIS recap: Season 14, Episode 5

The team cracks a ho-hum case as Quinn confronts a painful incident from her past

Posted on

Robert Voets/CBS


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

A young petty officer is killed in a Philadelphia alley. An MI6 agent tracking weapon smugglers disappears, also in Philly. The audience is completely unsurprised when these two things are connected.

Given the predictable case tonight, it’s a relief it took a backseat to matters of personal growth for Gibbs’ newest agents.

When the team gets word about the petty officer’s death in Philadelphia, Gibbs dispatches Bishop and Quinn, who drags her feet about going to the City of Brotherly Love but eventually agrees. When the women arrive in Philly, they meet up with MI6 agent Clayton Reeves — last seen in the season 13 finale — who’s in town to look for his missing partner, Finley. Hey, buddy! Good to see you again!

Bishop isn’t able to get Quinn to spill about her antipathy toward Philly. Bish guesses it’s a New-York-sports thing. It’s not, and Quinn is tight-lipped about the real issue, so they focus on the reason they’re there: The death of Gary Falco.

Their interview with Falco’s mother is horribly sad. “Your kid joins the military, and you just hold your breath until they come home for a visit and you can finally exhale. Or at least you think you can,” she says. That’s legitimately heartbreaking, guys.

Before they leave, Quinn asks the woman if she knows the Shaw family a few blocks over. She doesn’t, and Quinn declines to elaborate when Bishop presses.

Back at HQ, Ducky is unhappy to have such a young victim on his table while Torres is unhappy to be stuck in the office. I, meanwhile, am unhappy I have to watch Torres struggle with his new printer. McGee tries to teach him the ways of the toner before warning him to stay away from his own printer, which is precisely calibrated to his liking. Naturally.

Thankfully for him (and for us), Gibbs sends Torres and McGee to track down Ivan, a known smuggler, to see if he can give them any leads. They find Ivan in the back of his strip club, but without a warrant, Ivan declines to help. Rather than leave quietly, Torres leaps onto the card table and starts shimmying. Ivan and his henchman pull their guns, but they’re so distracted by the gyrating Torres that they don’t see McGee pull his two guns on them. Ivan buckles and gives them some smuggler names.

In Philly, Bishop’s scarfing down her second cheesesteak of the day (with a third in the bag for later) when Reeves gets a text with Finley’s SOS code. They track its location and find Finley in a warehouse, tied up and bloody with a phone lying next to him. This causes Quinn to flash back to a time when someone else in distress was bleeding in her arms as a phone lay nearby.

Snapping back to the present, Quinn hears Finley explain he was captured after the smugglers killed Falco when he stumbled across them in an alley. They held Finley for days, beating and interrogating him, but he says he’s ready to join the rest of the group to follow the leads Torres got from Ivan.

Quinn urges Finley not go charging after his captors, but he ignores her advice, joins the team on their visit to the most likely name on the list, and shoots the suspect in the leg when he tries to run. Proving she’s my kind of non-shrinking violet, Quinn shouts, “I told you so!”

Bishop’s still concerned about her partner, though, and again asks Quinn what’s wrong. Quinn responds with irritation that her former trainee has the gall to pull her aside. “Nothing to help, nothing to fix,” she says, then scrams.

When Gibbs calls for an update, poor Bishop has to explain that newly released Finley shot a suspect — who turned out not to be involved in the smuggling after all — and Quinn jetted away from the scene with no explanation. Gibbs immediately heads to Philly to sort things out, in his typical Gibbs-y fashion.

At HQ, Torres has moved on to Abby’s printer, breaking it in the process. She’s not pleased, although she does warn him away from McGee’s printer. Torres admits his problem isn’t with office supplies, it’s about not being allowed to kick down doors. Abby points out that she’s a crime fighter, too, but she doesn’t kick down doors.

Getting into the spirit of things, Torres looks through photos of the warehouse where Finley was held for days and notices there are no bathrooms. His lab-based crime fighting pays off when Abby finds security footage of Finley at a coffee house with the only public bathroom in the area. And whaddya know, he’s there with two smugglers from Ivan’s list.

So Finley’s in on it. Surprise, surprise. (Note: That was sarcasm.)

NEXT: Quinn confronts a painful memory