Bill Inoshita/CBS
Sara Netzley
May 15, 2018 at 10:58 PM EDT

NCIS

type
TV Show
genre
Action, Crime
run date
09/23/03
performer
Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Pauley Perrette
broadcaster
CBS
seasons
15
Current Status
In Season
tvpgr
TV-14
We gave it a B+

After the emotional heft of last week’s farewells, “Fallout” is exactly the case NCIS needed to put the bounce back in its step.

When Gibbs attends the memorial service for his friend Phil Brooks, whose body was lost at sea following an accident in the boat that Gibbs helped him build, Phil’s grieving widow invites him to take his pick of Phil’s tools. But in the basement, he discovers the man himself, hunkered down in a bomb shelter and waiting for Gibbs to turn up.

We don’t get to see a startled Gibbs all that often, and his jumpy cat reaction is priceless.

Phil explains that a motorboat rammed him and left him for dead, and then six days in hiding slipped away, leaving his wife Marcy to plan his memorial service. Phil says he did leave a message for Gibbs with “some British guy.” OUCH. Then he asks for Gibbs’ help in finding the attempted murderers.

Vance isn’t pleased with this plan, particularly because they lack a full-time forensic scientist, but Gibbs already made arrangements because of course he did. And when Ducky and Kasie arrive, the Young Turks are a bit chilly toward the woman who’s going to fill in for Abby.

That’s because McGee, Bishop, and Torres are all struggling to process the loss of their friends, one to death and one to England. Bishop’s especially upset that not only did MI6 clean out Reeves’ desk and wipe away every trace of him, but they took his phone, which contained the only pictures the two of them took together. And since he was never officially NCIS, his picture won’t be on their memorial wall.

But they’ve all got a job to do, so they carry on. This starts with Torres creating a distraction for Marcy while Gibbs sneaks Phil out of the basement. While it’s hilarious that Gibbs’ voice jumps up five octaves when he lies about being there to go through Phil’s tools, it’s monstrous to keep this poor woman in the dark about her husband being alive. I would be furious.

Kasie, who sought and received Abby’s blessing before stepping into the lab, has a NASA-style prelaunch checklist for her equipment. McGee’s excited because he went to space camp, but Kasie’s mom couldn’t afford the real thing for her, “so we watched the Hale-Bopp comet from my uncle’s Monte Carlo in the back of the Sears parking lot.” Aww, I like her!

Then Coast Guard investigator Amanda Graham arrives with evidence in Phil’s case, demanding to know what NCIS knows. McGee and Kasie lamely claim it’s just a hunch, but Graham vows to keep digging, too.

Kasie quickly spots a bullet graze in the wreckage of Phil’s boat, and Bishop finds photos on Phil’s laptop of him with a woman who definitely isn’t Marcy. Kasie’s able to prove that they’re fakes and takes no offense when McGee accidentally calls her “Abs” as he leaves the lab. In fact, she thinks it’s pretty great to work somewhere for that long because you love your job so much.

At Chez Gibbs, Phil says the photos were sent to him along with a demand for $250,000, but since they were fake, he told his wife and they moved on. However, Brooks does know the woman: Antonia Morello, who leases a store in the strip mall that he owns.

Antonia runs her late father’s typewriter repair shop and suggests it could be the work of aggressive property developers who’ve been frustrated that Phil refused to sell to them. They even left a large model behind of the covered dog park they plan to build if Phil ever caves.

The company is Capital Clients Inc., a three-man organization led by Sean Parks, which is deeply in debt. They even had to borrow money to make the model. As is his wont, Torres suggests going undercover to investigate. They decide the best plan is to meet them on the golf course at their club, but nobody plays golf. Well, nobody except one Jimmy Palmer.

The good doctor dons his goofiest shirt and proceeds to play the best golf game of his life, with his caddy Torres in tow. It infuriates the broke, angry developers. Parks also has an on-the-links phone conversation assuring someone not to worry because “he died in a boating accident.” Wow, that’s bad murderer behavior.

Palmer offers to buy the trio a drink after he sinks his last putt, but when Torres starts snooping through their golf bags, Marcy catches him. Where’s your undercover stealth now, Nicky? (Next page: Gibbs enters the lab)

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