The NCIS team prove one man's innocence, while another confesses to very bad things.
The NCIS team proves a man’s innocence this week. Less innocent? Jake Malloy, the low-down dirty deceiver.
First, let’s talk murder. The case against Petty Officer Third Class Kyle Friedgen is tossed over warrant problems leading to inadmissible evidence. The prosecutor, ASA Wyner, and the arresting officer, Malloy, are beside themselves that a guilty man is getting away with the murder of his ex-girlfriend.
So is everybody else in Friedgen’s life; his co-workers aboard the Ulysses harass him, and his eight-months-pregnant wife moves in with her parents and threatens to deny him custody.
So Friedgen and his lawyer meet with Gibbbs and ask NCIS to arrest him for murder. A court martial will re-open the investigation and prove that he didn’t kill Joy Vanatter, with whom he had a stormy relationship in high school. He enlisted in the Navy and changed his life. She got into drugs and prostitution. Friedgen insists that he hadn’t been in contact with Vanatter in years, despite her calls and texts to him the day of the murder.
DiNozzo and McGee head to Baltimore, where they learn that the tossed evidence was a syringe with Vanatter’s blood on it from Friedgen’s car. They then cruise the mean streets until they find Cheech, a dealer and Tony’s former CI, and get him to spill what he knows about Vanatter. Cheech says he heard that Vanatter had hooked up with a rich guy who was into S&M, which allowed her to move up to a higher grade of heroin.
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Meanwhile, Abby traces money found on Vanatter’s body to Friedgen. You know, the man who swore he hadn’t seen his ex in years. So Gibbs storms into the interrogation room and slaps Friedgen. Twice. Yasss, fired-up Gibbs! Friedgen confesses that he lied early on about not seeing her that day and then was too scared to recant. So Gibbs hisses that Friedgen’s now going to be charged with murder, NCIS-style.
Now, on to Bishop and that ratfink Jake. They’re at dinner — and she’s dolled up in a fantastic sparkly gold dress — and she asks why he wasn’t at the Dubai hotel when the bomb went off. He admits that the NSA suspects he may have knowledge of a leak, which he can’t discuss with Bishop because she no longer has NSA clearance. He also says he misses them being able to sneak out for lunch and tells her he still eats alone in their favorite restaurant most days. HE IS SKETCHY AND I DON’T TRUST HIM.
And sure enough, Bish goes to surprise him the next day and catches him having an intense conversation with an attractive woman at their restaurant. At least have the decency to pick a new seduction spot, Apollo. Anyway, Bishop recognizes the woman as Taylor Matthews, who’s with NSA’s version of internal affairs. Taxi cam footage shows that Matthews was also in Jake’s taxi during the Dubai attack. Bishop immediately starts to worry that Jake’s under investigation at work, which would explain how moody and distant he’s been. Then she learns that Jake’s leaving that night for an overnight, need-to-know NSA trip. Convenient, Jake. Real convenient.
An upset Bishop shows up in Gibbs’ boat basement after midnight, causing him to ask “Bishop, do you understand the irony in all of this? You asking me for marital advice?” But he listens to her fears about the IA investigation and encourages her to make Jake talk about his feelings. Yep. Guys love that!
So Bishop takes the morning off and waits for Jake to come home. “For months now, things have been different,” she starts, saying she used to think it was an affair but now knows he’s in trouble at work.
But no! No, it’s the affair. He was with Matthews the night before. “This is so hard,” Jake moans. “I hate myself for what I’ve done.”
Looks like Bishop does, too, as she storms out.
NEXT: The worst frame-up job in the world unravels
At NCIS HQ, Abby confirms that the syringe in Friedgen’s car had Vanatter’s blood and some cheap black tar heroin in it. However, her tissue samples were full of fancy rich-person heroin.
And suddenly Gibbs wants to give Friedgen the benefit of doubt. DiNozzo and McGee start to leave for Baltimore when a shell-shocked Bishop walks in and announces that Jake’s having an affair. It’s kind of a weird thing to shout at the office, but the menfolk all jump into protective mode. Gibbs sends her to Baltimore with DiNozzo, who asks as they leave, “Jake is aware that you carry a gun for a living?”
At Baltimore PD, Bishop and DiNozzo review evidence from Vanatter’s arrest two years ago. In a not-at-all suspicious move, the evidence box was accessed three weeks ago by ASA Wyner. NO SIR, NOTHING TO SEE HERE. Abby proves that not only was the syringe from the two-year-old case clean, but it was also manufactured three months ago. Guess we know who the fancy-suited S&M lover is!
And then Jake the Snake shows up at NCIS, causing the DiGee duo to go into full big brother mode. Gibbs walks Jake to the elevator and cuts off his attempts at excuses. Gotta say, Jamie Bamber is flat and unemotional all episode long, which is a weird acting choice. Anyway, Gibbs tells him to get his head out of his ass, which about sums it up.
The team discovers that Wyner had evidence tossed out years ago on an identical bad warrant, and what are the odds of him making the same mistake twice? Wyner cracks immediately, in a way that no trial attorney would ever do, and admits to the murder and to intentionally screwing up the case so Friedgen wouldn’t actually get convicted.
In the end, Friedgen thanks Gibbs for vindicating him. (Gibbs does not apologize for slapping him, it should be noted). Friedgen’s worried that things will never be the same with his wife, since she thought he was a murderer and all. Gibbs the realist doesn’t disagree but urges him to stay in his son’s life. Also, Friedgen’s foxy lawyer asks Gibbs to breakfast soon. It’s unclear whether she’ll phone him or nudge him.
Finally, Bishop asks to speak with Gibbs because she’s made a decision. And we cut to a robotic Jake coming home to an empty house and a note telling him that Bishop’s headed back to Oklahoma. She’s not sure when she’ll be back, and she asks him not to contact her. The music does the heavy lifting in this scene, TBH.