Sonja Flemming/CBS
April 04, 2017 at 10:11 PM EDT


TV Show
Action, Crime
run date
Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Pauley Perrette
Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B

A simple ransomware scheme leads the NCIS team to uncover a much larger, creepier crime — complete with corpsicles! And as a bonus, we learn Quinn’s big (sad) family secret.

We open with Vice Admiral C. Clifford Chase (returning guest star Bruce Boxleitner), who does nothing to dispel stereotypes about older folks and technology when he clicks on a malware email and unleashes the Elliott virus, which holds his computer hostage until he purchases the decryption key.

Naturally, he requests that McGee personally fix it (as we all would, if we had that option), and the call comes in while the team is at mandatory target shooting. Any bets on who’s the best shot and who’s the most competitive? I say Gibbs and Torres, in that order.

Yep, Gibbs landed six perfect head shots on his target (for the record, he shoots targets with his father’s 1911 Colt), but Torres is too concerned with Quinn’s absence to brag about his performance. Gibbs tells him to mind his bidness. Later, at HQ, Torres perches on Quinn’s desk to ask her the same question, and she basically gives him the same answer.

But we know where she was: racing to her mother’s house after receiving a “911 emergency” text. Once she’s there, though, she finds her mom, Marie, bossing around a gardener and reminding Quinn about her dad’s birthday celebration the next night.

At Chase’s office, McGee tells him to just pay the $500 ransom, which seems incredibly cheap.  And yet Chase refuses. “Forty-one years in the Navy, I have never surrendered to the enemy. I am not about to start now.” UGH. Now is not the time to stand on your moral high ground, sir. Pay the ransom and get your computer back.

But wait; Chase isn’t through being the worst. He forwards the virus to McGee’s phone, and it rapidly spreads through everyone’s devices that are connected on Wi-Fi. Chase says he did it because he’s got photos on his infected laptop of his late wife that he never got around to printing, and he wants NCIS to solve the case. OMG JUST PAY THE RANSOM. Also, um, what kind of pictures? Because that could get awkward.

However, now that everybody’s infected, it’s personal, so McGee and company set out to find the hacker’s physical location. In the meantime, all their cellphones are quarantined in a glass box and they’re handed clunky flip phones.

Since the IP addresses jump through Russian proxies, Reeves calls an MI6 friend in Russia who specializes in cyberterrorism. Despite the fact that 75 percent of all hacking originates from Russia, he identifies the hacker as American based on the good grammar and the artificial Russian accent of the recorded virus voice.

Next thing you know, Quinn’s mom is being escorted into the big orange room by Torres. Quinn looks like she wants to sink through the floor, but Marie says she needs Quinn to return her crock pot so she can make ribs for dinner. (Hey, that’s my preferred fall-off-the-bone cooking method, too!)

When Marie quips about relying on the kindness of strangers, Torres calls her a Blanche, and because he’s familiar with A Streetcar Named Desire, she invites him to dinner. Quinn makes it clear that he should turn that offer down, which he does, but only if Marie agrees to call him Stanley.

“Oh, baby, I don’t know how you get anything done with that charmer around,” Marie chuckles to Quinn as she leaves, and Torres shrugs. “Moms love me.” Oh, I bet they do.

Then Torres leans on Quinn’s desk again and asks what secrets Quinn’s holding back, but she refuses to spill. Okay, did they jump start this special relationship after last week’s rumor subplot, or have they always been leaning and whispering buddies and I never noticed? Because this all feels very “we definitely had a fling” to me. Anyway, when Quinn gets another call from Marie during the case, Gibbs gives his blessing for her to take care of it because he’s a good boss and better friend.

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