The team uncovers a prank gone wrong, and McGee gets an early start on happily ever after

By Sara Netzley
May 09, 2017 at 10:26 PM EDT
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Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS
S14 E23
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  • TV Show
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  • CBS
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The case of the week takes a back seat to the personal life of one Timothy McGee tonight as NCIS celebrates surprise nuptials.

The murder involves Petty Officer Gregory Jones, a culinary specialist who’s found dead in his bunk. Gibbs and Palmer catch a helicopter to the ship (Gibbs clearly doesn’t enjoy quality time with a chatty, airborne Palmer), and when they’re shown below deck, they discover the padlock cut on the cold storage unit (a.k.a. the food freezer) and Jones’ body missing. “This will complicate the autopsy,” Palmer deadpans.

They summon the rest of the team for a more thorough search of what’s presumably now a crime scene. Ensign Stoddard found the body and says any problem Jones had, he would’ve settled it with his peers rather than taking it to an officer.

Jones’ sister confirms that he was having issues with someone on the ship, a Petty Officer Haring, so Bishop and Gibbs pull Haring into interrogation. He says the galley crew were having some fun with Jones, making him do extra duty because he wanted to transfer out.

At this point, the Coast Guard discovers Jones’ body wrapped in an industrial trash bag; the attempt to weigh the body down failed when the knot came undone. Abby’s tests reveal that Jones has medicine for his low blood pressure in his system, along with powdered MDMA, twice as strong as the usual dosage. The drugs interacted and stopped Jones’ heart. As the MDMA was sprinkled on Jones’ sweet potatoes, Quinn and Torres are sent to search the ship for the rest of the pills, which they discover in Haring’s bunk.

Naturally, Haring swears he’s innocent, so Gibbs has him make a couple of knots, which put him in the clear; his knots are too good to come undone in the water.

Also, the sweet potatoes were specially prepared for the commander, who lost his appetite that night and gave them to Jones. So the MDMA went to the wrong victim.

On land, Bishop and Reeves track down the MDMA dealer in Norfolk: Vernon Palumbo, easily the best character name of the season. Although Reeves sidles up and introduces Bishop as “his girl,” Palumbo immediately pegs them as cops and tells Reeves that his fake British accent is terrible. When Reeves threatens to take Palumbo in “for doubting my accent” so it’ll look like Palumbo’s cooperating with them, he reluctantly agrees to ID the sailors he recently sold to.

One of those sailors turns out to be Stoddard, who found Jones’ body. Before you know it, Gibbs, Torres, and Quinn have him cornered in the kitchen, getting their dirty, non-regulation germs all over the food and needling him until he confesses that the drugs were a prank meant for the commander; when he saw that Jones had died after eating the sweet potatoes, he panicked and tossed the body overboard. Case closed.

Now, to the juicy personal drama: McGee and Delilah are a wee bit stressed over their wedding. It’s two months away, and she’s displeased because the progress bar on their wedding planner app shows that he’s way behind in his tasks. Man, I’m glad I got married before the age of smart phones and Instagram and wedding hashtags.

Even tux shopping is stressful, as McGee looks like he’s going to the prom; Torres’ getup yields a “woof,” and Reeves’ outfit gets a “hot damn” from onlookers Bishop and Quinn. (The less said about Abby’s suit and hat, the better.)

When Torres wheedles their first song out of McGee, he’s horrified that the couple’s chosen “She Blinded Me With Science.” I concur; as mood setting goes, it leaves a little to be desired.

The next big task is sending out invites. The guest list has swelled thanks to the interference of their mothers (isn’t that always the way?), and McGee and Delilah get a little snippy with each other over who works harder and is more stressed. When Vance spies what’s going on, he offers McGee some advice: Don’t take what he has with Delilah for granted, even for a second. (Sad advice coming from a widower.)

Less sad is Torres, who’s looking forward to hitting the wedding dateless — that is, until Quinn says she’s looking forward to watching creepy guys at the reception trolling for hookups, declaring it pathetic the way they go after the low-hanging fruit. “I wouldn’t call it pathetic,” Torres rebuts in a squeaky, guilty voice.

When McGee gets home that night to tackle the invites, he finds Delilah already asleep. She wakes up, and they agreed that this whole pre-wedding rigmarole isn’t much fun. Then she passes out and tumbles off the bed.

A frantic McGee summons Gibbs to the hospital and, near tears, worries that this is the “more complications down the road” that Delilah’s doctors warned them about after her injury. Ever a rock, Gibbs tells McGee to take a breath. All they can do is wait and see. “And breathe?” McGee asks weakly. He’s upset about getting worked up over little things and ignoring what matters the most with Delilah, and it’s genuinely affecting.

It turns out Delilah’s just a little anemic, which isn’t surprising … given her condition. And if you don’t know where the rest of this episode’s heading, then congratulations, you must be new to television! Yep, Delilah’s pregnant. When McGee gets the news, he crumples to the floor, leaving Delilah to mutter, “That’s exactly how I imagined it.”

At this point, Abby shows up with flowers and becomes the first person to learn their happy news. She throws herself on the bed to hug them both, and they swear her to secrecy.

But this doesn’t last long because Abby and her I-have-no-poker-face can’t withstand the news that every member of the team got a top-secret invitation to dinner at McGee’s place that night. Ugh, Abby. Seriously, telling the coworkers someone else’s good news? Not cute. Not cool.

At McGee’s place that night, they all marvel that you’d never know all the terrible things that happened in the apartment. (This is my favorite recurring theme of the season.) When McGee and Delilah start to announce their good news, Abby admits that she already told everybody. Sorry, but that’s really just the worst tonight.

The couple take this pretty well, particularly because they have another piece of business: They’re getting married that night, “right here in Tony’s creepy old apartment,” Delilah says. They’ll have a party for their family later on, but they want to say the words in front of this family. Abby is McGee’s best man, Gibbs will stand in as Delilah’s man of honor, Ducky offers to give her away, and Palmer got ordained that morning at McGee’s request.

Gibbs helps McGee fasten his father’s admiral star cuff links to his tux (he went with the white coat – good choice), and then Gibbs gives him the watch off his wrist, explaining that his mother gave it to his father when they got married, and his father gave it to him on his own wedding day. He assures McGee that there’s nobody else he’d rather give it to. Gibbs says he only wears it on special occasions, and he had a feeling that tonight would be one of them. His feeling was so strong, in fact, that he had the back of the watch engraved with the words, “Breathe, Tim.” Awww!

When McGee enters, Quinn gives him a “triple woof,” and then “She Blinded Me With Science” starts playing. It’s tonally jarring, but it works for this goofy couple. Palmer’s officiating is brisk and cheerful, exactly as you’d expect, and he ends the proceedings with, “You should smooch.”

Look, we all saw this quickie wedding coming from a mile away, but it’s still nice to see nice people have nice things happen to them. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

Stray shots

  • Tonight’s stray shots are really more stray questions:
  • Is there anyone you’d rather sit next to in a hospital waiting room than Gibbs?
  • Do I even want to know where, how, and why Abby got a “Team Delilah” dress?
  • Does Quinn need to reconsider her blinding white crime scene sneakers?
  • How excited are you for the arrival of Baby McGee seven months hence? Is Tim going to be the world’s most nervous father, or what?

Episode Recaps

NCIS

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  • TV Show
seasons
  • 16
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  • TV-14
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  • In Season
network
  • CBS
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