The procrastinator’s dream show American Pickers heats up a cold case that’s long eluded the much-missed Dr. Mallard.
Ducky and Gibbs are both astounded when the episode they’re watching features a woman refusing to sell an old wooden club with a missing spike.
The spikes look very much like the one that was found buried in the skull of Petty Officer Marvin Finn 16 years ago. At the time, NCIS was stumped by the 900-year-old hickory, but now the two men jump on the chance to move this one to the closed pile.
So they visit Mrs. Keogh, who was featured on the Pickers episode with her ceremonial Viking war stick. Her husband eventually talked her into selling the stick to the pickers for $3,000, but now that the episode has aired, she regrets it, as the collectors are coming out of the woodwork now. In fact, one man called to offer them $25,000, then swore and hung up when he learned it was already gone.
Ducky asks if they can trace its provenance (and therefore the killer), and she promises to look for the business card of the man she bought it from at a flea market a few years ago. Given the over-stuffed nature of her barn, I firmly believe that she still has that card around somewhere. And hey, it’s not all bad news for Mrs. Keogh; Gibbs buys a small silver cylinder from her for $5.
Back at NCIS, Sloane explains that the one-of-a-kind war stick was a ceremonial object belonging to the Esteemed Order of the Blue Guard, which ceased to exist in the 1960s. Also, the call to the Keoghs offering to buy the stick for $25 large was made from a burner phone, so, you know, suspicious.
Luckily, Mike Wolfe from American Pickers is in the area for a conference and happens to have the stick with him. He says it’s a good-luck totem that’s brought him and Frank incredible finds since they’ve had it in their possession, and he begs Gibbs to give it back when they’re done.
Mike also recognizes the name Mrs. Keogh found on the flea market vendor’s business card: Roy Baxter, who now owns his own antique shop. As they leave, Gibbs shakes Mike’s hand and says, “Like the show,” which as we know is SUPER EPIC praise from Gibbs.
However, when McGee and Bishop visit Baxter’s shop, they find him in the alley, beaten to death with a broken table leg. Since there’s still money in the register, they assume the person who sold him the stick wanted to ensure Baxter’s silence.
Also silent? Kasie Hines (Diona Reasonover), the graduate assistant Ducky hired to keep his book on schedule. However, she’s only silent around Abby; with everyone else, she’s exuberant and delightful. Heck, she even hugs Gibbs despite learning all about him from reading Ducky’s work and therefore knowing that’s not the right approach.
Kasie’s clearly not thrilled when Ducky suggests she bunk with Abby while she’s in town. The first night does not go well, a confused Abby reports to Palmer the next day; Kasie shut herself in the guest room and made no effort to chat. Palmer suggests that Kasie might be intimidated by her, but Abby blows this off.
Later, Kasie and Gibbs step onto the Elevator of Schemes and Secrets together, and Gibbs directs Kasie to Abby’s lab. This is weird because based on their lack of interactions this season, Gibbs doesn’t seem to know where Abby’s lab is actually located. Anyway, Kasie says she was told not to waste Gibbs’ time and declines to talk about her discomfort in the morgue, even though she’s been around bodies before.
Baxter’s ancient security cameras show a testy interaction with wealthy finance whiz Clarence Wyatt the day of Baxter’s murder, so Torres and Bishop head out to question him. Wyatt smugly shows off his antiques, including the item he purchased from Baxter that night: a pearl-handled Colt once owned by Gen. George Patton.
He claims Baxter was unhappy at the price they eventually agreed to and is surprised to hear about Baxter’s death, although he chalks it up to the bad neighborhood. He also says he’d never offer $25,000 for the “ugly chunk of wood” that is the stick and then gives Torres his business card, which is made of titanium. Oh la la, fancy man. (Next: Abby makes a new friend)