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Gibbs and McGee escape two months of captivity with a little help from a dating app


S15 E1
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TV Show
September 26, 2017 at 11:42 PM EDT

Welcome to season 15, NCIS fans! Just think: In one more year, our show will legally be able to drive.

When we left them, Gibbs and McGee had been captured by the Revolutionary Armed Council in Paraguay during an unsanctioned raid to rescue local children. We pick up with Torres holding a gun to the evac chopper pilot, demanding he turn around to rescue their men. The pilot clearly knows a bullet to his neck is a losing proposition for everyone and declines to to do so, citing fuel supplies.

Two months later, NCIS is carrying on under Bishop’s leadership, although she signs off on the paperwork rather than using it as kindling, as Gibbs does. The DOD has forbidden NCIS from involving themselves in the search for their missing agents, so naturally they obeyed and left the investigation up to other agencies while they busied themselves with filing tasks.

LOL, no, of course not; they’ve been in the thick of their own covert investigations into the whereabouts of their coworkers. And they’re doing it around a Congressional panel furious that their actions two months ago interfered with a DOD op. Torres has all the respect for the process that you’d imagine (none, in other words), particularly when a congresswoman implies that Gibbs and McGee may not even be alive.

Then we cut to a prison cell, where our brave duo is alive, albeit with a lot more facial hair. They’re surviving on a scant ration of beans and dreaming of showers and smartphones. McGee laments that they’re in the middle of the world’s slowest-moving escape plan when a guard comes in to escort them to el jefe, who’d like a word with them about all the people they killed in the attack that ended season 14.

As they’re shuffled through the hallway, they catch sight of a room where people in hazard suits are either handling toxic materials or engaging in Breaking Bad cosplay.

Back in the States, NCIS receives a call that’s interrupted by shots fired. At the scene, the agents find a body and, after dispatching a goateed lookie-loo asking nosy civilian questions, they discover that the victim’s hair is falling out in clumps. Mysterious!

The dead man is Zachary Brooks, a known drug mule whose hair loss was caused by the same uranium that the R.A.C. traffics in. (Palmer announces that said uranium was smuggled rectally, so take a second to let that soak in.) It doesn’t take a big leap to conclude that Zachary may have gotten word about their missing agents, reached out to NCIS, and took two in the chest for his pains. And after Palmer correctly identifies the name of the nightclub stamp on Zachary’s hand (“You guys, I have a life!”), they’re off to interrogate.

En route, Bishop reluctantly takes a call from Delilah, who’s alone, pregnant, and terrified for her missing husband. Worried about saying too much on an unsecured line, Bishop burbles about NCIS being told to stand down and rings off quickly.

At Palmer’s favorite nightclub, they find a woman dousing it in gasoline. She infodumps that her boyfriend was Zachary, and her boss runs his smuggling business out of the nightclub, which is why she was planning to torch it. When Zachary learned he was smuggling uranium, not drugs, out of Paraguay for the R.A.C., he decided to reach out to NCIS.

She shares a photo of her boss, Mickey Clark, and surprise surprise, it’s the lookie-loo from the murder scene. If Hollywood has taught me one thing, it’s to be suspicious of the most eager person in the crowd at a crime scene and/or to be nowhere near said crime scene if I, myself, am the murderer.

Onboard the old cargo ship serving as their prison, Gibbs is being waterboarded for refusing to tell el jefe his birthday as a horrified McGee looks on. Later, a few R.A.C. members pull McGee out of his cell, not to torture him, but to ask for tech help after overhearing some especially nerdy conversations in his cell.

McGee tries to reason with Nicolas, who’s operating the computer, telling him about his pregnant wife. Instead, the head torture guy asks McGee for his birthdate in exchange for food. McGee complies and lunges at a sandwich tossed on the floor for him. Unfortunately, at this moment Gibbs is dragged by.

Back in the cell, Gibbs is working on a well-rendered wooden carving of an eagle superimposed over an American flag, which is so perfectly Gibbs. McGee brought Gibbs back some raisins, but Gibbs tosses them to the floor and berates McGee for installing a printer driver on an enemy computer. McGee replies that they don’t have the luxury of morality in their circumstances and breaks Gibbs’ carving. And then, friends, it is ON, bare-knuckle brawl style.

The guards break them up and drag McGee away, plaintively sputtering, “It was just a printer driver!” But he managed to lift a knife off of one of them to pass to Gibbs, so we all know it’s only a matter of time before there’s going to be some sweet bladed justice delivered on this ship. (Recap continues on page 2)

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