Poor Gibbs. He spends years as a special agent with nary a personal day, but after two months as acting director, he’s retreated to his cabin for a week of peace.
The Young Turks take the opportunity to enjoy a Gibbs-free atmosphere because, as Torres puts it, “Tim is so much nicer.”
But their crossword puzzles (Bishop), zombie mobile games (McGee), and sexy dance moves (Torres, natch) are interrupted when a robber makes off with $350,000 from an armored truck in North Carolina, then flees onto a naval air station and disappears onto a navy transport plane bound for Peru.
Blood spray and a severed finger inside the plane lead the agents to speculate that the robber stowed away in the wheel well with cold-weather gear, oxygen, and a parachute. And thanks to Kasie’s calculations, they believe he parachuted smack into the forest near Gibbs’ cabin.
Inside of said cabin, Gibbs is finding neither peace nor quiet thanks to two party crashers: Tobias Fornell, whose house is being bug-bombed, and Phil Brooks, who’s going through a divorce.
They commence to bickering over who Gibbs’ real BFF is. Brooks, who showed up with his GPS-enabled Fishlord 3000 device, points out that he and Gibbs built a boat together. Fornell gloats that Gibbs hates electronics in his cabin and argues that he wins the best friend contest thanks to the, ahem, intimacy of sharing an ex-wife with Gibbs.
The sniping (and the Fishlord 3000) pushes Gibbs over the edge. When he learns about the robber loose in the area, he dons his pack and hikes out to find him, with Fornell the trained federal agent and Brooks the Eagle Scout right behind.
Back at the naval yard, Palmer summons McGee to the morgue with the promise of a print from the severed finger and enlists his help in convincing Ducky to go on a book tour to the “lesser medical colleges” that are stocking his first volume. (Palmer’s tired of Ducky rattling around and acting like a backseat autopsy driver.)
McGee persuades Ducky with the promise of eager, attractive book groupies, then learns that Kasie already has the fingerprint and Palmer just wanted his help getting Dr. Mallard to fly the coop. Sure, Jimmy would never do that to Gibbs, but, “you are so much nicer,” he assures McGee.
The fingerprint’s classified, so McGee puts on his tough-guy persona to face the FBI agent who arrives to read them in. But Agent Izzy Monet doesn’t want to take over the case. She tells them that the finger belongs to Franklin Poe, who’s in witness protection after testifying against his buddies following a Vegas casino heist.
Furthermore, she and Sloane have got bad blood, although they used to be mad (surfer) love. They disagree over who saved the life of whom that one time in Bora Bora and Torres is interested to learn that they once placed a bet over a “Bodhi.” But Sloane’s suspicious when Izzy turns out not to be the agent originally assigned to the Poe case, as she claimed. Something’s afoot!
Speaking of feet, Gibbs sends Fornell and Brooks hoofing it up a hill to scope out the area, allowing Fornell to spot what could be the parachute tangled in the trees.
Then they’re startled by a blond woman emerging from the trees with a wicked knife and a string of fish. Gibbs and Fornell pull their guns, and the blond introduces herself as Jane, pointing them to a parachute two miles south.
Brooks scoffs because Fornell thought the parachute was to the east, then tumbles down a slope on his way to water a bush. Downside: He may have broken his leg. Upside: He found a pack with the stolen money.
Gibbs patches him up with duct tape (what, don’t you hike with duct tape in your pack?) and Fornell grudgingly offers some bourbon. Before long, Brooks is drunkenly singing “Show Me the Way to Go Home” and insisting that they’re three older, lonely divorced men who only have each other.
(Next page: 100 percent pure adrenaline!)
At HQ, Sloane ushers Izzy into interrogation and gets her to admit that she’s there doing FBI damage control because Poe’s FBI handler, Anna Jenlowe, fell in love with him and left the agency, and now they’ve both disappeared.
If the audience hadn’t put the pieces together before this, they definitely have now. And so are Gibbs and Fornell, who leave Brooks to investigate the sound of coyote activity nearby. There, they find a second parachute, although this one’s attached to a body missing one finger. (It was to the east – Fornell is vindicated!)
They also find the body of a camper who’s been stabbed to death, and then they’re summoned back to Brooks by the sound of a gunshot.
Yep, “Jane” is actually Anna Jenlowe, who swears that she killed the hiker in self-defense and says she’ll let them go if they’ll just give her the money. Recognizing her law enforcement training, Gibbs hands it over, presumably gambling that she won’t kill if she doesn’t need to.
He’s wrong, though; once she has the money, she turns her gun toward him and Fornell. Brooks lunges at her and sends her shot wide just as Gibbs pushes Fornell out of the way. Fornell ends up with tree shrapnel in his eye, and Jenlowe escapes.
At HQ, one of Jenlowe’s FBI aliases turns up on a flight that just took off from Dulles, and an unhelpful FAA official forces McGee to stop playing nice and bark orders that result in a squeaked, “Right away, sir!” McGee’s Gibbs impression is … not entirely convincing. Nice guy works better on him.
Then Kasie interrupts with the news that this was a decoy, and Gibbs and company have managed to track Jenlowe to Manassas thanks to Brooks’ GPS-enabled Fishlord 3000 tucked in the money bag.
Mad credit to actress Emily Rose who, with a wistful look at the photo of her with her now-dead love, conveys a world of regret about the decisions she made that resulted in her washing away dirt and blood in a poorly lit gas station bathroom, on the run from the law.
Once Gibbs places her under arrest, Izzy semi-apologizes to Sloane for all the deception, then shows Torres the photo of Bodhi, which turns out to be a restored 1974 Ford Bronco convertible.
“If you want the ultimate thrill, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price,” Sloane says as she walks away.
And the episode ends with Gibbs officially inviting Fornell and Brooks to stay at his cabin. They sit around a fire, sharing a meal of roasted fish and a bottle of bourbon. First Brooks takes a sip and sings a lyric of “Show Me the Way to Go Home,” then Fornell joins in, and even Gibbs gets in on the action, swigging the hooch and singing his lyric with a smile.
- While the twists this week may have been fairly predictable, you can’t not love an episode that ends with Gibbs relaxed and laughing in front of a fire.
- Would $35,000 fit in such a small bag? I guess it depends on the bill denominations …
- Kasie has her own lab music! It’s poppy and upbeat and fits her perfectly. Now, take her off temporary status and get her eyeball access, stat!
- Some fun callbacks tonight, including that time the Fornell family gave Gibbs termites and the reason that Brooks is getting divorced. Now, where can I get my hands on a Fishlord 3000?