Everyone’s tailing or getting tailed on NCIS this week as Gibbs tries to tie a final bow around an old case involving the daughter of a friend who died in Afghanistan.
Pro-tip: If you want to turn this recap into an incredibly dangerous drinking game, take a shot every time you read the word “follows.”
Angie Gray was the getaway driver during a robbery three years ago, but she refused to take a plea deal or give up her accomplice, who was presumably her boyfriend. Also, he presumably ended up with the never-found hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from the home of Admiral Norton Padgett and his wife. The Padgett’s lavish lifestyle is provided by the missus’s inherited wealth, and the stolen money was a drop in the bucket to them.
Still, the case has always bothered Gibbs, who tried and failed to get through to Angie following her father’s death, so on the day of Angie’s release, he and McGee are waiting outside the prison.
They follow her as she gets into a truck with tinted windows, and when they realize there’s an apartment for rent across the street from the crappy hotel where Angie’s dropped off, McGee crows, “Stake-out time!”
Angie has a record for a San Diego break-in with a different boyfriend. Since that’s Sloane’s old stomping grounds, she “accidentally” bumps into Angie on the street and talks her way into making a call on Angie’s new burner phone, then chitchats about California beaches.
Meanwhile, facial recognition of the prison pick-up driver reveals her to be Lanny Peete, Angie’s cellmate who was released a few months ago.
Under questioning, Lanny tells McGee that she tried to protect Angie from people who’d take advantage of her, like her lowlife ex-boyfriend J.T. Apparently Angie didn’t know him very long, but he’s likely the burglar.
Bishop and Torres take over Angie-watch, and they’re startled to realize that Angie’s also being followed by a man with a gun. Another round of facial recognition identifies him as shady P.I. Phil Iverson.
When Angie hops into Lanny’s car for a road trip, Gibbs hops in Iverson’s and flashes his badge. Iverson refuses to give up the identity of his client, but that’s okay; Gibbs was just distracting the P.I. so he couldn’t follow Angie.
Angie and Lanny arrive at a rundown cabin that Angie says belonged to J.T.’s grandfather. They break in to search for clues about J.T.’s whereabouts. McGee and Torres, who were the designated tail, arrive in time to hear the women scream over the discovery of a desiccated corpse.
Thankfully, another suspect’s turned up. Sloane’s use of Angie’s phone netted NCIS the burner number, so they know that Angie had called a man named Lew Nolte, Padgett’s personal assistant and NCIS’s No. 1 suspect to be the inside man on the burglary back in the day.
Nolte’s cocky about being back in for questioning three years later and claims that the cloud of suspicion made him lose his job with Padgett, and he hasn’t gotten another good one since.
But Gibbs is sure Nolte was the one who told Angie’s accomplice about the money in the safe and when the staff would be out for the night. Then he flashes the cabin body photo, but Lew claims ignorance. (Next page: He’s just not that into you, Ang)