Cupid’s arrow goes awry on this week’s NCIS, both literally and metaphorically.
First, Jack finds herself in the middle of a Valentine’s Day mystery when she receives flowers and chocolate from a secret admirer. The whole office assumes it’s Gibbs, which Sloane tells him to his face. (Gotta say, you need to be pretty comfortable with somebody to casually say, “You know everybody in our workplace thinks we’re up to shenanigans after dark, right?”) Gibbs says he only wishes he’d thought to send her something, and the kiss he plants on her cheek is surprisingly heated for the big orange room.
More pressing, though, is Navy Capt. Alan Wales, found naked with an arrow through his heart. The last contact he had was with a JAG lawyer named Stacy Gordon (Daphne Zuniga, looking FAB-U-LOUS) via a Navy dating app called Fleet Date.
When NCIS arrives at her house to question her, she’s cavorting with none other than Gibbs’s old friend Phil Brooks. She’s been seeing him for about a month and loves his effortless masculinity — unlike Sales, who worked out like he had something to prove.
Then the team finds a second dead man who was found sans clothes with an arrow in his chest and start suspecting serial murder. MPD detective Tom Logan arrives with the files on Craig Olson, a retired petty officer with a wife and kids — and Fleet Date hidden on his phone. Yep, he was dating Stacy too, which means Phil may just be wooing a killer.
In question, Stacy’s cool and collected, a JAG lawyer through and through as she discusses her alibis. But the mention of her former married name manages to rattle her. Mark Tucker died five years ago from an accident at home, according to the incident report.
Torres, recovering from last week’s hit and run, already exerted himself too much with a test-fire of a bow and arrow, but he insists on going along with Bishop to talk to Sheriff Mary Talbot, who investigated Tucker’s death. Talbot says Tucker was drunk and fell down a flight of stairs but refuses to explain how he ended up with lacerations on his head. She’s known Stacy all her life and insists she couldn’t have murdered those men. But Talbot does confirm that she runs a youth archery camp, where Stacy picked up some decent bow-and-arrow skills. And when Kasie finds a hair tangled in the feathers of the arrow at the crime scene, the team makes plans to get a Stacy sample for comparison.
Phil, who’s already not happy with Gibbs for investigating his lady love, is pressed into service to smuggle out a hair from her house. He tries out “treadstone” and “enigma” as code words to say into the pen microphone if he needs a rescue before deciding on “abacus.” He is an accountant, after all.
While Gibbs sits in a car outside and frets about his friend, Phil paws through Stacy’s things as she angrily prepares dinner and rants about his no-good friend Gibbs. “That’s just Gibbs,” Phil says. “He accuses people of murder all the time.” But Stacy isn’t taken in by Gibbs’s steely gaze and strong-but-silent routine. “I don’t care what people say, he’s not that handsome,” she declares, and if nothing else, she’s guilty of bad taste.
When she busts Phil’s amateurish snooping, he panics and shouts, “Code word! Code word!” until she kicks him out with a hair sample to take to Gibbs.
In the end, the hair isn’t a match, which means poor Phil torched his relationship for nothing. He licks his wounds by singing sad songs at Chez Gibbs, wondering if the lone wolf life is enough for him. Gibbs admits, “I got work and the boat. Sometimes that’s not enough.” Although Gibbs isn’t leaping into a relationship, he suggests Phil go get Stacy back.
Kasie, meanwhile, found that both of the dead men had organ damage from a specific type of cheap meth, and footage at their gyms lead them to a nutrition supplement dealer named Matthew Duques, who sold to them both. When Duques tries to run rather than face question, Torres chases him down but can’t keep up thanks to his still-healing injuries. Good thing Bishop’s there with a gun.
But Duques is a dead end since a rotator cuff injury would prevent him from firing a bow and arrow. Before the team can decide where to go next, Gibbs gets a call from Phil, who went to Stacy’s to apologize and interrupted a break-in. Then his phone goes dead.
NCIS scrambles there and bumps into Sheriff Talbot, who comes clean about what happened the night Stacy’s husband died. He’d been physically abusive for years and was choking Stacy when she bludgeoned him with a fireplace poker. Stacy ran to Talbot for help, and the women cooked up a story to protect Stacy from Mark’s vindictive family. The only member of Mark’s family who didn’t blame her was Tom Logan, who had a sweet spot for her and recently became… an MPD detective!
Yep, it’s the detective from the beginning who tried to wave them off the dead-end Olson case. He’s got Stacy and Phil tied up at his cabin and says that he loves Stacy and wanted to hurt the men who hurt her. Also, he slipped into Stacy’s house five years ago and finished off her abusive husband, who was alive when she went to get help. So Stacy’s not a murderer after all!
Logan’s about to shoot Phil, Stacy, and then himself when Phil sees NCIS approaching through the window and stalls the best way he knows how: by asking Logan if he has an estate plan in place to care for his favorite nephew after his death. Discussions of the tax implications slow Logan down long enough for Gibbs to arrive and shoot him dead.
Now to close the other case of the night. A mixed-up delivery sent Jack Sloane the chocolates and flowers meant for Sloane Jackstone, who works in HR, while Sloane Jackstone received the chocolates meant for Jack Sloane. And on Jack’s card: “Thinking of you. Faith.” Could a mother-daughter reconciliation be in the works?
Finally, Phil swings by Chez Gibbs on his way to a “glad we’re back together date” with Stacy and hands our favorite silver fox a new smartphone loaded with a Fleet Date profile Phil put together for him. All it’ll take is one press of the button for Gibbs to be an online dater.
Gibbs’s finger hovers over “get started” for longer than any of us might expect, but in the end, he tosses the dang thing into his roaring fireplace.
Take that, cupid.
- McGee mentioned both Wolverine and The Ring tonight, which is a nice variety of pop culture offerings.
- Speaking of Wolvie, Torres at first insisted that he regenerated like our favorite mutant, but by the end of the episode, he greatly relieved Bishop by opting to rest up instead of chasing down bad guys. Here’s hoping his adamantium bones stop interfering with his healing factor and the Weapons X program can get him back on his feet soon. Otherwise, he’ll be less Wolverine and more Old Man Logan.
- Look, I’ve never been held hostage by a man holding a rifle on me, but unlike Phil and Stacy, I think I know enough not to call him a psycho and tell him we’ll never be together. Don’t agitate your captor, yo!
- Mad props to Vance, whose Fleet Date profile lists sailing and listening to live music. Go on with your bathing suited self, Leon!
- For real, what is up with Gibbs and Sloane?
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