'NCIS' sails into 2022 with a possible traitor hiding in the heart of D.C.
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S19 E10
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Welcome to 2022, NCIS! You're doing amazing, sweetie.

Well, kind of. The episode that ushers in the new year was perhaps a little too easy for astute viewers to crack — but it ends with an emotional wallop courtesy of our absent Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon).

First, the case. As Kasie (Diona Reasonover) succinctly explains, it involves suspected traitor Rafi Nazar holing up in the Afghan Embassy in the heart of D.C., where no one can touch him as he presumably attempts to sell stolen Navy software to an unstable foreign government.

There's one catch though — the Afghan native's beautiful blond fiancée Kay is played by Amanda Schull. Depending on your viewing tastes, you likely recognize her from 12 Monkeys, Suits, Pretty Little Liars, or, of course, Center Stage, along with scores of other guest-starring roles. What I'm saying is, Schull's way too notable an actress to "just" be the little lady in the bad guy's life, so I had my eyes on her from the jump.

Kay swears up and down that Nazar would never have stolen the highly classified key that controls all U.S. surveillance and attack drones, but records show it was definitely him who accessed the code using facial recognition.

In addition, his gun is missing and his text messages point the team toward a black hat hacker who's been shot dead. On, and he's got an uncle who's a Taliban sympathizer, and Kay remembers that he did go for a drive the night before.

The pilots on the chief warrant officer's team insist that he'd never betray the U.S., although a Navy contractor says it's obviously Nazar since he's a foreigner. Amusingly, however, Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) immediately speaks to him in Spanish, followed by Knight (Katrina Law) speaking in Mandarin.

The Secretary of the Navy — now played by Denise Crosby who you might have seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Pet Semetary, Ray Donovan, or Suits (again), depending on your entertainment tastes — warns that it'll take 36 hours to change the key, leaving the U.S. vulnerable to attack from its own drones until then. This is particularly concerning when Kasie picks up online chatter that the key hasn't been sold but has been given away, likely for an ideological cause.

NCIS recap: Pledge of Allegiance, S19E10
Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS

During the height of the manhunt, Nazar calls Kay from a burner phone and arranges a meeting. With Torres as bad cop and Knight as good cop, they get Kay to agree to lead Nazar to them, but she buckles at the last second and warns him away. He flees, and Parker's ready to search every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse, and doghouse in the area until they realize Nazar's in the Afghan Embassy. The ambassador tries to protect Nazar, but NCIS secures his cooperation by telling him that Kay's facing 27 years for aiding, abetting, and obstruction unless he turns himself in.

On the sidewalk in front of the embassy, Nazar and Kay hug. Ummm, I have zero law enforcement training, but doing this on a public street seems UNWISE.

Surprising no one, shots ring out from a nearby car, hitting Nazar in the shoulder. Once Parker ascertains that he's not going to die, he orders the ambulance to head to NCIS, where a nervous Palmer (Brian Dietzen) is standing by to treat him. By now the team's figured out that Kay's old social media posts were full of calls for holy wars against the enemies of Islam. Once she realizes they're on to her, her whole face changes, and she drops the concerned fiancée act.

Yep, she orchestrated their whole whirlwind courtship because of Nazar's nationality and top-secret clearance — and she used his sleeping face to access the code. Knight has the pleasure of telling her that the Navy deactivated the key before it could be used.

Poor Nazar's had a heck of a few days, and he stops by the orange room to thank the team for working to clear his name. Torres sympathizes over how difficult is it to be Other in America, and they assure him that his team of pilots is still his family.

BUT WAIT. Did you think you were getting out this week without crying?

Both McGee (Sean Murray) and Palmer received mystery $10,000 deposits into their bank accounts, and Vance summons them to his office to welcome them to the Leroy Jethro Gibbs college scholarship fund.

You see, Gibbs never closed Kelly's college account after her death and in fact, kept adding to it. He now contributes money to agents with children, including Vance's when his were the age of Tim and Jimmy's kids.

You know, I was nervous at first that McGee and Palmer were being framed for something with those deposits, but what a lovely resolution this turned out to be. Gibbs may be gone, but he hasn't forgotten his people.

Stray shots

  • Oooh, the swagger in Kasie's "It's me" when Knight asks if she was able to trace Nazar's texts! We love a woman who knows her abilities.
  • Even if Kay hadn't been an immediate suspect based on the actress playing her, the jewelry sales party would've put me on alert. Nobody's that perky selling $300 rose gold necklaces over Zoom.
  • So what did you think, friends? Was Kay the obvious suspect in your eyes too?

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