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S19 E15
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Raise your hand if you clocked Parker (Gary Cole) as someone who had first-hand experience with the juvenile system prior to this week's NCIS.

We open with a youthful Parker getting busted for hubcap theft alongside his buddy Billy Doyle. Then in the present, Billy's nephew Sean turns out to be the prime suspect in the shooting death of possum-loving petty officer Danna Calley.

When the team learns that Parker did a stint in juvie with Sean's gangster uncle Billy, he immediately throws opens the book on his past, explaining that his sentence scared him straight and that he's still friends with Billy, who's now reformed and owns a Philadelphia market.

In fact, Billy tells Parker that he tried to keep Sean on the straight and narrow, although he did catch his nephew stealing from the register recently.

Sean's name is cleared when the team recovers footage that Calley filmed in the woods the night she died showing her being shot by a hooded person arguing with Sean. Then Sean turns up dead himself.

When an upset Billy arrives on the scene, Parker tries to calm him down, but Billy's ready to seek out justice for his nephew on his own.

A UV ink stamp on Sean's hand sends Knight (Katrina Law) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) to the bar owned by Sean's ex, but Billy was already there to make some rough inquiries. The owner held back information that she now shares with NCIS: Sean's been hanging out with a woman sporting a dragon tattoo on her neck. She also hands over a backpack and beeper Sean left with her. Yes, a beeper — in 2022.

Billy's next "investigative" step involves trying to get Sean's autopsy report from Palmer (Brian Dietzen), first with money and then with threats. Palmer's pretty cool all things considered (although why is he casually reading the autopsy report in a diner?). Parker reads Billy the riot act about interfering. His old friend declares that Parker never had the stomach to do what needed to be done.

NCIS Recap
Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

When Kasie (Diona Reasonover) discovers that the beeper was used to send Sean a latitude, longitude, and time for a meeting that night, Parker and McGee (Sean Murray) stake it out. Parker confides that Billy saved his life in juvie, and he's been dreading the day that they might end up on opposite ends of an investigation. But McGee's optimistic that Billy will surprise him.

The man there to meet Sean is a DEA agent who flipped him after a drug bust and tasked him with infiltrating the bank robbery crew run by the neck-tattooed woman, Kat Hanna.

Parker goes out on a limb to enlist Billy's help in tracking Hanna down, reminding Billy that she might be innocent — and the Billy he knows wouldn't hurt an innocent.

His old friend comes through with Hanna's address, and the team brings her in after finding the murder weapon in her apartment along with a rare baseball card taken from a safety despot box during a bank robbery.

She declares her innocence, but when they start talking about a double murder, she immediately admits that she and her crew were robbing a Baltimore jewelry store the night in question.

Then ruh roh, Kasie finds evidence that the murder weapon actually belongs to Billy, and the baseball card is covered in the coffee grounds he stocks in his market.

Parker kicks big dents into his desk at hearing the news, then apologizes for the unprofessionalism. He tracks his friend down at their old hideout, St. Mary's Catholic Church, and finds that Billy's there to get a confession out of Colin, his market employees.

You see, Sean found the baseball card in Colin's apartment during a break-in and tried to blackmail him, but Colin put an end to that by stealing Billy's gun to do a little murder and framing.

Billy's ready to put a bullet into Colin and won't listen to Parker's pleas to let him make the arrest. So Parker offers to kill Colin himself under the guise of self-defense. Billy realizes he couldn't live with himself if Parker sinks to his level and agrees to let Parker bring Colin in.

Afterward Parker confirms what we all knew (or at least hoped!): there's no way he was actually going to kill Colin in cold blood. But he does threaten to shoot Billy if his friend ever takes the law into his own hands again.

Friendship maintained, justice served, and RIP Danna Colley, who just wanted to study possums in the woods.

Stray shots

  • NCIS had a huge adjustment to make after Gibbs' departure, and Parker's been refreshing as the anti-Gibbs: open, complimentary, technology- (and pastry-) friendly. Well done, show, and keep giving us these glimpses into Parker's past.
  • Arthur Fonzarelli is an A+ fake name to give the cops in the 1970s.
  • Palmer and Knight. Knight and Palmer. To avoid being seated at the kiddie table, Jess recruits Jimmy to be her plus-one for her cousin's wedding—as friends, of course. She seems nervous to ask him, and Palmer's super hyped by this platonic outing. Then he practically swallows his tongue when he catches sight of a dolled-up Knight—although to be fair, she looks incredible.  Watch this space as this story develops.
  • Of note: Knight asked (and was turned down by) Sawyer as her possible date. Here's hoping this means more Zane Holt someday.
  • Quote of the week courtesy of Torres: "It's a wedding. Everybody has to do the chicken dance."

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