NCIS recap: Knight goes viral after a car goes boom
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All Jess Knight (Katrina Law) wanted to do was bring some pain au chocolate to her coworkers, and what did she get for her troubles? A snazzy superhero nickname and 15 minutes of fame, sure, but also an undercover cartel investigation, a reluctant 11-year-old, and zero croissants.
Her day began with a bang when a car slammed into a wall outside the southeast entrance of the Navy Yard and she pulled a mother and son to safety but failed to rescue the male passenger. Cell phone footage of her rescue goes viral, and the media dub her Wonder Woman, but she's more interested in talking to the people she rescued.
From her hospital bed, Reyna Vargas (Adriana Ducassi) explains that she's undocumented, and someone threatened to deport her and place her American-born son Adam (Elias Janssen) into foster care. She also says the man who died in the car was her brother Daniel.
Before Knight can get more answers, a nurse wheels Reyna away for an MRI. Reyna makes Knight promise to look out for Adam while she's gone.
But Reyna's gonna be gone for a lot longer than anyone anticipated; she vanishes from the hospital, leaving behind the wounded nurse. Oh, and the man who died isn't her brother. He's a DEA agent named Daniel Tanner.
Adam reluctantly agrees to stay with Knight while his mother is missing. First stop is Kasie's (Diona Reasonover), where she takes a selfie with "Wonder Woman" and then reveals that Daniel was shot with his own gun. That's when Adam shouts that his mom didn't do it because Daniel was his mom's friend.
DEA Agent Raymond Frank (Scott Lawrence, way too recognizable to not be more involved in this mess) sheds a bit more light on the subject, admitting that his agency slowed Reyna's visa application down to coerce her into going undercover for them.
She was sent to work at Mateo's Taqueria, which the DEA believes is a front for the Serrano cartel. Mateo Serrano's the slick entrepreneur, while his brother Isaac is the enforcer. Daniel was Reyna's handler, and he gave her a recording device to plant in Mateo's office in the hopes that they could shut down the cartel once and for all.
Alas, Kasie isn't able to pull any useful footage from the recording device, which burned up in Reyna's car, although she was able to keep Adam entertained with exploding watermelon while Knight was off investigating. However, Knight's return puts a frown right back on Adam's face.
And he has reason to frown. Hospital surveillance video shows that the nurse actually took Reyna to the parking garage, where armed men forced her into a van. The nurse identifies Isaac Serrano as the man who threatened her family and forced her to hand over Reyna.
Kasie's able to track the van's broken taillight using street cams and announces that it's at the taqueria, which is honestly just lazy logistics on Mateo's part.
Frank wants to move, but the NCIS agents urge a slower response. Parker (Gary Cole) also benches Knight since she's so recognizable that she's being hounded by reporters. She's bummed to be stuck on kid duty, and Parker reminds her that Adam doesn't have to love her, but he does have to depend on her.
So she takes Adam to the diner for curly fries and reminds him that she promised his mom she'd take care of him. He starts to open up and shares one of the mixes he makes on his phone using sounds from the world around him. In fact, he also says Uncle Daniel used to bring him sounds to mix.
Meanwhile, Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) is undercover at the taqueria, nomming chips and salsa and flirting with the waitress. That seems like my kind of undercover work — until he gets confirmation that Mateo's currently in the restaurant.
Torres pulls the fire alarm to evacuate the place, but the older woman who lags behind surprises him by pulling a gun and calling for Mateo. (Who is this woman? Is she Mama Serrano? A random cartel member? A customer angry that her order's been delayed? The episode never solves this mystery.)
Thankfully, the rest of the team bursts in for the takedown, and Frank kills Mateo when he would've shot Parker in the back. Adam's overjoyed to be reunited with his mother, although everyone else is bummed that they don't have the recording device to truly get the goods on the Serranos.
But astute viewers have already figured out how this will be resolved: Adam saw the recording device, assumed it was more sounds from Daniel, and copied it onto his phone to mix. The original files show that Mateo was meeting someone in Lincoln Park three days ago with a bribe.
It's Frank, of course, who took the $50,000, killed Daniel, and shot Mateo to keep the man from ratting him out. He cuts a deal and flips on the rest of the Serranos.
This clears the way for Reyna to be naturalized, and as the Vargas family take their leave, Adam makes Torres promise to take care of Knight. Torres assures him that the team looks out for each other, and as Adam hugs Knight goodbye, he airdrops her a file.
Even though the reporters have stopped calling, Jess has Adam's Wonder Woman mix of news reporting on her heroics to remind her of her brief time in the spotlight.
- Listen, I'm not saying Mateo deserved to be killed for that way-too-cutesy font in his taqueria logo, but I am saying that maybe if he focused less on the cartel and more on graphic design, he could've made money the legit way.
- It's fitting to see a character played by Katrina Law get a DC Comics moniker; the actress previously played Nyssa al Ghul on the CW's Arrow, another DC joint.
- How much did you love the reveal that Delilah made Tim (Sean Murray) do the dishes for six months after she learned that he hid the triple homicide in their apartment from her? Seems like a fitting punishment.
- Jess and Jimmy (Brian Dietzen) update: he's aware of her early-morning whereabouts, and she's worried about what his daughter Victoria really thinks of her. Stay tuned for further developments as we cruise toward the season finale on May 22.