NCIS episode “The Devil’s Triad” began with a clown murdered a young marine, forcing the team – including new girl Bishop (Emily Wickersham) – to head to the scene of the crime.

NCIS Recap

The dead marine, shot in the chest, is Corporal Ron Flegman. Tony (Michael Weatherly) and Bishop talk to a witness, who gives a detailed description of the shooter, allowing Bishop to draw up a ketch of the clown. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) isn’t amused by the sketch and tells Tony to start going through all of the local street performers. Eager to learn all she can, Bishop listens in closely while Ducky explains to her how they can tell the bullet’s trajectory just by looking at the wounds.

Analyzing the call log on Flegman’s second phone, Tony realizes that a bunch of missed calls landed on the cell phone from the Adams Hotel around the time of the shooting. Gibbs decides to go with Tony to the hotel, leaving McGee (Sean Murray) in charge of the crime scene. After determining the exact hotel room from where the calls came, the pair head up to the room and open the door. Inside, they find Fornell’s ex-wife Diane on the bed and Agent Fornell (Joe Spano) emerging from the bathroom.

Fornell and Diane divorced years ago, and Diane has remarried with a man named Viktor. She and Fornell’s affair just “happened,” and they wanted to keep it a secret for the sake of their 13-year-old Emily. Also, Diane claims that she and Viktor are separated. As for the phone calls from the room, Fornell vehemently denies they were from him. Gibbs deduces the calls were made by Diane to another boyfriend – Eddie Macklin – whom she was trying to break things off with. Fornell can’t believe what he’s hearing and Diane doesn’t know why Flegman would have Eddie’s phone.

Gibbs & Fornell Seek Out Diane's Boyfriend

When they get back to headquarters, Tony and McGee fill Bishop in on the new details of the case. She then gets the honors of doing the run-down. She’s found out that up until six months ago, Macklin had no credit history to speak of and that he works at a local climbing gym. Fornell insists on going with Gibbs to meet with him. At the gym, they learn from Macklin’s boss that Macklin missed a session with Flegman earlier in the day.

The next day, Gibbs brings Emily to the office, who’d rather spend time with “Uncle Gibbs” than deal with her parents' drama. She, personally, has no desire for them to get back together. Abby (Pauley Perrette) informs Gibbs that Macklin sent Diane some racy texts, a bit of information that Diane overhears – as do Fornell and Emily. Abby shuts off the computer before any of them can read them, but tells Gibbs that Macklin also sent texts about a safe deposit box to a burn phone.

At the bank, Gibbs learns that Macklin had checked out the box multiple times in the last several weeks and that it’s now empty. Diane also learns she wasn’t Macklin’s only fling, as the security camera shows him kissing another woman. Meanwhile, at the morgue, Bishop is helping Ducky and Palmer (Brian Dietzen) with Flegman’s autopsy. She gets even more in with the crew when they realize her BOLO has found Macklin’s vehicle.

Macklin Reveals Banner Is The Real Suspect

When the team locates Macklin’s car, they find a clown nose and blood that belongs to five people, making it seem possible that Diane’s boyfriend is a serial killer. Bishop proposes they return the car to its spot in long-term parking at the airport and wait for Macklin to retrieve it and Gibbs approves of the plan. When Macklin picks up his car later, he drives it to a storage unit in which he’s kept masks, tools and handcuffs. When he tries to get away, Fornell slams him in the face.

As it turns out, Macklin is undercover Special Agent Edward McKenzie for the Secret Service. Climbing gym owner Banner and his girlfriend (the woman Macklin kissed at the bank) are allegedly responsible for a slew of bank robberies. Banner had Flegman, who was serving as the getaway driver, killed because he thought he was stealing money. Furthermore, Banner’s wife worked part-time as a clown for children’s parties. Macklin/McKenzie needs the cops to let him go so he can get the money back so Banner doesn’t suspect anything.

Bishop Saves Emily

Unfortunately, it’s too late and Banner knows that Fornell has him. For leverage, Banner has taken Emily hostage. When she gets a chance to speak to her dad, she tells him she’s in a white van. The team eventually finds Banner’s girlfriend dead, making them increasingly worried for Emily’s safety. Fornell says that if they send Bishop with the money, he’ll give her Emily’s location.

When Banner takes the money from Bishop, he gives her a phone that he’ll call her on to give Emily’s location once he’s out of the way. When Bishop finds a blue van that’s being towed away, she senses that Emily is inside. And, since Emily had intentionally dropped her “Happy Cat” GPS watch in Banner’s bag, the NCIS team is able to track Banner down at a gas station.

– Chelsea Regan

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