'NCIS' Recap: Virus Strikes Kids Of Military Parents, Jackie's Estranged Dad Surfaces
NCIS "Homesick" focused on an unidentified illness that’s plaguing kids whose parents are employed by the military. The team has to figure out what the sickness is and how to cure it before it takes the children’s lives.
When a military man returns home from a tour of duty, he has a cheerful reunion with his family. However, when he goes upstairs to greet his daughter who was bedridden with a fever, he realizes she’s hardly breathing.
At NCIS headquarters, the team, oblivious to the case that’s about to land on their desk, is excitedly talking about their respective Christmas plans. Tony (Michael Weatherly) is taking the holiday time to go on a vacation in Jamaica. Bishop (Emily Wickersham), meanwhile, will be spending the holidays with her family back in Oklahoma. Abby (Pauley Perrette) is bringing Christmas to the office, donning a Christmas sweater and hat and giving out cookies to her coworkers. McGee (Sean Murray), noticeably less chipper, reveals that the daughter of a friend of his was recently hospitalized. When he relays the symptoms, Bishop believes something similar happened to the son of a Marine pal of hers.
Military Kids Struck With Virus
Gibbs (Mark Harmon) arrives and informs the team that there are eight children of Navy and Marine parents who’ve been hospitalized with fevers and swelling windpipes. With the help of Carol Wilson of the Naval Medical Research Center, they’re going to find out what’s affecting these kids, who all happen to live in military housing in the DC area.
Before long, the number of infected children climbs to 19. Investigating the illness, the team disperses to area hospitals. After verifying their symptoms, Bishop begins to think that the kids could have SARS. Unfortunately, she voices the concern aloud, sparking a panic in Emma’s parents. Ducky and Jimmy hope that a map that indicates the homes of the children affected will tell them more about what’s ailing them and why.
Vance Deals With Jackie's Dad
While Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) is getting his kids ready for school, a man named Lamar Addison (Ben Vereen) arrives with a bag of gifts, wanting to see Vance’s kids. Vance appears to recognize the stranger, and shouts at him to go back to New York. He refrains from revealing the mystery man’s identity to his curious kids. Later, Vance tells Gibbs that Jackie’s father, who walked out on the family when she was young, showed up and wanted to know about her family – and had just visited her brother in prison.
After offering Vance some help, Gibbs gets pulled away by Bishop, who believes she’s found a possible suspect in the form of chemical researcher Max Comey. Comey had been accused of stealing toxic mold spores, fought with a Marine recruiter recently and lives near a school attended by one of the sick children. When Bishop, Gibbs and Tony arrive at Comey’s apartment, they find it cleared out except for lab bag.
Kids aren’t the only victims of the illness. Ducky gets wind of senior citizen Marine Lloyd Grunfeld, who died as a result of what appears to be an aggressive type of pneumonia. After performing Grunfeld’s autopsy, Ducky believes that if he can determine the strain of the infection, there’s a chance they could treat the children and save their lives.
Strep Antibiotics Don't Treat Kids
Abby, Carol and Palmer identify the strain as a type of strep throat. Yet, when none of the children appear to be responding to the antibiotic treatments, Abby becomes concerned, realizing that the bacteria is actually morphing. The kids’ conditions are rapidly getting worse and they’ve developed new symptoms, including a rash.
Vance’s father-in-law wants his grandchildren to know he’s not an awful person and wants to pay for their college. He’s stunned to learn that his grandkids don’t even know that he’s alive. Lamar returns again later that day to show Vance a Christmas card that Jackie had sent him the previous year. When he learned of Jackie’s death he was determined to see his grandchildren this Christmas. Ultimately, Vance relents and introduces his children to their grandfather.
Santa Volunteer Is Patient Zero
At the hospital, volunteers dressed in holiday garb walk the halls to raise the spirits of children stuck there over Christmas. It gives Gibbs an idea – maybe a volunteer at one of the kids’ holiday parties on the base is patient zero. Marine Captain Louis Boggs, who volunteered as Santa Claus, appears to have brought over Meningococcal-A from Africa. With antibiotics, the kids will make a full recovery.
– Chelsea Regan