‘NCIS’ Recap: The Team Deals With Ziva David’s Departure, McGee Helps Thwart A Suicide Bombing
NCIS’ first episode following the last episode of Cote de Pablo as Ziva David, “Under the Radar” began with a very literal bang. In the show’s opening minutes, a landlord goes to the door of a tenant’s apartment to deliver a registered letter. Once the landlord opens the door, a planned explosion goes off, killing the apartment manager instantly.
At the NCIS offices, Tony (Michael Weatherly), slightly on edge since leaving Ziva in Israel, wants to know why Murray is sitting in her desk. Murray reveals that he’s wiping Ziva’s hard drive clean. In the process, Murray discovers a picture of a teenage Tony that Ziva had stowed away in her desk. The picture peaks his curiosity about the “friendship” between the coworkers, but he ultimately hands over the picture to Tony, who stores it in his desk next to Ziva’s Star of David necklace.
McGee (who has misplaced his badge and credentials), Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Tony then head over to the scene of the landlord’s death. When the police ask to see the specialists’ credentials, McGee (Sean Murray) manages to avoid a reprimand with a ruse that includes carrying as much equipment as humanly possible. They learn that the booby-trapped apartment had been home to Lieutenant Terence Keith. Keith, who had been visiting his mother in India, had gone missing and couldn’t be traced.
Back at HQ, Ziva’s desk phone rings, leading Tony to answer it and pass on the message that she no longer works there. Gibb’s likely sensing Tony’s dejection, tells everyone that they're going to have to move on. Moving into the NCIS headquarters is Special Agent Ver Strickland – Mike Frank’s former partner who will be hanging out until her impending retirement.
After McGee tells Gibbs that Abby needs him in the lab to get out of going to the Pentagon, McGee admits to Abby (Pauley Perrette) that he lost his badge and credentials at the concert they went to last night. She then grabs a scarf Ziva had given to her and puts it around his neck before getting down to her lab work. Abby ultimately discovers that Keith’s prints are all over the bomb trigger that was in his apartment – and that he had been contacting Lieutenant Junior Grade Dana Robbins. Meanwhile, Gibbs is learning from Keith’s commanding officer that the Sergeant worked in administration and was more or less a recluse.
Abby also discovers that the explosives used in the apartment booby-trap derived from Pyrotechnic Engineering. Since McGee doesn’t have his credentials, Gibbs sends Tony and Vera out to check it out. Vera learns from company head Mr. Frazier that he’d told Keith he could get C-4 (for blowing up stumps) from a demolitions contractor named Larry. When the pair talks to Larry, he admits Keith may have been a customer before nearly rolling over Vera with his truck.
While Tony brings Larry to HQ, Gibbs has a chat with Lieutenant Robbins. Robbins cops to having known Keith and reveals that he couldn’t handle the pressure of flight school – and he resented her for her success. Before he deployed, he’d insisted on meeting up with her. When Larry gets interrogated, the team discovers that Keith had purchased a total of 200 pounds of C-5 and had only used a fraction (10-12 oz.) for his apartment demolition. Even more worrisome, is that the team learns from Keith’s instructor Kip Logan that he’d rented a two-seater airplane – conceivably for a suicide mission.
McGee comes up with a plan to ask a band member from the concert he’d seen the night before to upload a picture of Keith’s plane to Twitter and ask his followers to tweet its location if they spot it. It works, and Gibbs is able to contact Keith before he strikes his aircraft carrier target. Gibbs ultimately prevails in keeping him from striking the intended target, but Keith dies as his plane explodes. McGee, who was facing a formal investigation for losing his credentials, gets honored with an invitation to the White House for his Twitter idea.
NCIS airs Tuesdays on CBS at 8/7c.
– Chelsea Regan
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