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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:31 am 
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NCIS - Episode 15.03 - Exit Strategy - Press Release

WHILE ON A STAKEOUT WITH METRO P.D., TORRES’ PARTNER MYSTERIOUSLY VANISHES MID-CASE, ON “NCIS,” TUESDAY, OCT. 10

Susan Blakely Guest Stars as Cadence Darwin, Ducky’s Friend
“Exit Strategy” – While on a stakeout with Metro P.D., Torres’ partner mysteriously vanishes, with the subsequent investigation leading NCIS to uncover new evidence from a decade-old murder. Also, Ducky’s friend, Cadence Darwin (Susan Blakely), presents him with a new opportunity during his guest lecture series, on NCIS, Tuesday, Oct. 10 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

REGULAR CAST:
Mark Harmon (NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs)
Sean Murray (NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee)
Emily Wickersham (NCIS Special Agent Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop)
Pauley Perrette (Forensic Specialist Abby Scuito)
Wilmer Valderrama (NCIS Special Agent Nicholas “Nick” Torres)
Brian Dietzen (Dr. Jimmy Palmer)
Duane Henry (MI6 Officer Clayton Reeves)
Rocky Carroll (NCIS Director Leon Vance)
David McCallum (Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard)

GUEST CAST:
Jack Conley (Metro P.D. Detective Danny Sportelli)
Susan Blakely (Cadence Darwin)
Lauren Stamile (Metro P.D. Detective Michelle Lane)
Carter MacIntyre (Benjamin “Benny” Sitano, Junior)
Coley Mustafa Speaks (Omar Nitro)
Travis Wester (Metro P.D. Detective Miles Higgins)
Amy Letcher (Fiona)
Alexander Davis (Landon Pottorf)
Adam Faison (Alastair)
Tyler Lueck (Man Who Proposes)
Megan Sheenan (Woman Who Says No)

WRITTEN BY: Christopher J. Waild
DIRECTED BY: Terrence O’Hara
Source:
CBS

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:41 pm 
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As good as the first two episodes of the season have been, I'm excited for tonight!

I used to do a countdown, but my excitement has dwindled in recent years. Maybe this is a sign of good things to come! :bounce:

1 hour and 20 minutes left until NCIS-o'clock!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:02 pm 
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Very cool episode! Any thoughts on the very end?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:03 am 
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That was kinda sad, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like the last time we'll see him, you know?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:20 am 
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'NCIS' Recap: Ducky Receives an Intriguing Proposal


Last time on NCIS, Gibbs and McGee struggled with returning to "normal" life after their time in Paraguay. It is certainly an experience that has changed both men.

This episode, titled "Exit Strategy," has Torres discovering evidence in a very cold case, while Ducky entertains an exciting new offer. I wonder what that could be.


Stakeout Etiquette

Poor Torres is on a stakeout with Metro Detective Miles Higgins, and the pair is not getting along. Besides talking all night, Higgins attempts to impress Torres with his gadgets, including a comb that is a knife, and a belt that is a knife. I am sensing a theme here. The purpose of this joint stakeout is the arrest of Vernon Douglas for drug trafficking, but Douglas has not yet returned. Higgins is furious when Torres borrows his pen/camera and tosses it out of the car. Torres goes for a walk and calls McGee to beg him to take his place. Just then, a car roars in, and Torres calls Higgins on the walkie so that they can get in position. Torres approaches the car, but he is attacked by a man. The agent overcomes his attacker, but Higgins is a no-show. I guess the fact that his smashed walkie is laying out on the ground might explain why.

A sleepy Bishop tells McGee that even though Ducky is in Scotland, he has been e-mailing her non-stop. Ducky was asked to give a guest lecture at the University of Edinburgh and asked Bishop to scan some old NCIS files for him. Gibbs arrives and tells the group that they need to help Torres.

Torres tells Gibbs that after he cuffed Vernon, he discovered that Higgins was missing. At first, Torres thinks that Higgins may be giving him a hard time since Torres was vocal about not wanting to be partners with him. Detective Sergeant Sportelli shows up, and he is not fond of joint investigations. Sportelli thinks that Higgins must have been kidnapped. McGee finds the pen/camera on the ground, and it has been recording the whole time. It shows Higgins running up to a woman, and then they run out of frame. Gibbs notices that the woman touched the edge of a dumpster, so they collect the print as evidence.

Abby, McGee and Sportelli are in the lab, and Abby gets a match on the mystery woman's fingerprint. The print belongs to Metro Police Officer Michelle Lane. Sportelli is in disbelief -- and for a good reason. Michelle Lane was killed 10 years ago in the line of duty. She was working undercover for months trying to take down Benjamin Sitano, who was involved in selling arms, people and drugs. He sounds like a prince! Lane tracked a $2 million gun deal to a marina. Lane was spotted on a boat minutes before it exploded. Her body was never found, and neither was the $2 million in bearer bonds.

Metro PD and Vance decide that another joint investigation is in order, much to Sportelli's displeasure. Higgins is still missing, and his cell phone is either off or has been disabled. Bishop thinks that Lane stole the money and ran away, but Sportelli insists that Lane is not the woman who was sighted with Higgins.

Lost and Found

Torres tells McGee that even though you are working alone undercover, you still rely on your team to have your back -- no matter what. Torres may have been tossed out of Higgins' apartment by the Metro PD, but he did chat with a neighbor. The neighbor saw Higgins and a woman in a tan SUV with a bumper sticker that had the word 'fifty' and a flower. McGee later determines that the flower is a Luther rose and posits that the woman may be a Lutheran. Bishop has access to Higgins' username and password for the Metro Police's internal files. Higgins is logged in to the system, even though Torres believes he could be in a sex dungeon.

A familiar-looking woman in a tan SUV gets a video call from her son, and she promises to be home soon to help him with a school project. The NCIS team tracks the Wi-Fi address to a parking garage, and they bring Sportelli along. The woman disappears, but the group finds Higgins' body in the passenger seat.

In autopsy, Palmer details how Higgins died instantly from a gunshot wound to the neck. Higgins died about two hours before he was found, and he had glass from the passenger side window in the wound. So if Lane didn't shoot Higgins, who did?

The SUV was registered to Jessica Pottorf of Pennsylvania. The woman's laptop, which was hidden under the seat, shows family pictures of Pottorf, her husband Craig, and son Landon. It comes as no surprise that Pottorf and Lane are the same person. McGee reveals that Lane was looking at the old police files detailing the bust she was trying to make on Sitano. While Sitano died two years prior, his son, Benny Jr., has turned his father's companies into a legitimate business called Check 'N Cash 4 U. This is the same site that Lane was looking at on her laptop in the parking garage.

Gibbs and Bishop pay Benny a visit, and he doesn't know the woman in the photo with Higgins, and he isn't concerned about his safety because he has a huge bodyguard named Nitro. Although he claims to have gone legit, he was arrested recently for money laundering. When Benny is shown the file picture of Lane, he recognizes her and states that she used to work for his father. Benny looks at a photo of Higgins' body and lawyers up. Meanwhile, in the lobby, Torres spots Lane entering. She pushes the button on the elevator and is surprised to find Bishop and Gibbs inside. Surprise!


Protecting a Child

Lane insists that she came back because she is in trouble. Three days ago, she got a call from someone demanding the bearer bonds and threatening her family if she didn't provide them. Lane states that she doesn't have the bonds, and she called her old partner, Higgins, because he is the only person she felt she could trust. She adds that they went back to Higgins' apartment to look at the old files, and when they were driving off, someone shot at them. Lane was going to throw herself on Benny's mercy. She certainly isn't getting a pass from Torres, who states that she should have turned herself in and gone to the police.

McGee has Lane's phone, which has been continually ringing with her son's ringtone. McGee holds the phone out so she can reassure him, but she sees the terrible image of her son bound and gagged. Yikes! I have a feeling Sportelli is involved. Someone knocked out Lane's husband and kidnapped the boy. Then an angry Sportelli demands to know why Gibbs didn't call him right away about Lane. NCIS has a missing kid on their hands, and they are taking over. Gibbs tells Sportelli to jot down his questions.

Lane finally reveals that she became pregnant with Landon while she was undercover, and the father wasn't going to be part of her life. Lane claims that she was on the boat but realized that the battery on her wire had run down, so she snuck off to her car. The boat exploded, and Lane thought that the explosion was meant for her. When she was reported as dead, she decided to reinvent her life for the sake of her son.

McGee and Gibbs interrogate Benny at NCIS about kidnapping his son, Landon. Bishop and Lane watch the discussion, and Bishop realizes that Lane could not return to the Metro police because the Sitano family would learn of her pregnancy. Benny responds that he at first thought Lane was dead, but he later hired a private investigator to look for her. He found her with his son and new husband, and decided to let his son be free from the baggage of being a Sitano.

An Interesting Offer

Sportelli arrives, handcuffs Lane and takes her away. Bishop thinks that Nitro, Benny's bodyguard, kidnapped Landon. He just received a huge increase in salary. Bishop and Torres meet with Nitro at the diner. He explains that he is a personal trainer, which is why his salary increased. Torres asks Nitro why he was fired from the Metro police. Nitro says that he was pressured to become dirty by his boss at Metro PD, Sportelli. Worse yet, Sportelli and Lane never arrived at booking. Sportelli has an apartment in Chinatown, and he lost his retirement savings on a bar that has since closed.

At the bar, an enraged Sportelli tells Lane to give him the money, while he holds a gun on Landon. Lane blurts out that the bonds are in a fictitious Cayman Island account. NCIS arrives just in time to rescue Landon and Lane. Gibbs and Torres corner Sportelli, and Sportelli commits suicide.

In Edinburgh, Ducky is presenting his infamous "body in a body" case, and it is gross. The body belonged to Marine Colonel Stanley Metzger, and Ducky details how getting to know the deceased person on an autopsy table is mandatory, especially when gathering forensics. His lecture is enthusiastically received, and he stays late to answer questions from the students. Dr. Cadence Darwin interrupts the group and tells Ducky that he has an urgent call, but she has concocted a ruse so that she and Ducky can enjoy a whisky together. He is pleasantly surprised that his old friend has come in from New York to listen to him speak, but he tells her that he has a job that he loves.

Cadence again offers Ducky a teaching position at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It is for one semester, but Cadence suggests that Ducky write a book about the cases he has worked on, like the "body in a body" case. She believes that his book could shape the way students are taught. Ducky is reluctant to go to New York for a semester, even though Cadence invites him to stay with her.

Lane brings Landon to meet Bishop at the diner. Bishop has called Benny, and Lane introduces her son to her friend. At headquarters, Gibbs and Ducky catch up. Ducky knows that Gibbs has spoken to Cadence, and Gibbs makes it clear that everything will be okay if Ducky takes the teaching position. Ducky admits that he wants to take the position, and he tells Palmer.



http://www.buddytv.com

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:21 am 
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:sigh: could this be the last season then, what with "Abby" going could this be Dr Mallard's way out too

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:47 pm 
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smackalicious wrote:
That was kinda sad, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like the last time we'll see him, you know?


I was thinking maybe DM wanted to move to a recurring role, rather than being in every episode. I'm sure we will see him. 8-)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:16 pm 
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I was sad about Ducky, but kind of excited for him, too. David McCallum is getting old. They work 16+ hour days filming. It's gotta be physically and emotionally taxing. And writing a book is perfect for the Duckman. :yes: Plus, it gives Jimmy a bigger role. And like Andrea said, I think it opens the door for him to be recurring and seen periodically without having to work so many hours.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:41 am 
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Donna Kauffman recaps 'NCIS' season 15, episode 3, 'Exit Strategies': That's how you write a happy ending

We’re only on week three of the new season, and already we’ve dealt with Agent Quinn’s departure (if by “dealing with” you mean a one-line write-off) and now we’ve been handed another character departure blow — only this time it’s a big one. Bigger than big. If you missed it, Pauley Perrette announced this past week that this will be the last season for Abby. We get to keep her for the whole season, but then our favorite Goth forensic genius is no more. The show’s producers assure us she’ll get a Very Special Storyline, and all I can say is, they better do her justice! (Which includes not killing her off. I don’t think even they — who love to kill off their female characters — would go there.)

In the good (?) news department, we will be adding a new character to the show next week. (I told you it was a LOT!) Maria Bello (who I think is a great fit for NCIS) will come on as a former second lieutenant in the Army with two tours in Afghanistan under her belt. She is now a brand new NCIS agent, but will play opposite Gibbs as a peer (not on his team). Turns out she is the agency’s premier forensic psychologist, and as Gibbs’ peer, she can challenge Gibbs. Ruh roh! So, we know there will be friction, but also mutual respect. Her character is described as a positive force who is mischievous with a dry sense of humor. Intriguing, but … again … a LOT to deal with.

However, with Quinn gone and Abby out the door soon, that would leave Bishop as the only woman left standing. And that’s not a good idea.

What is a good idea is to get this show on the road and find out what happens to our merry band of agents this week!

We open with Torres on a stakeout with Detective Chatty McGadgetGuy from the local PD. It’s an interagency mission to take down a guy on dual drug trafficking charges. Det. McG likes to think that he and Torres are partners, but after spending all night showing Torres all of his gadget gear (Looks like a belt? But it’s a knife! Looks like a comb? But it’s a knife! Looks like a pen? But it’s a camera!) Torres and I both would like to be rid of the guy. Torres takes the pen/camera as if adding to the ongoing filming Det McG is doing, then throws it out the window. (Looks like a pen? But it’s a Frisbee!)

They spy their target going into the back alley. Torres goes around back, gets into a tussle with the bad guy, finally takes him down, but no sign of Det McG as backup. Camera pans to the front and Det McG is gone and his gadgets are lying on the ground by the open passenger door of their stakeout vehicle.

Cue awesome opening theme song and credits! (More Reeves time, please!)

It’s morning as McGee reports to the Bull Pen of Orangey Goodness to begin another fun-filled day solving crimes. Bishop never left from the night before, pulling an all-nighter. Turns out Ducky is still in Scotland and had to give a seminar in addition to getting his honorary degree, so he’s been e-mailing Bishop all night getting her to send him copies of various case files. McGee tries to guess which ones, reeling off a bunch of cases (all previous NCIS episodes). Palmer comes in wheeling a pallet loaded with a huge shrink-wrapped shipment of something. Turns out the driver left them at the wrong entrance. He and McGee swap old case names and Bishop is sure they’re making some of them up. Enter Gibbs and it’s grab your gear time!

Over at the scene of the disappearance, good ’ol Detective Sportelli is back. He’s now Detective Sergeant Sportelli and he’s annoyed that Torres thinks McG just took off. Surely the only reason for one of his officers disappearing from the scene would be abduction. Bishop reports no blood, no sign of a struggle. Torres thinks McG walked off to teach him a lesson about partnership.

McGee retrieves the camera Frisbee pen and it turns out it continued to record after Torres tossed it. They rewind it and see a woman enter the scene. McG gets out, goes over to her, they speak, then more or less tiptoe off together holding hands. The camera was too far away to get audio, but the woman leaves a print.
In Abby Lab, Abby isn’t happy with Sportelli breathing down her neck while she runs the print. They get a hit, and the woman is another police detective on the same force. Or was. Sportelli says it can’t be her because that detective died 10 years ago. Ruh roh! Fade to a spooky black and white.

Turns out presumed deceased Det Lane was working undercover trying to take down a drug kingpin who also trafficked in other contraband. They’d been after him for years, but could never make a solid case. She tracked a shipment of $2 million in bearer bonds, but the boat they were supposedly on blew up with her on it (according to an eye witness). No body was found after the explosion. Eventually, Lane was declared dead. Bonds were never found. Kingpin remains at large and in business. Enter Sportelli, who is convinced they’re being played. He insists Lane is dead. We learn Sportelli’s boss and Gibbs’ boss want them to play nice and work together to solve the crime, but Sportelli keeps his team as separate as possible, convinced NCIS is wrong to think his detective is dirty. Sportelli is treating McG’s disappearance as an officer in distress. He is committed to finding McG and not losing another officer. Team NCIS looks at missing bearer bonds, agent presumed dead but body never found, and tape showing McG and mystery woman with Det Lane’s fingerprints tiptoeing off together and think he’s in on whatever is really happening. Sportelli pushes back, saying he knew Det Lane, and the chances of her pretending to be dead so she can sell the bonds and live the high life would be akin to any one of the NCIS team doing that — impossible.
McGee and Torres watch agents process the stakeout car in Abby Garage. Torres tells McGee that undercover work is often solo, and no way would Lane have stolen the bonds and run off. Torres went to McG’s apartment and got a few photos before McG’s PD compatriots showed up to process it and kicked Torres out. He noticed someone had filled the cat dishes with fresh food, so someone had been there recently. A neighbor told Torres that McG got into an SUV with a woman, and they presume it’s the mystery woman (or walking dead Det Lane). No license plate number, but the neighbor remembered it had a bumper sticker with the number 50 and a flower.

We shift to Scotland (Hello, Edinburgh! I miss you!), where Ducky is giving his talk on the “body-in-a-body” case, where one dismembered body was hidden in the emptied-out torso of another body. And yes, there are photos. Lucky us. Ducky quizzes the students, and cue adorable Scottish Forensic Girl who has all the answers. We see a smiling blonde in the back of the room, charmed by Ducky’s talk. I’m guessing we’ll meet her shortly. A dapper Ducky tells the students that they need to talk to their charges and if they listen, “The dead will speak.” Wild applause. He asks if there are any questions and is stunned when everyone raises their hand.
Back in the Bull Pen, McGee thinks the bumper sticker is a Luther Rose, so perhaps the mystery woman is a Lutheran. Bishop comes in and has Det McG’s login info so they’ll know if he goes online, and bingo, he’s on Wi-Fi somewhere right now! McGee goes to track the Wi-Fi location.

We shift to a parking garage with the SUV. In it is Mystery Woman (who we now see is totally Det Lane, back from the dead). She signs in on the laptop to Skype/talk to her school-age son. Son and hubby are just going about their normal daily activities, but Mom is clearly worried about them. Son thinks Mom is at a conference somewhere. They log off, and we see that someone is in the passenger seat next to her, but we don’t know who. From a backseat POV, we only see the back of a head leaning on the headrest, but we presume it’s McG. Enter the NCIS team and Sportelli, who have traced the Wi-Fi signal to the garage. They finally track down the SUV. Det Lane is nowhere to be seen. Passenger side window has been shattered, possibly by the gunshot to the neck that killed Det McG, who is still in the passenger seat. Fade to black and white.

Back at HQ, Sportelli and Gibbs (who is still sporting the longer ’do) take an elevator ride. Sportelli complains that his promotion to boss just brought him everybody else’s problems. Gibbs tells him it’s their job as bosses to fix them. Sportelli asks what happens if he can’t. “Retirement?” Gibbs offers with a hopeful grin. Down in Ducky’s Digs, it’s Palmer giving the sit-rep on McG this time around. Gunshot wound killed McG instantly and passenger window glass was found in the wound. Time of death, two hours ago. Gibbs trips over the pallet shipment for the second time and barks at Palmer to put it away. Palmer tells Torres that while Gibbs can order Palmer to break Ducky’s Rules and give a prelim sit-rep before the autopsy is done, no one restocks the supply closet except Ducky.

Cue a jump back across the pond where Ducky’s lecture is over, but a few students, including Perky Girl (or is that Lass?) have lingered afterward to continue peppering him with questions. Enter smiling blonde, who tells Ducky he’s got an important call as a ruse to rescue him from the students. In a back room she offers him a glass of single malt. We learn she’s a fellow alumnus who has flown to Scotland from NYC for the express purpose of trying to lure Ducky away from NCIS to take a position in her department. They are old friends, and Ducky turns down her offer, but they take the bottle with them when they leave to hide from the students.

At HQ, the team learns the SUV is registered to a woman. They find the laptop under the seat. Abby cracks the password and they see family photos of Mystery Woman who looks just like Det Lane. Now they know Det Lane is alive and living under the name on the SUV’s registration. She’s married, with the 9-year-old whom we saw earlier. She used McG’s laptop and his PD login so she could get in and look up files on Kingpin. Turns out Kingpin died two years ago and his son took over and went legit with a check-cashing chain. Who wants to bet that legit business is just a front? ::waves hand!::

Shift to meeting Kingpin Jr., who is a busy, charming, seemingly nice guy who appears to run a legit business. He has a full-time bodyguard to keep him safe from folks who didn’t like his dad. Bodyguard (Nitro — heh) also brews some mean espresso and makes a cup for Bishop. Bishop brings up the fact that Jr. gets investigated a lot (there are IRS agents going through the office as they speak), which he blames on his dad’s former line of work, which keeps the local agencies giving him the stink-eye, despite him being all legit now.

They show him a photo of mystery woman and Det McG, saying she’s come to D.C. to track him down. Then they show him Lane’s photo. Jr. knows who she is, knows she worked for his dad, and only knew she was a cop when her death made the news. They tell him that she is the mystery woman from the first photo. He has no idea why she’d be coming after him. They show him dead McG photo and ask where he was the day before. He says it’s time for a lawyer. Gibbs takes a call from Torres, who is in the lobby of the same building. He tells Gibbs Det Lane just walked in. She pushes the button for the elevator. When it opens, there is Gibbs and Bishop, badges in hand.

We shift to interrogation and learn that Lane was being blackmailed by someone who found out who she was. They threatened to kill her family unless she gives them the bearer bonds. She doesn’t have them, so she came to D.C. to see her old partner (McG) and use his computer to log in and see the files for Kingpin. Learning he’s dead, and assuming it’s Jr. extorting her, they head to his office building. McG is shot and killed as they drive away from his place. McGee interrupts the interrogation to tell Gibbs that Lane’s phone keeps ringing. She recognizes the ring tone as belonging to her son and asks to talk to him so he doesn’t worry. Instead, she sees him bound and gagged and hears a deep, electronically modulated voice telling her to turn over the bonds or her son dies. Fade to a very distressing black and white.

Back at HQ, we learn that intruders broke into Lane’s home in Pennsylvania, knocked out her husband and took her son. Husband is in the hospital, but OK. Son’s phone has been turned off so they can’t track it, but no obvious signs they hurt Son when they took him. Sportelli comes in and demands to talk to Lane, angry they didn’t tell him they’d found her. Gibbs says their focus is finding the kid and not the time for Sportelli to go vent on her running away and letting them think she was dead.

Lane is up in the conference room now. She understands why Sportelli is mad, but tells them she didn’t run off because of the money. All she cares about is finding her son. They ask her why she did run off, then, but she keeps saying they need to find her son. Bishop demands answers and Lane tells them she got pregnant with her son while she was undercover. She says the father “wasn’t in the picture” and she had to decide what to do. She was on the boat, but the batteries in her wire went dead. She went back to her car to get fresh ones and the boat blew up. She knew the bomb was meant for her, so she took off to save herself and her unborn child. My first question would be, who is the Baby Daddy? My guess? Jr. But no. She says when the boat blew up, she lay low, trying to figure out what to do. (How about telling your bosses you’re expecting and get pulled off the case?) When she saw on the news she was presumed dead, she saw it as a chance to start over and give her son a safe life. She has no idea where the bonds are, she didn’t take them. I’m saying it has to be Jr., otherwise she’d just get taken off the case. Sure, it screws over the department, but such is life. If Jr. is the daddy, the only way he wouldn’t come after her was if he thought she was dead. Just my guess. Torres asks why she did something that extreme, letting her team think she was dead. Why not just go back? She says she never told the Baby Daddy and so playing dead made sense. Again … why aren’t they hammering her on that point straight off? If someone is trying to extort her, that’s a good place to start. Plot holes. Rrr.

Down in Abby Lab, she says Lane’s family lives very modestly, no sign of a bearer-bond windfall lifestyle. Abby thinks the kidnapper/extortionist saw a viral video from a baseball game showing a guy catching a ball and proposing with it. Lane and her son were seated right behind them. The clip was all over the news and had over 4 million hits. Good bet that’s what outed her. She was wearing a T-shirt with the name of the church where she teaches school, so not too hard to track down, either. Bonus! Bishop rushes in and says she thinks Lane cracked the case. (What, because she mentioned who the father was? Come on, Show. Do better.)

In Scotland, Blondie tempts Ducky with an offer of a semester residency at a premier forensic science college in the U.S. and says if he were to take it, that would give him time to write a book about all the fascinating cases he’s presided over. She thinks a book about his work in the field would be the definitive reference book for forensic science, and his charming way of explaining it would inspire generations of upcoming scientists. It’s a good sell and a good idea. He says he has responsibilities, and she says that things seem to be going fine back at NCIS, and that’s because he’s trained Palmer well. Ducky realizes the truth in that, but doesn’t look entirely thrilled by it. (You know, David McCallum, while still dashing as ever, is not a young man. If anyone was going to retire from the show, I’d have predicted him, long before I’d have guessed Abby. And this sure sounds like the perfect storyline to ride Ducky into the sunset, doesn’t it? Could we be losing two original cast members at the end of this season? Which prompts the question that gets asked every year … will this be the final season of NCIS? They had a two-year deal with CBS, which expires at the end of this season. So many questions …)

We come back to Jr. in interrogation and well, well, well … score one for the Writer! Lane did tell them Jr. was the daddy. (Messy plot hole filled in, thanks!) Jr. swears he didn’t kill McG or kidnap their son and since there’s still 15 minutes left in the show, I want to believe him, but … Lane took the out of being presumed dead because if anyone found out she was carrying the heir to the crime family, they’d never have stopped looking for her. Jr. found out about his son after his birth, but didn’t out her identity so his son would stay safe. Lane is on the other side of the glass, hearing him talk about how devastated he was when she died, they were very much in love, but when there was no body found, he hired an investigator and discovered she was alive, married, and learned she had their son. He was angry that she’d done that to him, but knew given who his family was, he’d be hounded for the rest of his life as agencies tried to tie him to his family’s past crimes. That was no life for a kid, either. So he let it go. On the other side of the glass, Lane says she believes him, but who else would know about the bonds and about her son? Bishop promises they’ll find her son.

Sportelli is up in the Bull Pen as Lane comes in and they finally have their face-to-face. He says hello, says he’s sorry to hear about her son, then arrests her for conspiracy and fraud. Lovely man. He hauls her out in handcuffs while an angry Lane, feeling betrayed after being told she could trust them, yells at Bishop about her promise to find her son. Fade to black and white.

Bishop thinks that the link still has to be angry baby daddy Jr., and since he couldn’t afford to get his hands remotely dirty given all the agencies always breathing down his neck, maybe he got someone else to do it. Someone he could trust, that he goes way back with? Hello, Nitro. Turns out his salary recently tripled. Must make really good espresso. Gibbs is afraid if they bring Nitro in, that Jr. will lawyer up. So Bishop decides to set up a meeting and see if she can’t trip Nitro up with some friendly conversation.
Torres and Bishop meet him at Gibbs’ fave diner. He tells them he is also a personal trainer as well as a bodyguard and recently completed his classes and got his diploma, which is why his salary tripled. Assuming that’s why they wanted to see him and all. Torres mentions how they also learned Nitro used to be with the PD until he was fired. Torres wants to know if he was crooked or just bad at his job. Nitro says the past is the past. He’s Jr.’s bodyguard and a personal trainer now. He did not kidnap Jr.’s son. They want to know why he was fired from the PD and threaten to revoke his license to carry. He tells them he was pressured to skim from evidence and refused. Afraid he’d turned snitch, they railroaded him out of the department. Jr. gave him his second chance. Bishop asks why Nitro didn’t turn snitch on the crooked cops, and he tells them that his boss was one of them, saying

Sportelli is way too smart to get caught. Ooo hoo hoo! Oh, Sportelli. It was only a matter of time.
Torres and Bishop rush into the Bull Pen, and McGee tells them that Sportelli and Lane never exactly made it to the booking desk. McGee uses McG’s sign-in to the PD to check files and get Sportelli’s address. He finds out that Sportelli and some buddies opened up a bar, went into debt, and Sportelli blew through his entire 401(k). So, I guess some bearer bonds would come in real handy. No wonder he kept trying to take lead on the case and not play well with others. Turns out the bar closed two years ago, but Sportelli still pays taxes on it, which means he has a key. Perfect place to stash the kid, and now Mom until she tells him where the bonds are. Gibbs and company head out.

Sure enough, Sportelli is demanding Lane to tell him where she stashed the bonds. She swears she doesn’t have them. He aims his gun at her son, finger on the trigger, and she finally blurts out that they’re in an off-shore account in the Caymans. Truth? Or fiction to save her kid? He demands the account number and she nervously starts reciting it really fast. Agitated, he can’t keep up, tells her to slow down. She tells him again, but he says it’s too many digits and turns the gun on her son. She screams, says she was nervous and got it wrong, but before he can shoot, he hears the agents coming and races out the back.

Bishop gets Mom and son safely out. Gibbs and Torres trap Sportelli in a back storage room. Gibbs tells him it’s over, then slides handcuffs under the door, tells Sportelli he has a choice. Sportelli says how Gibbs always was a fair man, and Torres says Gibbs is being more than fair given Sportelli killed a cop, one of his own men. Gibbs tells Sportelli it’s his job to fix it, and Sportelli says he can’t. Gibbs tells him to take responsibility, make his choice. Sportelli kicks the cuffs back under the door. They hear him cocking his gun, but not sure if he means to shoot at them through the door or … yeah, use it on himself, which he does. They enter the room to find him dead on the floor. Torres says Sportelli made his choice, and Gibbs looks visibly upset.

Back at HQ, we learn that it was fiction after all. Lane was stalling for time with the off-shore account story. The location of the $2 mil in bearer bonds remains a mystery. Also a mystery, why Sean Murray’s weight fluctuates so wildly. The facial hair helps hide the return of the baby face, except I like McGee better with the baby face. The facial hair? Not so much. What I really want to know is, do we get to see Lane and baby daddy get their face-to-face?

Over at Gibbs’ favorite diner, I’m about to find out. Bishop is at the counter eating fries when Lane and Son come in. Uhhh, does Son know his daddy isn’t really his daddy? Because this seems like a pretty big deal to be doing at a diner. And yet, we’re doing it. On top of that, it’s a surprise to Jr., too. Yay! Lane says she had Bishop call because she wanted to thank Jr. in person for understanding her reasons for doing what she did. She introduces their son to Jr., and when Son asks how Mom and Jr. know each other, Jr. says they’re old friends. Son is cool with this. Bishop encourages them to have a seat and they take a booth, you know, all old friends catching up. So, that’s … a lot. But OK. (Her: So how have things been? Him: Well, you know, trying to run a clean business and not get busted for my dad being a crime boss. You?)

In our final scene, Ducky is back in his Digs. Enter Gibbs, who welcomes him back. Ducky is standing in the supply room, seeing it’s been restocked. Just the way he’d have done it. More evidence he’s not as irreplaceable as he thought. Gibbs asks if there’s a problem, and Ducky laughs and says the only problem is there is no problem. Gibbs says it took him long enough to figure that out. Gibbs turns to go and Ducky realizes that Gibbs knows about the offer. Gibbs says Blondie called him last week. Ducky says he feels like everybody is planning his life except him. Gibbs says it’s his choice, all the way. Ducky comments on how it’s just for one semester. (I love how they think he’s going to teach and knock out a book in a semester. Ahahahahahaha. I wish. I mean, I really do wish. I’d love to be able to produce like that.) Gibbs says, “You bet.” Ducky says how it’s just in N.Y., a mere three-hour train ride, so he could still come visit. Gibbs: You bet. Ducky: Palmer will make a wonderful medical examiner. Gibbs: We’ll see. (Heh.) Ducky starts to say something else, and Gibbs tells him to stop. He asks Ducky if this is what he wants to do. Ducky: Yes. (Go, Ducky!)

Gibbs smiles and says then it’s not Gibbs he needs to talk to. Enter Palmer. He asks if he’s interrupting something. Gibbs heads out, telling Palmer he’s right on time. Aww. I like. We see the two talking through the windows of the closed doors, then we see Palmer and Ducky hug. Fade to black and white.

Now that is how you write a happy ending.

http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com

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