The latest episode of NCIS begins with a summary of what happened in the previous episode. A cliffhanger saw the team hunting down suspected terrorist Benham Parsa, who sought revenge for losing his compound in Pakistan by attacking the counterterrorist groups who had been hunting him for years. Attending the Conrad Gala, McGee steps out to hear Tony tell him Parsa has sent a drone to attack the building, just as it explodes. The summary ends with Tony telling the team Tim is okay, while Gibbs puts Ellie to work in finding Parsa.
Photo Courtesy of Trae Patton/CBS
When the episode begins, we see patients in the hospital, with doctors and nurses rushing to help. McGee steps off the elevator and other than a wound on his eyebrow and cheek, he is okay. He goes to see his girlfriend, who is weak and on oxygen. McGee tells Delilah about the explosion and that six people were killed with 22 wounded. Delilah asks if he got Parsa, but before he can answer, she loses consciousness and doctors and nurses rush her back into surgery.
Tony and Ellie are in the squad room. Tony is lamenting about wanting to do something to help Tim, while Ellie is trying to work. She is trying to find a link between new information and information already stored in her brain, but is coming up empty. They go back and forth trying to figure out if Parsa will run back to Pakistan or pretend to run. Ellie apologizes for talking so fast when Gibbs walks over to his desk.
Gibbs and Ellie go over information regarding the alley shooting from the previous episode, figuring the surviving bodyguard didn’t know anything and was a hired gun for Parsa. They don’t have any hits on the BOLO regarding the getaway car Parsa escaped in. Gibbs tells Ellie and Tony to grab their gear. They are going to look for a bullet.
At the alley crime scene, Gibbs is looking around as Tony and Ellie watch. They are looking for the bullet since it grazed the driver of the getaway car Parsa got into, so it could have DNA on it. Ellie asks how Tony figured that out, to which Tony tells her she’ll understand Gibb’s grunts eventually.
Gibbs holds up two fingers in the shape of a gun toward the wall behind Ellie and Tony. He pictures the shooting and has Ellie point a laser toward the wall so he can find the bullet. Tony mentions McGee and wanting to make him a casserole or pork chops. Gibbs asks if Tony talked to him, which he replies only through texts. They examine the wall and Ellie asks if they found anything. They find a round bullet hole.
In the next scene, Abby has examined the bullet the team found, which has traces of DNA in the copper jacket. A match comes back to Bashir Malik, who was born in the United States but lived in Pakistan. It turns out Malik was suspected of a bombing at Camp Pendleton. Abby is worried because if he is connected to the Conrad Gala bombing and Camp Pendleton bombing, then he had plenty of time to become more skilled in attacks.
We next see Tim sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, looking alone and forlorn. He receives a text from Tony asking if he needs anything, but Tim ignores it. Doctor Rachel Cranston, the psychologist, comes to check up on the other bombing survivors, as well as Tim. We learn Delilah’s parents are on their way from Wisconsin and Tim asked the team not to come to the hospital. Dr. Cranston offers to sit with Tim. He just wants to be alone.
Back in the squad room, Ellie is at the video monitor going over information they know about Malik. He heard her anyway, so she continues talking about Malik’s background. He had been arrested for assaulting a cop after his car was mistaken for being involved in the abduction of a woman named Keely Jones. At the time of the Camp Pendleton bombing, Malik was seen around the area delivering fruit, but there was no evidence to hold him for the bombing. Ellie figures out that just because the bombing didn’t work the way Malik wanted it to back then, he wouldn’t change his tactics now.
They are unable to speak to the NIS Agent who interviewed Malik about the Pendleton bombing since he’s deceased, so they have to use his notes and interview video with Malik to find information. Gibbs tells Tony to set him up with the videos while Tony and Ellie go talk to the NSA.
Arriving at the NSA, Tony makes small talk with NSA Senior Intelligence Analyst Sophia Martinez. Soon, discussion turns to Parsa and how information was gathered which indicated he was going to leave the U.S. after the drone attack. Tony and Sophia exchange flirtatious pleasantries, causing Ellie to give them both an annoyed look. Ellie gets them back on subject regarding Parsa’s sister, Hayat Parsa, who was once close with her brother, but still seems to protect him despite limited contact. Before they leave, Tony wonders if Martinez is single, but then shakes it off, telling Ellie she’s annoying and reminds him of someone.
Gibbs is watching the interview between Malik and the NIS agent who investigated him. Ducky comes in at Gibb’s request to profile Malik. The M.E. is curious as to why Malik would be interested in Parsa since he is so new. Ducky and Gibbs talk about Tim, who hasn’t called to update them about Delilah’s condition, or to return Gibbs’ message. Ellie runs in to tell Gibbs the BOLO found Parsa’s SUV.
Tony is already at the scene when Gibbs and Ellie arrive. They see the car has been blown up, with words written on the windshield to say ‘TRY AGAIN’. When Abby gets the car, she blasts Parsa for thinking he could get away when Gibbs comes in for an update. She tells him it makes sense for Parsa to ditch the car, but not to blow it up. She found two bolts in the car that didn’t match the make of the SUV, leading her to think something was in the car Parsa wanted to hide.
A moment later, Tim comes in to Abby’s surprise. She walks over to hug him, telling him she’s glad he’s alive and so ‘McHuggable’. Gibbs asks how Delilah is and Tim confirms she’s okay and with her parents. Gibbs tells Tim to go home and rest, but McGee wants to work the case.
Tim stops the elevator when he gets on with Gibbs and talks about wanting to be ready for work. Gibbs needs his ‘fitness for duty’ evaluation, even though Tim talked to Dr. Cranston in the hospital.
In one of the interview rooms, Gibbs speaks to a witness who saw Malik’s truck in the Camp Pendleton area before the bombing. The witness kept tabs on Malik, only finding his name when the police officer assault case came up. He believes Malik could have abducted Keely Jones.
Ellie is in the squad room, sitting in the corner cubicle where Kate and Ziva’s desk is. Dr. Cranston comes in and introduces herself. She’s looking for McGee, who is in the Director’s office. Ellie asks if she knew Ziva, to which Dr. Cranston responds she knew them both. Ellie talks about having to fill gigantic shoes, which Dr. Cranston says it’s true, but that both Kate and Ziva would say there’s no better place than beside Gibbs, Tony, and Tim. Ellie then gets a call from Martinez.
Ellie is in MTAC, where Martinez is on video telling her how Tony reminded her of someone annoying. Ellie tells Martinez it’s her. Tony enters to find out what Martinez wants to tell them. Hayat Parsa got a call from an unidentified male and mentioned the numbers ‘180, 60, and 45’. In all the calls Hayat has received, she keeps using the phrase ‘It’s not enough.’
In the Director’s Office, Tim is going over the events of the Conrad Gala. Dr. Cranston asks him about Delilah, trying to hear his feelings about what happened. He appears to be giving her perfect responses, but not the real ones, and she asks if he’s shutting everyone out. Tim just wants her signature.
Gibbs is watching the Interview with Malik again and also going over news reports of the Keely Jones abduction. An article headline talks about Jones possibly fleeing her abusive husband. Gibbs looks up and rewinds to Malik saying he is not a terrorist, he just moves things. He goes to tell Ducky his theory that Malik is just a mover, and that he delivered fruit while someone else planted the bomb at Camp Pendleton. Then in 2002, Malik was paid to transport Keely Jones away from her abusive husband. They realize that if Malik was able to make the Pendleton bomber disappear as well, then most likely, Parsa is also gone.
The next morning in the squad room, Tim is back to work, which Tony is delighted about. Having been concerned for his friend, Tony tells him he made a casserole, but Tim passes. Tony talks about his men’s health group and being sensitive, and offers to make pork chops. This pique’s Ellie’s interest, but the conversation is interrupted by Gibbs. Ellie says good morning, but doesn’t get a response, so she discusses their theory about Malik being hired to move Parsa into hiding. Small cash deposits in Malik’s bank accounts seem to prove this theory correct.
Abby calls Gibbs to the lab and Ellie goes to work on the numbers from Hayat Parsa. Gibbs notices Tim is already caught up on his work. Tim talks about what he plans to do, but Gibbs tells him to slow down. When Gibbs goes into the basement, Abby accidentally flashes her camera at him. Abby tells Gibbs she discovered the SUV had been modified to make a hiding space for a person.
The team tries to figure out how Parsa was planning on fleeing the country, especially now that the SUV with the compartment was blown up. The compartment was measured in metric units and once converted to centimeters, the team realizes the numbers 180, 60, and 45 referred to the space not being big enough. Hayat was worried it wouldn’t be enough for Parsa to escape and the team tries to figure out how to catch her in order to find out more. Gibbs tells them they should use her bond to Parsa.
In MTAC, Sophia Martinez and the CIA are on the video monitor, where they tell Ellie an agent told Hayat her brother was in danger. Meanwhile, Dr. Cranston comes up to speak with Gibbs. Apparently, Delilah’s injuries were worse and her parents informed Dr. Cranston that a piece of shrapnel hit her spine and she’s paralyzed. Tim was inconsolable upon hearing the news and is avoiding the situation. Ellie interrupts to tell Gibbs they’re ready.
Hayat has made a call to a U.S. phone number and the team is tracing the call. After hearing the male caller talk about doing his part, Gibbs realizes it’s Malik. They are able to trace the call and while everyone rushes out, Gibbs tells Tim that Dr. Cranston wants to speak with him.
The team finds Malik burning documents and when they tell him to put his hands in the air, Gibbs kicks the barrel over before grabbing Malik. Tony arrests Malik while Gibbs asks where Parsa is to no response. They take Malik into custody.
Dr. Cranston comes up to Gibbs and tells him Tim was agitated at the mention of Delilah, and she is withdrawing his fit for duty papers. Gibbs asks where he is, but Dr. Cranston tells him Tim needs time to deal with everything on his own.
Tony takes Malik into interrogation as Ellie watches from the viewing room. Ellie is worried they’ll lose Parsa, while Tony believes they’ll get Malik to talk. They don’t have leverage to make him give up Parsa. Instead of watching the interview, Ellie leaves to help Abby.
Malik explains to Gibbs he didn’t read any of the documents before he burned them and he doesn’t know where Parsa is. He tells Gibbs not to look at him like a terrorist. Gibbs tells him he knows everything. He tells Malik he is the same as Parsa, but Malik insists he isn’t a terrorist. Gibbs is unable to break Malik and leaves, ignoring Tony when he asks if he wants him to try. The documents Abby is going over are too burnt and may take days to find something.
Gibbs goes to his desk to look over his folder of Malik. Tim walks up to him to tell him he needs to work, even though Gibbs tells him he can’t. He is adamant about being on the job, but Gibbs tells Tim he’s more important. Tim says he’s not. Gibbs figures out Tim feels like it should have been him and that he didn’t know. But according to Tim, Parsa was his job and he should have known. Gibbs reminds him that Parsa was their job and they did everything they could, but they were too late. Tim doesn’t know what to say to Delilah and Gibbs offers to go to the hospital with him. Tim says he needs to do it himself. Gibbs tells Tim to tell the truth.
Gibbs goes back to the interrogation room, talking to Malik about how he was almost put away for helping Keely Jones. Malik is afraid he’ll only be remembered for helping the terrorists. Gibbs tells him he’ll be doing what’s right and that’s what matters to Malik. He admits Parsa was put on a train to transport automobiles toward Miami, but that he got off along the way. His bodyguard was going to meet him. Malik doesn’t know where he is and asks Gibbs to tell the reporters he’s not a terrorist.
Tim is in the hospital with Delilah and as she looks at him, he tells her he should have been with her when she first woke up. She just tells him he’s there now. Back at NCIS, the team is trying to figure out where along the route Parsa was going to meet the bodyguard so Abby goes to check the train route. Gibbs gets a text from Tim and he goes to the hospital. Delilah’s parents are with her, so Tim gives them time. Tim wants to tell the team what happened in the morning and asks Gibbs to sit with him. They go over to sit down in the corner quietly.
At Large Senior Editor, Arizona State University alum, coffee addict and television crime drama fan