The last recap led us into reruns of NCIS before we could find out what happened to Parsa. When the team last left off, Tim’s girlfriend was in the hospital while Ellie worked furiously on trying to figure out Parsa’s next move.
The episode starts with Ellie at the batting cages, where her NSA supervisor, Jeremy Marlens, meets her. They talk about Ellie’s involvement in the search for Parsa. He doesn’t believe she should be handling the case, whereas Ellie is determined to do her job as was assigned to her. It’s not like the last time, at least according to Ellie, but we don’t know what “it” is yet. Marlens wonders if Gibbs knows, but Ellie shrugs it off. When Marlens begins complaining about the cold weather, something clicks in Ellie’s head and she rushed off.
In the squad room, Tony appears to be in a very good mood thanks to Mighty Aphrodite’s Moisturizing Bath Beads. Apparently it exfoliates very well, making Tim wish he never asked why Tony was in such a good mood. Gibbs enters to tell them Port Authority found a body and the clothing matches that of the bodyguard they’ve been searching for.
Just as they are about to leave, Ellie comes rushing in to tell Gibbs and co. she knows where Parsa is. The anniversary of his parents’ death is on February 6th, and Gibbs surmises he’s going back to where it all started in Pakistan. Ellie presents this information to Gibbs and Vance, telling them activity on Parsa’s movements stop during the period of time around February 6th.
She explains that most likely, Parsa’s parents are buried in the Swat District and she believes he would take Bahrain Road to get to the Swat District. Just as Vance is about to get the other agencies to call in their experts, Ellie reveals that she would be the expert on Parsa, since she has been on the case for six years. This information leaves Gibbs stunned.
In the morgue, Ducky is trying to get the frozen body ready for autopsy. Tony comes down, but is unable to get identification yet. There is evidence a gunshot wound to the neck is what killed the victim.
In the squad room, Tim tells Ellie Parsa’s sister, Hayat, is meeting him outside of Karachi, but this doesn’t make sense to Ellie. When Tim is about to tell Gibbs what’s going on, Gibbs interrupts to talk to Ellie. Gibbs confronts her over withholding what she knew about Parsa. Despite Ellie saying it was confidential, Gibbs isn’t sure he can trust her. She reminds him they only have 48 hours to find Parsa or they have to start all over and he needs to trust her.
The next morning, Tony steps off the elevator, only to have Tim grab him and lead him away from the squad room. Ellie and Gibbs have been ignoring each other all day and it is very tense. Tony and Tim don’t know what to do, although Tony suggests they keep their heads down. After a slip up of words, they find Vance behind them, where Tony tries to explain away his faux pas, only to be given a wry, “Do I look like Dr. Phil, Agent DiNozzo?”
Turning around again, they come face to face with Gibbs and Tony is able to give an update on what he’s found. Tony informs Gibbs a Russian freighter picked up an unregistered passenger, who was air lifted out to sea. While McGee stammers to come up with something, Gibbs’ phone rings. It’s Abby, calling him to let him know she has information.
Dressed up as Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Abby tells Gibbs there has been a switch and the body they found is not the bodyguard. Rather, it is the body of a missing Port Authority police officer, Alex Rio. Another piece of info comes to light through the pants, which has a bullet hole, meaning the bodyguard was shot and couldn’t travel due to his injuries, according to Ducky.
Tim and Tony reveal to Gibbs that Rio went missing the week before, meaning that he stumbled across Parsa and the bodyguard and most likely intervened before being shot. Ellie reveals a patient with a bullet wound was tended to at West Park Hospital, but left before questioning, and Tim reveals Rio’s credit cards have been used.
Gibbs goes to talk to Marlens about Ellie. While Marlens doesn’t reveal exactly what happened, he does tell Gibbs Ellie’s previous job was to predict whom the next up and coming terrorists would be, which was when Parsa went on her radar. Marlens advises Gibbs to distance Ellie from the Parsa case.
The team finds out Rio’s credit card was used again to gain a ticket onto a plane headed for Miami. Before heading off, Gibbs tells Ellie to stay at her desk. At the airport, a man throws away an empty water bottle before going up to the security line. Gibbs is standing there and when the bodyguard realizes what’s going on, he tries to run, only to be stopped by Tony and Tim, who has gotten a hold of the water bottle.
Gibbs is interrogating Khalil, the bodyguard who turns out to be Parsa’s cousin. He refuses to talk and turn his back on his family. Meanwhile, Ellie is in the men’s bathroom when Tony walks in. They discuss trying to figure out Gibbs’ head and how to work with him.
Tim walks in with Intel about something known as Operation Clean Sweep. Ellie urges Gibbs to let her talk to Khalil, and he relents. It turns out the Intel involves DNA being kept by the CIA in order to track terrorists and familial connections. When Ellie brings up Khalil’s children, he becomes agitated and defensive. With the knowledge that Parsa is near his family and could harm them, Khalil tells them about Parsa’s compound.
In Vance’s office, a meeting is being held to set up a SEAL assignment in order to breach Parsa’s compound. In the squad room, Tim is debating on making a phone call. After convincing him to talk, Tim tells Tony he wants to talk to Delilah about Parsa, but doesn’t want to get her hopes up. Tony uses Rocky as an example, about how he was defeated once, but won in a rematch.
Gibbs is looking for Ellie, but the guys don’t know where she is. Gibbs eventually finds her in the morgue and they have a talk. She tells Gibbs that Parsa began watching her every move when he figured out who she was. She talks about Parsa getting into her head and Gibbs tells her to make her move, citing Rule 11 as he leaves.
Meanwhile, the SEAL’s are breaching the compound and after moving through the building, they find Parsa. Gibbs, Tim, and Ellie go onto the ship where Parsa is being transported. Gibbs goes to interrogate Parsa while Tim looks through Parsa’s computer and Ellie focuses on analyzing the interview. In the interview room, Parsa reveals he will only talk if he can have a conversation with Ellie. Tim teleconferences Abby to ask for help decrypting files that he is having trouble opening himself.
Ellie goes into the interview room and after giving Parsa his favorite snack, he tells her where his main base of operations is. Parsa appears to be woozy as they talk. Gibbs gets a call from DiNozzo and Ellie tells him to go so she can talk to Parsa, which he is reluctant to do.
Tony and Gibbs are suspicious of Parsa being cooperative and Abby tells them who are funding Parsa’s operations. Tim interrupts to reveal the files he decrypted contain surveillance photos of Ellie over the last two years. Realizing she’s in danger, Gibbs rushes back to the interview room. However, he’s too late as Parsa faked a fainting spell in order to overpower the two guards and lock himself away from the rest of the ship with Ellie.
The ship’s men are trying to drill the door open as Ellie talks to Parsa. He tries to play her by using her husband, but Ellie isn’t buying it. Ellie realizes Parsa is using this opportunity for a suicide mission. In a conference with Vance and Marlens, Gibbs asks for recordings of Parsa and his sister with any mention of their parents.
In the interview room, Ellie tells Parsa why she tracked him down. Then, they hear Hayat’s voice over the speaker, and Parsa becomes agitated. He points the gun at Ellie, just as Gibbs shoots him, killing him instantly.
Back home, Tony and Tim talk about their evening plans. Tony will be having a bath while Tim is having a movie night with Delilah to watch Rocky. They praise Ellie for her hard work, though it was a team effort in her eyes, and they surprise her with snacks in her desk drawer. After looking at Parsa’s wanted picture on the wall, she scribbles ‘Rule #11’ on a sticky note.
Back at the batting cages, Ellie is having a hard time. Gibbs comes up, at first talking about baseball, but soon moving on to other things. Ellie reveals it’s frustrating to figure Gibbs out. The reason Gibbs has come to see her is to offer her a job as an agent. Before accepting, Ellie hugs him and tells him she accepts, calling him boss. He responds with, “Welcome aboard, probie.”
Photo courtesy of Cliff Lipson/CBS
At Large Senior Editor, Arizona State University alum, coffee addict and television crime drama fan