‘NCIS’ recap- ‘Enemy Combatant’

NCIS opened with a young couple on the road at night trying to get their baby to fall back asleep. As they are trying to deal with a flat tire, they see a car coming their way. However, when it fails to stop, they watch in horror as it veers off the road and crashes.

That same night, Ellie returns home when she hears voices. Grabbing her gun, she goes into her room to find all three of her brothers are there. George, Rob and John have all arrived to surprise her for the holidays. When they notice how dressed up she is and she is wearing perfume, they suspect she is dating someone.

Just when things are getting uncomfortable for Ellie as they question who the guy is, she gets the call to come to work. She carpools with Torres to the scene of the crash where the rest of the team has begun to work.

Tim and Abby are discussing her and Ranger Burt when Gibbs asks for an update. Tim tells him that the victim is Derrick Reza, a Navy Chaplain. Ducky’s preliminary time of death showed the victim was deceased four hours before the crash. Abby tells them a clay brick was used on the gas pedal to hold it down to make it look like a car accident.

The team arrives at the office to find Ellie’s brothers are there. When they spot Tim, they immediately wonder if he is the one dating Ellie. He just gives them a look before heading to his desk. Ellie is surprised to see them and learns Gibbs gave them permission to be there.

After updating Gibbs about Derrick’s work as a chaplain, the team splits up to work with Tim and Torres going to talk to the man who Derrick was last in contact with, Ronald Ayers.

In autopsy, Ducky is speaking to Derrick before telling Gibbs he didn’t do a full autopsy at the request of the victim’s family due to religious reasons. However, he was able to tell from looking at him that he had a laceration on his head. Based on the injury, he feels the cause of death is blunt force trauma.

Tim and Torres talk to Ayers, who tells them he was supposed to meet up to talk to Derrick that day. The victim had wanted to ask a favor. Meanwhile, Alex and Ellie speak to Gareth Bainbridge at the Interfaith church, who tells them he saw Derrick speaking to another Muslim woman several times but it appeared friendly.

Torres is at the vending machine when Ellie’s brothers begin interrogating him. He denies dating their sister and tells them they should talk to Clayton Reeves. Down in the lab, Tim and Abby are both curious about who she is dating as well. In the lab, Abby has found documents pertaining to Guantanamo Bay. They wonder what he was doing with sensitive military documents.

Ellie tells Gibbs, with the help of Clayton, that the documents Derrick had pertained to an inmate named Amir Hassan, who was suspected to have connections with a terrorist. The terrorist was believed to be connected to an attack in London. They have a lot of footage to go through of his interrogations.

Alex and Torres speak to Colonel Driscoll, who is the Commander at Guantanamo Bay. He says Derrick was a “calming presence” to the inmates but he does not know why he would have information on Hassan since he was not authorized.

Ellie calls on the help of Qasim Nassar, the brother of a deceased terrorist who the team had helped in the episode Lost In Translation. He can help her translate the videos in Amir’s tapes.

Clayton is in the hall when he sees Torres with Ellie’s brothers. After bringing him into the elevator, Torres leaves him to be interrogated. Clayton denies dating Ellie, though, but is stuck.

Meanwhile, Abby and Tim were able to find the navigation records for Derrick and found he had gone to a hotel to visit Samira Hassan, Amir’s sister. Tim questions her with Gibbs and she tells them Derrick had proof her brother was wrongfully detained. Ellie then comes to Gibbs to tell him she is telling the truth. The tapes don’t match up with what was written in the transcripts.

Vance, Clayton and Gibbs watch the tapes and Vance wonders how this could have happened if it is true. Clayton says the only contact Amir appeared to have with the terrorist was photos of them at the same mosque. Vance needs to know more for this to be valid.

Ellie and Qasim go to see Amir, but she knows he won’t talk to her. Qasim connects with Amir to tell him how NCIS had helped him even when everyone else believed he wasn’t a good person.

Vance and Gibbs speak to Colonel Driscoll, who tells them the interrogation happened before he was on post. The translator for Amir was a man named Brendan Peters with Wynnewood Security Services.

Qasim assures Amir that Ellie is on his side and he tells them he did not know the terrorist. Now he has lost 11 years of his life because of him.

Clayton is annoyed with Torres for what happened and Ellie comes to give them information on her own statistical analysis. While Torres scored very poorly, Clayton got a good rating and Gibbs got the best results. They quickly hide the screen when Gibbs arrives and Tim comes in with information. He found that Brendan Peters was actually an alias for Ronald Ayers.

The team goes to Ayers’ place and search for him. When he appears to be alone, Ayers holds Clayton at gunpoint, but Torres arrives in the nick of time.

In interrogation, Ronald tells Gibbs and Alex he felt guilty for what he did for Wynnewood and quit after what happened with Amir. He said his boss told him to fudge the transcripts to hold detainees for as long as possible. He denies killing Derrick and tells them he was working with him to reveal what happened to Amir.

Ellie and Qasim wait outside the prison for Amir. She is feeling guilty about what happened and wonders if there are any others like him inside. In addition, she is wondering if what she is doing now is enough. Qasim assures her she is giving Amir everything he has been wanting.

Abby tells a flabbergasted Tim that her analysis was completely accurate. It even determined his relationship milestones, including his future children. Tim appears not to believe her, but then asks about the sex of his future kids. Abby remains quiet on the subject. As she leaves, Clayton comes to tell Tim about Derrick’s stop at the bank from his navigation system. It turned out he was looking into checking account statements for Interfaith Church. Money that was supposed to be going to charities was actually going toward Gareth Bainbridge.

Alex goes to talk to Gareth, who tries to leave when he discovers they know the office is a crime scene. Before he can flee, Gibbs arrives with his weapon drawn. Gareth claims that he accidentally pushed Derrick during a confrontation, but they don’t believe him as they arrest him for murder.

In the office, Ellie tells Gibbs she broke rule 12, which was not to date a co-worker. But instead of reprimanding her, he just is glad she finally fessed up.

Back at home, Ellie confronts her brothers on always meddling and tells them she will open up more as long as they give her space. She then tells them she would like them to meet someone and goes to her door to let in Qasim, the person she is actually dating.

Elizabeth Learned

At Large Senior Editor, Arizona State University alum, coffee addict and television crime drama fan

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