NCIS recap: A hit and run uncovers a 15-year-old secret

Photo Credit: NCIS, CBS Bill Inoshita Image Acquired from CBS Press Express
Photo Credit: NCIS, CBS Bill Inoshita Image Acquired from CBS Press Express /
Photo Credit: NCIS, CBS Bill Inoshita Image Acquired from CBS Press Express /

NCIS continues the belief that secrets will always come out.

The latest episode of NCIS Season 15, titled “Family Ties,” starts with a husband and wife arguing over the husband’s cheating ways. Don’t let that fool you, though, as the duo wouldn’t show up again. Instead, a case of a hit and run leads to the uncovering of a 15-year-old secret that could potentially tear a family apart.

It’s not often NCIS had a heart for those who kill, especially when it comes to hit and run victims. In fact, Gibbs and co. usually find it hard to feel for any criminals, but their case wasn’t quite normal.

Meanwhile, Vance had to deal with his own problems, when his daughter was caught stealing. It was time to decide whether to throw the book at her or give her the benefit of the doubt.

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A case of a stolen car

When a cheating husband is left at the roadside, he finds the body of a marine. With broken glass at the scene, it’s clear that a car was involved. It’s Palmer who learns that the marine died of severe blunt force trauma. Well, technically he died of drowning, but his injuries were so catastrophic that he wouldn’t have survived even had he not landed in water.

Meanwhile, Abby is able to find not just the rough type of car, but the make, model, year and color. The best thing is there are only three of these cars in the tri-state area and one of those belongs to someone just miles away from the place the marine was found.

That man has also been arrested multiple times for drink-driving. It seems like an obvious case of drunk driver hitting a marine, but actually the man claims he wasn’t driving that night. Sure he was passed out drunk, but he is sure he got a cab. When Abby finds a breathalyzer in his car, she realizes the man had to be telling the truth. It’s one of those breathalyzers that will prevent the car from starting if it detects alcohol. To make the case even more suspicious, all the fingerprints have been wiped. Someone didn’t want anyone to know they were there.

Photo Credit: NCIS, CBS, Monty Brinton Image Acquired from CBS Press Express
Photo Credit: NCIS, CBS, Monty Brinton Image Acquired from CBS Press Express /

Of course, one of the someones left a bracelet behind. Not only did it have the school mascot on it, but the initials. It doesn’t take long for NCIS to track down one of the individuals, Genevieve Bell. And when they take a trip to her home, they find out her friend in one of her photos is Mia, who was likely with her the night of the accident. Christopher Bell, Genevieve’s dad, offers to meet NCIS at the high school, where both Genevieve and Mia are.

While NCIS get there to chat to Mia, Genevieve and her dad are gone. McGee goes back to the house to find the landlord there. The Bells have just disappeared, chopping up their credit cards and leaving their phones behind. They were actually in the garage at the time and speed past McGee to get away.

NCIS needs to get Mia to talk, but she’s already lawyered up through her dad. However, it doesn’t take too long for Mia to confess to stealing the car, especially after CCTV footage shows Mia as the driver at a corner store. Mia says they heard a bang but had no idea they’d hit a person. They had stopped, but thought they’d hit a deer and it ran off.

Why did the Bells run?

With the case wrapped up fairly easily, it’s time to figure out the Bells’ secret. Abby is the one to spot the one thing Gibbs sees. The Bell parents have blue eyes, but Genevieve has brown. While it is possible, it’s highly unlikely. It means that Genevieve isn’t their biological daughter. But she hasn’t been officially adopted. Genevieve’s birth certificate has been forged.

When a DNA test is run, Abby gets a hit to a man who has been in and out of prison multiple times. This leads to Genevieve’s real birth certificate and the identity of the mother, 17-year-old Brittany, who died when Genevieve was just six months old. It’s not hard to figure out that the Bells took the baby, rather than the baby going into the foster system.

And it’s Abby to the rescue again, when she realizes that Genevieve has bluetooth headphones and there’s a headphone app on her phone. This is the way to track Genevieve, who is at a motel with her parents. Already knowing the whole truth and apologetic for getting the family into this mess, Genevieve decides not to run anymore.

It turns out the Bells babysat Genevieve as a baby and grew attached to her. When Brittany died, the Bells decided to take her instead of risking the foster system. After all, they couldn’t adopt because Christopher had a past criminal record. NCIS suddenly realize that maybe they’re not as evil as they initially seemed. They were just thinking about this girl.

There is an option available. Genevieve turns to her biological dad (who knew about Genevieve but has never been in a situation to really do anything) and asks him to give the Bells legal custody. After initially considering to sue them, he decides to do the right thing for Genevieve and signs the paperwork. It’s a happy ending for the Bells.

Vance learns the truth about his daughter

Photo Credit: NCIS, CBS Bill Inoshita Image Acquired from CBS Press Express
Photo Credit: NCIS, CBS Bill Inoshita Image Acquired from CBS Press Express /

At the start of the episode, Vance is called about his daughter. She’s been taken into police custody for stealing. When he picks her up, she apologizes but doesn’t take any of it serious. Vance is left angry, especially at the fact that he doesn’t know what to do right now. He turns to both Gibbs and Jack for advice. Gibbs suggests talking to his daughter, but when that doesn’t work Jack suggests searching for the reason she’s refusing to talk. She’s either hiding something or is embarrassed, but which one?

A visit from a school friend helps Vance figure things out. The school friend shares how much Vance’s daughter has helped her. College was never an option until recently. Vance realizes that his daughter had covered for the friend, since the friend is 18 and being arrested would have destroyed all hopes for college. As his daughter is 17, she wouldn’t get a permanent record mark.

The two finish NCIS talking about community service options.

Next: NCIS recap: Sometimes a suicide is just a suicide

Did you expect the 15-year-old secret? Had you already guessed Vance’s daughter’s storyline? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

NCIS continues on Feb. 6 at 8/7c on CBS.