NCIS recap: DiNozzo’s past words ring true again

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS via CBS Press Express
Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS via CBS Press Express /

There was a flashback of the past, as DiNozzo’s words of who to suspect were true again in NCIS.

NCIS Season 15 returned with “Keep Your Friends Close,” and it brought up some memories of an agent past. Yes, once more this season, Tony DiNozzo was felt in the hearts of fans around the globe.  When a marine turns up dead, stuffed in a container, NCIS is left to figure out who the mystery killer is.

It all starts a little too easy for the police. When a van is pulled over, the driver initially says that he didn’t steal it. That is until the police find a body in a container in the back. Then he decides that actually, he did steal it. Which story is true? And just how is McGee so on the ball with work and home life with the twins?

The case of a mysterious hitman

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It doesn’t take long for NCIS to figure out the man was telling the truth about stealing the truck. What the driver hadn’t realized was that he stole a stolen truck. Whoever stole is the first time was likely the murderer—or at least knew who the murderer was. To figure that out, they need to figure out more about the marine.

That brings in the wife, who shares that she last saw her husband the day she reported him missing. He was visiting his mom in hospice care and then just disappeared. The mom died two days later, so it looks like a sad affair. She tells NCIS everything she told the private investigator. Yes, there’s a PI on the case and it’s none other than Special Agent Fornell. Wait! No, he was fired after that incident of Gibbs testifying against him on the stand, so he’s Licensed Private Investigator Tobias Fornell now.

When Gibbs pays Palmer (who is talking to the victim about bees, because they were important to the victim) a visit, Gibbs learns that the marine’s feet had dissolved. Someone had hired a hitman and professional cleaners to do the job. When the chemicals are discovered it doesn’t take too long to find the hapless crew with the help of Torres, a car and Fornell’s taser.

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS via CBS Press Express /

Once the two hapless cleaners are in the interrogation room, one of them happily sings away. They were supposed to wait in a room, where they would be given the next instructions. However, it turns out that the marine wasn’t disposed of properly and the one who wasn’t talking isn’t too happy. None of that matters, as Gibbs has what he needs.

Fornell and Gibbs have a heart to heart

Meanwhile, Jack is trying to trace down Hicks; the guy who had been wrongfully but rightfully imprisoned by Fornell. You remember the sociopath, right? Well, Jack has been trailing him but so far Hicks hasn’t slipped up. Gibbs admits to her that he doesn’t want to discuss Hicks with Fornell, knowing that Fornell could go down the rabbit path to get revenge.

In the end, Fornell learns the truth and isn’t happy that Gibbs kept all the information from him. But he also understands. For now, though, Fornell isn’t going to work with Gibbs and leaves the apartment. It leaves just Bishop and Gibbs to wait out the phone call for the next cleanup.

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Sure enough, they get a call to a woman’s house, only they get there before the woman even makes it home! The hitman attacks Bishop instead and Gibbs quickly puts two bullets in the hitman’s back to save Bishop. When the woman does get home, Gibbs notices a bee necklace around her neck. This hitman was hired by someone angry that she and the marine were having an affair.

This is where DiNozzo’s words ring out: it’s always the wife! Yes, it really is.

It turned out the wife was angry. Her husband had spent their life savings on wasted cures for his mother. All she wanted was the life insurance money she believed she was owed.

McGee admits his guilt

While one woman admits her guilt, McGee admits his. After his colleagues spend about half the episode trying to figure out how he’s Super Agent McGee, Abby and Reeves learn that he’s getting extra caffeine boosts through Caf Pow. This is dangerous stuff for him, since he hasn’t built up a tolerance like Abby has.

It turns out McGee is feeling something that the majority of working parents do. He feels guilty of being away from his twins when he’s at work, but guilty of being away from work when he’s with his twins. And he just needs to be the best agent and dad he can be. With the intervention done, there’s hope there will be more loveable Dad McGee in the future.

Gibbs and Fornell make up

After the case comes to an end, Gibbs decides to turn to Fornell for some “help.” He wants to make amends and that means letting Fornell into the open case to find Hicks. Of course Fornell is more than happy to help and they’ll get started before Jack makes her way over.

Jack was seeing Hicks’ lawyer, who had previously caught Jack spying on Hicks. Not being able to shift the things Jack had said about Hicks being ambidextrous, the lawyer realizes that Hicks isn’t everything he seems and quits the case. Of course, nobody on NCIS gets to just walk away like that. Once the lawyer is in the car, her car explodes and Jack (who told Gibbs she is now on her way to him) is knocked out from the blast.

And that’s where NCIS has decided to leave us for three weeks.

Next: NCIS Season 15, Episode 13 recap: Family Ties

Did you expect the explosive cliffhanger? Were you happy to see Fornell return in style? Would you like to see more Dad McGee on the series? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

NCIS Season 15 returns on Feb. 27 at 8/7c on CBS.