NCIS recap: Will Gibbs ever get a quiet vacation?

NCIS -- "Third Wheel" -- Photo: Greg Gayne/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express
NCIS -- "Third Wheel" -- Photo: Greg Gayne/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express /

Gibbs goes on a vacation in this week’s NCIS. It’s not quite the quiet paradise he hoped for.

When a robbery in North Carolina goes onto a Naval Air Station, NCIS is called in. It’s up to McGee, Bishop, and Torres to deal with the situation in NCIS Season 16, Episode 4, since Gibbs is away on vacation. That is if he can get a quiet break from everyone else after dealing with the position of acting director.

It’s not long before Gibbs gets a visitor or two, and definitely not his team. Tobias Fornell and Phil Brooks interrupt his vacation and it’s clear that Gibbs just wants them to leave.

Dealing with the case

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After the robber gets onto the naval base, he manages to evade capture completely. An aircraft takes off immediately after police catch up with the robber’s vehicle, making everyone suspect that he’s made it onto the aircraft.

Sure enough, that’s exactly where the robber ended up. NCIS find that out after finding one of his fingers left trapped in the landing gear. Where’s the rest of him?

Kasie and Bishop are able to figure out that the suspect likely had a parachute and an oxygen mask to survive in the wheel-well of the aircraft. The guy would have then jumped out of the plane when the landing gear deployed. Now they need to figure out where he is again.

The team can use the severed finger to get fingerprints. Palmer works his magic to thaw out the finger, while we get the next way Ducky is temporarily leaving the show–he’s going on a book signing tour for his first volume thanks to some persuasion from Palmer and McGee.

Figuring out the suspect and plan

The robber knew schedules too well to just be a one-off robbery. It’s soon clear that a lot of information is classified, but Kasie does have a possible idea where the robber is. Since there was nothing about the robber parachuting out, Kasie manages to narrow the area down to a forest.

Of course, that leads to McGee realizing that the robber could be near Gibbs’ cabin. Nobody wants to call him to warn him and ruin his vacation, but Gibbs calls them and McGee has no choice but to tell him.

At the same time, McGee needs to prevent the FBI from taking over. Bishop offers him the best advice: stop being so nice! McGee follows the advice and it works enough to get information on the suspect that matches to the fingerprint. It turns out he was in witness protection after turning in his friends.

While the information the FBI agent was so small it could have been delivered by phone, it turns out Izzy has a connection to Jack Sloane. And Jack is not happy about Izzy being around. Izzy claims that she’s the case agent for the FBI case, but it’s soon clear that was a lie. Could she be the one who has helped the robber in witness protection get out of the country?

That’s quickly solved, as Izzy explains she was put on the case because the robber and the original case handler fell in love.

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Gibbs tries to get rid of his unwanted guests

As Gibbs tries to ignore the men around him, his unwanted guests argue about who is the unwanted one. Phil accepts that he wasn’t actually invited, but Fornell refuses to accept that Gibbs wants him gone.

Gibbs chooses to search for the robber over staying with his unwanted guests, making it clear that dead bodies really are relaxing for him. The two join him on the hunt for the robber with the parachute, though. It turns out Gibbs decided to have a little fun pitting them against each other.

While on their hunt, they run into a fisher, who’d happened to see a parachute. When they get there, Phil goes off to use “the little boy’s room” where he slips and breaks his leg, but he does find the stolen money. If the money is still there, it means the robber is too.

On the way back to the cabin, Gibbs hears something in the forest. There is a second parachute jumper in the trees, one missing a finger. There was a second person in the wheel-well and that second person is somewhere in the forest.

Sure enough, it was the fisher they ran into when they were looking for the robber. Holding Phil at gunpoint, the fisher gets the money, fires at Gibbs and Fornell, and then runs off.

Wrapping the case

Torres and Bishop head out to the cabin when Gibbs doesn’t return the calls and they need to get the new message. Fornell and Phil are left with Bishop, so Gibbs can head out on the case with Torres. After all, he’s seen the female suspect.

Meanwhile, Kasie is running old aliases she used as an agent and it brings up a hit. She apparently bought a flight ticket, but it turns out it was all just a diversion. Gibbs was one step ahead after putting a tech gadget from Phil in the bag with the money. They stop her at a gas station and arrest her.

The case is officially closed and the FBI takes over the case. Back in the woods, Gibbs officially invites Fornell and Phil to stay.

Next. 5 reasons more Torres is awesome for NCIS Season 16. dark

What did you think of the episode? Did you just know Gibbs was going to get stuck in the case despite being on vacation? Are you ready to see everything back to normal (ish since its without Ducky for a while) next week? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

NCIS Season 16 continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.