NCIS recap: Can the team close a case from three years ago?

NCIS -- Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express
NCIS -- Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express /

In an episode that sees everyone either getting tailed or being tailed, NCIS delivers a strong performer. What happened in Season 16, Episode 9, titled Tailing Angie?

The NCIS team went undercover on a stakeout, but it soon turned out that everyone was either being tailed or they were the ones doing the tailing. Season 16, Episode 9, titled “Tailing Angie,” was definitely a strong performer, bringing comic relief in the middle of the drama.

In case you couldn’t guess from the title, Angie is the one being tailed by the team. She was the getaway driver during a robbery. This robbery was three years ago and she was caught at the time, but she refused to give up her accomplice or even take a plea deal. It’s a case that has never been solved and, understandably, it irritates Gibbs.

When Angie is released from prison, Gibbs and McGee are there waiting in hiding. When she gets in a truck with tinted windows, Gibbs sees the apartment for rent across the street, making it the perfect place to do their stakeout.

Questioning a friend

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With a San Diego connection, Gibbs manages to put Jack on the case for Angie. That gives the team a chance to get facial recognition on the driver. it’s Lanny Peete, Angie’s former cellmate released months earlier.

During questioning, Lanny admits that she just wanted to protect Angie. Her ex-boyfriend J.T. was likley the burglar from the robbery all those years ago. Now they need to figure out where this J.T. is.

However, it’s not going to be that easy. Angie is being tailed by someone else. Bishop and Torres realize there’s a shady P.I. by the name of Phil Iverson following her with a gun. Of course, the P.I. won’t give up the name of his client, but that’s not what Gibbs wanted when he jumped into Iverson’s car. He just wanted to distract Angie to stop the P.I. following her.

Smart, Gibbs. Real smart!

NCIS — Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS — Acquired via CBS Press Express /

Just in time for a body

Angie and Labby head off to a cabin that’s definitely not as nice or as peaceful as Gibbs when he retreated. However, it’s important because it belongs to J.T.’s grandfather. When Torres and McGee make it to the cabin, they hear the women scream over a desiccated corpse.

That body? It belongs to John Thomas Storvelle, aka J.T. The plot thickens.

Meanwhile, NCIS managed to get Angie’s burner number thanks to Jack’s skills and find out that she called Lew Nolta, the personal assistant of Admiral Padgett who was burgled three years ago. This was the no. 1 suspect back in the day and he remains a suspect. Of course, three years later, Nolte is a little cocky for not getting caught.

As that happens, Angie meets with Jack, admitting that she’d been trying to track down J.T. She didn’t know much about him, including his last name. Yet, she had strong feelings for him and now he’s dead. But why was she calling Nolte? Well, she hoped he knew where J.T. was.

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As for J.T., he’d been stabbed in the chest. His last known location was a St. Martin beach resort bar thanks to a receipt in his pocket.

Can I stop right there? I love how it’s always a receipt in the pocket. Honestly, I’ve found receipts from five years ago in some of my pockets because I’ve dug out old coats. And I never have current receipts because they go straight in the trash now or I get them emailed! How does the NCIS team always find a useable receipt?

Anyway, the receipt is useful as NCIS figure out that J.T. ditched Angie after her arrest and went to St. Martin to party on Padgett’s money. Once the money ran out, he did the odd job here and there before returning to the States. Then somehow he ended up dead in his grandfather’s cabin. So, who killed him?

Back to the P.I.

It all goes back to the P.I., who Gibbs and Torres see meeting with Padgett. Why would Padgett hire a P.I. now when he didn’t after the burglary? There must have been something else in the safe the money was stolen from.

While McGee initially wonders if J.T.’s death was a little like Murder on the Orient Express, NCIS figure out that Nolte and J.T. had served at Norfolk together. Plus, after NCIS stopped tailing Nolte way back in the day, Nolte opened some bank accounts. There are definitely no coincidences.

Working with NCIS, Angie turns up at Nolte’s apartment and accuses him of setting J.T. up. Whether set up or not, Nolte finally admits that there was something else in that safe: incriminating photos that would have ruined Padgett’s marriage and career. Nolte has blackmailed Padgett ever since and J.T. wanted some of that money. Nolte wasn’t going to share, so killed J.T.

As I said, Angie is working with the team at this point. She’s lost the man she was so connected to, so to get the confession she wore a wire. In the end, not a shocking episode but still a strong one. Throughout we also got the sprinkle of bonds strengthening between the characters, especially Gibbs and Jack.

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What did you think of the case for the week? Did you guess the murderer right? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

NCIS Season 16’s fall finale airs next Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.