NCIS recap: How do Peaches, elephant tranquilizers, and vending machines connect?

NCIS -- Photo credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS Acquired via CBS Press Express
NCIS -- Photo credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS Acquired via CBS Press Express /

As Gibbs reluctantly heads out on a road trip with an old family friend, the NCIS team deal with Peaches, elephant tranquilizers, and known bugs.

The episode starts off with NCIS taking photos of a “dead” body. And yes, “dead.” It’s all faked, soon becoming apparent that the “dead” body is on a hitman’s list.

Soon enough, the case unfolds and there’s much more than we initially find out. Meanwhile, Gibbs needs to take time off the case to head back to his hometown for an old family friend. Just what happened in “The Last Link?”

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Finding the missing link

Gibbs definitely doesn’t want to leave the case, but John Sydney isn’t giving up too easily. He needs Gibbs’ help to find a missing military ID bracelet. The team Sydney served in with Gibbs’ dad all had engraved ID bracelets, with the last one alive given the task of collecting the bracelets and taking them all to his grave.

Sydney is the last one standing and it’s time to collect the bracelets. However, there’s one missing and it could be left at the shop Gibbs’ dad owned. Sydney makes it clear that he’s not leaving without Gibbs coming back with him.

The store is closed when they get there, but Gibbs heads to the home of the guy he sold the store to. While the guy didn’t see a bracelet, he does have a small box. Sure enough, the missing link is right there.

While finding the bracelet, there is a chance for a heart-to-heart. John had been kicked out of the house by Gibbs’ mom but he didn’t know how to say goodbye. Gibbs is hurt but he starts to understand and it’s clear he’s not happy with his mother’s actions.

Back at home, Gibbs reveals that he made John his own ID bracelet and now Gibbs has become the last man. Gibbs makes a heartfelt promise to make sure Sydney is buried with his brothers-in-arms.

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It’s time to take Peaches seriously

If you didn’t watch the episode, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Peaches is the name of a stripper. It’s not. This is the name of the hitman – and not a great one.

Peaches is captured by NCIS, which leads to the team finding out Lieutenant Johnson is the target. While nervous, Peaches is willing to make a deal to get the man who hired him, Michael Deegan, taken in. Deegan knows that he’s being watched and Peaches has been caught, leading to a failed attempt to set him up.

So, they need to put Johnson in protective custody. If only that worked. Someone knew he was there and his breakfast was poisoned. By the time NCIS found out, he died. The poison was dangerous too, used as an elephant tranquilizer and requires Torres, McGee, and Palmer to get a chemical-removing shower as a precaution and puts the autopsy under lockdown.

That’s not all. While Torres and McGee go to a car workshop where Johnson had visited, they learn that Johnson had gone back a second day to meet someone. That someone matches the sketch of the person who delivered Johnson’s breakfast, meaning Johnson knew his killer. The suspect also opens the vending machine outside the workshop, leading to the team to bring it in.

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When is a vending machine not a vending machine?

Despite seemingly working as a vending machine, it’s soon clear that this isn’t one. There’s no lock, the glass is bulletproof, and there’s a HD camera. What is Deegan hiding?

Kasie manages to get the vending machine open with a magnet. However, when she opens the door, she’s electrocuted. Don’t worry! She survives but Gibbs makes it clear she’s to go home.

The vending machine sells prescription drugs in a fake container and there are thousands of dollars. While they have the guy from the CCTV, he refuses to talk. But it doesn’t take long for Gibbs and McGee to get him to talk.

It turns out Johnson was threatening to blow the op after the vending machine gave him $600 in change after buying peanuts. Meanwhile, the suspect admits that Deegan isn’t the boss.

If you guessed that Peaches was playing them the whole time, you win the giant peach. With CCTV guy snitching, NCIS get their guy.

Next. NCIS Season 16, Episode 11 recap: Toil and Trouble. dark

What did you think of the heartfelt story between Gibbs and John? Did you guess Peaches was the guy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

NCIS continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.