For once I didn't know anything about the episode prior to going into it, so I had no expectations. Overall I thought it was a fun episode with some good moments.
The case, to me, was somewhat far-fetched, but it was interesting to see McGee take the lead and his enthusiasm was fun. But I can quite see how it would have got irksome if you were working with him; still, it was on par with DiNozzo's film obsession, so good to see. Everyone needs an obsession.
I didn't want to slap any of 'our' people, but boy did I want to strangle one of the guest stars and from what I remember seeing somewhere this person is likely to reappear. She set my teeth on edge from the second she appeared and it just got worse. Although an interesting little twist concerning her at the end.
- Two Forest Rangers find a dead body that appears to have been burnt in a forest fire. The man turns him over and he's only burnt on one side and he has an arm missing.
- The opening squad room scene has McGee, Ziva and DiNozzo doing their morning zip around the Internet. Ziva is complaining about all the ads (oh, I'm with you, Ziva) and reads some out, including one about hair. DiNozzo comments that men need more hair and women less and he touches his own head. McGee comes up with a 'novel' solution to find a way to take the hair from the women and pass it on to the men. (Hee, nice one, Timmy). Ziva also mentioned Twitter and clearly isn't a fan. DiNozzo and McGee are about to share links of things they've found, but Ziva doesn't want any. All she wants is a way to find out the important news. DiNozzo comments there must be a better way to find it; cue arrival of Gibbs with a newspaper. I really liked this scene; there was some excellent sibling banter from all three of them and of course Gibbs's predictable arrival. A really excellent scene.
- McGee has found an article on Colonel Bell (the baddie in Outlaws And In-Laws whom Gibbs had 'sent' off to Mexico to the Federali as bounty-hunting is illegal in Mexico) which he thinks Gibbs will the interested in. McGee offers to email or text the link to Gibbs but after a look says he'll print it and give it to Gibbs. Another nice little exchange.
- The dead man is Lt. Commander Brad 'Hondo' Sayers. He was a test pilot.
- DiNozzo says Ducky won't be happy as the ranger turned the body over - a nice bit of continuity as we've had that thing quite a few times in past seasons. And he also makes some kind of quip about a hot and cold breakfast food that's hot on one side and cold on the other - to tie in with Sayers being burnt on one side and not on the other. Very DiNozzo.
- Suddenly a quad bike appears with two men on it; the one on the back hanging on tightly to the one on the front. It is Ducky and Jimmy - Ducky was driving and from Jimmy's reaction his driving was quite scary. Gibbs just smiles fondly.
- It appears Sayers fell, but there is no sign of a parachute. They look around and find various pieces of metal around the place and also a dead squirrel.
- McGee seems to know a lot about the pieces of metal and the how thing in general. Indeed. Ducky says to Gibbs that McGee seems to have an instinct for the case and maybe it's time he was ready to leave the nest. Again Gibbs smiles at Ducky. He then asks McGee if he knew how Sayers died, McGee tells him his jet pack exploded.
- Ziva and DiNozzo have learnt all about jet packs from the enthusiastic McGee; they aren't as enthusiastic. It was nice to see though because although they were clearly bored by everything he'd shared there was no malice, no nasty digs; it was almost indulgent - very team orientated.
- McGee is with Abby and he's also regaling her with his knowledge and we learn that five years ago he showed her his Power Point video about jet packs - and he's since updated it. She too is indulgent, even though she's eye rolling, etc. It was a very cute scene and lots of Abby/McGee vibes in it.
- Gibbs appears in the lift and McGee hurries off to join him. It appears the Mexicans have dropped the charges against Colonel Bell - ooops. McGee once again launches into his enthusiasm for jet packs until finally Gibbs head slaps him to quieten him. Again though, it was indulgent. And he tells McGee he has the lead on the case.
- DiNozzo and Ziva have gone to the Sayers's base and meet his commander - Captain James Powell. He tells them Sayers was close to Commander Peter Sheridan who appears and they tell him about Sayers's death. Powell turns a blind eye when his pilots do some off base work as long as it doesn't interfere with their main job. Sheridan tells them about Victor Tillman of Tillman Aerospace approaching them both about a job for him.
- In Autopsy Ducky lets Jimmy take the lead on autopsying the squirrel. Jimmy says he has a urge to start telling a only vaguely relevant story. He thinks Ducky might object, but instead Ducky urges him to do so. During their banter, which includes talk about Icarus, Gibbs arrives and for once, fails to follow the discussion. Gibbs and Ducky are either side of Jimmy as he begins his autopsy and he's clearly still quite fearful of and nervous around Gibbs as he doesn't launch into his story until Ducky tells him to work through the fear. Then he tells a tale of a time in France when he mixed up 'squirrel' and 'shark' and let the people with whom he was staying believe his mother was a shark hunter and trapped them via peanut butter. And Gibbs puts up with it - all in all it was a very indulgent episode. A really lovely scene; a lot of fun and good three-way banter again. And it did have a purpose; they believe the squirrel's death was linked to the death of Sayers; the squirrel had eaten part of Sayers and Sayers had been poisoned with rat poison.
- McGee is showing Gibbs is jet pack video. DiNozzo and Ziva return and they tell Gibbs and McGee about Sayers working for Tillman. McGee sends DiNozzo and Ziva to talk to Tillman whilst he goes through Tillman's financial records. They are both stunned that McGee is passing up the opportunity to go to a jet pack making place. Once they've gone Gibbs comments it's the price of being in charge. Another really good team scene with good exchanges.
- In the car DiNozzo doesn't get why McGee would stay behind and he thinks he and Ziva are being punished. Ziva is more interested in the car that's tailing them.
- At Tillman's, Tillman lets slip that someone had, in the past, been stealing things from him. He shows DiNozzo some of the prototypes; DiNozzo's not impressed. Meanwhile Ziva has gone off to trace the tail. She goes up to the car and snaps a photo of him with her phone; he drives off.
- McGee is looking at Tillman's financial records when Gibbs appears. Tillman has virtually no personal money, but business-wise he has companies inside companies; he's hiding money from his ex-wife who used to work with him. It was a messy divorced. Tillman had been paying Sayers a five figure sum per 'pop'. Vanessa Tillman also had Sayers on her pay roll.
- Gibbs and McGee have Tillman in the interrogation room. McGee is doing the interview, Gibbs just hovering. Tillman didn't know about Sayers also working for his ex-wife, his main local competitor. McGee shows Tillman a patent for a new hybrid fuel a mixture of kerosene and H202, that had been found on Sayers's body. It turns out his wife got the patent as part of the divorce settlement.
- DiNozzo and Ziva track the person Ziva photographed, it's Lenny Carothers a PI. At that moment a woman, M. Allison Hart, arrives saying she's Tillman's lawyer and demands to be taken to him. She knows DiNozzo by name, which had me on alert.
- She then launches into an attack on McGee for questioning Tillman without a lawyer and for accessing financial records without proper authorisation and demands he's released. Gibbs sends him off with McGee. He's sure he knows Hart; she denies it but says she knows him and how he cuts corners, etc. etc. and asks if he has any respect for the law. I thought at this point that this was going to be Gibbs's 'love interest' this season and again was bemoaning the fact that TPTB pick someone with whom he has zilch chemistry - and this the man who has chemistry with men, woman and inanimate objects. I'd had enough of her already.
- Jimmy and Abby are watching McGee still looking at the pieces of the jet pack. Jimmy says Sayers was definitely poisoned but they don't know if it killed him. McGee points out he couldn't have strapped himself to the jet pack if dead. Then Abby wonders what would happen if the flow of kerosene had been redirected back to the H202 - it would have exploded.
- Gibbs, DiNozzo and Ziva have gone to see the ex-Mrs. Tillman and she's talking about her ex-husband and how he had to be right all the time and only he could have ideas and how he was always talking about them and how they just didn't communicate any longer. There's a bit of byplay when Ziva at first says she doesn't know what it's like to be around a genius, but as Mrs. Tillman describes some of the 'attributes' (the no idea but his is good and always talking) Ziva looks at DiNozzo and says she does know. Another nice little moment; because it was said fondly and indulgently. Hart turns up again and now it appears is representing Mrs. Tillman as well. Once again she shows herself to be a real bitch and has a go at Gibbs.
- It turns out Sayers used pieces of the jet pack that came from both Tillman and Mrs. Tillman's designs.
- Gibbs goes to Autopsy and asks Ducky the time of death; Ducky doesn't have it and in a rare moment Gibbs actually snaps at Ducky which causes Ducky to raise an eyebrow and ask Gibbs what the matter is. Gibbs tells him about Hart and how she won't let him near anyone important and how she acts like she hates him but talks like she likes him (well someone better write her lines better then, as there was no liking to my eyes). Ducky asks if Gibbs had ever been married to her, which gains him a really nice smile and a comment that it would explain it. Ducky does have something for Gibbs. The helmet shielded Sayers from facial damage, but Sayers had stomach acid in his throat and nose. He's vomited - copiously - but no traces had been found in his helmet. Someone had taken it off and cleaned him. It's more than possible he was flying dead.
- McGee finds that the jet pack was remote controlled; it could be exploded or started from a distance.
- Gibbs, McGee, Tillman, Mrs. Tillman and Hart are in the conference room. The Tillman's are bickering and Hart it trying to stop them. McGee says they'll need to look at both companies inventories and Gibbs comes up trumps, as he has a Court Order to see them. Sayers died thirteen days ago; Mrs. Tillman wasn't in the area and Tillman was with someone. They are both now not implicated.
-Abby and Jimmy are again watching McGee look at the remote controlled jet pack. He announces they are looking for someone who was a pilot and an engineer.
- Fighter jet technology is also found in the remains along with the Tillman's designs.
- Sheridan is implicated as he wanted both Tillman jobs and Sayers got them.
- Gibbs has been following Hart as she had his people followed. He's found out she billed Tillman for R&R five years ago, but now is prepared to work pro-bono for both Tillman's; that tweaks Gibbs's gut. She says she is glad to be in the fight with Gibbs.
- Gibbs, McGee, DiNozzo and Ziva have gone to the base and are telling Powell how they suspect Sheridan of Sayer's murder. They are going to search the lockers.
- Sheridan says Sayers was a great pilot, but not an engineer. They know this; they didn't suspect Sheridan, it was all to get Powell to show his hand, because they know there has to be a second prototype; no one would destroy the only one.
- Powell is trying to get the prototype jet pack out, but Ziva pulls the car in front of the building. However, he comes out on his jet pack (very far fetched, but fun). McGee has the remote control and finally manages to lock on to the frequency and bring him down - although before he gets down DiNozzo want to play too. Again fun.
- DiNozzo is playing cards at his desk when Gibbs says he wants to see more photos of Hart. DiNozzo says he does too and mentions how she seemed to know them all before she got there; he also talks about her eyes until silenced by a Gibbs glare. He pulls up a photo and it's of Bell and Hart; she's standing with her hand on his shoulder. Gibbs had, apparently, seen the finger tip on Bell's shoulder on the cropped photo McGee had printed for him and saw her hand and matched it.
- So what are Bell and Hart up too?
An enjoyable episode with some great scenes and fun moments and superb team banter.
The theme of the week, as far as the team were concerned, was 'being indulgent'.
The case was . . . Well, yes . . . It was 'there' to give us a McGee enthusiastic episode and allow him to take the lead. I found it rather boring, but then I'm not into that kind of super geeky thing. The episode held my attention for the by-play between the characters.
Lovely to see Jimmy and he was well used in this episode. We need more Jimmy.
I really took against Allison Hart from the moment I met her with her pushy lawyer way, that seemed to epitomise all the bad sides and 'Hollywood' style lawyers ever written. I do wonder if in fact she is going to be some kind of 'romantic' link to Gibbs, but only so he can find out what she's up to. If this is the case, I just wish TPTB had found a woman who had some chemistry with Gibbs and him with her and written her lines better so that the 'talks as if she likes me' actually rang true. But again, they haven't.
- Hart. She was not well written at all.
- The opening squad room scene.
- Ducky and Jimmy and the quad bike.
- Abby and McGee's first scene.
- Gibbs, Ducky and Jimmy in Autopsy.
- Gibbs and Ducky in Autopsy later on.
Pairing of the week:
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