NCIS Recap: The Motive Gibbs Shot McGee Is Revealed


NCIS resumed the 18th season this Tuesday evening with two episodes – one with a slight rom-com flair and one with…. What do you think of the reveal of why Gibbs shot McGee? open cold at this time of year?

We’re not here to recap the first episode of this week, where Tim and Delilah had the most fun time together in a while helping solve a case during their Bahamian getaway. No, we’re here to discuss the second hour that jumped us three months forward, on the same timeline as the teaser that opened the season in which Gibbs shot at McGee from an airport sniper range for some reason.

With Fornell still AWOL, Gibbs wanted to step up the opioid ring investigation under the direction of the mysterious “Merriweather”. However, Vance said SECNAV pulled the plug and it would now be the case of the DEA. Desperate, Gibbs ran from Fornell’s photo to the airport, where he spotted a jet with Merriweather’s horse head logo. When Gibbs saw a man emerge from the jet, he grabbed him – and it was Fornell! From Fornell’s knee to Gibbs’ family jewels, there was a “false fight” (because of the surveillance cameras Tobias had set up). When they acted humorously with headstrong shots, Fornell explained that a large delivery was due soon, which was somehow “different”. When Gibbs orders his friend to “read me in!” Fornell told him to check his glove box in a few minutes.

Gibbs reveals that Vance Tobias was left for him – a jar of opioids that are somehow different from the others and a very blurry photo of Merriweather. Vance says his new priority is reporting a possible terrorist attack on a military base, but he’s giving Gibbs and his team 72 hours to do what they can. Kasie works on enhancing the photo (which actually gave instant results, albeit in the form of a man with multiple names / passports) while Bishop and Torres investigated a little officer who fell in love with Vicodin and then started bidding for Merriweather operate from a number of Beltway Burgers locations. They also learn that the price of the new pills had strangely dropped from $ 20 each to just $ 5. But why?

Well, the PO in question appeared dead – not from the opiates in his system, but from a poison that had laced them. Merriweather’s plan – the terrorist attack Vance had heard of – was to distribute the deadly pills through the Beltway Burgers, all of which were located near military bases and potentially attacking thousands of officers.

Sloane searches the Beltway Burgers personnel files and discovers that Fornell’s shift supervisor, the fat-haired “Chad”, is actually Vladimir Ivanov. Posing as an annihilator, Torres explores Vlad’s property while Bishop controls communications from a van. When “Chad” confronts the Beetle, Torres creates a work assignment from the HOA while he discovers Fornell in the house. “Chad” is about to let Torres go when he receives a text warning him about the surveillance. Vlad turns to shoot Torres in the back, but Fornell puts the Russian down first. Unfortunately, Torres and Fornell then discover that the bad guys have got Bishop out of the van.

After Gibbs sends Fornell and Torres to check out a warehouse where the drugs are being disposed of, he takes a call from Merriweather and poses as “Toby”. Merriweather wants to trade what G-man Toby wants, bishop, for his right-wing husband Vladimir, whom he believes was merely arrested and not killed. “Toby” agrees to the deal in an hour and then makes McGee a plan in which a McGee in a ball cap pretends to be Fornell, at least briefly, while Gibbs sets up a sniper range. But just as McGee hits the runway and cuts off the plane that is believed to be carrying Merriweather and Bishop, his communications go out. As a result, Vance and Gibbs are unable to alert him to any new information that the plane he is about to approach is about to explode.

It’s up to Gibbs to stop Tim from approaching the plane – first with warning shots, which McGee suspects were from a villain, and then with blows to his arm and leg. McGee is downstairs, yes, but saved from the plane’s fiery explosion that is soon to follow. Meanwhile, Bishop emerges from the hangar to reunite with Torres after breaking free from the thug who was guarding them.

As for Merriweather? Tracking him down (aka Alexi Myshkin) turned out to be remarkably easy as he stayed in town for his daughter’s 21st birthday party who had helped him launder / hide his millions.

Later, while Fornell reunites with daughter Emily (who, despite being upset about his missing act, gives him her six-month sobriety chip), Gibbs goes to the hospital to get an update from Delilah about Tim who doesn’t have surgery, but doesn’t from the Wald hospital (the leg shot hit a femoral artery). Gibbs starts to apologize / explain, but Delilah interrupts him and says she knows he had no choice – and also, “You saved Tim’s life.”

What do you think of the NCIS double header?

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