team back together in Washington, it’s now up to one Anthony DiNozzo to find a way to punch his golden ticket home from what has to be not the greatest of living conditions. Of course, I’m sure some of the Navy types out there wouldn’t trade carrier life for anything in the world… I’m just saying it’s not DiNozzo’s cup of tea.

Spoilers on deck!

DiNozzo is running throughout the USS Seahawk. At least he’s getting exercise on the ship. He arrives on deck to find a neatly folded uniform sitting on the fantail. Lt. Chad Evans does a Peter Pan right off the stern of the ship. Or does he?

Ziva and McGee sit around bored… that is, until Gibbs arrives to hand off the case. The two quickly depart for the house of the fallen soldier, only for Ziva to find the wife dead. Ducky finds snot in the wife’s hair. You would think the killer would take a Kleenex or two for just this occasion. However, the killer did take the time to set the house to 40 degrees to slow decomposition.

The gang returns to find Abby setting up DiNozzo’s desk for his “big return.” She’s handling an awfully large paddle for the River Denial.

Gibbs wants DiNozzo back, but Vance won’t relent until his current tour is up in three months. Until then, Gibbs has two potential replacements to choose from. To say Gibbs is displeased is putting it mildly.

Speaking of DiNozzo, he’s turning up squat in his investigation. The bunk mate of Evans tells him to talk to a Lt. Kaplan… which doesn’t turn up much. A trip to sick bay isn’t all that helpful either. Will someone show him some love already?

The gang pulls up Lt. Evans service record and notices the credit card bills piling up. Gibbs goes to teleconference to see what DiNozzo has. McGee walks in to say the lieutenant’s credit card was used after he left port. Gibbs takes this to Vance and he allows one day for DiNozzo to search the Colombian city where the card was last used. Don’t think for one second that Vance is turning into a softy.

In Cartagena, DiNozzo runs into a bartender he knows to extract the info. The bartender plays coy at first, but ultimately gives up a guy who runs away but is punched rather easily by DiNozzo. The matón says he found the card… where he found it turns out to be where the good lieutenant is buried under a small pile of sand. Apparently the killer posed as Evans to gain access to the ship.

Gibbs and Vance brief the captain of the Seahawk about the intruder. While the captain is told to do the impossible by discreetly smoking out the perp, Vance tells Gibbs and Ziva to join DiNozzo in Cartagena.

In the lab, Abby and McGee determine the fake Evans went to great lengths to cover his tracks, then the two Abbot and Costello about the snot. Abby longs for DiNozzo as McGee gains access to hard drives. Looks like spending four months in the sub-basement pays off after all!

The gang arrives at the morgue. Ziva works her charms to distract the mortician long enough for DiNozzo to look at the report. Turns out the real Evans died of blunt force trauma resulting in the nasal bone penetrating the brain, the very same way his wife died. Abby and McGee call Gibbs to tell of emails traded from the faux Evans and a Singapore gal with talks of anthrax? This just got a bit more interesting.

The gang arrives on the ship with an immediate debriefing from the Captain. He gives Gibbs 12 hours to complete the investigation before he blows the lid on the whole operation.

Gibbs asks the officer of the deck about why she let faux Evans on board, and she’s adamant that she did not make a mistake. Of course, how is she supposed to remember one guy from 5,000+ officers? Exactly.

Turns out, the gang think Kaplan may be the man, but they find him rushed to sick bay in a medically induced coma. Whoever the killer is, he’s making quite the effort to cover all the tracks, even if it means pumping a key witness full of morphine. Meanwhile, Abby calls Gibbs to say the killer had the flu, a Samoan flu.

McGee attempts to hack the Seahawk, and figures out (with Abby) to use a logic bomb. The gang does the same on the ship. They finally narrow the killer to sick bay, but turns out he’s on the Medevac trying to escape. Gibbs makes it to the deck to find the Poor Man’s Heath Ledger trying to escape. Gibbs orders the plane launched because he knows the suspect isn’t seated with his tray table and seat back in its upright and locked position.

After the excitement dies down, Gibbs tells DiNozzo to pack his bags as he’s returning to DC, which prompts him to run through the ship like we saw in the open. Good for him.

Back home, Vance tells Gibbs the split up wasn’t punishment. But of course, it’s never punishment when you tear apart what works. The important thing is that the band is back together.

Next time on NCIS, will Gibbs choose friendship over country?

Now that the whole team is back in DC, can we get the show back on track? Or was it ever not off track to begin with? Share your thoughts!

Posted by:Brandon Millman