Abby is so in demand that the FBI take her from her “NCIS” lab to deal with a missing lab rat’s project. If that lab hadn’t been chock-full of the latest and greatest technology, there’s the chance this could have turned into one God-awful inter-government mess. Then again, Abby’s never been shy to take charge when it’s been needed.

The Spoilers wish they had a kick-ass lab full of cool toys to play with.

I would have thought baby monitor technology would have advanced past the stage of airing random distress calls. Since it hasn’t, the gang is on the case of our Dead Soldier of the Week: Marine PFC Marco Riggs. Ducky and Jimmy (traveling together more and more it seems) determine the guy was stunned, which lead to his stumbling around before he finally stroked out.

Meanwhile, Abby leaves the dentist with a clean bill of health only to have the FBI whisk her away. Jordan Jones of the local VA hospital is missing the head of a department charged with finding a cure for a sexy, new syndrome plaguing those returning from war zones. The project is so top secret, even Jordan doesn’t know what Dr. Phillip Heller was working on… that’s for Abby to find out. When Gibbs catches wind of the situation, he angrily videoconferences Jordan, but eases off the growling when Abby shows up stoked over the new toys she gets to play with.

What she didn’t expect the lab to come with was its own resident veteran. Retired Marine Sergeant Major Robert King insists on continuing what he started with Dr. Heller: an intense game of chess. Good thing she’s distracted as McGee (acting as temporary head of her lab), along with DiNozzo and Jimmy are ensuring its slow destruction. Upon further examination of PFC Riggs’ car, the gang determines he wasn’t the target for death. Instead, he was out to kill Heller himself.

Gibbs and DiNozzo start by quizzing the wife, who’s holding a yard sale to rid herself of many bad memories from a seemingly bad marriage. Heller left, but never came back. Tracing credit card receipts lead to a girl on the side… which leads to Dr. Heller. The good doctor had no intention of killing Riggs because he was acting in self-defense. Of course, he also reveals Jordan wasn’t using him to find a cure; he was being used to develop a weapon. Nifty.

Abby and King share more tender moments, only being interrupted by that darned Nurse Ratchet (Hannah). When she takes the chess board up to his room to continue a game, she finds that King is no longer with the hospital. The gang arrives at that very moment to take her back to NCIS, only to discover a lot went down while they were gone: Afghanistan War Syndrome doesn’t exist, the nurse (who was later found strangled) was in cahoots with Jordan… (who herself was later found strangled), and most importantly… Jordan broke Rule Number One.

Once in the interrogation room, Jordan cops to embezzling from the sweet government contract, but denies any knowledge of the weaponizing of the enzyme or Robert King. Abby wants to be mad at him, yet she wisely channels that anger toward the really really bad guy. The gang corners King at a restaurant. Check and mate, Sergeant. Later, Abby exacts her revenge on the boys by having them clean her lab.

Happy belated birthday and congrats on the wedding, Pauley!

Posted by:Brandon Millman