How convenient that on the final Tuesday of sweeps, we get a resolution to the mole storyline on NCIS. Will Gibbs ever trust again? Can Abby dial down the caffeine consumption? Will DiNozzo and Ziva hook up? Is Michelle Lee the mole? Probably not, but the ride to the end is most excellent!
These Spoilers have been under a lot of duress.
Under a moonlit night, a man makes a romp through the forest chasing what appears to be Michelle’s daughter. After what seems like forever, he finally catches her and walks off with her limp in his arms, leaving a random shoe on the ground.
At a café, DiNozzo and McGee are staking out in plain sight. While they wait for the sting to go down, DiNozzo learns the fine art of the fake drinking. Gibbs is doing surveillance from the car, less than enthusiastic of this line of conversation. Michelle walks in, buys her coffee and paper, then proceeds to sit down to fold the newspaper and slip in a flash drive. She leaves, followed closely behind by a man in a hat and scarf who picks up the paper and walks out. DiNozzo gives chase but Michelle “accidentally” knocks her coffee onto his shirt, so Gibbs has McGee pick up the chase. Of course, by the time he enters the nearby parking garage, the mystery man is nowhere to be found. Naturally, Gibbs is upset.
At NCIS, Michelle makes an effort to justify her sabotaging the stakeout to anyone who will listen. Lucky for the gang, she’s shuffled off to MTAC and McGee. Once inside, Vance takes his opportunity to voice his displeasure at the whole deal. In an effort to make people happy, McGee shows off infrared and keyhole satellites imagery of the earlier chase, ending with Michelle identifying Amanda. DiNozzo and Ziva head off to the woods. Michelle wants tag along, but there’s no way Gibbs will let her out of sight, leaving a surprised McGee with babysitting duties.
Vance and Gibbs share a moment in his office. He says the SECNAV wants the pickup man picked up at the next opportunity. Gibbs makes sure he knows that’s a bad idea, among other reasons because the trail might go cold if they do. Meanwhile, McGee and Michelle have made their way to the conference room, where she appeals to his emotions. For being so innocent, she’s rather manipulative.
Abby has nothing yet on the pickup man, saying she needs help from McGee more than anything else. Michelle takes the time to play up Abby’s emotions as well, thanking her for help on the satellites. With technology these days, they can narrow down the search based on water district and a hair sample, except she reveals the hair might not even belong to the daughter.
DiNozzo calls McGee, telling him they’ve lost the signal. He eventually finds them six miles from where they started with a random building but 200 yards away. Once there, DiNozzo and Ziva enter to find the place cleared out. If not for her mighty Mossad skills, Ziva might not have found the hidden mystery door. Behind the door is a makeshift bedroom, complete with a dead guy but no girl. Gibbs wants them to bail the scene so as not to tip off the bad guys. Ziva hypothesizes the girl caught wise to the routine and tried to make a run of it, ultimately getting caught and her watcher paying the price. The girl had been held captive so long; she even counted the days by making ketchup tallies. I counted at least 65 days, though there could have certainly been many more.
Ducky reveals to Gibbs that the people behind this are very patient, needing to feel safe before he shows his cards. With all the latest developments, the girl is now disposable.
The next day, Gibbs takes the position inside the coffee house with DiNozzo and McGee in the car. Michelle buys the coffee and paper, but changes up the plan by applying lipstick and leaving her mark on the lid. At the same time, Vance appears in Abby’s lab, apparently for the first time. She’s being über casual with her superior. Seems the dead guy has had his identity deleted. The big reveal is that test results on the hair found at the house shows the girl is in no way genetically related to Michelle.
As Gibbs receives this news, Michelle attempts to conceal her placement of a gun in the paper. The guy makes a move for her but Gibbs arrives to keep her from shooting the mystery man. He’s visibly upset, saying they’re screwing it up and threatening the safety of his wife.
DiNozzo looks on as Gibbs interrogates Michelle. She admits the girl is her adopted sister. The only reason the gang is dealing with this mess is because she thought they wouldn’t care if it wasn’t her daughter. The mystery guy is Ted Bankston, a former NSA analyst. Seems he stole information and has been out of his job for over a year. Just like Michelle, if he doesn’t cooperate with the captors, they’ll kill his wife. He shows Vance hair clippings, saying they’ve held her captive almost a year. Ted has spoken to “The Weather Man,” who wants access to Domino for pure monetary reasons.
Abby tells the gang the hair is indeed from the wife, but it’s missing a protein which reveals the wife has long since been dead.
Vance can’t believe Gibbs is saying the next step is to offer the bad guy the real Domino in exchange for the girl. The ever resourceful Gibbs already has the paperwork ready for Vance to sign, but of course Vance won’t sign it.
They text the guy, lying that Michelle has Domino. The mystery texter makes plans for the drop at a nearby tavern… Domino for the girl. After the gang assemble in the storage room, Gibbs hands Michelle a flash drive.
McGee tells Vance they’re at the drop zone. Vance gets a call from SECNAV, saying the real Domino was hacked… from McGee’s computer. Vance calls him and Gibbs traitors.
At the tavern, Ted and Michelle sit at a table with plainclothes agents all around and Gibbs playing pool. DiNozzo and Ziva are observing from outside. Ted gets a text while Gibbs gets a most angry call from Vance telling him to shut it down. The text tells Ted to place Domino in the menu, which he does once Michelle slides it to him. Abby calls, telling Gibbs that the dead guy is Paul Winton, a witness in an NSA/FBI joint investigation who lived at a safehouse four blocks from the tavern. During all this, Gibbs keeps an eye on the menu containing the flash drive. He has Ziva go to the safehouse with DiNozzo tagging along. They enter the house which contains mainframes. DiNozzo snaps a few pictures and sends them to McGee and Vance, who determines it’s a makeshift Internet hub. Ziva finds a door, behind which contains the girl on a mattress connected to a pressure sensitive platform that if disturbed could overload the computers and destroy all evidence. DiNozzo channels his inner Indiana Jones in an attempt to counter the pressure sensors. The computer system catches the gang in actions, setting off an alarm in the tavern. Gibbs moves to locking down the place and having everyone searched. DiNozzo and Ziva don’t have enough time to figure out the girl’s weight as she wakes up. They do save her before everything blows up, but the computer equipment is destroyed.
Michelle begs to leave, but Gibbs won’t allow it. When he determines the flash drive is nowhere to be found, Ted makes his move, grabs a nearby agent’s sidearm and takes Michelle hostage exiting the back. Shots are fired as he forces his way onto a public bus. Gibbs shoots the tires to stop the bus. He enters and shoots at Ted, who actually hits Gibbs in the right index finger. I must admit watching the blood drip from the finger doesn’t make it any better. He’s having trouble regaining use of his hand. Ted tries to escape out the middle door, but the door won’t open. Gibbs is less than sharp in his faculties, but when he can’t get the clear shot of Ted, Michelle nods in the affirmative that he must shoot through her, which he does multiple times, taking both of them out.
The next day, Vance reveals Ted shot his wife almost immediately after he was fired from the NSA. Vance says Michelle’s sacrifice was probably the best result for her, what with the treason and all. Gibbs then tells Vance that Domino was safe all along, as the real flash drive was contained in a envelope in his office all along.
Ziva is watching over Amanda when Gibbs walks up. She asks where Michelle is. Gibbs takes her by the hand and they walk to the window, where he hands her Michelle’s badge.
Thus ends the story of the mole that invaded NCIS.
Next time on NCIS, the first rule of military Fight Club is that you don’t let NCIS find out there is a military Fight Club.
Are you satisfied with the end result of the mole storyline? Is it plausible to believe DiNozzo and McGee are long-lost brothers? Could a real-world Abby had gotten away with calling Vance anything but by his title?