"Enemy on the Hill"
First, an apology for no recap last week. I didn't like last week's, The Penelope Papers. Its rare that I don't love an episode of NCIS, let alone not even like one. Lily Tomlin did nothing for me and I don't like McGee nearly enough on his own to warrant an entire episode for the two of them. So I am skipping its review. Lily Tomlin is an aging hippy and McGee's grandma to boot. She was involved in the development of a secret defense department project which was shut down years ago but never really abandoned. A Navy Lieutenant she was in contact with killed. Ok. Moving on.
We open on a yappy reporter trying to pump brain-dead citizens for views on an upcoming defense spending appropriation bill. I'm skipping over the woman who responds, "that's a husband question ..." and skip right to the fact that the yappy reporter chases down a reluctant interviewee (and fairly creepy guy) leading to him being run over by an oncoming car. If the guy wasn't a contract killer, I'd feel worse but, I'm getting slightly ahead of myself. Credits.
We come back to find out that Abby is donating a kidney to a complete stranger. Here to interrupt the news is DC Metro Detective Danny Sportelli, come to boast his arrest of the "Cooler". The "Cooler" is contract killer, Paul Arliss. You'll know him as Creepy Guy that was run over in the cold open. DiNozzo mocks Sportelli's heroic arresting of a guy run over. Turns out he's not dead, only mostly dead. Among Arliss's papers, Sportelli found evidence that his next target is due to be one, Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Brett. McGeek has already run Brett's details. Turns out, Commander Brett is something of a badass soldier known for surviving in the Stan by living on bugs. He's also a Top Gun grad. Man, I love that movie. How long before Hollywood remakes an inferior version? Anyway, Brett is now a legislative fellow to the House Armed Services Committee.
Interview with Brett. As you can imagine, Commander Badass is in denial about the threat to his life since, "hey, who would want to kill me, I'm Awesome!". Brett can't go into hiding because there is a big appropriations bill (remember the yappy reporter's report from the intro?) and he needs to advise the Committee. He's not crazy about being shadowed but does raise a horny eyebrow when he learns it'll be Ziva.
Back at the morgue, Abby comes to Ducky for some advice; turns out her parents had a secret child that neither she nor her brother (Lucca) knew about. This long lost brother was discovered because he entered himself for screening for the same stranger kidney donation that Abby did. Ducky doesn't really have a lot to give, Abby is clearly stunned and super confused as to why her parents would have given away a child when they had 2 kids already.
At the hospital, McGee and DiNozzo find out that they will not be interviewing Arliss; Arliss is dead. Whoops.
While shadowing Brett in the halls of Congress, Ziva senses a threat from a sketchy dude who is both approaching Brett and reaching in his pocket at the same time (the way you would to pull a knife or gun at the last moment). Ziva roughs the guy up only to learn that that he's a lobbyist and a friend of Brett's. Lobbyist tells Brett to catch up with him later. Shady.
At Arliss's house, DiNozzo, through the use of using his body as a human ruler, discovers a false wall in Arliss's garage and Gibbs discovers a secret computer/weapons room. Sportelli agrees to let Gibbs crack the computer as long as he reports any findings; sure see how that goes Sportelli. McGee's doing the legwork on the computer cracking because Abby is clearly preoccupied with a frustrating call to her Aunt Gert who is clearly suffering from severe dementia. Nice tidbit, we learn that Abby was a cheerleader in high school. Oh how people change in college and beyond, huh? McGee discovers a wire of $25,000 sent to Arliss's account from a George Kaplan only days before Arliss was run down. The Brett contract money. He also finds Kaplan's address.
At the follow-up Brett interview, we learn he has an eight year old, special needs daughter named Matilda. Man, I hope that detail doesn't become important later. Brett doesn't recognize Kaplan's name and continues to think this threat is bogus. This dude is shady to the max. The boys track down Kaplan's apartment; for a guy who was able to send a $25,000 wire to Arliss, he lives in a shithole. The landlord is a boozy woman, who really should have been cameoed by Cloris Leachman. She says Arliss was her best tenant: his business manager sent the rent every month on time and he made no noise; in fact, she hasn't seen him since he rented the apartment. The business manager's (the guy has a business manager and lives in this shit hole?!?) name is Drew Turner. Cloris Leachman tries to seduce Gibbs and as she leaves, DiNozzo describes her as a turkey vulture, 20 years past a cougar but she still likes to hunt. She just can't take down the prey. Ha!!! Oh DiNozzo, I missed you.
Back on the Hill, we're at the end of a long day and as a reward for her service, Brett ditches Ziva behind a no return access, fire staircase door. Then he kind of gloats about ditching her as he walks away. What a dick move and really cements his shadiness.
Further review of Mr. Kaplan turns up $1 million in a stock brokerage account. Time to meet the business manager. To DiNozzo's delight, Drew Turner is a woman. Tony can't even help himself from flirting and invites her into their office for a meeting with the gang.
Commander Asshole says he ditched Ziva because he was with a woman and wanted some privacy for the bow-chicka-bow-bow. He still thinks the threat is bogus.
My favorite moment of any NCIS episode is the Abby/Gibbs moment. Here we are. Abby is distracted, her work is suffering and Gibbs is worried/annoyed (he's tough to read sometimes). Gibbs tells her that "I need ya Abbs." Aww. Love these two. One of the pieces of information that Abby dropped the ball on was that Drew blew off her meeting. About the same time this comes to light, the realize that Turner lied about not talking to Kaplan recently since she authorized a $500,000 wire transfer from his account to a Costa Rica gambling website. At Turner's home, DiNozzo finds Turner just hanging around. Ha! I kid. She's dead, apparent suicide by hanging. Luckily the lower portion of her hanging body was in view of mailbox slot or else, DiNozzo and McGee might have wasted time looking for her when she didn't answer the door.
At the morgue, Ducky gives a lesson to the attendees on why he thinks the suicide was staged. First, suicide by hanging is a rare method and second, even rarer in women. No, Ducky figures that she was choked to death and then propped up to make it look like suicide. There is a discussion about how maybe Turner was Kaplan (I gotta tell you, I had the same thought). Game Plan? DiNozzo wants to follow the money. Gibbs turns McGee loose on trying to find Abby's secret brother.
Gibbs/Ziva run Turner's name by Commander Liar Liar, Pants on Fire; he says he doesn't know the name. However, the suicide/death convinces him that maybe the threat is real and he'll stay on protective custody.
Back in Abby's lair, a refocused Abby has determined that Kaplan and Turner were definitely separate people (since women and men have different handwriting styles). Meanwhile, DiNozzo has figured out that the money came from a Swiss bank; the Broussard Bank.
The return of the shady lobbyist! He barges into Brett's office; seems very entitled and is whining about how he thinks they're losing "Canelli's vote." There is some collusion there, not sure of its a crime? Shady lobbyist is equal parts embarrassed at finding Ziva there for his outburst and indignant. When she steps outside, Brett tells him about the threat on his life. However, he reassures shady lobbyist that he thinks the threat will go away in a couple of days.
Back at HQ, some further digging has revealed four deposits into Kaplan's account this year, totaling $1.5 million. Also! Brett's fingerprints were on the signature card. Brett signed as Kaplan. TWIST! Did Brett kill Turner? And put a hit out on himself?
Gibbs needs proof that Turner knew Brett. DiNozzo has a light bulb moment when he realizes that "George Kaplan" is a character from North by Northwest, a character that didn't exist. Brett set up the account to be able to get the Swiss bank money anonymously. Kickback scheme in full effect! Meanwhile, McGee has uncovered the name and address of Abby's brother. Abby wants to meet him, alone. His name is Kyle Davis. Anyone keeping track of the HIPAA/Federal and State privacy violations committed by McGee?
The gang has discovered that the money was authorized by a foreign subsidiary of a shipbuilder company, Stenbridge Marine. Stenbridge Marine is behind the $14 million aircraft carrier appropriations bill about to be voted on. Turner was having a weekly rendezvous with Turner in order to launder his kickback money ... and probably have an affair.
The Secret Brother Meeting! Kyle Davis works at a store front pet rescue. He kind of looks like Abby so props to the casting department! Abby is clearly have second thoughts on telling Kyle. Kyle is very enthusiastic about his pets and their relaxing powers.
Ziva brings Commander InHotWater into HQ for an interrogation and "accidentally" let's him see shady lobbyist already in the main interrogation room. Brett starts talking fast; Turner was addicted to online gambling. She put the hit out on Brett (to get unfettered access to his cash) so he preemptively whacked her. You see, Commander Heart of Impure Gold was putting the money away for his special needs daughter. He doesn't really fight their accusations and wants to lawyer up. Smart move.
WrapUps! Gibbs is reading Endurance magazine (the website says its the premier resource for the life you lead, so I'd say that's an important read) when he gets a knock on the door. Abby!! She didn't tell Kyle who she was. Also, she thinks she's worked out her question on why her parents would have a secret child and then give it up for adoption when they already had Abby and Lucca ... its because they didn't. Her parents were the sweet kind of people that adopted kids, not the other way around. Adopted kids like Abby! TWIST! She proved her theory by running an old hair sample she had of her mom against her own; not a match. She calls herself, Little Orphan Abby, which, perfect! She feels lost. Gibbs fortune cookie wisdoms that family is more than just DNA, its about people who care about, and take care of, each other (fortune cookie wisdom, but true nevertheless). Abby's mission is to find out why her "parents" didn't tell her. Gibbs reassures her that she's not alone. A storyline for Abby!!!! YAY!
See you next week!