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NCIS “Hit and Run” 

Photo Credit:CBS
Photo Credit:CBS

I wish I could take a count of how many viewers of tonight’s NCIS episode went through a half box of tissues, crying their eyes out.  Yes, NCIS is a crime drama, and most of the time, its focus is on a murder case.  But, on some occasions, while there still is a homicide to be solved, the center of attention is on matters of the heart.  “Hit and Run” was such an episode, and it was a fantastic one.

The case this week on the surface appears like a simple automobile accident.  Lance Corporal Chad Dunn and a girl, Lyla Cartwright, were found in their car off the side of a road, and it looked like they just came around the curve too fast and swerved off the side.  However, that theory goes out the window when it is revealed that they were both dead before the crash actually happened.  The only link between the two victims is a very old family feud that most thought was long dead.  Dunn’s mother and Cartwright’s father fell in love years ago, and when Dunn’s father found out, all hell broke loose.  But, the dust settled, and everyone thought the entire thing was over.  However, the team discovers that the two still had feelings for each other and were writing letters.  What’s more, ironically, Chad Dunn and Lyla Cartwright had fallen in love, and were actually trying to run off together.  Would Dunn’s father kill his own son and Lyla out of rage over their relationship?  I didn’t think so, and the murder turned out to have nothing to do with the family feud at all.  Dunn gave his crooked cousin $15,000 to invest, so that he and Lyla would have some money to leave with and start a life.  However, the entire investment ultimately was a Ponzi scheme, and the cousin committed the murders to keep it secret.  Wow, so much for family love.

But, just like a great many NCIS episodes, the case wasn’t the focus of the episode.  Instead, it was about the memories this particular case brought back for Abby (Pauley Perrette).  In a wonderful series of flashbacks, we get to see our little Abby (Brighton Sharpino) solve her first “case” when she was only a child, and we also get a glimpse of who Abby truly is from the heart.  I had always wondered what Abby was like as a child – had she always dressed in black and was always obsessed with death?  Surprisingly, the answer is “no”.  Yes, we see the toy skulls on the wall in her childhood bedroom, but for the most part, Abby was just a normal kid, but one with a very inquisitive spirit which ultimately made her into a top-notch scientist.

Little Abby finds a teddy bear in a wrecked truck in a junkyard, and most kids would have just taken the teddy bear and not think twice about it — but, not our Abby.  Abby finds a name “Ricky Evans” written on the tag of the bear, and she is bound and determined to “investigate”, find Ricky Evans, and return the bear to her.  To our amazement, Abby succeeds and does find Ricky, but she doesn’t find the happy ending that she was hoping for.  Ricky’s mother had just passed away (presumably from the car accident), and we find out that Ricky’s grandfather had given her that bear.  But, Ricky’s father and grandfather hated each other, and now with Ricky’s mother dead, she was moving and probably wouldn’t see her grandfather again.  And, she couldn’t keep the bear either.

However, even after all of these years, this “case” still haunts Abby, so much that she makes probably the first mistake in her work that we’ve seen on the show, and then, calls in sick the following day (which we learn has NEVER happened).  Abby’s only goal is to do good, and she doesn’t understand how in the end, the bad almost always outweighs the good.  First, and foremost, Pauley Perrette did a fantastic job in this episode, a performance that is very Emmy-worthy.  As a viewer, you can relate with Abby and can feel her pain and empathize, and if an actor/actress can do that, then they’ve done a very good job.  I know what it’s like to be overcome with grief when you try your hardest and things just don’t work out – you make mistakes at work, you can’t focus.  It just paralyzes you.  Perrette portrayed that to perfection, and for that, deserves a standing ovation.

But, in the end, the older, wiser Gibbs (Mark Harmon) points out to our dear Abby that sometimes things are “hits and run”.  This means you do something, but you aren’t around long enough to see the good that you’ve done.  Young Abby traded her bunny with Ricky for her bear, and I am certain that had a lasting impact on Ricky.  I’m certain Ricky always remembered that, just like Abby did.  But, Abby didn’t get to see the ending.  All she saw was that she couldn’t “fix” Ricky’s father and grandfather’s relationship.  The episode demonstrates that of all the characters on NCIS, Abby probably has the biggest heart.  She may appear like a crazy Goth on the outside, but on the inside is pure good and love.

       Today’s new friend is tomorrow’s family – Gibbs’ fortune from his fortune cookie the first day he met Abby

Most memorable quotes and random thoughts 

  • We talked about this, Abby, ghosts aren’t real – McGee (Sean Murray) to Abby
  • Gibbs, I made a mistake! I’m not perfect! – Abby to Gibbs
  • No murder weapon, but I did find inner peace – Tony
  • Abby, she’s the only one that can call you Dummy and make you feel like you’ve won something at the same time – McGee
  • So, what about Ziva?  She’s back and seemed quite happy, considering her father was just murdered.  Did she get her revenge while in Israel, and is that why she’s so happy?  If so, will that act come back to haunt her and the rest of the team before season’s end?



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