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NCIS “Prime Suspect” 

Photo Credit:CBS
Photo Credit:CBS

NCIS is one of those show that is always chock full of surprises. Sometimes an episode may be centered on some horrific murder, sometimes on a dilemma for one of the central characters, and every once in a while, the humor in an episode is what carries it.  In tonight’s episode, it was a combination, but with the lighthearted humor taking the episode from one that was just mediocre to one that was very good.

I don’t think we have ever met him, but I had always imagined Gibbs (Mark Harmon) having his own special barber to get his haircut just right.  His barber is actually a long-time friend, who confides in him that he is very worried that his son, Cameron Dean (Derek Magyar), may be the serial killer known in the area as the “Dead Rose Slasher”.  This killer, who has the D.C. area in a state of panic, killed two women several years ago, stopped killed for 3 years, and just began again with string of 3 more murders.  The father confides in Gibbs that his son has been acting strange, was not home on the nights of the recent murders, and the 3 year hiatus could be explained by his son’s brief stint in the Navy.  Gibbs promises his friend that he will look into it discreetly, but unfortunately, in law enforcement, nothing can really be done discreetly.

Before Gibbs and his team know it, the D.C. police are onto this little side-investigation and demands that Gibbs gives up what he knows.  This is when Director Vance steps in.  When Vance first appears at the beginning of the episode, we aren’t really sure if he is ready to come back and lead the NCIS team yet.  But, with Director Vance pulling rank and contacting the D.C. Chief of Detectives, within a matter of hours, all of the evidence for the “Dead Rose Slasher” case is delivered to Abby (Pauley Perrette), including D.C.’s own Forensic Scientist, Ramsey Boone (Keir O’Donnell).  This is where the fun times of the episode begin.

It turns out that Ramsey and Abby had gone to Criminology School together and had actually been roommates.  For them, it was like being back in college. With hilarious comments like, “Yayy!! All-nighter” and the lab being scattered with empty jugs of Caf-Pow, they approach the case like some college science project and have it solved very quickly.  The first two murders were committed by Leo Winkler, whose residence is now the local cemetery, which means the latest killings are the work of a copycat.  With only a handful of people knowing the intricate details of the case, they are led to the primary journalist covering the case, Bart Crowley.  A middle-aged man who was being seen as old and obsolete, Crowley saw the murders as a way to jump-start his career.  Wow, talking about a story to die for!

While the case in itself was interesting, the real gem of this episode was the humor.  I absolutely loved the Ramsey Boone character and the unique relationship he has with Abby only makes the Abby scenes funnier and more over-the-top than ever before.  I really hope we see more of this character in the future.

Then, we have Bahamas storyline.  $120,000 is stolen from the cash sales office, and the suspects, Cpl. Douglas Alexander (Dio Johnson) and Melissa Tourney (Andrea Bogart), have fled to the Bahamas with the money.  I have no idea why someone would think $120,000 is enough money to live off of in the Bahamas, but it’s enough for Gibbs to send a team to the island to retrieve the money as well as their suspects – and, that team is Tony (Michael Weatherly) and Probie Ned Dorneget (Matt Jones).  Yes, Probie Dorneget, who is absolutely clueless!  This makes for some of the most hysterical scenes of the entire episode.

Just like in the days of when McGee (Sean Murray) was a Probie, every last word out of Tony’s mouth is designed to make Dorneget slip up and made me laugh every time.  Tony tells Dorneget that in order to become a Journeyman Agent, he must pass a huge regimen of tests (which hadn’t been administered in 20 years), leaving Dorneget to study in every spare moment of his time. Then, there is the infamous 3 a.m. wake-up call, causing Dorneget to oversleep and then, Tony chastising him over the incident.  In Tony’s eyes, the Bahamas undercover job was just a big vacation, with the added value of poking fun at this newbie the entire trip.

But, Dorneget, with the help of Director Vance, gets the last laugh.  Tony lived the high-life while in the Bahamas, sipping on fancy drinks and feasting on shrimp cocktails, only to find out his expense report was rejected.  Oops! Not only that, he was being audited for the past 2 years.  “No, No, No!!!” Tony screams at the end of the episode.  Oh, yes, yes, yes, Tony, that dumb Probie just won your juvenile little game.

For the most part, I thought this was a good episode.  It certainly wasn’t on the level of masterpieces this season like “Shiva” and “Hereafter”, but with the unique balance of the case and comic relief, it held the viewers’ attention and made everyone laugh for the good majority of the episode.

Most memorable quotes

  • He’s an easy mark. I pulled the old 3 a.m. wake-up call on him — Tony
  • Don’t cut him out of your life, you get only one father — Gibbs to Cameron Dean
  • Dorneget, let’s teach Agent DiNozzo a lesson — Vance
  • What in the name of the Brooks Brothers are you wearing! You look exactly what you are, a pubescent federal agent — Tony to Dorneget
  • Did I hear you say ‘Please stop!'” — Tony to Dorneget

NCIS airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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