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NCIS recap: A Marine has a secret, but can Dr. Palmer please get some help?

New NCIS
Sean Murray as Agent McGee and Emily Wickersham as Agent Bishop during new NCIS episode. Pic credit: CBS

The NCIS episode from Tuesday night had an intriguing mystery that worked in quite a few humorous moments to distract from a gruesome dead body.

To start the newest episode for Season 17, Marine Staff Sergeant Diana Murphy (played by Katie LeClerc), was shown using a drone to fire a missile on a practice range. The people in the control room then saw someone had been on the range before the missile hit.

When Dr. Palmer (Brian Dietzen) arrived on the scene, he began collecting body parts, but he also appeared to be quite exhausted. His lack of sleep was referenced right before they went on the call, as well, as Palmer noted that he has been covering two jobs since Dr. Mallard (David McCallum) retired.

During the investigation, Palmer determined that the body was actually the former boyfriend of Murphy (the one who fired the missile) and an ex-Marine himself. She took off after the incident and was tracked down at his house, stating that she went there because he was the only one she trusted.

While being interrogated by Agent Bishop (Emily Wickersham), Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Sloane (Maria Bello) watched through the glass. Gibbs figured out that she was deaf. That came as a shock to everyone, as Murphy had been able to hide her hearing loss since an accident that involved her boyfriend had taken place.

The case evolved into Danny Backer (the boyfriend) allegedly stealing weapons and forging Murphy’s signature to help in the process.

When it was discovered that Murphy was hiding that she was hearing-impaired, she got discharged from her duties. She also continued to maintain that Backer must have had a good reason for what he was doing because he was always such a great guy. She was proven right later.

Backer turned out to be sneaking the weapons out to be tested, as he felt they were not safe to be used. Murphy was cleared and it was revealed that company CEO Edison Geary (William R. Moses) had been hiding the danger of the weapons in order to protect sales.

As for the killer? It all traced back to George Ingram (David Burke), the man who had been running the training exercise that Murphy was in at the beginning of the episode. Ingram set everything up and was the murderer.

Case closed? Not so fast. First, there was a dramatic scene where Ingram tried to kill Murphy by sneaking up on her and trying to take advantage of her hearing loss. He failed. Now… case really closed.

To wrap up that story, Gibbs had a poignant moment with Murphy, where he revealed he had scored her a training job.

Dr. Jimmy Palmer needs help

Throughout the episode, Palmer was working hard to interview assistants, all of which were shown to be duds. One woman was afraid to touch bodies, while one man was excited about the sound of a saw working its way through bones. They weren’t going to be hired.

Christopher Crane, who is played by Peter Graham, appeared late in the episode and seemed like he might be someone who Palmer would enjoy working with. Gibbs and McGee (Sean Murray) were both in forensics when Crane arrived, with McGee asking if Ducky had a younger brother, which alluded to the obvious similarities between Crane and Mallard.

When Palmer was hanging out with Kasie Hines (Diona Reasonover) at the end, she tried to tell Palmer what she was also seeing, but he didn’t catch on till later. Even then, Palmer decided it was time to offer Crane the job. But, sadly, Crane turned him down. The search for an assistant continues!

NCIS airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.


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