NCIS recap: Gibbs is on the case for a missing friend

NCIS Team Without Gibbs
The NCIS team has had to do a lot of work without Gibbs during Season 18. Pic credit: CBS

This NCIS recap comes from Season 18, Episode 14 of the show. Airing on Tuesday night, a new episode called Unseen Improvements debuted on CBS.

Just as the synopsis and promos for the episode indicated, Gibbs was thrust back into work when a case came knocking at his door. But he wasn’t really able to help in an official capacity.

Gibbs was still suspended, stemming from him using excessive force to arrest a suspect who had been murdering dogs.

On the last episode of NCIS, Gibbs took the stand to try to put a guy behind bars who was conning Navy personnel out of their hard-earned money. It led to Gibbs admitting — on the stand — that he had used excessive force and had no remorse for his actions. That was why Vance kept him suspended and threatened to possibly remove Gibbs permanently from NCIS.

The new episode picked up with Gibbs still having a lot of time on his hands. It was something that Ducky was worried about and he helped send Gibbs a tablet with which he could keep in contact with people.

It was a really funny scene when he opened it, starting with him banging it on the table to get it to stop making sounds and ending with him hanging up on Ducky.

NCIS recap for Unseen Improvements

The primary case began when a delivery guy found a dead body while on the job. As the team set out to work the case, some time was spent showing that McGee is covering for Gibbs at the office, and he is realizing how much extra work it is to be in that role. Palmer tried to pump McGee up with some compliments as well.

The man who had been killed turned out to work for the command center that is in charge of the nuclear submarine launch codes. It immediately raised the stakes for what would take place over the next hour.

As McGee got the team into action, we then saw Gibbs cooking hot dogs over the fire in his living room fireplace. He was enjoying the meal with his dog when the tablet scene with Ducky took place. It turned out that Kasie has set it all up for him but that she thought it was a terrible idea.

The killer left evidence at the scene that allowed the team to track him down very quickly. It turned out that he had been there to just steal a laptop and his gun went off when the Navy man grabbed it. The stolen laptop would allow people to hack into old case files at NCIS. And the file that they were looking into was the one involving Phineas from NCIS Season 17.

Phineas went to live with foster parents, which meant that they were not in the Witness Protection Program. They did move, though, just to make sure that his uncle couldn’t find him. But now it looked like his uncle was back in the picture in a bad way.

McGee called Gibbs as soon as he found out and he jumped into action by trying to call Phineas’ cell phone. It was answered by a Maryland sergeant, who said that there had been an accident. The parents were in the hospital following a car crash and Phineas had been presumably kidnapped.

Gibbs jumped into action and went to the hospital where the parents were. They were in bad condition and couldn’t even speak to give Gibbs a direction to go. He returned home with plans to go into the office, but his dog was in the basement with something. It turned out to be Phineas, who had escaped and told Gibbs that he had nowhere to go.

The plan was for Phineas to then stay with Gibbs until the team could track down his uncle and the henchmen. Phineas asked some funny questions of Gibbs, like how he was going to get the boat out of the basement when he was done building it. Gibbs avoided the question, likely frustrating some viewers who also want to know.

Phineas also asked Gibbs some personal questions about Jack Sloane, which made for some great television as he tried to dodge each one.

It turned out that the bad guys were trying to find Phineas because his cousin needed a bone marrow transplant. McGee and the team figured this out but also learned that the uncle and his henchmen had learned where Gibbs lived and were on their way to get the boy.

As for the title of the episode —Unseen Improvements — it turned out that Gibbs had built a secret room behind his main closet that he was able to put Phineas and Lucy (the dog) in while he took care of the intruders. When it was down to just Gibbs and the uncle, it was Phineas who took him out with a baseball bat.

Phineas, being the great kid that he is, ended up donating bone marrow to his cousin anyway. A great moment also happened between Phineas and Gibbs, when Gibbs gave him Lucy to take home as his own dog.

Another subplot within the episode was the Torres and Bishop relationship. There were some awkward moments, including Bishop being upset at Jimmy for getting curious about a possible relationship. Torres and Bishop were each looking into planning vacations, and they finally got around to agreeing to have a chat about what was going on between them.

As the elevator arrived at the end of the episode and they got in, Torres and Bishop began having “the talk” with each other. The doors closed before we could hear anything, though, so that information will have to wait for a future episode.

Great news about NCIS

NCIS Season 19 has already been ordered up by CBS. The network finally made the announcement, and now fans can start looking forward to what will take place during the fall 2021 episodes. But before that happens, there are still two episodes left to air in Season 18.

A new primary character is joining the NCIS cast and they will first appear during the May 18 episode. She is going to have a dramatic storyline and could possibly end up returning in NCIS Season 19.

As for the NCIS season finale – it should be a good one. We are a bit concerned about the NCIS set photos that Wilmer Valderrama shared recently, but hopeful that it is going to be an exciting conclusion to Season 18.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments