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NCIS recap: Gibbs’ team gets help searching for serial killer

Gibbs Coffee NCIS
Gibbs always enjoys his coffee on NCIS. Pic credit: CBS

NCIS Season 19, Episode 2 was called Nearly Departed and it picked up in the timeline soon after the season premiere.

On the first episode of the new NCIS season, we found out that Gibbs survived the boat explosion, but that he was no closer to learning the identity of the serial killer he had been searching for with Marcie Warren.

The good news was that Gibbs’ team was now on board to help with the case, even though Gibbs was still suspended from NCIS. Agent Jessica Knight (played by Katrina Law) has also become an official part of the team after appearing in the final two episodes of Season 18.

To open the new episode, we were introduced to the serial killer right away, as he was picking up supplies that he would later use. This was where it became obvious that veteran actor Jason Wiles was playing the killer.

NCIS Season 19, Episode 2 recap

After the opening titles had run, we saw Director Vance walking around the bullpen and trying to figure out where most of his staff had gone. It was then that Kasie walked in and she tried to play off not knowing before letting him in on the secret.

The episode then switched to the barn where Gibbs had been fixed up in the premiere. He was now using it as a base of operations while he pretended to be dead while carrying out the investigation. Palmer had set it up so that it looked similar to their bullpen back at headquarters, and Torres, Knight, and McGee walked in shortly before Vance did.

Vance was pleased to see Gibbs again, who he tried to get to come back to work for NCIS. Vance even offered Gibbs his badge and gun, but McGee got a call before anything could be resolved there.

The call had been about an alert of another victim matching the serial killer they were all now hunting. We also soon found out that the man the woman had been married to was played by John Carter Hensley, best known for his role as Matt McNamara on Nip/Tuck.

McGee leads the NCIS investigation

At the crime scene, McGee took the lead, even though he tried to defer to Gibbs. But this was another episode designed to show that McGee could lead the team, and that is exactly what he ended up doing.

They caught up to the killer, but he got away during a foot chase. Later, Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano) showed up at the offices after hearing about Gibbs’ boat blowing up, and he was pleased to learn his friend was still alive. And Gibbs went to visit reporter Marcie Warren (Pam Dawber) to let her know he was fine.

When Fornell caught up with Gibbs, we may have experienced some heavy foreshadowing. He talked to Gibbs about doing something other than just chasing bad guys and alluded to leaving NCIS and starting a new chapter in his life. It was a good moment between the friends, but not so much for NCIS fans watching on, as it might hint at Gibbs leaving the show soon.

As the investigation continued, the team learned that someone was showing up on camera with their suspect. They were able to track him down and arrest him, but while under interrogation, they learned that his name was FBI Agent Alden Parker (played by Gary Cole). He had been tracking the killer as well.

Agent Parker joins the NCIS cast

After a chat with Vance, Parker came on to help with the primary investigation. Gibbs caught up with Tom Samuels (the killer) again, this time subduing him and nearly shooting him before the rest of the team got to the scene and arrested him.

While being interrogated, the team figured out that Samuels was a contract killer and not a serial killer. Suddenly, he jumped up and slammed Law against the window of the interrogation room, partially breaking it. He then jumped through the window and made a break for it, ending up in the bullpen and holding a letter opener to Kasie’s throat.

As the team tried to defuse the situation at gunpoint, a shot rang out, the suspect fell dead, and Gibbs was shown exiting the elevator behind him. The episode came to an end right there, with Gibbs holding out his gun and the suspect dead on the ground. But was he really dead? Stay tuned.

The dramatic conclusion of NCIS Season 19, Episode 2 will likely be addressed during the next new episode of the show.

NCIS airs Mondays at 9/8c on CBS.

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