It’s down to the final episodes of season 12 of NCIS, and it looks like these last three episodes will all be connected. It appears that the writers are back on their game for these final episodes, as well they should be. While all shows should have good season finales, it’s clear that NCIS has a little more at stake than most shows, mostly because it’s been on for so long and the quality of this season has been up and down. So with the the start of what looks to be a three part episode, let’s see how the show fares in making this considerably daring move.
This week’s episode starts with a car crashing into an all-night pie place (a nice touch). The woman behind the wheel, ensign Janine Wilt, was trying to stop the bleeding from a wound on her neck but dies shortly after the crash. Things get a little complex when the team starts investigating the ensign’s murder; new pieces and players start being added to this intricate puzzle throughout the episode, which makes it a little difficult to sum it up quickly and coherently, but this reviewer will do her best.
Their initial findings in the investigation lead them to a Colombian drug ring (which always seems promising as a lead), but that turns out to be a red-herring when they discover that Ensign Wilt accessed the computer of business man Adem Korkmaz. The team believes Korkmaz knows something, but it turns out that his daughter is the one who used his computer so she could go on chat rooms and do other social media things. But one of the chat rooms she visited started to freak her out; it was filled with people who are unhappy with their lives and society, but in a way that seemed very threatening. So Korkmaz’s asked Ensign Wilt, who volunteered at her school, if she could get rid of the chat room on her father’s computer.
This finding leads the team to Bradley Simeck, one of the teenagers in the chat room who sent threatening emails to Korkmaz’s daughter and seems to be the most likely one to have killed Ensign Wilt. This leads to probably one of the most upsetting moments (while there have been many) in an NCIS episode ever. Abby discovers that Bradley 3D printed a bomb and its detonator (which seems to be a subtle warning from NCIS writers) and goes to a public bus to set it off. The team gets to him and Gibbs manages to get all of the passengers off the bus and seems to be getting through to Bradley and almost gets him off the bus. But something sets Bradley off, and he runs to the back of the bus and blows himself up. And then a TV viewer’s three least favorite words come on the screen: “to be continued.”
The writers must be telepathically picking up my need for better NCIS plot lines because this episode surely takes it up a notch. While it’s a very upsetting ending, it clearly shows that the next two episodes will be revolving around this case since it’s clear that the team stumbled onto something much bigger than they anticipated. For an ending like that, the episode did a good job putting in fun moments (which doesn’t always work), mostly with the return of Agent Dorneget and his wonderful Skyrim references.
Whether for better or for worse, Bishop’s NSA husband Jake makes another appearance which brings on some tension between the two of them. While it is an interesting exploration into their relationship (and they obviously have some things to work out), it does seem to halt the story line, which is inevitably more intriguing then their relationship. But the attempt to put some conflict there is nice since there has always been the illusion that they had a perfect relationship (well that’s hardly ever the case). There’s also the whole thing of Jake and Gibbs being “BFFs” as Tony and McGee claim, but the basis for that only seems to be Jake’s NSA connections. If there was more to know about Jake, it would definitely have he and Gibb’s “friendship” make more sense.
As a whole, this week’s episode packs a lot in but still manages to make it work (with the help of the whole “to be continued” thing at the end). The story line is intriguing, there are red-herrings but not too many to make it obnoxious, and it ends on a very tragic and compelling note. And also to it’s credit, it brings awareness to the all too true nature of the the internet (bringing in the title of the episode), referring to how awful people, teenagers especially, can be to each other online. While this theme will surely carry on to the next two episodes, it’s a good one to explore since it’s something that is extremely relevant to our society today. And with the good job that the writers did this week, it’s (hopefully) no doubt that the two final episodes will be as equally well-structured and compelling as this one.