Original Air Date: Mar 19, 2013
Maria – Associate Staff Writer
Marine Sergeant Teddy LeMere and his sniffer dog Dex are in Kabul when two boys are playing soccer. The ball goes wide and a boy chases after it. LeMere tells the boy to stop, which he does. A few feet away, the ball has set off an IED. LeMere and Dex are able to work together to find a safe path to the boy. They rescue him, having maneuvered through the minefield. Then, Sergeant LeMere is shot dead by a sniper.
Back at NCIS, Vance is holding interviews for a nanny to mind his children since his wife was murdered. A LOT of interviews.
LeMere’s wife Ruby shows up at NCIS, insisting that something was off with her husband’s death. She received a phone message from him shortly before he died, saying that he was mixed up in something but he’s going to put it right. She doesn’t expect NCIS to open a full investigation on her whim, but she’s never come across Gibbs’ gut before.
Ted (and Dex) were in Afghanistan working to make sure buildings were IED free before Beta Co went in to repair and maintain them. Beta Co made a full statement, but Gibbs makes McGee and Ziva talk to James Virgil via satellite link. Virgil is the head of the company and also an eye witness to Ted’s death. Virgil has nothing but praise for the man.
Ducky finds a bullet fragment inside Ted’s body and the bullet traces back to American rifles. It’s not much to go on, but it does add weight to the fact it wasn’t a Taliban sniper.
Dex is currently with Ruby until he returns to duty. She and Ted raised Dex since he was a puppy, but he’s a service dog and will soon be sent back to Afghanistan. When Gibbs goes round to the house to speak with the wife she mentions that Ted did have a slight altercation with another dog trainer around six months ago, Norman Pittorino.
McGee and DiNozzo go to check out Pittorino, but they first come across his nephew, a slacker of a man but that doesn’t explain Pittorino’s gruff attitude. It certainly doesn’t justify Pittorino setting Dobermans on McGee and Tony. McGee was so scared he locked himself in the car. Tony had to jump in through the sun roof. It turns out, Ted thought Pittorino was too rough with Dex. Pittorino may not be the coddling type, but I’m not so sure he’s a killer either.
Dex and Ruby show up at NCIS with a new piece of the puzzle, an expensive pendant from an Afghanistan family, mailed two weeks before Ted’s death. The pendant is worth thousands of dollars. Whilst Abby tries to figure it out, Gibbs drops Ruby and Dex back home to find an intruder. The intruder got away, leaving all of Ruby’s jewelery behind, and a piece of their sleeve in Dex’s teeth.
Abby and Ziva have a brief catch-up, multitasking interpersonal relationships and the job. Ziva has been mysteriously busy lately, so I wonder what they’re hinting at. Abby is also a little confused as to why Vance would leave her out of his Nanny search when she helped his daughter ace her science project. Ziva tells her not to get involved.
Gibbs decides that McGee and Dex are going to Afghanistan. Vance okays it, and gets them on the next transport.
Ted’s CO is Captain Dale Martens and he seems eager to put Dex back to work. He also boasts that they have caught the sniper who killed Ted. Chet Tyber, head of security, took down the sniper, with an impressive shot of his own. Gibbs isn’t buying it though.
Gibbs ponders that the scene isn’t right. Taliban would shoot the dog first, because the dog saves more lives. The reveal is that he’s accidentally talking to Dex. So cute. What isn’t cute is that Gibbs uses Virgil’s ear witness statement to figure out the true location of the shot. It was taken from a building, not the mountain. The real shooter is still out there.
The fabric Dex tore from the intruder in Ruby’s house had Doberman hair on it. The first suspect is Pittorino, but it was actually his nephew. Beta Co wasn’t just fixing up buildings, it was looting from them, sending the loot back to the US via Pittorino’s luggage which his nephew unpacked. Ted was going to blow the whistle, so expert marksman Chet Tyber stopped him. He also tries to stop NCIS from arresting him. He shoots Dex instead.
I may have shed a tear or two over Dex, and squealed slightly in joy when Gibbs reveals he’s survived.. Dex is now retired and therefore can stay with Ruby permanently. DiNozzo comments that he’s been thinking about getting a dog. Gibbs points out that Dex isn’t a dog, he’s a Marine.
Ziva has a chat with Vance, and he admits that he’s worried that hiring a nanny means he’s moving on and that Jackie’s death is more final. Vance realizes he’s not ready for that step, but a woman shows up. He’d forgotten to cancel. She tells Vance that a nanny may cook, clean, tend to and even bond with the children, but it wouldn’t be a replacement for Jackie. Vance offers no promises, but he lets her meet his children. Baby steps.
Are you glad that Vance is back at NCIS and moving forward? Did you enjoy Michael Weatherly’s direction? What do you think Ziva is up to? Did you suspect Chet Tyber? Please, leave a comment with your TwoCents on the episode.