'NCIS': Love, Washington Style

Seanmurray_ncis_240I'm not entirely sure which NCIS story intrigued me more: the dead naval officer or the stolen cupcake. Suffice to say Abby has inspired me to initiate a quest for the perfect confectionery... if it even exists.

Mess with these Spoilers and Abby will kill you!

Mountain biking is fun, or so it appears. I wouldn't know because I'm badly out of shape. A competitive couple race the mountain trails until the guy loses control and does a Peter Pan into the lake. The girl wants her bet paid off, that is until up from the ground came a bubblin' corpse.

At the office, Ziva presents Abby with a scrumptious cupcake called the Chocoholic's Choice when the guys come over to freeload. Apparently the tasty treat is Ziva's form of rent for having crashed at Abby's... much to the curious surprise of DiNozzo. We later find out it was nothing more than an innocent stay due to fumigation at Ziva's apartment. Gibbs walks in to inform the gang that the dead body is that of a lieutenant commander.

Back at the park, Ducky deduces that Lieutenant Commander Carrie McClellan was shot once in the back, but not at the park. Just as McGee finds a partial shoeprint, Gibbs gets a call and beats a hasty retreat back to the District.

Along the Potomac, Gibbs meets up with what appears to be a friendly senator in a trench coat. The good senator inquires if it is indeed LTCR McClellan and when asked if he knew her, he spills the beans that they were having an affair. Senator Kiley laments the affair from the get-go, and offers to help Gibbs in any way. Any way that doesn't risk his energy bill that's coming up for a vote.

(Side note: did anyone else find it odd that the Senator just happens to make the social commentary on the economy with all that's going on right now? I'm just saying.)

Gibbs and DiNozzo interview the lieutenant's commanding officer and offers up little more than attitude and non-incriminating statements. DiNozzo smells a rat and whisks away to investigate the Admiral further. Meanwhile, McGee notices McClellan called the Capitol often, but to the switchboard and not anyone directly. Vance appears out of nowhere to summon Gibbs away. On the ball again, DiNozzo suspects Gibbs is hiding something.

Once alone, Vance shares (from his private line, no less) a to-the-point synthesized voice mail with a specific location for the murder weapon. At the location in question, DiNozzo once again is on the ball and finds the gun, but not before having fun by leading McGee to fall into the storm drain.

Back at the lab, Abby does confirm the gun McGee slipped on was indeed the murder weapon. This leads Vance to have him investigate where the mysterious voice mail originated. Vance absolutely insists Gibbs keep him in the loop on this... to which Gibbs assures him, in no uncertain terms, that he will. I'm sensing our favorite NCIS Director has some trust issues as that exchange was uncomfortable at best.

Pauleyperrette_cbspresstour08_240 Abby (as per usual) provides the comic relief. She's on the warpath after someone stole her gifted cupcake. Gibbs tries to get her back on track, and she reveals, among other things, that fibers from a car were found on her.

DiNozzo is absolutely certain that Admiral Graves is the other party in the affair while McGee narrows down the call to where and when, but not exactly who, except to say that the sophisticated WriteDraft® 2007 is the source of the robot-like voicemail. Ziva presents the only owner information she can find on the guy, one Otis Tripp, which for some reason sets Gibbs off as he storms out the door.

Turns out the gun belonged to the senator's father-in-law. When confronted about it, Senator Kiley adamantly denies the whole thing and claims he's being framed. The nerve! Before he can interrogate further, Gibbs gets called back in by Vance.

Seems another voicemail has arrived... this one a little more painful for Gibbs. Whoever is calling knows that Gibbs is covering for the senator and Vance is none too pleased. Mere seconds later, however, Gibbs presents Senator Kiley to Vance. Kiley suggests Reed Talbot, an oil lobbyist trying to defeat his energy bill, might be the ne're-do-well they're looking for.

Just as quickly as Abby determines the car fibers from the Lieutenant's body were that of a Jeep Cherokee, she immediately demands DNA from the gang. If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that you should never mess with a woman who loves chocolate.

Gibbs and DiNozzo take the senator home and investigate his gun collection. Later, Gibbs is home working on his boat when Lynn, the senator's wife, arrives out of nowhere. Of course, she knew something was fishy with her husband, but it seems his chief of staff, Cole Erickson, was involved more than Lynn would have liked. But even all she's been through, she still believes her husband didn't do it.

After analyzing fingerprints from the senator's gun case, Abby narrows down the list of murder suspects to Senator Kiley, Lynn, Cole and one unknown person. She also takes the time to narrow down the cupcake bandit to include basically the entire gang... even the night janitor.

Cotedepablo_ncis_240 Ziva digs up more dirt on the lobbyist, but can't go any farther without a fingerprint of some kind. DiNozzo now suspects the chief of staff because he drives a Jeep while McGee finds more information on the second voicemail. It's good to see the hive buzzing with activity once again.

Later that day, Ziva goes undercover to Capitol Hill to get a fingerprint from the unsuspecting Reed Talbot. No doubt I'd probably fall for her, too.

DiNozzo gets info on Cole's PDA. McGee tracks it to his apartment at the Watergate. Gibbs and DiNozzo go to investigate but find Cole dead of an apparent suicide by suffocation. Gibbs does Ducky's work for him by determining cause and time of death, which leaves the lovable Ducky a bit down. McGee finds the burn phone used for the cryptic voicemails. About this time, Senator Kiley shows up to ask why Cole would do it, but the gears in Gibbs' head start churning faster.

Ducky later confirms that Cole did die of asphyxia, but Gibbs believes someone else did it. Vance just wants this whole thing finalized as he's off Senator Kiley's press conference to announce just that.

Our B story ends with McGee being ousted as the one who took Abby's cupcake, even after he was so careful to cover his tracks. You'd think he would have known not to mess with Abby, especially with her mad skillz, yo.

Gibbs arrives to the press conference not to participate, but to arrest the senator. As it turns out, Lynn is in cahoots. The facts are these: Lynn knew all along about the affair, but for the good of his office, she decided to merely scare off the lieutenant but ended up shooting her once in the back. They decide then and there to setup Cole to take the fall, but for reasons passing understanding actually recruit Gibbs to investigate the whole matter and take care of it for them.

How very ignorant of them to really think Gibbs would cover up on their behalf. Politics can really be a bitch, and then you die... or get arrested.

Next time on NCIS, Gibbs has a father! Most people look for a good reason to go home again, but something tells me this might not be the case this time.

Did you really think our Boy Scout would cave to an old war buddy? Was there enough misdirection to throw you off the senator's track? How did the Abby/cupcake sub-plot work for you?