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NCIS - A Many Splendored Thing - Review: “Flashbacks and Code”



NCIS - A Many Splendored Thing - Review: “Flashbacks and Code”

14.16 - “A Many Splendored Thing”
Directed by Michael Zinebery
Written by Steven D. Binder & David J. North
Reviewed by Kelly Anne Blount


“A Many Splendored Thing,” opens with a few quick flashbacks of Willoughby. Looks like Chen is going to be back!

We cut over to a woman getting back from a strenuous run. When she gets to her house, she finds a gun on her coffee table. Eek! Creepy! The television turns on and someone starts talking with a creepy voice over. The voice tells Commander Turner that she didn’t do what she was told, so now she has a choice. Footage of her daughter at the park starts to play on the television. The voice tells her she can either kill herself or they will kill her daughter.

Over at HQ, McGee literally runs into Torres, who promptly picks his pocket. Ha ha! He also got McGee’s watch. Torres is giving Bishop and Quinn lessons in pickpocketing. Bishop fails. Quinn looks like she’s got it down.

Clayton Reeves gets Bishop’s attention. He tells her, “We need to talk.” They have received new intel on Chen. They have a message, which appears to be mainly song lyrics. What do they mean? Reeves tells Bishop that they had a lead on where Chen was staying, but when Interpol showed up, it was too late. Chen was already gone. Bishop is ready to pack her bags and find Chen. Reeves reminds her that Gibbs doesn’t want her anywhere near the case and that he should not be sharing any of this info with her, as it’s MI-6 classified.

Oh my gosh! I’m weak! Gibbs walks by and tells them that they have a body. He bumps into Torres and steals his wallet! GET IT, GIBBS! GET IT!


The team heads over the crime scene where we Commander Turnerr’s body on the coffee table. The wound is self-inflicted, but there are a few things that haven’t added up. Commander Turner had just purchased plane tickets to Orlando and tickets to Disney World, plus there are fresh groceries in the refrigerator.

Uh oh, Reeves sends Bishop a text message. He needs to see her and is on his way to pick her up. How is she going to explain this to Gibbs?

YIKES! Bishop lies to Gibbs and the team. She says she has to go because her water heater exploded. The team doesn’t give it much thought, allowing Bishop to sneak out.

McGee can’t get the TV to turn off. Gibbs goes old school and unplugs it.

Reeves picks up Bishop in an RV. The horn is everything. Oh my gosh! Reeves has found one of Chen’s couriers and guess what? It’s his RV and the courier is tied up in the back! Reeves and Bishop are going to get in so much trouble!

Back at HQ, they’ve pulled Commander Renee Turner’s background. Per McGee, “She was assigned at Defense Logistics Agency.” Her husband, who is also in the military, is stationed in Japan. Commander Taylor was well liked, but she recently made some obscure computer purchases and then cancelled them at the last minute.

Meanwhile, Bishop and Reeves are interrogating Chen’s courier in the RV. He claims that he doesn’t know anything. The man, who is quite attached to his clean RV, finally talks once Reeves starts pouring grape juice on the rug. Right… He claims that he may have heard some of Chen’s men talking about an attack, something electrical. The electric grid? He says that he’s never met Chen, just that Chen’s people call him and he does what they ask him to do.


Reeves suggests that Bishop should head back to NCIS HQ. She has a sweet flashback with Qasim before we cut over to the morgue. Ducky tells Gibbs that Commander Turner had high levels of oxytocin in her blood. He said that the hormone is typically associated with being happy and wanting to cuddle (I’m paraphrasing a bit here, LOL!), not someone who is about to take their own life.

McGee run diagnostics on Commander Tuner’s smart television. He plays the footage they pulled of the hacked TV feed. Gibbs, Ducky, and McGee watch as the video of Commander Turner’s daughter is on the TV with the nefarious voice in the background telling her to kill herself or that they will kill her daughter.

Abby has evidence! She found the IP address of the hacker and it’s active.

Gibbs and Quinn head to the hacker’s place. It sounds like he or she is still in the house. Gibbs, gun drawn, opens a door with Quinn closely behind. OH NO! EEEEK! Guess who’s on the other side of the door? BISHOP AND REEVES! Gibbs asks, “How’s that water leak going, Bishop?” Classic Gibbs!

Back at HQ, Reeves and Bishop are getting yelled at by Vance. He is super angry and Reeves could be in big trouble! Bishop and Reeves fill Vance in on everything they know, but haven’t told anyone else. Chen must be involved in Commander Turner’s death, but why?

Gibbs, who hands Reeves a bill for carpet cleaning in the RV, is really mad too. He tells Bishop that he, “needs people who can follow orders!” She tells him that Qasim was more than just her boyfriend. Bishop has a flashback. She tries on several different outfits before selecting a pretty black dress. Qasim arrives at her house, breaks a special piece of pottery, sneezes, then proposes to Bishop. That’s right, I said it, he proposed to Bishop! Aw! This makes me even more sad for her! The flashback ends before she answers him.

Quinn and Bishop are watching Gibbs and Torres interviewing the man who owns the house and radio tower where the hacking of Commander Turner’s television originated from. The man acts like he doesn’t know anything. He says he doesn’t know anyone named Chen. Gibbs shows the man a picture of Chen, to which the guy replies, “Oh, Bobby!” He tells Gibbs and Torres that “Bobby” is a silent partner in his business.

The man admits that a group of doomsday preppers got together a while back and purchased a piece of land, in case the world starts to end. They have a generator, bomb shelter, and everything they could ever need at the compound. Bobby kicked in 10 grand for the land. The man also admits that he overheard Chen’s men talking about Chen flying back into town this weekend.

Just as Gibbs and Vance give the order to have Chen arrested the moment law enforcement lays eys on him, Congresswoman Jenna Flemming comes into the room and tells them to halt everything. She’s from the Counter Terrorism Department and she’s been, “tasked with supervising,” anything related to Chen. She says that their lawyers don’t have enough to arrest Chen on yet. They need more evidence first. Vance changes orders, Chen will only be under surveillance, nothing more. Is that Vance’s girlfriend? I’m totally blanking!

Gibbs is working on another boat in his basement when Bishop rushes over. She wants to know what is going on with Chen. She wants to know how Gibbs can, “just stand there!” She quickly senses that something is up. Gibbs is in fact, NOT just standing there, he has a plan and he needs Bishop’s help! WOO HOO! Go, Gibbs, Go!

Gibbs wants to arrest Chen, even if he’s been told not to. Bishop is worried, they have to find Chen before then can arrest him and he’s always proven to be one step ahead, especially in airports. Gibbs and Bishop freeze, they hear someone enter Gibb’s house upstairs. They sneak up from the basement, guns drawn, and OH MY GOSH! Guess who’s in Gibb’s kitchen? CHEN! I can’t make this stuff up people, CHEN is legit in Gibb’s kitchen! He says, “I heard you wanted to see me.”

Bishop searches Chen. He isn’t armed. He makes a crack about Qasim, low blow! Chen says that he hasn’t killed anyone. Bishop tells him that they, “know about the attack on the electrical grid.” Chen says that they can’t arrest him. Gibbs is all, “Watch me!” Bishops slaps cuffs on Chen when he drops a huge bomb! THEY ARE NOW ON THE SAME TEAM! What? Who recruited Chen? How is that possible?

Gibbs marches into Vance’s office and he is pissed! He demands to know when Chen started working for/with the CIA. Jenna Flemming, the Congresswoman and Counter Terrorism contact, enters the room. Good news, she’s managed to find a corkscrew to open up the bottle of wine in Vance’s hands. I think Gibbs head might literally explode at this point.

Ooh! Vance doesn’t know about Jen working with the CIA either. Now he’s mad at the Congresswoman too! She finally admit that Chen came to them, “with an offer.” They finalized the deal today. Chen has agreed to help them find a Syrian warlord with ties to ISIS. She tells Gibbs that they are, “hitting the pause button,” on the Chen investigation until they have more evidence.

Reeves heads over to Bishop’s place. Bishop is really upset. She thinks the Syrian warlord doesn’t even hold an evil candle to Chen. She wants Chen to go down and she wants that to happen NOW! Reeves says, “Why don’t we find him!” Meaning, the Syrian warlord. If they find him, then the CIA doesn’t need Chen’s help. Bishop doesn’t want to wait, but Reeves makes a good point and might just convince her that his idea could work.

Bishop flashes back to the bowling alley. She’s with Qasim and she’s acting really weird. She’s giving logical reasons why they shouldn’t get engaged. He says that she’s, “hiding her feelings” behind her, “big brain.” He tells her that the world isn’t all zeros and ones (binary code).

The binary talk gives Bishop has an idea! She thinks she can crack Chen’s code, the music lyrics, but using binary code!


Gibbs and Bishop are in Abby’s lab. They’ve cracked the code and found a computer program, which is essentially a virus that will cause generators to explode at electrical plants all around the United States.

McGee and Gibbs head out of one door while Bishop heads out another. Abby is on to her!

Ah, turns out that Commander Turner was involved because Chen wanted her to buy old computers with the virus loaded in them.

Congresswoman Flemming shows up and apologizes for partnering with Chen. She wants Bishop to head up a call to debrief everyone on the situation while McGee writes an anti-virus code. Only problem? Bishop isn’t there. The Congresswoman says that she bumped into her in the parking lot. Gibbs tells Torres to call Bishop. When he does, the Congresswoman’s phone starts ringing. OOOOOH! Bishop used Torres’ trick, pickpocketed the Congresswoman’s phone and put her phone in its place.

Bishop is driving and won’t answer Vance’s calls. She sent Chen a text message before turning the phone off. Bishop pulls up to the radio tower compound. She has a card from Qasim in the car. Aw! It has pictures of them and a drawing of him proposing to her.

Bishop enters the house while Gibbs, Quinn, and Reeves are close on her tail. She waits in the house while Chen pulls up. Chen enters the house and is surprised to see Bishop. He says that he was, “expecting the Congresswoman.”

Bishop has another flashback. She told Qasim that she wasn’t ready to get engaged yet, but that she realized she needed to work on feeling things instead of just thinking about them. Qasim tells her he’ll wait. Man, this is sure sad! I wish she and Qasim could have a happily ever after ending!

Bishop makes a call on the cell and says, “I got him.” She tells him to put on handcuffs next to a generator. Chen is acting all tough and bad until Bishop tells him that she didn’t call the CIA, she tells him that she called the Syrians. She says that their American contacts are on their way over. Ooooh! Chen is panicking, but it’s too late, he’s already cuffed himself to the generator. Does anyone else think it might explode at this point? Will McGee use the software to kill Chen?

Chen tells Bishop to wait. He offers to pay her off. She isn’t having it. Called it! Bishop has a disk with the virus code. She places it in the generator and walks out of the house.

Gibbs and Quinn pull up as Bishop is walking back down to her car. A moment later, the house explodes. Looks like Chen’s generator virus worked.

Congresswoman Flemming tells Gibbs that he deserves a promotion. Gibbs reminds her that the Director’s spot is already taken. She asks, “What if there’s an opening?” Dang, if she’s dating Vance and planning on firing him all at the same time, that’s a whole new low. Saved by the door! Bishop walks down the steps and the Congresswoman shakes Gibbs hand, before turning and leaving.

Bishop wants to know, “How much trouble am I in?” She says that she did exactly what Gibbs would have done if he were in her position. Gibbs tells her that there is, “a price to pay” for going rogue.

Oh, how sad! The card with the marriage proposal was from Bishop to Qasim. It said, “YES!” She was going to give it to him the night he was murdered. She says that she, “can’t stop looking at it (the card),” but that she, “needs to,” so she hands it to Gibbs. Gibbs looks at the card and remains stoic, but I imagine his heart is breaking for Bishop right now.

*******
My Thoughts:

This was an intense episode. I didn’t think they would wrap up the Chen case so quickly.

Bishop’s flashbacks were very telling and terribly sad. I hate that Qasim was taken away from her and that she’ll have a huge hole in her heart for the rest of her life because of it.

The ending was interesting as well, is the Congresswoman offering to fire Vance? I can’t imagine that’s the case, but maybe she has a promotion planned for him as well?

One last note, thanks for being patient while I caught up on my reviews! I’ve been absolutely swamped and it feels so good to be caught back up!

Have you missed an episode? Need to catch up? Check out all of my other reviews right here, on SpoilerTV!



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