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NCIS - Lost in Translation - Review: "Blood brothers"



The latest NCIS episode focussed on a supposed terrorist that actually turned out not to be one. Also, McGee is set to become the new face of NCIS.

We start with the murder of Marine Captain David Landis, who was tied to a chair and gruesomely tortured. His friend, Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Wilks, tried to catch the murderer, but was stabbed. A witness, Ken Ashmore, says he saw a young Middle Eastern man in his 20s running away. Abby indeed matches a fingerprint on the chair to Qasim Naasir, an Afghan native who is suspected of having links to the Taliban. His brother Rasheed has claimed credit for more than 100 deaths in Afghanistan. McGee and Tony later bring Qasim in, who claims he is not a terrorist. This is later confirmed by Bishop, who thinks that Qasim and Rasheed's real least name is Mattar and that their parents were killed by the Taliban. The Taliban subsequently brainwashed both children, and while Rasheed made the choice to side with them, Qasim did not. He is probably in the US to hide from them. Sergeant Wilks confirms this and tells the team that he and Landis brought Qasim to the US after he saved them following an IED that hit their vehicle. Rasheed has now put a bounty on his brother's head and Landis was presumably tortured for Qasim's location. Now, Rasheed goes to plan B and kidnaps a US Corporal in Afghanistan, demanding Qasim's life in exchange for his.

Bishop, Gibbs and Qasim head to Afghanistan. On their way, Bishop tells Qasim that, as an NSA analyst, she was stationed in Afhanistan and Pakistan for 18 months and that she lost a co-worker there. In DC, Tony and McGee manage to identify Landis' killer: Ken Ashmore. In Afghanistan, the Navy Colonel tells Gibbs he is not turning over Qasim and Gibbs agrees. However, Qasim takes matters in his own hands and takes a jeep from the unit. That jeep is later found, but without Qasim. Fortunately, McGee and Tony manage to track down Rasheed's location and give the coördinates to Gibbs. Gibbs wants one vehicle with Bishop going into the village, but Bishop doesn't agree. She thinks she is better at analyzing than out there in the field, but Gibbs says he got her back. So Bishop drives to the village, but is stopped by a guard, to which she claims she's a doctor. Rasheed has Qasim in a room, but the guard brings Bishop in. However, that guard turns out to be Gibbs who shoots Rasheed. Qasim is safe and as a surprise, he can come to the US if he applies for a special immigrant application. Also, while that is being processed, he can work as a translator at NCIS.

Meanwhile, McGee has been chosen as the new face of NCIS and Tony is not too pleased with this. A huge figure of McGee is later brought into the office and, much to Tony's dislike, Gibbs even thinks it looks good on Tim. The recruitment brochure also has McGee's face on it. Tony later uses the figure to demonstrate how the attacker killed Landis. When the case is closed, Tony apologizes to McGee and says he is very supportive of him becoming the new face of NCIS. This pleases McGee, but seconds later he reveals that it was all a late April Fools joke. While Tony initially screams that this isn't over, he later smiles and says: "I've taught them well."

This was a nice and interesting episode. The case was different than usual and it was refreshing to get a supposed terrorist that was actually not a terrorist. The thematic aspect of brothers was highlighted in various ways in this episode. Rasheed and Qasim were blood brothers, but they got separated to such an extent that one wanted the other dead. Rasheed had found new brothers in the Taliban, while Qasim found them in Landis and Wilks. It was a very interesting story. We also saw a lot of interactions between our brotherly NCIS duo, Tony and McGee. Their dynamic is always fun even though one or the other can be a bit childish. Of course, Tony's reaction at first was rather childish, but I really liked it at the end when he showed his support because he and McGee are friends. When he found out it was a joke, his reaction was hilarious as well. First he was angry at Tim and Jim for pulling this prank on him, but when they were away he smiled and said he taught them well. That was great!

I am not sure what to think about Bishop's behavior during this episode. Her story about the deceased co-worker was a bit tragic, but I'm not sure what the point of it was. Also, why was she insubordinate to Gibbs? Is she really afraid to get out in the field? She must have known this was never a desk job. At the NSA, she might have been an analyst, but now at NCIS she is a (probationary) agent. Gibbs was right to tell Bishop that her job is to do what he tells her to do. If you can't do that and you really don't want to do field work, then you should just quit already. I understand that Bishop is struggling with her new job and I appreciate the show trying to acknowledge that, but she's been on the show for a while now so she should be used to the field work.

What did you think of "Lost in Translation"? How did you feel about the case of the week? Did you enjoy the story about the two brothers where one wanted the other dead? What do you think about the late April Fools prank McGee pulled on Tony? And lastly, what are your opinions towards Bishop's behavior during this episode? I would love to hear your comments in the section below.

The next NCIS episode, "Troll", airs Tuesday at 8/7c on CBS. It will be the first episode of a story arc about a terrorist group recruiting young people via the internet. The arc will also end the life of someone we know, a loss that has been described as "surprising", "emotional", "someone very close to us" and "very significant". I am excited for the story arc, but I hope we won't lose a major character. Here is a promo for episode 22:



About the Author - Daniel van der Veer
Daniel van der Veer is a Dutch university student studying Psychology. On SpoilerTV he is a reviewer of NCIS, The 100, Stalker, Madam Secretary and the upcoming show American Odyssey. He also enjoys LOST, Arrow, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Nikita, The Blacklist, Scorpion and How To Get Away With Murder.
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