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NCIS – Love Boat – Review: “False Pretenses”

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NCIS – Love Boat – Review: “False Pretenses”

14.4 – “Love Boat”
Directed by Terrence O’Hara
Writers: Donald P. Bellisario, Don McGill, & Christopher J. Waild
Reviewed by Kelly Anne Blount

We start the episode in a ship. I think I would go mental if I had to stay on a ship for long periods of time. This seems to be a bit of a different situation though. We meet Jen, a young sailor on a navy warship and her mother. Turns out they are on a Tiger Cruise, which is a special cruise offered by the Navy. The Tiger Cruise allows friends and family to tag along and live on the ship with their loved ones who are serving in the Navy.

What could possibly go wrong?

Jen is unloading boxes into “Elmer,” which is a trash compactor. Elmer appears to malfunction and when Jen goes to figure out what’s going on, she finds a woman’s body in between the crushed boxes.

Holy cow! McGee is planning out his proposal to Delilah! Bishop thinks it’s a great idea.

Gibbs, Quinn, and Palmer head off to the ship. Jimmy has brought nine different medications to combat seasickness. Aw, that Jimmy! He’s adorable and prepared!

Once they are on the ship, the team introduces themselves to the Navy Commander Eleadora Rey. Turns out she remembers Quinn and her very distinct nickname, “The Heartbreaker.”

Gibbs and Palmer both smile. They are adorable!

They have two days until they hit the shore and the Navy Commander wants the murder solved before anyone gets off the ship.

Jimmy asks why they call civilians tigers. The Navy Commander tells him that that information is classified. Palmer totally falls for it. Silly, Palmer!

They haven’t told many people on board about the murder. They describe the situation as “messy.”

The victim, Lt. Vivian Mills one of the ship’s navigators, had one “tiger” on board, her cousin. They agree to tell him quietly, as not to make a scene. By the time they get to the victim’s cousin, the news of Mills death has spread all over the ship and all over social media.

Ha ha, Bishop is reading tweets off the internet. Turns out #MurderBoat is trending and a very popular singer, Kasey Powers, has tweeted about the incident. She has millions of followers, so it’s safe to say the entire world could have knowledge about the murder.

Bishop also calls Kasey Powers her spirit animal and said that she helped her get through her divorce.

Turns out that Kasey is on board the ship doing publicity work. Interesting!

While Bishop and Torres go over the facts, like the victim has a clean record, McGee pulls the engagement ring out of his desk drawer. Does he seriously store it there? Silly, McGee!

How are Bishop and Torres not seeing the ring?

McGee asks Bishop to hang on to the ring until he proposes, which is six months away.

Ha ha ha! He asks Eleanor Bishop to please be his Frodo! Silly, McGee!

Gibbs and Quinn and interviewing the victim’s cousin. He said that it’s his first time on a Navy ship. He understandably upset.

Jimmy is talking to Ducky over a live feed. He’s really fixating on Quinn’s nickname. Ducky wants to get back to the matter at hand, which is the dead body and figuring out the cause of death. I want to gossip with Jimmy instead!

Ducky spots a piece of metal on the victim’s body, which doesn’t make sense because she was found in the cardboard compactor. On a ship, all of the garbage is carefully sorted, so a random piece of metal in the victim’s arm is definitely suspicious.

Abby comes to see Ducky in the morgue. She tells Ducky she doesn’t believe that he had food poisoning. She thinks he was sick and wants to swab his mouth to be sure. I think everyone in the lab is going to end up with the stomach flu by the end of the episode, what do you think? I hope he isn't sick with anything serious?

Abby figured out that the mystery metal in the victim’s arm is a piece of an antenna.

Quinn and Gibbs are interviewing potential suspects. Quinn is talking to someone who tell she her that he has been super seasick. He shows her his phone, which he allegedly puked on last night. His proof? He can’t even slide the button on the home screen over. Gross!

Gibbs interviews Navy Petty Officer Tyrell Brown. He has brought what appears to be his kid brother with him on the Tiger Cruise. The younger sibling is being disrespectful and Tyrell isn’t having any of it!

Gibbs and Quinn hear shouting in the hallway. It turns out to be Kasey Powers’ press agent in charge of her good will tour. He’s shouting at a man who is trying to get an autograph for his daughter. This PR guy is giving off a weird vibe.

The Navy Commander has news for Gibbs. She said that after their drill last night, everyone was accounted for except one tiger, Stuart Baxter. Turns out Stuart is the brother of Jen, the sailor who found the body. When asked where her brother is, Jen tells them that he cancelled due to car trouble. Uh oh! Is there an imposter tiger on the ship? Looks like the answer to that question is, “YES!”

Jen is talking to Quinn. She talks to her brother and tells him to get his bottom to NCIS headquarters. Quinn and Jen talk about how difficult it is to be a female sailor on a ship. I would fail terribly at this position, so I can only barely begin to imagine how difficult it must be to spend a day or two in their shoes!

Meanwhile back at NCIS headquarters, McGee and Bishop are talking about the safest place to hide the ring. Delilah interrupts them and freaks out McGee. He of course acts like a big weirdo. Oh, McGee!

Torres tells them that Abby has found a clue. He flies a drone in for special effects. The antenna which was found in the victim’s arm belonged to a similar drone.

According to the team, drones have been used for a number of reasons near Navy vessels lately and one of their biggest concerns is that the drones are trying to steal intel.

Quinn is shuffling cards. Apparently she’s bored? Or perhaps she’s just trying to make the victim’s cousin feel a little bit more at home. She deals him a hand and she reels him in with ease. Turns out the victim’s cousin is in to drones. Interesting! Quinn asks if he or his cousin brought a drone on to the ship. He tells her that they didn’t and he gets annoyed that she is secretly trying to interrogate him.

Quinn suddenly has a revelation. Her nickname wasn’t “The Heartbreaker,” it was “The Queen of Hearts.” She liked to play cards in the mess hall. She thinks it was a good way to get to know people. The victim’s cousin is getting edgy and says that he wants a lawyer. Way to go, Quinn…

Torres and Abby are hanging out in in the lab garage. I want one of those fun NCIS onesies. They are investigating Jen’s little brother, Stuart. Torres says that Stuart couldn’t get on the base because he said that his license was stolen and that he had problems with his radiator. While under Stuart’s car, Abby finds out that his radiator was indeed broken and whomever fixed it did a shoddy job. She also deduces that the original radiator, which is still in the car was punctured in two spots. The holes look like perfect circles, perhaps from a screwdriver. Looks like somebody didn’t want Stuart on that ship! Abby for the win!

Quinn interviews Kasey Powers. Her PR man is also her lawyer. He tells Kasey to be quite and not say anything. Dead end.

Quinn is trying to get the Navy Commander to give her some more time. The request is denied.

I used to live about 20 minutes from Norfolk, VA. I even earned my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Old Dominion University, which is located in Norfolk, VA. Whenever I watch this show I can’t help but feel a bit like I’m back in VA… Memories!

Blunt force trauma to the dead caused by a wooden stick used to push the cardboard down. Those are Ducky’s findings.

Aw, Jimmy confesses that he puked all over the evidence bags in the helicopter on the way back to NCIS headquarters. Poor, Jimmy!

Abby and McGee are catching up on the case and on the ring Bishop is holding for McGee. Abby thinks that the ring and the proposal are perfect. I bet that McGee ends up proposing much sooner. What do you think?

Back to the case, Abby finds more than plastic in one of the special disks created by a machine on the ship. She finds the missing drone and it had a camera. The footage shows Kasey Powers in a restricted space with several sailors. Whammy!

Gibbs and Quin pay Kasey and her lawyer a little visit. Turns out she has polyps on her vocal chords and she just had surgery last week. She can’t sing for several months, but she didn’t want to be cooped up either. Her grandfather was in the Navy, so apparently the tiger cruise a.k.a. the #MurderBoat seemed like a good place to hang out.

She said the Navy was the one who wanted her to go to restricted places on the boat. They thought it would help with recruitment. Allegedly, anything that was confidential or classified was removed from the space or turned off before she entered anywhere restricted.

The lawyer says that they weren’t he ones filming, that it was another tiger.

Torres is trying to use McGee’s computer. He’s struggling. He thinks that his super powers are kicking in doors, not using the computer.

Bishop has decided to keep McGee’s ring locked up in a drawer at work. McGee shuts it down.

Ooh! They have footage of Stuart’s gym, specifically footage in the locker room. Doesn’t that sound like a lawsuit waiting to happen? Anyways, they find out who stole Stuart’s license. DANG! I didn’t see that one coming! It is the guy who asked for Kasey’s autograph in the very beginning of the show. He said he wanted it for his nine-year-old daughter.

Uh oh! Man overboard. That’s a good way to disappear!

The bad guy is swimming toward the pier. Looks like he might just get away. NOT! Gibbs and Quinn stop him in his tracks.

The man says that he didn’t kill anyone and that he wasn’t breaking the law for evil purposes. Instead, he’s a paparazzo who wanted to get exclusive footage of Kasey Powers. He wanted exclusive footage. What a lame wad.

He says that before he could get his drone working for an aerial shot, a man and a woman came into the room. Not wanting to get caught, he tossed the drone in the trash, with the thoughts that he would retrieve it later.

The man says that the woman and the man that came into the room were fighting and that the man hit the woman with the wooden stick a.k.a. the murder weapon. He said the man dumped her body.

The paparazzo claims he didn’t see the killer’s face and that he ran the moment he could get away.

Ooh! Looks like we found the real killer! One of the tigers on the ship was just using it as a free ride in order to get easy access to the base in Norfolk. He has a record for substance abuse and domestic abuse. Turns out his ex-wife, who is a Naval Lieutenant and son now live on the base and she just took a restraining order out on her ex-husband three days ago.

Uh oh!

We cut over to a playground and the ex-husband is trying to convince his son’s nanny that he got the okay to pick up his son from the playground. He tells his son that they are going on a trip. That doesn’t sound good! The nanny says that she is going to call the boy’s mother to confirm the father’s story. She isn’t buying it either.

Double uh oh! The man has a gun in his lap!

Before the father can start the car, Gibbs, McGee, and Torres show up. The man has his gun in his lap, but Gibbs talks him into surrendering. Go, Gibbs!

Gibbs then tells the kid that his mommy is coming soon. He asks what he wants to do in the meantime and throws out, getting a cup of coffee as an option. The cute little kid, Brock, smiles. Gibbs is so good with kids! Aw!

Quinn and McGee meet with the victim’s cousin. Turns out that the victim knew about the denied visitation rights and she was friends with the killer’s ex-wife. She was going to tell his ex-wife that he was coming to the base, so he shut her up, permanently.

Quinn says that the victim was killed trying to do the right thing.

Aw, it turns out that the guy wasn’t cousins with the victim after all. They were dating. Aw! That’s really sad.

The necklace on the victim was a gift from her boyfriend.

The victim’s boyfriend says that he only has one regret, that he gave her a necklace instead of a ring. That hits McGee hard. He asks Quinn to finish up and he bursts out of the interrogation room to retrieve the ring.

He’s totally going to propose! I called it!

McGee joins Delilah, who is riding up the elevator to visit him. He pulls a Gibbs and stops the elevator. He rambles a bit about symmetry and trash compactors, before he says that he can’t waste any more time. AW! He gets down on one knee and proposes to Delilah! And guess what? She says, “YES!” Talk about a sweet ending!

My Thoughts:

This episode had a lot of twists and turns. I thought the singer man have had something to do with it, but never in a million years would I have guessed that the one guy was a paparazzo and that the killer was just using the tiger cruise as a way to get to onto the Navy base in Norfolk!

I’m glad it ended relatively well. The victim’s story was super sad, but Gibbs and the crew ended up saving the little boy, so that’s good.

What did you think of the episode? Did you predict McGee’s proposal too? Leave a comment with your thoughts below!

About the Author - Kelly Anne Blount
Kelly Anne Blount is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author and Host of the Wattpad Block Party. She resides in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with her husband and their furry rescues. Although she loves writing horror and dark thriller novels with disturbing psychological twists, Kelly is an admitted scaredy-cat and she’s terrified of the dark. When she’s not writing, you can find her lost in a good book, on a hike with her husband, or indulging in a Netflix marathon.

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