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NCIS - M.I.A. - Review: “Keep Fighting”

NCIS - M.I.A. - Review: “Keep Fighting”

14.18 - “M.I.A.”
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Written by Jennifer Corbett
Reviewed by Kelly Anne Blount

We start out this episode with a solider in the hospital with his lieutenant. The solider, Collins, offers his lieutenant a sip of his RC Cola, that is classic right there! She looks very sick and has lost her hair, but Collins manages to make her smile for a few seconds. Her smile vanishes when someone on the floor crashes.

As Collins and the lieutenant watch the doctors try to save the person from dying, the lieutenant says that it’s time for her to go because, “she’s tired.” Collins tells her to hang on a little bit longer, because she made him a promise and he wants her to keep it. He’s either being really sweet (i.e., He wants her to fight for her life and not give in) or, he’s being a huge jerk (i.e., She did something bad and can’t die before it’s rectified, etc.). What do you think? She agrees to hang on a little bit longer as he walks away…

WAIT! WHAT? It looks like she was having an out of body experience! She watched the doctors revive herself! Whoa. Does that Collins is dead too? You totally fooled me, NCIS writers! Good job!

Ha ha! Torres is struggling, like as in hung over. He is sitting in a booth with McGee and Bishop. Quinn shows up a few seconds later. Turns out they are all training for a marathon. Quinn and Torres insist on eating before the run. That is a recipe for disaster!

Torres brags about his time, which is next to impossible. He claims his, “boy is a work of art.” Oh, Torres.

Quinn and Torres tell Bishop and McGee to get a “head start,” and say that they will, “catch up with them after they eat.”

Looks like Gibbs has a visitor, a retired General. He has bad news, he tells Gibbs that his daughter, the lieutenant, is dying and that, “she’s the reason,” he came to see Gibbs. He says, “We need your help.”

Gibbs visits the General’s daughter in the hospital. She thanks him from coming and tells him that she has advanced stage four ovarian cancer. Gibbs asks what can he do to help? The lieutenant says that she needs, “closure.”

Ahhhhh! She tells Gibbs that one of her sailors, Petty Officer David Collins, was lost at sea during her last deployment. That’s who she was talking to in the very first scene of the show! Interesting! His body was never recovered and it was reported as an “accidental man overboard.”

The Lieutenant said that Collins showed up with a black eye shortly before he went missing. She says she tried to look into it, but then she got sick. She feels guilty for “failing him.” She begs Gibbs for help and concludes the conversation with, “I’m running out of time!”

Looks like Torres and Quinn won the race. Bishop and McGee are not happy about it. Especially since they had a ten minute lead.

The team discusses the case and while it was ruled accidental, it looks like there could be more to it.

McGee and Torres head to the ship to investigate. Looks like a lose railing (it has a fancy name) played a part in Collins’ death. They think the pin holding the railing up came lose and Collins, who was in the area at the time, fell in as a result of the fallen railing.

Gibbs and Ducky head back to see Lauren, the Lieutenant, and her father at the hospital. She jokes, “I know I may not look it, but I’m not dead yet.” Ducky offers to talk to a friend about a potential new program that is for people with cancer. Lauren gives Ducky permission to talk to his friend.

Quinn and Bishop interview someone from the ship. She says that it doesn’t make sense, Collins shouldn’t have been leaning on the railing, he should have known better. They ask her about Collins’ black eye. She says her boyfriend, Petty Officer Baxter, punched Collins while they were in Panama. The fight happened when Baxter had too much to drink and he started yelling his girlfriend. Collins punched him. The woman that they are interviewing broke up with Baxter as a result of the incident. Baxter started dating someone else immediately and didn’t seem too bothered by the incident.

McGee and Torres visit Petty Officer Baxter. They bring up the fight he had with Collins. Baxter says that Collins was, “breaking more rules then anyone.” He says that Baxter was dating the lieutenant, Lauren, which is against the rules.

Gibbs heads down to see Abby, who has some major news. She found Petty Officer Collins’ blood on the railing. She also found bleach, which is never used by the Navy on the deck, because it is “too coercive.” Looks like someone tried to clean up Collins’ blood.

Quinn and Torres visit Lauren in the hospital. They tell her that Collins’ death was most likely not an accident. They ask if she was in a relationship with Collins. She immediately know that Baxter was the one who told them about her and Collins being in a relationship. Lauren says that she was NOT in a relationship with Collins, she was helping him apply for a commission. Torres looks incredible uncomfortable in the hospital room.

Ha ha! Torres posted McGee’s run time online, so Abby makes him a smoothie. Ha ha! It has Caf Pow in it. Gibbs pulled the, “I just ate,” excuse so he doesn’t have to try the smoothie.

Abby and McGee found that the ship Collins and Lauren were on, was responsible for several drug busts. Turns out the drugs that were seized and brought to Norfolk (to be destroyed/used as evidence?) later showed up on the streets in another country! Interesting! Looks like someone was taking the drugs after they had been turned back in and selling them on the streets.

Bishop asks Torres what’s wrong. He won’t admit anything is wrong.

Gibbs joins the team. Only 12 sailors had access to the drugs. Petty Officer Nicole Trainor, one of the 12, has 100k in the bank and her account has seen sizeable activity.

Quinn and McGee head to Nicole’s apartment. She lives in a really rough complex. When they knock, no one answers. With a boost from McGee, Quinn spots Nicole’s body, she’s dead.

Gibbs thinks that Nicole’s death, which appears to be a heroin overdose, was staged. Gibbs tells Torres to go to the hospital to protect Lauren Ellison, the Lieutenant. Torres does not want to go and makes it super clear. Gibbs tells him to go anyways. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

Torres heads off without another word, while Bishop watches the super awkward exchange.

Nicole, who died of the heroin overdose, was murdered. Someone restrained her and then gave her a fatal dose of heroin. She had tissue under her nails, which Ducky gave to Abby to run DNA.

OOOOOOH! Abby got a hit on the DNA! Guess who it belongs to? HOLDEN BAXTER! The big jerk!

The team heads to the ship to find Baxter. He’s off the ship for lunch. He runs when McGee calls his name. McGee chases and tackles him to the ground. Get him, McGee!

Torres is at the hospital with Lauren and his behavior is super off! He isn’t speaking to Lauren, he’s just giving a whole lot of attitude. Lauren sees right through it. She can tell that Torres has lost someone to cancer, someone he was close to, but he’s not ready to admit it yet.

McGee and Quinn have Baxter in an interrogation room. Baxter says, “it’s not what it looks like,” and that he visited Nicole the night before. He said he was just, “trying to protect her.” Collins suspected that Nicole was the one stealing the drugs. Baxter said that he confronted Nicole about stealing the drugs. She said that she did steal the drugs, but that someone else, who was scary, made her steal them. Baxter said that he, “thought he was doing the right thing.”

Torres and Lauren’s dad are having coffee. Her dad says that she was turned down for Ducky’s friend’s new treatment program. He feels helpless, as he can’t help his daughter and that she’s going to die. This scene has me in tears.

Gibbs heads to Vance’s office. The Sec Nav called and wants answers now. She told Vance that she’ll do whatever it takes to assist in solving and closing the case. Gibbs says, “Good, I need a favor.”

Torres is still with Lauren. They are outside and he’s worried about her. He gives her his coat. They have a heart to heart. Aw, Torres lost the love of his life to cancer when they were in high school. He and Lauren have a breakthrough and it’s really touching. Another scene from this episode has left me in tears!

McGee and Bishop tell Gibbs about how the drugs were seized and brought on the ship. After each shipment was brought on the ship, the officers were supposed to be searched by a superior officer. The same officer signed off on every single shipment, that later showed up elsewhere or stolen, Officer Michael Vinton. Michael has been divorced twice, lost his house, and has been passed up for promotions eight times. He is also being forced to retire. Yikes!

Quinn and Gibbs confront Vinton on the ship. He killed Collins after he found out about the drugs. Then, he killed Nicole, because she was a “liability.” They got their bad guy! Go team!

Back at the office, Bishop and McGee confront Quinn. They hacked her fitness app and found out she was lying about her run. That’s some intense competition. She admits that Torres actually did run and that he’s “that fast.” Oh, Torres! I’m liking him more and more.

Gibbs tells Lauren and her father that they caught the man responsible for Collins and Nicole’s murders. Lauren is relieved, but feels bad that Collins’ life and career was cut short. Gibbs tells them that he has been posthumously commissioned rank of _______ (Officer? I didn’t catch it, even after rewinding like three times). Lauren thanks Gibbs.

Aw, Torres shows up to see Lauren. He and Gibbs “are good,” now, but he wants to keep spending time with Lauren. She gives him her service warfare pin. It’s a very special and meaningful gesture. She says it’s like the photo Torres received from his ex, it’s a way that he knows they’ll remember him too. Torres makes her promise to, “keep fighting,” no matter what the doctors say. She agrees, but she says he has to promise her that when he “looks at that pin,” to think of someone he helped, not someone who died. He agrees.

The episode ends with Torres propping his leg on the bed and turning on the TV. Lauren is pleasantly surprised that he’s sticking around, so am I!

My Thoughts:

What an emotionally charged episode! Man, I was in tears at least twice!

I really enjoyed Torres’ character growth in this episode. I feel a lot closer to him. I’m thinking Quinn will be next on the list of a breakthrough when she sheds some light on her family’s history and/or background. What do you think?

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