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NCIS - High Tide - Review

NCIS - Double Down - Review

15.11 - "High Tide"
Directed by Tony Wharmby
Written by David J. North and Steven D. Binder
Reviewed by KathM

We open at the Civilian Marina port in Norfolk near the base with an elegant yacht sitting alone at the dock.

Cue Dork.

He’s on the phone with a friend all excited because it’s his birthday and he’s ordered a little “something”. He wishes his friend could be there (not like that!) to see how awesome the yacht he rented is and blah blah blah.

Someone knocks, and the dork hangs up his phone, swallows a mint and asks whoever it is to come in. Close-up of a woman's incredibly high heels and then the camera pans all the way up her shapely legs to her sinfully short, black skirt past her tiny waist and up to her face where we find...Bishop. Wait, what? Yes, it's Ellie Bishop, resplendent in a short, body-hugging black dress, more makeup than usual and huge hoop earrings. Her eyes are focused directly on Dork Boy; it's not a come-hither look, it's much more frighteningly intense than that. Kind of a “mine” look. The dork is stunned as he murmurs, “Happy Birthday to me,” which it would be if Bishop were a call-girl who would normally cost him a year's salary or more.

But Bishop drops sultry and goes for all business as she stalks across the room, tossing her purse onto the couch and asking, “You call for a date?” She reminds him that he only gets an hour and its cash up front before they even get around to talking about his birthday. Dork Boy doesn't see it that way, he wants to party first and pay later. He roughly pulls Bishop to him and she deflects him by insisting on a drink first. But dork-boy has been drinking all day, he whines. He could, however, use a massage. Bishop gives him an, “Of course you would,” look. Suddenly Torres bursts into the room, acting all boyfriendy and possessive and jealous. Ah, undercover op! Bishop and Torres establish themselves as “Charlie”, a possible call girl but maybe just someone looking to make some extra cash and “Luis”, her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend, depending on who you ask. Torres/Luis and Dork Boy get into an argument which was definitely not in the ad Dork Boy replied to, be we don’t care because what Torres/Luis is really doing is creating a cover for Bishop/Charlie to clone Dorky's cell phone. I do not know the name of the device, so I’ll just call it Cloner. When finishes downloading all the info from the Dorklets phone, Bishop/Charlie slips cloner back into her purse, ready to roll. Scared because Torres/Luis threatened to beat him up, Dorky tosses a large number of bills on the table and instructs them to get out. Which they do, Bishop/Charlie storming out with Torres/Luis is hot on her heels, shouting her name and trying to catch up with her. Shot of a relieved Dork Boy as Torres and Bishop make their way along the dock. Torres is playfully telling “Charlie” that he can't live without her as Bishop holds up the Cloner and smiles. They have what they need! They climb into a large van where they upload Turner's cell phone info (Dork Boys name is Turner, we learn) to McGee in MTAC. Gibbs asks if everything went okay and Torres says yes, although Bishop nearly ruined it because she slapped Turner/Dork Boy's hand away from her and she shouldn't have. Bishop informs him that she doesn't give away free samples and gives Torres a back story about “Charlie” (three kids to feed and a sick Nana with shingles down in Boca) that impresses him. The Cloner worked, and has allowed McGee to mirror the phone so they'll be able to monitor everything that happens.

But Vance, also in MTAC, is not impressed. He thought they were going to bring Turner in for questioning. There are 1,000 grams of fentanyl being smuggled into the base every month, and he wants is stopped before more lives are destroyed. Torres tells him that Turner is just a street dealer, and they the better move is to follow him to see where he goes and what he does. Gibbs just wants to know where the drugs came from, because he's a bottom-line kind of guy. All they know so far is that the drugs are being smuggled in from the Norfolk Civilian Marina, Bishop tells him. But wait, McGee can see via the cell mirror that Turner is getting a text from a burner phone right now! It says, “you know who says they're coming to cop a fifty pack. put a bullet in their head instead.” Torres seems confused about whether to intervene, because if they do then they'll blow their cover. Spoken just like a guy who's been on deep undercover ops where they just let everything play out and stay in character regardless. Vance reminds them that they can't just sit by while a murder happens, and Bishop and Torres get out of the car and approach the boat. Bishop wants to know how they'll do this; one of them at the stern and one at the bow? Oh no my lovelies, Torres wants to use the Torres Triple Play! He has a thing, y'all! Just like Gibbs has his Rules. While they walk down the dock toward the boat Torres begins to give us the origin story of the Triple Play while McGee tries to run a trace on the burner phone so...then the boat explodes and there are other things on everyone’s mind.

The next day Gibbs, McGee, and Reeves are looking over the wreckage at the marina. I’m so happy Reeves is there! Don’t see him nearly enough. He picks up a long, thin black piece of something that Gibbs identifies as the heel of a woman’s shoe. Turns out that even though they don't think Bishop and Torres were close enough to the boat for anything to happen to them, nobody has heard from either one of them since the explosion. Oh. The Coast Guard find a body and pull it out of the water, then ferry it over to the dock for Gibbs and Co. to possibly identify. Drum roll...it's Dork Boy Turner, RIP. Reeves calls Palmer to come and fetch Turner while Gibbs and McGee note that besides being close to the center of the explosion, Turner was shot point-blank in the head. But wait, I thought Turner was supposed to be the one doing the hit. Now we're all baffled.

The boys are pulled from their reverie by the arrival of the owner of the boat, an annoying man who says he owns not one but four boats at the marina. Three, McGee reminds him. He admits to renting out the boat to Turner, whose money was as green as anyone else's. Once he sees Turner's body he also says that he was a nice enough kid. McGee gets a text from Bishop that they're okay, and more things are right with the world.

Is “We're Okay” a code phrase? Because next thing you know Gibbs is sitting at his diner with a cup of coffee waiting for Bishop and Torres to arrive. When they do Torres tells Gibbs that despite knowing that protocol dictates that they should have reported in immediately, he also says that “when an op goes sideways like that you stay down until you know which way is up.” This is known as the Torres Two-Step. Then Vance arrives, and you know there's the potential for someone being grounded. He's looking for a Sit-Rep, and since the mountain that is Bishop and Torres won't come to Mohammad, Vance decides to go to them. They tell Gibbs (and by extension, Vance) that the explosion was near enough to them to knock them on their asses but that was it. They then snuck away and spent the night messing with the clone of Turner's cell. Torres says that they now know where the drugs are coming from, and the he and Bishop need to get back undercover to continue the op. They didn't spend two weeks establishing their characters just to go to the hospital and get checked out like Gibbs ordered them to do. Vance said they could already been made and had their covers blown and Torres laughs at him. Laughs. At Leon. It wasn't a big 'ol belly laugh or anything but still. Once he realizes that Vance is serious, Torres apologizes and tells him (with all due respect) that he does not get made. Vance backs up Gibbs' order to go and get themselves checked out at the hospital.

Back in the Bull Pen McGee and Reeves update Gibbs on their part in the search for the fentanyl dealers. Turner was getting his drugs from Young Young, who owns a boat and supply store at the civilian marina. Months of texts provide more than enough evidence for Gibbs and McGee to head out to pick him up. He isn't the leader of the pack, but he's higher up than Turner so he'll do. They get to the marina but before they can even get out of the car they see Torres amble into the store. Torres, who was supposed to be at the hospital. Torres, who defied a direct order from Gibbs. This better be good.

When “Luis” enters the store, he sees Young sarcastically testing the knowledge two young women by asking them the capital of the state their obviously fake ids tell him they're from. They leave, defeated, and Torres/Luis steps up with the right answer (the fake ID was from Maine, who’s capital is Augusta). He insinuates himself with a suspicious Young by giving him the Cloner, claiming that he and his “girlfriend” have been playing an identity-theft scam for years. She plays the escort, then her “boyfriend” comes in and argues with the Mark/Idiot while “Charlie” clones their phone and now they now have access to all kind of information ripe for using to become someone else. They’re doing good, but not as well as Young. And don't worry, Torres/Luis isn't going to blackmail you, Young, so put the gun you have your hands on under the counter away. Torres/Luis wants a job.

But before you take that pretend job, Nicky, you need to go see Daddy and Papa about your actual one. Vance is furious, reminding Torres that he disobeyed a direct order, which it seems Torres misinterpreted as a suggestion. Ouch! He's defensive and blasé, telling them that he got Bishop and himself jobs on Young's crew. Great, Leon shouts, two of his best agents are going to be wandering around the pier selling drugs. Better than masquerading as a pimp and a prostitute, Torres shrugs. He wants Gibbs and Vance to know that he and Bishop are moving up the food chain and getting closer to the dealer. His risk was worth it, even though it potentially put he and Bishop in danger. He can close this, he knows he can. We don't have a lot of leads, says Torres. Divers just recovered the gun, says Vance. It has no serial number, Gibbs reminds him. It suddenly comes to Vance that Gibbs knew that Torres was going to wander off and do his own thing. Gibbs smirks. I have no idea. Vance tells Torres that the insubordination conversation will be taking place later, but for now Torres should continue his undercover op. As they leave Torres asks Gibbs if he knew that Torres would go off on his own like that. Gibbs smirks, and I have no idea whether he know or not. But I think he had an inkling.

NOTE: I do not ship Vance/Gibbs. I see them both as strong leaders who advocate for and protect their agents to the best of their ability. They're like bears with their cubs (or possibly birds of prey, although I prefer mammals), watching over them and snarling at anyone who might harm them. The cubs need to pay attention to their parents, though, and not wander off to do whatever. And yes, I get the bear analogy, but leave me alone. Do you know how much snow I’ve shoveled in the last 48 hours??

In the lab, Abby and Bishop are getting test slugs for the gun by firing into one of those thingies that fires the bullets through water or something and embeds them in a thing so they can see if the bullet patterns match the inside of the gun. If someone else can explain this more succinctly, that would be great. Bishop is working her anger out by shooting bullets into the device, while complaining to an increasingly nervous Abby about Torres. “And then, he left me,” BANG, BANG! “Alone in the hospital,” BANG! BANG! Got it? Good. Abby gently takes the gun away from Bishop while telling her that she already has enough bullets to confirm that the gun they got out of the water was the murder weapon, and Bishop apologies. No worries, says Abby, she's sure that Torres feels bad about what he did. No, not really. Not if the way Torres saunters into the room declaring himself “The Man” says anything He wants to tell her they have permission to continue the op, and she wants to remind him that they're supposedly a team. But that isn't always how it works, Torres tells her, and then tells her about life under cover. Things move fast, you may be forced to do things you don't think are right, but it feels right. you're in “the zone”, it's how you stay alive. While Bishop and Torres stand looking at one another Abby takes their picture, apropos of nothing. Except, it would seem, to capture the moment. Abby then goes on to explain that the gun found in the water is the gun used in the shooting (duh!). But even though the gun's serial number was filed off, Abby was able to use a new technique called electron backscatter diffraction (which is a thing) to get the serial number. Thanks, Abby! The owner is Denise Mancuso, who is a science teacher on the base. Abby sends the information to McGee because Bishop and Torres have to go push dope at the marina.

Sloane, kitted out in some kind of black dress with leather bits here and there that Emma Peel would adore, is tossing darts at her dartboard when Vance comes in. She's going out later so she's using the dart board instead of the punching bag to clear her mind because she'd prefer to get sweaty that night in another way. Go on, woman! As long as you stay away from Gibbs, you can sweat with whomever you like.

Sloan thinks he's looking for her thoughts on Denise, but Vance wants to talk about Torres. He understands that Torres was trained to use his instincts and follow what his gut tells him in order to survive undercover, but he's worried that Bishop might end up as collateral damage. Huh. Taking risks and following your gut, who does that remind you of? Gibbs. “That's all I need is two of 'em,” Vance laments. Sloane lets him pick out his own lollypop and Vance says he'll see her later. The whole purpose of this scene was to tell anyone who wasn't paying attention that Gibbs and Torres have some similar traits, and apparently a lolly will make Vance feel better about that.

Does anyone else notice that Vance still wears his wedding ring? It makes me sad and I wish he could meet someone and begin to move on with that part of his life. Not with someone like Congresswoman Flemming, which I think was more strategic flirting, but someone he could maybe settle down with, or at least have some fun. The kids are getting older and will be out of the house soon (do not get me started on how they could possibly continue to live there), and it's going to be lonely.

Lane, the owner of the boat that exploded at the beginning of the episode, is complaining to Donnie, Youngs's assistant, about only getting comp'd two scuba tanks from his million-dollar yacht. He wants to talk to Young, but he's out until 4:30 on a dive. Well, that's when Lane will be coming back, then. He doesn't scare me in the least. Bishop/Charlie and Torres/Luis enter during Lane's little tantrum and want to know where Young really is. He's in the back, Donnie tells them, but he only wants to see Bishop/Charlie because Torres/Luis already had his interview. No worries, says Bishop/Charlie; Torres/Luis can pick out a new bathing suit for her while he waits. Then she kisses him. No, really. Bishop kissed Torres. It was an undercover kiss, and more like a long peck, but still. Torres/Luis is completely confused about what just happened as Donnie approaches him and says it's time to get to work. Which ends up being loading scuba tanks into a truck, so they can be tested for something. No easy access to the drugs for Torres/Luis; at least, not yet.


Back at NCIS Denise Mancuso is waiting in interrogation. She was picked up at her school's science fair, where she was baking cookies in a solar oven. Mint chip. But while Denise comes off like a squeaky-clean PTA mom at first glance, she has a lot of random things to justify when she meets up with Gibbs and McGee. First, she has no idea why she's there, so she begins confessing to all the borderline shady things she's done. The fake ID for one of her students? It was for a joke and she's really good at Photoshop. It was a prank, really. Not why you're here, Gibbs tells her. The cannabis in the school greenhouse? She has a card! Nope. It's about the gun, silly. McGee shows he pictures of Turner, dead and alive, then ask her if she's the one who snuck onto the boat, killed Turner, then blew up the boat. McGee shows her a picture of the gun; which Denise claims was stolen a year ago. This is about the normal amount of time characters on various shows say a gun was lost/stolen. But this gun was stolen by her crazy sister-in-law, Frankie Mancuso, who wears inappropriate t-shirts to Christmas gatherings but is still family. And you don't rat out family.

Young is on the phone in his back office talking with someone about moving more than his normal one kilo a month onto the base. Bishop/Charlie knocks on the door impatiently, using the incredibly poor Long Island/maybe New Jersey accent she keeps dropping. How people are buying her character, if that's where she's supposed to be from, is beyond me. I'm guessing it's her short skirt. He tells Bishop/Charlie that Luis/Torres has already had his “interview” and passed because he returned Young’s “stolen property”, but he needs to see what she's made of. Young has two truths about his crew: he's 100% loyal to his crew, and he expects the same in return. While he's telling Bishop/Charlie this he walks over to a person sitting generally behind Bishop/Charlie that she couldn't possible have missed and pulls off her hood. It's Frankie the flaky sister-in-law! Turns out she's the one who shot Turner; she was looking for a fix but Turner (Young's best earner) turned a gun on her so she shot him first. This is not okay, with Young, who thinks that Frankie should have just died, too, and since she didn't, he'd like Bishop/Charlie to shoot her. He hands her a gun, telling her to hurry because there's only one bullet so she'd better not miss. Bishop/Charlie aims the gun at Frankie when an alarm goes off and Torre/Luis comes in, telling Young and Bishop/Charlie that some kid pulled the fire alarm, so they need to get out of there. He's appalled to find Frankie there and Bishop/Charlie ready to kill her, so he deflects the shot and tries to convince Young to be smart and not get caught with a dead body. Bishop/Charlie says they should stick her in the van, drive off somewhere, then shoot Frankie and dump her body, which is not really the plan Torres/Luis had in mind. Looks like Bishop/Charlie may be putting her toe just a bit over the line.

In the Bull Pen Reeves is telling Gibbs they're still looking everywhere for Frankie when Bishop calls and tells them she has her. Gibbs is a bit worried about her, as Bishop seems excited about the rush of undercover work and “dropping bodies”. Frankie's all, “I can hear you, you know that, right?” But Frankie was always safe because Bishop and Torres used the Torres Trick, which involves pulling a fire alarm and then deflecting the shot your undercover partner has to take to try and kill someone for his undercover character to be convincing to whomever asked your partner to kill someone. “Your life was never in danger,” Bishop assures her. “It was a little in danger.” Frankie points out.

The thing is, Bishop/Charlie still has to kill her, so she heads over to the Navy Yard to see what Abby can come up with. Abby gussies Frankie up to look convincingly dead, then McGee takes some pictures to send to Young. Now Frankie needs to tell them everything about the drug operation, which she refuses to do. Bishop looks to Sloane for help, who decides that instead of using the Carrot and the Stick with Frankie, that she'll go full-on stick. This scene made me like Sloane, who I haven't had any warmth for all season. But when she takes a picture Frankie wearing a “Snitch” sign and then asks her which picture she'd like them to send to Young (dead Frankie or snitch Frankie)? Fabulous.

Meanwhile, Torres/Luis is still schlepping scuba tanks. He's in a little warehouse with Donnie unloading the tanks they have and getting ready to go back and get more. Torres/Luis will then move on to inventory and cleaning out the bait freezer. After that, Young will finally give him some product to see if Torres/Luis can earn his keep. Donnie gets a picture of dead Frankie and Torres/Luis takes a look at it. Is this what happens when you don't earn your keep? he asks Donnie. Nah, Donnie tells him. Frankie wasn't crew, she was just a harmless customer who got in too deep financially and became a liability.

Torres/Luis remarks that this is the life they chose, but Donnie tells him that this life chose him. When he was younger, maybe being a fireman or a teacher, even a cop. Then his mom got sick and Young's world was the fastest way to make money for her bills. (She had no insurance.) His mother eventually died. Torres/Luis tells him that it's never too late to be a teacher, and I’m thinking that he's a bit too attached to Donnie right now.

While they're talking Lane arrives looking for Young. He's unhappy to not find Young waiting for him, and Donnie says he'll go get him down at the docks. Lane wants Torres/Luis to know that he isn't anyone to screw with, and shows Torres/Luis his gun.

Back in the Bull Pen, Frankie is being taken away in handcuffs. They can protect her, Bishop promises. The name she gave up is Richard Lane, the man currently insisting he won't be screwed over at Youngs shop. He has a Cayman account filled with money that couldn't possibly all be made from renting out his four yachts (now three). Gibbs tells them to issue a BOLO, but Torres just texted them saying that Lane is at the marina and it looks like something might be going down. Gibbs has everyone gab their gear and he and McGee quickly follow Bishop to the elevator.

Young's store is dark and looks unoccupied as McGee works the lock free and he and Gibbs go inside. Bishop is watching the front, to her chagrin. They find some blood stains and Torres/Luis' burner phone on the ground, and it looks like it's been shot or stepped on. Suddenly they hear a noise and Young comes in from the back office, mop and bucket at the ready. He does the whole, “Um, hi, who are you? What's going on? I just work here, I don't see any blood.” Suddenly Bishop/Charlie comes through the front door, gun at the ready, and tells Gibbs and McGee that she doesn't see any blood, either. She proceeds to take their guns and she and Young tie them up in the back office. Young is on the phone with his boss, telling him that he didn't know where the Feds came from or how they found out about them. Meanwhile, Bishop is deliberately doing a crap job on the ropes and she tells Gibbs that he has no idea if what she's doing will work, but that it “feels right”. Oh good, it's contagious. Young says his boss wants him and Bishop/Charlie to take Gibbs and McGee out and shoot them, then they can bury the three bodies together. I’m sorry, three? And I, like Bishop/Charlie, suddenly want to know where Torres/Luis is. When Young leaves the room for a minute Gibbs asks for the plan, which Bishop doesn’t really have completely solidified in her mind. But she thinks the only way that they’ll find Torres is to follow along with the pretending to take Gibbs and McGee out and kill them front. Gibbs says he trusts her decision.

Meanwhile, Torres/Luis is driving along the highway with Donnie. Donnie, who has been shot in the arm by Lane. Torres/Luis wants to take him to the hospital, but Donnie won’t have it. Too many questions. They can go to the safe house; the crew has one outside of Baltimore where they can hide out. But Torres isn’t having it, there’s no way it’s safe now that Lane is dead (oops…spoiler!) and they have to lay low for a while, which puts them out of business for the foreseeable future and makes their “territory” open to loads of other drug gangs who no doubt wants them dead, so they can keep it. So, Donnie wants to know what they’re going to do, and Torres pulls off the road. Crap, this isn’t good. Because it’s not Torres/Luis pulling off the road, it’s TORRES. Who also wanted to be a fireman when he was a kid, too. Who wanted to be a lot of things back then (kid Torres as cowboy, anyone?). And now he has something he wants to tell Donnie. Just, no.

Young is ready to go back at the marina, but Bishop/Charlie is having none of it. Where is Torres/Luis? Young assures her Torres/Luis is fine, but McGee wants to put some doubt out there to unnerve Bishop/Charlie, and Gibbs just says that her boyfriend is dead. This makes Young hit Gibbs, which I don’t think is something you should do. Because Gibbs is something of a fan of hitting back. Just wait. Young is sure Torres/Luis and Donnie are on their way to the safe house in Baltimore, but Bishop/Charlie wants the whole story. In between grabbing a few large wads of cash out of a safe and displaying a dead Lane in what I think it the bait freezer that Torres/Luis and Donnie were supposed to clean, Young explains that Lane got in the way and was all loud and pulled a gun on him, so Young shot him. Because, if you haven’t noticed, Young’s coping skills are virtually nonexistent. Someone annoys you? Shoot ‘em! Gibbs wants to know if Young killed Lane as a play to take over the business, which makes Young laugh. Which is not good, because Lane wasn’t the boss, he was a tool. And tools can’t be bosses. He just supplied the boats, so people could rent them and visit exotic locations where they inadvertently become drug mules. The crew used part of the scuba tanks to hide the fentanyl inside and smuggle it into the country. Well, Gibbs has heard enough; time to untie himself and knock Young unconscious with some kind of paperweight. What did I say, Young? You don’t hit Gibbs.

But, wait. If Lane isn’t the boss, and Young isn’t the boss, who…

Torres is spilling all to Donnie in the car, which strikes me as completely out of character for someone who worked undercover for so many years. You just don’t pull over to the side of the road and tell some random guy that you and Bishop/Charlie are really Bishop and Torres, federal agents. Maybe he saw some of himself in Donnie, an innocent part he’d lost along the way. Torres thinks Donnie is a good person who got into a bad situation. Gonna tell that to a judge? Donnie wants to know. Torres tells him that they’re looking for his boss, and that if Donnie rolls over on that person and testifies against him, then he’ll be protected. Man, they are really stretching this out. Poor Torres, this is going to be ugly when Donnie reveals himself as the boss. Which he does, with a gun to Torres’s head and everything. He instructs Torres to get driving, which he does. Down the highway and into the night.

On the way down the hall to Interrogation Reeves tells Gibbs that while they can’t find the Baltimore safe house, they do manage to get Donnie’s car registration and have put out a BOLO. The car was sighted in Wilton, but it got away. Where in hell is Wilton? Gibbs gets to the Interrogation room just as Sloane exits, with a cheery Young thanking her for playing and wishing her better luck next time. He won’t break, Sloane tells Gibbs. Bishop is right, he’d really rather go to prison then give up the location of the safe house.

Gibbs disagrees, and wants a crack at Young. Sloane wants to watch in the observation room, but Gibbs isn’t having any of that. He just grins his Gibbs grin and tells her she can go back to her office, he’s got this. Yeah, he does! Sloane pretends to walk away, then slips into the observation room.

In the car Donnie decides that the time is right to offer Torres a job. He was impressed with Torres’ Luis performance, but he should have known something was up right away because Bishop? Way out of Torres’ league. A hot 10 to Torres’ seven. No, seven? I’d put him at least a nine. Still, any man who could look at Bishop the way he did after their kiss in the shop? Donnie thinks Torres deserves an Oscar. The desk isn’t for Torres, Donnie tells him. Torres wants to prowl. Let’s go to the safe house and you can tell me about what NCIS knows about his business. Then he can join Donnie’s crew and forget about that pesky desk. Torres looks like he’s wavering, but continues to deny Donnie’s assertions.

I think there’s a lot of truth in what Donnie is saying, and now that Torres has been back undercover you can see how comfortable he is with that life, and how it’s still a big part of him. He was deep undercover for years, constantly having to make his own decisions both to survive as his character and keep himself in touch with NCIS, which was his real job. He came back to Washington to be with his sister and niece after his brother-in-law was killed as a message to Torres by his former “employer” when his cover was blown. He didn’t want to come in from undercover; he even asked Vance to let him resign so he could “take care of” the situation with his character’s former employer himself. But Gibbs like what he saw and wanted Torres on his team. So Torres stayed, working at a job where he has to be “himself” all the time, and follow rules and guidelines and where his actions are more restricted than they were when he was out there undercover, making his own rules and depending solely on his own skills. That part of Torres' character really interests me, and I’ve always wondered what Torres undercover would be like, since we’ve only seen Agent Torres up until this point. I like what I saw, and it made me understand him a bit more. And I do wonder whether or not life as Special Agent Torres will be enough for him in the long run.

In Interrogation Young is finding Gibbs amusing. If you’re going to find Gibbs amusing, this is the last place you’d want to do it. Young wants to know if Gibbs is trying to scare him, telling Gibbs will have to do more than just stand behind him and look menacing. “Okay,” Gibbs replies, all smiles, as he cuts the audio and video feeds and pulls a curtain over the viewing window, so nobody (Sloane) outside can see how well Gibbs can scare Young. Love it.

Donnie has a new idea! If Torres wants to stay at NICS it’s no problem; he can be Donnie’s man on the inside. He thinks Torres is a great investment, despite being a soft seven. Torres tells Donnie he knows Donnie is just stringing him along until they get to the safe house, where Donnie will have his crew kill him. Yep, Donnie replies. As soon as he knows what he needs about NICS, it’s a bullet in the head for Torres.

They approach the safe house, which looks more like a safe warehouse. Donnie tells Torres to slow down as they come closer, but instead he’s speeding up. A lot. Faster and faster until he hits what looks like some kind of tractor. And since Donnie wasn’t bright enough to have his seat belt on, he goes flying through the window and onto the pavement. Ow! He’s hurt bad, but Torres seems in pretty decent shape, aside from the pain that might have come from the impact and his seat belt. He gets out of the jeep and kicks Donnie around for a bit, then hides behind the tractor-thing with Donnie’s gun because Donnie tells him there are three big guys inside the warehouse who are going to kill him.

Three big guys who are being led out of the warehouse by Gibbs, Bishop, and McGee, you mean! Of course Young gave up the location of the safe house, did you ever doubt it? Torres is so happy and relieved he told Gibbs he was going to kiss him, which earned him a bemused and challenging look from Gibbs.
Back in the Bull Pen Vance, Bishop, Torres, and Gibbs are closing up the case and trying to figure out who knew that Donnie was the real boss. Only his top guys, it would seem. That’s how Torres would do it, although he denies that he’d ever do something like that almost as soon as it comes out of his mouth. Vance tells him that it’s nice to know there’s a limit to his insubordination, and that he thinks Torres can handle moving the 50 additional scuba tanks they have into evidence. He then praises Bishop for a job well done and he and Gibbs head off to dinner.

Bishop teases Torres about rescuing him at the end of the op, and Torres reminds her that he launched Donnie into orbit, which as to count for something. He praises Bishop about how she did on the job, and she reminds Torres that she had a good teacher. Cue flirting. Torres says that she taught him a few things too. Like when you make out with your partner don’t eat garlic pasta. Also, he though Bishop was a little toothy, which I think means they need more practice.

Their jobs are weird, they agree, but what would they do without them? Bishop wants to go and do something, something other than going home and watching a movie like Torres suggests. She wants to go to the gun range, something exciting. Sadly, Torres has to heft a bunch of scuba tanks into evidence, so he’s out. As she enters the elevator and Torres walks around the corner Bishop wishes “Luis” a good night. He wishes “Charlie” one, too. As they go their separate ways they both look wistful. Wistful is good.


What I’m really trying to say is
- how very much I loved this episode! We have Undercover Torrres/Bishop, Reeves, and more info about Torres’ character that may inform future episodes. I have seen the light, bring on Torres/Bishop. They are very different people from very different places, but I think they could work, at least short term. For all of her intelligence there seems to me to be a bit of innocence and naivete inside Bishop. Would Torres be too much for her emotionally? If they get together it won’t be a slow burn like Tony and Ziva; it will burn fast and bright and I have no idea what will happen after that.

Loved seeing Torres undercover and the possible impact it had on Bishop as well. This was Torres’ life for years, and it seems that Bishop liked it and wants more. I’m not sure if Danger!Bishop will last, or if it was just a plot device. Gibbs seems to be amused by Torres, and I do think he sees a lot of himself in him. But what I hope Gibbs also realizes is that Torres is very different animal; Gibbs has followed rules for the most part overall in his career, but in this episode, you could see Torres regressing into someone he’d been programmed to be. As Sloane says, he was trained to be what he is. I hope they continue to explore Torres, because I think there’s a lot there we’re getting yet.



 
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