Last time on NCIS,Gibbs faced a dilemma that crushed him between loyalty and the truth. Gibbs chose the truth, even though it has obvious consequences for Agent Fornell.
In this episode of NCIS, titled “Voices,” the team tackles a spooky case as McGee and Delilah try to decide whether or not to find out their baby’s gender. I, personally, am hoping for a little girl.
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The episode kicks off with a runner, Amber, listening to her earbuds while running around a lake in a park. She is lost but hears a disembodied voice saying, “Help me.” It is creepy, spooky and just plain bizarre. She follows the voice to an abandoned shed, where she finds a deceased person. Yikes!
Bishop and Torres overhear a rattled McGee ordering some expensive flowers with pricey same-day delivery for Delilah because they have had an argument. McGee wants to find out the sex of their baby, but Delilah wants to be surprised. The ultrasound was inconclusive, but an upcoming blood test will can reveal the baby’s sex. Torres urges McGee to do whatever Delilah wants since she, after all, is the one incubating a tiny human. I don’t know; I think that McGee’s reasons for needing to know are thin.
Gibbs arrives, and the team has a case. Even though Ducky is off for the holidays, Gibbs wants him working the case. Poor McGee must ditch his florist emergency call to catch up with the team.
The victim, Victor King, isn’t a member of the military, but he does have a connection to it. He is a missing person of interest in a fraud and bribery case that was being handled by the Northeast NCIS Field Office. The park ranger is not familiar with the victim.
The runner tells McGee that a voice, or ghost, led her to the body. McGee decides that this explanation is best coming directly from the runner, so she relates the same story to the team. Torres is worried about why the dead man’s ghost is chatting with the runner. McGee posits that perhaps there is a hidden speaker in the shed but confirms that there isn’t one. Ducky says auditory hallucinations can be a hallmark of a mental health issue. As the team chats among themselves, the runner asks if they can hear the voice. The voices states that “he is cold.”
Stop Messing with Dead People
The victim, Victor King, is a 55-year-old who owned a huge steel company that was a Navy supplier. The avid outdoorsman and hiker was being investigated by the Department of Defense over the last two years for selling defective materials, bribery and fraud. King’s lawyers were successful in keeping any charges at bay until King’s disappearing act in February.
Now the team digs into Amber Davis, the runner who hears dead people. She is a software engineer who has recently relocated to Virginia. Ducky believes that King died in February, but Amber was in Uganda working on a computer network for a charity.
Torres would like to take this opportunity to poll the team as to why the ghost is speaking out now about being cold. Gibbs is exasperated and refuses to entertain the issue. McGee denies hearing anything and does not believe that ghosts exist. Although Bishop does believe in ghosts, she is not ready to embrace the idea of people communicating with them.
Jack arrives in time to agree with Torres that it might be a good idea to talk to Amber again, just in case the dearly departed Victor King would like to shed some light on his demise. Gibbs tells Jack to go for it.
A Spooky Interview
Jack has a chat with Amber in her office. Jack asks Amber if she has ever had the experience of calling a friend on the phone, only to be told that the other person was also thinking of her? Jack points out that this can happen because a song on the radio prompted two people to think of each other. The brain can make incredible connections that a person may not even be aware of. Jack believes that Amber’s subconscious somehow deciphered clues that led her to the location of King’s body. Perhaps Amber even met the killer.
Amber is willing to follow this theory, and Jack begins to gather some data. Amber is divorced, and she had a daughter. The child died in her sleep from a heart condition. Amber notices the lights above Jack’s desk start to flicker, and Amber says that she sees Victor King fighting with someone in a car. Amber appears to be in a trance-like state and adds that the car is in West Bay. She adds ominously, “He had an accident.”
In autopsy, Ducky reveals that King’s physical remains have also been telling a story. King died from hypothermia, and Ducky believes that King got lost while hiking and froze to death. Gibbs refutes this notion, pointing out that King was an experienced hiker. Palmer would like to see if Amber has heard any new information, but Gibbs is fed-up with this topic. Vance arrives with word that the Department of Defense wants this solved pronto, even if this means working with Amber. He points out that NCIS has worked with psychic before, and Vance has also. Gibbs is not a happy camper.
A nervous Torres is worried that NCIS once again is “messing with the dead” and that no good will come of it. Bishop gets an e-mail from Jack with the make and color of a car and the location of West Bay. After some sleuthing, the duo discovers that West Bay is not location but rather a name — Thomas Westbay. Westbay works for OSHA. Jack and Amber enter the squad room, and Amber identifies Westbay as the man that she saw.
The team hits another dead end when they realize that Westbay died in a car accident two days before King disappeared. Amber explains that she “knows” it is not an accident.
A Murder or Accident?
McGee goes to visit Abby in the garage. Jimmy Lancaster from the DOD arrives with the King file. He begs McGee to ask the psychic for the location of his lost wedding ring, but McGee is not amused. Abby reminds McGee that she believes in both God and the immortal soul. McGee wisely steers the topic back to Westbay’s car, which Abby has just examined. The police thought that Westbay fell asleep while he was driving since there was no attempt at braking before the impact. Abby believes that Westbay did hit the brakes and that they failed. However, the brakes were working fine when the police checked the car. McGee notices that Westbay brought the car into the mechanic about every three weeks, which is strange for a new vehicle.
Torres has a sit-down with the mechanic, who has a criminal history, but denies having anything to do with any murders. In fact, he never even worked on Westbay’s car. Westbay took bribes and would bring the mechanic cash that the mechanic, in turn, would give to someone to launder it for him. The phony invoices covered the mechanic’s cut.
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That evening, as Gibbs is sitting down with some popcorn and beer at home, Amber knocks on his door. He has invited her over to discuss the case. She knows that Gibbs doesn’t believe her, and when he hands her the gas cap from Westbay’s car, she seems surprised. When he reaches for the cap, she gets an impression and asks for a pen.
McGee and Bishop take Amber’s map and a shovel to find some buried evidence. Delilah has had the blood test but ordered the doctor not to tell McGee the results. When Bishop makes a joke about hacking the doctor’s computer, McGee seems to consider it. Just then, he stumbles into a depression in the ground. They pull a metal box from the ground, exactly where Amber said it would be located.
Abby pores over the buried treasure in the lab. The box contains a computer drive for a car that can cause mechanical issues in vehicles. The drive caused the brakes in Westbay’s car to stop working temporarily and then turned them back on before the investigators found the car. That is frightening.
There is also a GPS hiker’s watch registered to King in the box. Someone hacked into the GPS coordinates, which caused King to wander deeper into the forest. Abby is running prints from the items in the box, and they belong to Amber Davis.
Jack and Ducky watch as Gibbs interrogates Amber and shows her pictures of the evidence. Gibbs has a picture of her in customs when she flew to the US from Uganda using a fake passport. Amber points out that she gave Gibbs the location of the box while holding the victim’s gas cap. It was actually Gibbs’ gas cap. Amber continues to proclaim her innocence and asks Gibbs to promise that he won’t set up an innocent person. She pledges to help NCIS figure out what is going on.
Jack, Ducky and Gibbs discuss what is going on with their suspect. Is it possible that she killed the men but suppressed the memories? The voices that she hears could be the beginning of the memories returning to her conscience mind.
Grief and Loss
Bishop meets with Amber’s ex-husband, and he denies knowing either of the victims. He wants to see Amber, and Bishop shares that she is being transferred to a psychiatric hospital. He admits that he did not want the divorce, but he was shocked with how quickly Amber moved on after their daughter’s death. Bishop is in for a shock when Amber’s ex reveals that their daughter died when a floor collapsed during a birthday party. I guess that explains motive for killing the crooked OSHA inspector and steel magnate who sold defective goods. It was Westbay’s final report that cleared King of any liability.
Gibbs shows Amber a photo of the building where her daughter died, and she denies that her daughter died there. After some prodding from Jack, she responds that the two men killed her daughter and deserved to die.
Amber refused to accept that the building collapse was accidental and launched her own investigation. Instead of turning over the evidence that she uncovered, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Bishop receives a call that the transport van that was bringing Amber to the psychiatric hospital is missing, and the driver is not answering his phone.
The teams get a call that the van was in an accident off a rural highway, and Amber is not there. Jack asks Gibbs what his famous gut is telling him, and he doesn’t respond. The driver of the van woke up, and Amber was gone. He claims that the steering went out on the van, yet the van swerved at the last second to avoid a tree branch that was hanging down in its path. Somehow, Amber figured out a way to connect the tablet to the firmware and cause the van to crash.
McGee and Abby have some distressing news. Someone is trying to hack into the NCIS system to access the King files. Gibbs surprises everyone and tells them to let Amber in to see what she is looking for. It turns out that she is after the address of Jimmy Lancaster, who earlier had brought over the files from the DOD.
A Surprising Confession
Lancaster goes downstairs at his house and sees a bunch of missed calls from NCIS and Amber holding a gun on him. She accuses Lancaster of slipping information to King so King could avoid all the charges against him. Lancaster offers her the bribery money back, but she is not interested.
The team goes in and surrounds Amber, but Gibbs knows that she won’t shoot. She has already emptied the gun of bullets and recorded Lancaster’s confession on a tablet. Amber stops by to thank Gibbs for helping her remember how her daughter, Juliet, died. She asks if he is disappointed that she cannot communicate with the dead. As she leaves, the ghost of Mike Franks has a chat with Gibbs. I love Franks!
And McGee gets a call from Delilah that she had an emergency sonogram, and she tells him to check his e-mail. A panicked McGee check his e-mail and sees a video of his children — a boy and a girl!
I did like this episode of NCIS, though I felt parts were a bit convoluted. I love the curveball about McGee and Delilah’s offspring.
Were you surprised that Amber was not psychic? What did you think of ghostly Mike Frank’s appearance? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
NCIS season 15 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our NCIS Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of CBS)