‘NCIS’: Full Recap of the First Post-Gibbs Era Episode

by Lauren Boisvert

Last night’s NCIS marked a first for the series: an episode without Gibbs at the helm. Fans still got an explosive episode to make up for it, though. And I mean explosive, literally.

This new episode saw the body of a dead Naval officer explode in the van before Jimmy Palmer could even get him back to the morgue. Once they get the remains back to the lab, Ducky joins his former protégé and assists in the autopsy. They find out that the victim had a bomb attached to his pacemaker, that the bomb poisoned him, which led to his death, and then it later detonated after NCIS found him.

Remember when we speculated how the team was going to explain why Alden Parker was helping them out on the case? Turns out Director Vance himself put the former FBI agent on the job. Apparently, he sees something in the agent, because he also offered him Gibbs’ job. Parker initially turned it down.

Back to the case, though. The team found another man who had a bomb inside him but cleared him of being the mastermind behind the operation. Ducky and Jimmy had to work quickly to get the bomb out of him in time.

The real crook turned out to be a Mafia boss who was testing out the devices in order to take out testifying witnesses. The NCIS team, with Parker’s help, caught the guy and brought him in. Once again, the day is saved; now it’s time to get into the real emotional stuff.

‘NCIS’: Emotions Run High in First Episode Without Gibbs

To everyone’s shock, it turns out Director Vance actually offered McGee the lead position on the team, and he said no. The job was then offered to Parker, who also turned it down. It’s nice to know Vance thought of McGee first, though, as in the episode it seems like he just offered it to Parker. McGee doesn’t reveal that he was offered the job until later.

He turned down the job because, apparently, he wants to focus more on his family and be there for his kids; becoming team leader would involve early days and long nights, and possibly more danger. It would possibly consume everything about his life like it did Gibbs.

But, Gibbs let the job consume him because he didn’t have a family. It’s possible that McGee’s family could be the touchstone that keeps him from becoming obsessed. But, now, we might never know. McGee does get a chance to say the quintessential Gibbs line “Grab your gear” at least once, though.

Parker and Vance spoke again about the job at the end of the episode. It seems like maybe Parker is ready to take the job. I wondered how a disgraced FBI agent would get a job at the NCIS, and now I think it’s exactly because he helped Gibbs instead of arresting him in the last episode.

Now, Parker just has to get the team to warm up to him. He’d been a thorn in their sides from day one. But if he’s going to lead the team, he’s going to have to butter them all up. He’s going to be buying them a lot of Starbucks, that’s for sure.