NCIS: Recap of Fight or Flight, Episode 11, Season 19

by Suzanne Halliburton

In Monday’s NCIS “Fight or Flight” episode, Torres kicked some Vern butt in an underground cage match.

And although you’re not supposed to talk about fight club, Jimmy Palmer wanted Torres to confess about why he’s “so angry.” The whole NCIS hour detailed how Torres was acting odd, pushing everyone away. And they wrapped up the Torres plot line in the crime of the week bow. It initially looked like a Navy lieutenant was murdered because another country wanted the intel he could provide. The guy worked IT for Naval Intelligence and had access to all the systems.

But the murder turned about to be something different. It wasn’t so much about military intelligence, but entryway to Homeland Security to help out an illegal immigration ring that also dabbled in sex trafficking.

Why Is Torres In Such a Funk?

As the episode opened, Torres rolled into the office late and with a chip on his shoulder. He explained it all by saying he got no sleep the night before. Turns out he’d bailed on Knight the night before and also recently had canceled plans with McGee and his wife.

Plus, Torres saw Sawyer in the NCIS office and immediately thought Parker was trying to replace him.

And as the agents tried to figure out what was going on with Torres, they got called out to a murder scene. Someone dropped the body of the lieutenant into a garbage dump. Plus, he was missing his eye. DIA agents showed up at the scene, shooing away NCIS. It seems the lieutenant brought home a classified laptop. That laptop was missing. However, the only way to access the laptop is via a retina scan of the lieutenant’s eye.

Sonja Flemming/CBS

NCIS Agents Figured Out Lieutenant Got Killed Because of Immigration Ring

The lieutenant’s body was in bad shape. He’d been choked. And it almost looked like he’d been beaten up. The NCIS agents pulled the lieutenant’s records and found out he was a foster child. Recently, he’d been moving lots of money out of his account to give to his foster brother.

The foster brother met with the agents and told them he’d gotten involved with some shady folks. They’d loaned him money. And when he missed payments, they told him his debt would be cleared if he gave them his brother’s laptop.

That led NCIS to Maxim, a guy who worked at a tire store. Maxim and his wife got into this country by paying off someone. But when they arrived in the United States, the couple was separated. Maxim was told he had to fight and use his muscle to collect debts.

What’s This? It’s a Fight Club

The agents also figured out that someone killed the lieutenant at a closed-down clothing factory. An underground fight club was using the space for cage matches. Parker wanted Torres and Sawyer to go undercover as fighters, with McGee serving as their rep. Torres and Sawyer were supposed to fight each other. The winner of these challenge matches usually gets to meet the boss.

But the guy at the club wouldn’t allow the two to fight each other. Instead, he assigned Vern to fight Torres. And Vern looked like a rush end for the Los Angeles Rams. Torres appeared to have a death wish because he agreed to the fight. Vern looked like he was going to kill Torres. Meanwhile, Sawyer slipped away to find any sort of evidence. And he struck gold when he found the lieutenant’s eyeball in a mini-fridge.

Torres caught a second wind and kicked Vern’s butt. Parker and Jess swooped in to make the arrest. Agents lifted fingerprints from the glass jar.

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Is Torres Out of Sorts Because Gibbs Left NCIS? Or Is It Something Else?

The next morning, Torres got to the office. Torres went downstairs to talk to Jimmy, the most empathetic guy in NCIS. He’d certainly listen to what was going on with Torres. The agents figured out that Torres hadn’t been the same since “Alaska.” That’s when Gibbs left.

Jimmy opened up about losing his wife, who died of Covid last season.

He told Torres: “you feel abandoned, you feel left behind. Trust me, I get that.” He added that he still got angry at his wife for dying. He stressed it wasn’t her fault.

“Sometimes people leave, even father’s,” Jimmy told Torres. “And it’s got nothing to do with you.” But Torres asks “what if it does.”

Jimmy puts his hand on Torres’ shoulder. “You have to open yourself up again if you ever want to heal,” Jimmy says.

We’re not sure if this NCIS mystery involves Torres feeling abandoned by Gibbs. Maybe it’s still lingering issues over Bishop leaving him. Or maybe it is about Torres’ father.

We won’t know for a while. NCIS won’t return until after the Winter Olympics.