‘NCIS’ Has an Awesome Connection to Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ That You Probably Missed

by Suzanne Halliburton

Stranger Things is one of the hottest shows on Netflix. And we’re here to tell you about the NCIS link to one of its stars.

Think about it, maybe Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) helped push the career of the young actress who played Rachel Barnes on an episode entitled “Parental Guidance Suggested.” That was back in 2014, NCIS season 12. It ran three days before Halloween and there even was a nod to one of the best holidays on the calendar.

And Millie Bobby Brown played Rachel Barnes. She was 10 when she filmed the episode. Her role as Eleven on Stranger Things still was two years away. But when she appeared on NCIS, you could see her very successful future.

Why are we mentioning Stranger Things? The finale of season four of the 1980s-era sci-fi show dropped this week. Plus, the NCIS social media team tossed it back to 2014 and posted a short video clip showing Rachel’s conversation with Gibbs. Rachel was about the same age as Gibbs’ own daughter Kelly when she died in a car crash caused by Pedro Hernandez, her father’s enemy.

The NCIS Instagram team captioned the video clip: This is from season 12, but somehow it feels like season Eleven. Take a look at the clip and join us on the other side for more deets.

Let’s pull up the NCIS plot log:

“The NCIS team must determine if the murder of a Navy’s commander’s wife is linked to her profession as a therapist or an act of terrorism after finding the commander’s name on a Jihadist target list, only to get a shock when they discover who the true killer really is while the team discusses Halloween costumes and Tony’s recent dating habits.”

Rachel is the daughter. And early in the NCIS episode, she finds her mother’s dead body. The father is away. And his name is on a jihadist target list. Maybe his wife’s death is connected to terrorism. Or maybe the murderer is connected to the wife’s profession. One of her patients is a cannibal killer. But he’s in prison.

So who could be the murderer? In the clip, Gibbs goes to Rachel’s home. He discovers her in a homemade fort. “you build this all by yourself?” Gibbs asks Rachel. She says her Dad helped her. Gibbs tells her “Sounds like a pretty cool dad.”

Rachel wants to know if they’ve found her dad and wonders when he’s coming home. “Please don’t make me leave, this is my safe place, nothing bad will happen to me here,” she says. “If they come back, they can’t hurt me.” And according to Rachel, “they” are the people coming to kill her father.

But this is all an NCIS head fake. Ten-year-old Rachel killed her mother so that her father could come back home. Remember that the mother treated criminals. She’d figured out that her daughter, the little girl who reads Harry Potter and builds forts, is a sociopath. She was trying to get her treated when Rachel killed her.

Millie Bobby Brown and Stranger Things castmates celebrate the season four premiere in March. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

NCIS fans still vividly remembered the episode with the hideous reveal. “Her character was so damn creepy. Made my skin crawl,” a fan wrote. Another replied “this is the only episode I skip when binging.”

“Just watched this recently,” an NCIS fan wrote. “It was good, but kind of creepy what she did.” Yep, just a smidge creepy.

And this NCIS episode wasn’t solely about who killed Rachel’s mom. It was the first episode where the opening credits didn’t feature Cote de Pablo as Ziva. The episode also allowed for a year-long time jump since Ziva left NCIS. Let’s just say Tony DiNozzo still is pouting about it all.

Season 20 premieres Sept. 19.