‘NCIS’: Jimmy and Jess Start a Relationship While on the Run With a Donated Liver

by Suzanne Halliburton

Who knew love can bloom as one co-worker digs a bullet out of another co-worker’s thigh. That was the key NCIS scene Monday to summarize “All or Nothing.”

The NCIS case of the week involved a Navy reservist/investigative journalist named John Murphy. He took a rental van through a car wash and died before the clear water rinse. And by the way, several slot machines were stashed in the back of the rented van.

Meanwhile, Jimmy (Brian Dietzen) needs to take the day off. He volunteered to be a courier for an organ donor network. And this was his first time doing so. Forgive him, he’s nervous. What happens if he gets a flat tire? Or lost? Jess (Katrina Law) says she’ll go with him, just in case. Remember the just-in-case part.

So this scenario gives Dr. Ducky Mallard a reason to come back to work. He’s the medical examiner turned NCIS historian. But for this episode, Ducky does the autopsy on poor dead John Murphy. And elsewhere in the office, Kasie (Diona Reasonover) is obsessively going from one slot machine to another. She admits to Parker (Gary Cole) she may have a problem.

Anyway, welcome back Ducky. David McCallum is an NCIS long-termer. He’s been with the series since the pilot in 2003. He last was on the series in October.

NCIS Ties a Donated Liver to Slot Machines

Ducky talks to the dead as he does his autopsies. Parker had never seen this. So imagine his surprise as he walked into the ME’s office. Ducky told him Murphy died of arsenic poisoning, which probably was ingested a few hours before he drove through the car wash. Kasie’s research reveals that Murphy was broke. And those slot machines had been hacked to take a percentage of all money earned and deposited into an off-shore account. The government owns the slot machines. These machines were supposed to go back to a military base in Japan.

Now, let’s see what’s happening with Jess (Katrina Law) and Jimmy (Brian Dietzen). They arrive at the hospital to retrieve the liver and Jimmy is looking forward to his six-hour road trip with Jess. But Dr. Scott Long, who openly flirted with Jess, said he’s supposed to go with them. Long then calls shotgun and sticks Jimmy in the back seat.

As they’re out on the road, Jess slams on the brakes to avoid something on the highway. She steers off the road and into the grass. Then someone starts shooting at them. Long gets out of the car and is killed, immediately. Jess and Jimmy take off running. Eventually, the two stop for a break, as Jimmy pulls a sealed packet of peanut butter sandwiches out of the cooler with the liver. They realize someone is trailing them. Jess shoots one of the men. But as she fights, the gun goes off and hits Jimmy in the thigh.

The two manage to find a deserted cabin. Jess discovers a half bottle of whiskey and a travel-sized sewing kit. She pulls out her pocket knife, thinking Jimmy can perform surgery on himself. He’s the doctor, right? But Jimmy explains how he can’t operate on a wound he can’t see.

And Jimmy picks this time to talk about his feelings for his co-worker.

“Jess, I really like you,” Jimmy says as Jess tries to find the bullet in his thigh. She’s forced to use her fingers to dig through the soft tissue.

“You’re right. I like you, too,” she tells him. “I like you. … But, you’re one of my best friends, Jimmy. I can’t do anything that’s going to jeopardize that.”

Sigh. A Hobbled Jimmy Saves Jess and the Liver

But as soon as Jess digs out the bullet, the two realize they need to run. Someone still is after them. As Jimmy limps in one direction, Jess takes the gun and sprints the other way. She shoots into the sky to pull the bad guys her way. Still, why would someone want to kill over a liver?

We’ve got the answer to that NCIS question. Murphy had a partner in all this. It turns out that she’s been in witness protection for the past two months. The Department of Justice is investigating Vega Gaming and its CEO. Murphy’s partner is their star witness. But she’s in the hospital with liver failure. Yes, the liver with Jimmy and Jess is intended for the witness. If she dies, the government can’t make its case. The only other person who knew anything was Murphy. So there’s a rush to find the liver.

The bad guys catch up to Jess. But Jimmy had backtracked to help her out. He gave them the cooler with the liver. But Jimmy and Jess still manage to fight them off as Parker and Torres find them. And about the liver. The good one is back, on ice, in the cabin. The one Jimmy gave them was from a dead deer they’d seen on their way to the cabin.

Here’s another NCIS twist. Long, the doctor who died earlier in the episode, was working for the slot machine company. He was supposed to make sure the liver never found its way to the donor.

Back at the office, Jimmy has another talk with Jess. He told her “no matter what happens between us, we’re still going to be friends.”

“Whatever is going on in that mystical brain of yours,” he tells her. “You’ll never catch a wave if you’re afraid to get on the surfboard… Despite everything, I’m glad we got to spend some time together. Feel like I got to know you.”

Then Jess asks Jimmy out for a coffee date. And it’s on to next Monday’s NCIS finale.