NCIS: 10×06: Shell Shock:
Recap and Review
NCIS 10×06: Part 1 of 2: “A Navy Lieutenant who recently returned home from the Middle East is murdered. Gibbs believes a friend of the victim, a Marine Captain suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, may be the key to finding the killer.”
An overhead train races by as men are seen running in the street. One man is being beaten up by several others, then suddenly one man is being dragged away by two others. “Joe!” he yells over and over. Joe turns and yells “Torres!” and then he runs the other way instead of helping.
Tony Dinozzo walks into the NCIS office wearing sunglasses, commenting on everything he sees. Ziva says “Someone got up on the right side of the bed this morning.” Tim asks if the “screamers” kept him up again. Tony confirms that they’ve kept him up three nights running.
Ziva says that she remembers having neighbors that fought all the time; Tony says “Not that kind of screamers” then turns to Tim to ask if they have mistakenly exchanged bags. Tony’s instamatic camera was in the other bag and he can’t wait to have Abby see if she can develop the film. Tim acts as though he hasn’t even tried, then produces a photo of Tony from his teenage years.
Gibbs enters as Tim is showing Ziva the picture and Tony is trying to get it. Gibbs calls him “helmet head” in passing as he mentions they have a case. Tony is unable to retrieve his photo, but tries to defend it saying that he was going through a “John Denver” phase.
At the crime scene the body of 1st Lieutenant Michael Torres is identified. It is apparent that he has been severely beaten; there is a substance under his fingernails that looks like dirt. Ducky discovers a deep gash in the back of his head. Jimmy mentions that he was a boxer when he was younger, then corrects himself; assistant boxer.
While the team is assessing the scene a call comes in; someone is breaking into Lt. Torres’ apartment. The NCIS team enters the apartment with guns drawn. The intruder identifies himself as Joe Westcott; he explains that his friend was taken and he’s just trying to get him back.
“No one has him, he’s dead.” Gibbs tells Joe.
Joe is in the interrogation room as Tony and Ziva speculate on his condition. He’s pretty beat up and they wonder if he’s still in shock. They discuss his discharge, last mission, injury and the death of the four marines he was serving with on that mission. Gibbs says “Five dead marines now” before going in to question Joe.
Gibbs gathers from Joe that he was at the apartment for supplies. Joe claims that he and Torres were out for dinner and then stopped at a convenience store. They were chased by five or six men: “We were running; it was dark; I kept yelling for Torres to stay with me.” Joe says. He tells Gibbs that they were at the store at “O Two Hundred” he relates the scene “Next thing I know we’re getting pounded. When I come to I see Torres and he’s being dragged away. I want to help him and then I ran.” He asks Gibbs if he ever served and Jethro tells him that he was a scout sniper. They can relate to each other.
Down in autopsy Ducky tells Gibbs what he has so far. They have counted ten wounds, he was getting punched from all sides, but there is nothing to indicate that he fought back. Ducky has taken blood samples from all of his wounds; one doesn’t match Torres of Westcott. Abby is working on the DNA.
Back in the office Tim tells Gibbs that he has footage of the alley from a VHS, unfortunately it has been recorded over so many times that it’s hard to make out what’s there and what isn’t. There are “ghosts” in the footage that may be from that night or from other nights. The only thing he does have for sure is a time stamp and a form that may be Torres and a face behind him, leaving the store. McGee compares the tape to dinosaurs.
The time stamp matches up with Westcott’s estimated time at the convenient store. One name pops up from the store; Sam Mathis who has assault charges going back to 2000. Westcott doesn’t recognize the man in the video, but he does have the sketch from working with the artist. He remembers that man.
Gibbs talks to Torres’ fiancé; she can’t believe that Michael is dead. He came home and home is supposed to be safe. She claims that he has no enemies here; the enemies were in the Middle East. She last spoke to Torres at about 9:30 and he was so happy that “the General” was in town visiting. When asked she tells Gibbs that the guys called Westcott “the General” and that Michael thought he was too isolated in Ohio. The only thing that gives her comfort is that Joe was with Michael when he died.
On the way to pick up Sam Mathis, Ziva teases Tony about his photo. She says he was and is a “homely young boy.” Dinozzo defends the picture and claims that the rest of the film, once developed, will rock her world.
Sam Mathis responds to their introduction with “NCI who?” and then takes a punch at Tony when he is told to come with them. Tony slugs Mathis in the stomach before pulling his gun, then asks Ziva, “How’s that for homely.”
Mathis is laughing when Tony tries to interrogate him. “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, or in Torres’ case, killed.” Dinozzo says to the laughing suspect. Sam says that he didn’t kill the guy but he admits to messing around a bit. When pressed he does have an alibi. He was at a strip club, one that Tony knows.
Tony verifies Mathis’ whereabouts with “Misty” over the phone. Mathis is cleared; the club owner says that he was there and Abby says the blood on the victim wasn’t his. Tony tells Gibbs that they should question Westcott again. Gibbs thinks not in spite of Tony’s gut feelings. Westcott’s younger brother meets Gibbs at the elevator. Their father couldn’t make it but he wants to see Joe. Gibbs tells Evan where to find his brother before going down to see Abby.
Abby has set up a bunch of mannequins to stage the crime scene in her lab. Even though it would appear that Torres was surrounded, Abby is sure there were only two men in that alley according to the computer model. That doesn’t match Joe’s story, so now Gibbs will have to question the man again.
When Gibbs arrives at the hotel he meets Evan outside of Joe’s room. His brother wouldn’t let him in and now tells Gibbs to go away too. Joe says Evan should go back to Ohio; between the two of them, Joe relents.
Once inside they can see that the room is a mess. Joe has even started smoking. The more he talks the more out of touch with reality he seems. He says he has been brainstorming all day; he wants to go back to the convenience store. Gibbs tells him that there were only two attackers, not five or six. “A man’s dead, I’ll find the truth.” He tells Joe.
Joe repeats that he knows what he saw, he’s isn’t crazy; “We were attacked and our friends are dead.” Joe says, “I know what I saw; I know what I saw.”
Gibbs convinces Evan to leave with him. He explains that they can’t help Joe right now, he isn’t all there. “This isn’t just about Lt. Torres.” Gibbs says to Evan at the elevator. Evan claims that his brother is fine.
Gibbs meets Ducky in the darkened autopsy room. Ducky says that Torres isn’t answering any questions. Gibbs wants Ducky’s advice on dealing with Westcott. Ducky recites a quote about the truth coming out when men wear a mask; Gibbs tells Ducky that he has to break through. He’s worried about Joe. Ducky says to worry tomorrow but for tonight he should get some sleep.
When Tony comes into the NCIS office the next morning Gibbs is still there in the same clothes. He holds up a note from the hotel and asks Tony and Ziva to find out what it means “IJI” could be initials or an acronym for something. He gets a call from Abby and heads for the lab, issuing the order again to look into those letters and find something.
Abby has finished her analysis; there weren’t two attackers, only one. Underneath Torres’ nails was skin, like from a cow, mixed with the chemicals used to tan leather. He had been holding Joe back; the scratches on Joe’s leather jacket are from his nails.
The other man, now identified on film, is the same one that Westcott described to the sketch artist. Randall Kersey is brought in for questioning. He tells a different story. He didn’t chase them; Westcott chased him and started beating him up while “the other guy” tried to hold him back. He says that he didn’t mean to kill Torres, it was an accident. Torres was trying to stop Joe and got between the two men so that they were hitting him when trying to hit each other. He finally pushed Torres out of the way and he fell, hitting his head. There was a lot of blood; Kersey ran away. He says it was self-defense; he says Westcott was crazy.
No one seems to know where Westcott is, the hotel says that he left but his belongings are still in his room. Tony says that a man fitting his description was sighted by police near where Torres was killed. When Gibbs and Tony arrive at the scene, Westcott is carving the initials IJI into a piece of plywood covering a doorway.
Gibbs finally gets Westcott to drop the knife when he addresses him as “General” and tells him that he’s not alone. “I think I need help.” Joe replies.
Gibbs shows Joe the video and explains what happened; Joe remembers it differently. He was sure that the man had been part of the ambush that injured him and killed four men. He says he was confused and it was like he was back there. “I was convinced that guy was there, fighting for the other side. I felt like I had to fight for my life, for Torres’ life. I thought I saw Torres being dragged away, but it was Hall. I couldn’t save Hall, couldn’t save Torres, I ran away.” He finally asks Gibbs “What if I’m stuck like this?”
Peter Sanger is called in to help Westcott and asks him about his post-traumatic stress; nightmares, insomnia, panic attacks; Joe admits to all of the symptoms. They have been going on for eight months and this is the first time he has told his brother. Evan says that he’s not a burden and apologizes. He says that he knew something was wrong but didn’t want to face it.
Their father comes in; even though he had said he was working and couldn’t come. Now he asks if his son is sick. Gibbs says the Doc will fill him in.
Ziva catches Tony in the lounge and they talk about his mother; one of his photos was the last time they were together. Ziva says that she was beautiful and asks why Tony never talks about her. Tony guesses that she was the first woman who ever broke his heart and no one likes to talk about that. Ziva surprises Tony with a quote from the last movie he saw with his mother.
“It is a quote from the book that was made into the movie.” Ziva replies.
After Joe and Gibbs part ways Tim is in the office doing paperwork. The team catches a break with some footage from Westcott’s last mission; the IJIL Rebels had attacked his team. The Argonda night time photos are brought up and the close up reveals that Randal Kersey was there, fighting for the other side. Tim is able to pick up a location on Kersey but when the team arrives the house is empty and looks as if he never lived there.
Tony discovers a shed and there is a piece of a blueprint along with evidence that Kersey was planning something big… “IS planning something big” Gibbs tells the team.
NCIS 10×07 Shell Shock Part 2 Promo
To Be Continued…
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