NCIS 10×09 Devil’s Trifecta Recap and Review
NCIS 10×09 “Devil’s Trifecta” Summary:
“Gibbs teams up with FBI agent T.C. Fornell on a joint investigation when Fornell becomes the target of a shooting. The case gets even more complicated when their mutual ex-wife, Diane, becomes involved.”
NCIS 10×9, Devils’ Trifecta, may be the best writing of the season as far as this fan is concerned. Long term relationships are rekindled, good and bad. The Devil’s Trifecta may very well be my favorite episode of NCIS ever.
It’s dark and the road is wet as a dark car pulls up across the street from a fast food drive through. The driver opens a matchbook to light a cigarette; inside it says “Black Sedan, 5P-8722”. A black sedan pulls up to the window and Tobias Fornell takes his food and change. The driver across the street gets out of his car and drops his cigarette; then crosses as Tobias watches, puzzled. The man raises his gun and fires three shots through the windshield. There is a momentary silence, and then six shots are fired before the would-be killer falls to the ground.
Agent Fornell sits in the back of an ambulance, his FBI vest beside him, when Gibbs and the NCIS team arrive. Fornell thanks Gibbs for coming; he says that he had to, the shooter was Navy. Fornell thinks the guy was on something and he was an easy target, but the matchbook proves that Fornell was targeted.
The bartender doesn’t seem surprised when NCIS shows up; he excuses himself from a patron to talk to them. The shooter, Seaman Tyler Brown, moonlighted as a bouncer. The drunk at the bar has a few choice words to say about Brown. While Fornell and Gibbs are busy finishing each other’s sentences like an old married couple, a woman emerges from the ladies room. Fornell says she “Looks like our ex-wife.” Diane says it’s a coincidence; we all know Gibbs doesn’t believe in coincidences. Diane says she’s with the IRS, but the bartender says that “The owner isn’t interested in selling” which ends up with Diane being charged with obstruction of justice.
At the NCIS headquarters, Tony is happy to still have his hands after placing Diane in the interrogation room. Gibbs and Fornell engage in banter about women sticking together as Ziva makes suggestions regarding Diane’s treatment. Their plans to charge Diane with obstruction of justice, lying to government agents and as McGee turns up, using aliases. Diane has two drivers’ licenses in her purse, one as Fornell, the other as Gibbs.
Tony steps in it when he says he’d like to see the interrogation; Gibbs gives him a front row seat while he and Tobias watch from the next room. Diane calls Tony “Mr. Quaff” and berates the men who are on the other side of the two way mirror. Before she has to answer any questions, Vance comes in to tell Gibbs that the interrogation is over.
In his office, Vance informs the two men that Diane is an agent too; she shows her badge. She is in IRS enforcement. Her cover has been blown. She says that fake IDs are expensive; with budget cuts she improvised. Fornell says that put him on a hit list. Vance lets the three of them know that they will all be working together on the case.
Diane is a great addition to the show; she calls McGee “Chucky” and her ex-husbands Frick and Frack. She takes the lead and shows Tony her badge; before she can brief the team, they have all come to their own conclusions. Brown was not the mastermind; he got information as a bouncer so the bar could set up fake employees. The bouncer looks at IDs. The checks have been traced to a check cashing store; the PO boxes on the other end of town kept changing. In an effort to stay away from Diane, Fornell and Gibbs take one lead and give the other to their ex and Ziva.
At the check cashing store, Diane confesses that she has always been married; she never did anything wild. The clerk is accommodating when they show their badges and tell him what they want. He reveals an accountant that comes in often, cashing checks for his clients.
In Abby’s lab, the team watches the tape and Abby notices the accountant carries a racing ticket in his back pocket. Tim says that Lambert emptied his checking account; he’s probably long gone. Gibbs and Fornell decide that Diane may still be a target; she shouldn’t spend the night alone. They argue about whose house she should stay at as Abby and Tim watch for the entertainment. Then McGee says his “famous last words” that turn the tide of the episode. He tells Abby “I know the one place she’s definitely not staying.” And we have a winner.
Diane makes more confessions about her relationship after an argument over sleeping arrangements at “Chucky’s.” She goes from mean to vulnerable in under a minute; finally Tim admits she’s attractive, at least on the outside. She says she needs a hug which Tim refuses until she says his parents failed. The famous spoiler scene of Gibbs and Fornell finding the two wrapped in a throw on Tim’s couch is sure to follow. There are too many good lines in this show. “Holy Fourth of July Weanie Roast, What the Hell am I looking at?” is one of my favorites.
The four male agents follow up on Abby’s lead on the accountant; an overdue payment on a rental house. Inside are freezers full of frozen fish, except one. The last one contains the body of the drunk from the bar.
In autopsy Tim is assaulted by questions from Ducky, Jimmy and Tony about his night with Diane. Tim can’t convince anyone on the team that nothing happened and they all think this story is more important than the house full of frozen fish and the IRS fraud. The two bullets in Vigo Kiln’s brain match a gun registered to the missing accountant. It looks as though Brown, Kiln and Lambert were all working the scam together.
Ziva and Diane try to work the angles on the fish and find shipping manifests linking the shipments to small fishing villages in Syria, Iran and North Korea. She issues orders to Gibbs and Fornell; the irony isn’t lost on them but they have to admit that they’re good ones.
Abby takes Ziva to her lab and says the fish are all albacore tuna, and there is a cell phone in every fish. She traced them to a specific batch of phones, but one in the batch made a call. Throughout the stake out and the rest of the show, Fornell pokes jibes at Tim about his night with Diane. He also informs Gibbs that she asked to be transferred to Jethro’s jurisdiction. Tony spots Lambert and the team moves in; they show their badges and ask him to take his hands out of his pockets. He says the money wasn’t for him and babbles about trying to set things right. He says that he “Gave them this week’s payment” but he’s afraid they might try to kill him. When he finally moves his hands, and blood is pooling on his white shirt. He dies of multiple stab wounds.
Diane has found another shipment, this one to China and the fish are filled with DVDs and scented soap. The shipment can’t be traced but Abby has another lead, based on fish DNA. She is able to trace the tuna back to the company that caught the fish. Diane comes in and she and Abby have a plan that Gibbs does not like, but goes along with. They know who the smuggler is, he’ll need an accountant. Wire Diane, she meets with Boyle (the smuggler) and they move in. Gibbs says he’s going with her although Diane says he won’t like where they’re going.
Fornell gives McGee a hard time in the surveillance van until Ziva tells the two of them to shut up. At the wedding (not Gibbs’ favorite scene) Diane moves in on Boyle and offers her services; then says she worked for Lambert. Realizing he is “not the man” and she’s talking to the wrong person, she asks for an introduction. Ziva says she’s good, Gibbs replies that she’s just being herself. The unfortunate twist is that Ziva recognizes the head of the operation as he approaches Diane. It’s the accommodating clerk from the check cashing store. He holds a gun on Diane and plans to take her out, but Gibbs makes a toast to the happy bride and groom. It ends with an eloquent proposal to Diane who says yes as he goes down on one knee.
Diane pries herself loose from the killer/mastermind who doesn’t have a choice but to let her go as Fornell, Ziva and Tim move in for the arrest. Back at NCIS headquarters the team IDs the killer as Gordon Freemont. Vance tells the Diane, Gibbs and Fornell that they did such a good job they’ve decided to make them a permanent working group for interagency related business. He asks if that’s something they’d be interested in, but when he looks up they’ve all left.
Gibbs is working in his basement and notices Diane at the top of the stairs. She can’t believe that he remembered how he proposed to her. He tells her that she has to give her husband a break for being him and not somebody else; he says that she has to let it go. “I couldn’t and I drove everybody away, and you don’t want to be me.” Diane fears that it’s too late, but Gibbs says it isn’t. She asks if he is destined to spend the rest of his days alone. Gibbs smiles and shakes his head, “I’m not alone.”
NCIS 10×10 ”You Better Watch Out” airs Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 at 8/7c
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