NCIS 10×10 You Better Watch Out Recap and Review
NCIS 10×10 “You Better Watch Out” Synopsis: “Tony can’t decide if he’ll be naughty or nice when his father visits for Christmas. The NCIS team investigates the murder of a Naval LT Commander’s husband.”
NCIS 10×10 You Better Watch Out, opens on the Naval Air Station Base Housing in Patuxent River. A taxi rolls down the street to an upbeat version of Jingle Bells. Lt Commander Huffner is greeted by a neighbor when she gets out of the cab. He’s hanging lights and she sarcastically comments that her husband went all out this year. Her house is dark as she enters calling “Noel” but there’s no answer. She wonders what smells just before she sees her husband’s dead body sitting in a chair.
The NCIS team questions Lt Com. Huffner as Ducky and Jimmy arrive to do their forensic investigation. Her husband was supposed to pick her up at the airport, but never showed. She had to take a cab home. She’s been in The Gulf for the last six months. She says that she called her husband on Thanksgiving. When asked what her Noel Huffner did for a living, she tells Gibbs that he was an unemployed Navy husband.
Jimmy says that he will never get used to the smell of a decaying body; to which Ducky responds by naming the chemicals that bring on that distinct aroma. Jimmy is just glad there aren’t any maggots. Between Ducky’s estimate and Tony’s observation of postmarks on the mail, the man has been dead three or four weeks. Tim says there’s no sign of forced entry, and Ducky sees no wounds so cause of death will be determined at autopsy.
At the NCIS headquarters the team discusses Noel Huffner as a nervous Tony deals with his cell phone. He could never hold a job, was estranged from his family and only has a DUI on his record from 2009, no other criminal record.
Tony is preoccupied with the fact that his father is coming to town. He thought it wouldn’t happen; something always comes up. In the meantime, Jimmy goes to Abby’s Lab and sees she’s still decorating for Christmas. Jimmy presents the contents of Huffner’s pockets. Abby notes that the cell phone’s dead; and she looks through the wallet. She says hers always bulging while a man’s wallet is so neat. He only has a couple of credit cards and a few bills. Then she discovers a hidden bill that at first seems an emergency stash. Upon closer examination, it’s a $100 bill that doesn’t look like any in circulation.
Gibbs and Tony take the bill to the treasury department and the bill is authenticated. “The New Benjamin” was created to replace all existing $100 dollar bills. The man is very upset when he finds out it was discovered on a dead body. The bill has never been outside of a treasury building. The bill took years of research and development but was supposed to be counterfeit proof. It would have been released in 2011, out of $110 billion printed, 30% were flawed. Tony’s phone keeps ringing, distracting him from the case. He takes a call from his dad and tells him to take a cab from the airport. The bills are stored in vaults in Texas and Washington, he says. The serial number proves that this bill was from a batch that was supposed to have been shredded.
Secret Service Special Agent Ashley Winter enters and introduces herself. Winter asks Donald how much more is missing, but he doesn’t know. Millions were shredded. She wants to take the Benjamin, but Gibbs says it’s part of an NCIS investigation.
In the NCIS office, the team can’t make any connection between Noel Huffner and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Building. Abby finds Tony’s dad in the lobby and brings him into the office. He lets “JR” know that he plans on staying in his apartment. Tony is not up for this. Abby invites SR to the annual viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Down in Autopsy, Ducky delivers his report. Huffner died of a broken neck and he didn’t die in the chair. He also had cirrhosis of the liver; he was a very heavy drinker.
JR and SR arrive at Tony’s apartment and we learn a lot about Tony. He has a pet goldfish named Kate. He doesn’t keep much food in the house and he sleeps in a single bed. He says that this is his sanctuary; if he wants to be with a lady, he goes to her place. That way he can leave when he wants and he doesn’t have to worry about anyone overstaying their welcome.
Gibbs meets Abby in her lab; she’s taking fingerprints off of an heirloom Christmas ornament that’s been in her family for generations. She’s identified two relatives already. She printed them when she was a kid. She also has identified a second print from the Benjamin; Justin Cannady. He worked at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and he was fired a year ago.
In the NCIS office, Tim and Ziva find Tony on the floor. Sleeping on the couch has made kinks in his neck and back. Agent Winter shut down Cannady’s apartment so that NCIS couldn’t get in. Tony shows them that Cannady was broke. Agent Winter briefs the team on Cannady; he operated a shredder and lost two fingers. The bureau had to let him go. She says that they tore apart Cannady’s apartment and didn’t find anything.
Huffner’s wife admits that she knew her husband had a drinking problem and says she could always find him at Gillespie’s if he wasn’t home. At the Huffner home, Tim and Tony try to track down more bills. Tony’s dad calls to find out where he keeps his roaster and we learn that Tony doesn’t have one; doesn’t cook at home. After Tony gets off the phone, Tim says he should appreciate his father. Tony tells him that SR was an absentee dad. There was a cygnet ring that his dad was to pass to him on his 21st birthday, but his dad said he got mugged. Tony thinks his dad pawned the ring when he fell on hard times. Tim decides they should check a silk tree and they find a stash of cash in a false bottom.
Gibbs and Ziva head to Gillespie’s to ask about Noel and find out if Justin Cannady was a patron there, too. The bar isn’t open yet, but they find the owner out back. Gibbs recognizes the antique truck and the owner says it belonged to his father. Inside the bar he says he knows Huffner well, Justin too. The men used to sit together at the end of the bar. He’s surprised to learn that Huffner is dead.
Tony goes back to his apartment and finds his dad decorating a Christmas tree; he moved the piano, the kitchen is a mess. His dad made his favorite cookies, snicker doodles. Tony hushes his dad when there’s a knock at the door; he says it’s the “blood hound from across the hall.” SR looks out the peep hole and is interested in the lady.
Tony meets the NCIS team in the woods, where hikers have found a body; it’s Cannady. Jimmy got his maggots after all. Gibbs distracts Winter when she shows up at the scene; he says they aren’t sure if it’s Cannady. Tony observes that if Cannady is dead then they are still looking for another killer.
Noel had $400K of the Benjamins, the team speculates that Huffner may have maxxed his wife’s credit cards to buy some of the uncirculated bills from Cannady. In the meantime, Abby has figured out how the money left the bureau. There are fibers from shredded bills clinging to the inside of the bag. The money was taken out with the trash. They have also learned that the batch was shredded on May 2nd, 2011.
Winter confronts Ducky in autopsy and tries to find out if the body is Cannady’s but Ducky beats around the bush until Gibbs arrives and gives him permission to tell her. It’s Justin Cannady, and his neck was broken, the same as Huffner’s.
Gibbs tells agent Winter that they have a lead and he needs to talk to Assistant Director Linder again. At the bureau, they learn where the shredded money was taken on May 2nd 2011. Dinozzo and McGee follow up, and are surprised to meet one of Tim’s school buddies working at the dump site. He is able to tell them exactly where the trash was dumped because May 2nd, 2011 there was a break in at the dump. The police made a joke out of it because who would steal trash? He remembers the day because it was the day the Navy Seals took out Osama Bi Laden.
Tony goes home and finally embraces everything his dad has done. He thinks the apartment looks great and tells his dad that he was right. Then he opens the bedroom door to ask if his dad wants to go out for dinner; and closes it again. Tony SR comes out in a robe, Dinozzo is not happy. The “Bloodhound” comes out of his bedroom and says her goodbyes. Dinozzo says he’ll have to burn the bed now. SR says that he can’t change and Tony tells him he knew this wouldn’t work. He tells his dad he’ll have to go.
In the morning at the NCIS office, Tim tells Gibbs that May2nd, 2011 was the night Bin Laden was killed. DC would have been on high alert in case of retaliation. He calls Agent Winter and asks for access to the surveillance tapes.
In Abby’s lab the team tries to enhance the night video. They see two men and a pick-up truck. Tim says that because of the angle and the light, he can’t get a plate; but Gibbs doesn’t need it. The team heads to Gillespie’s bar. They grill Gillespie until he finally tells them there’s a safe in his office closet.
Tony heads back to his apartment to get the DVD of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and finds a small gift wrapped box under the Christmas tree. It is the cygnet ring that has been in his family for generations. In MTAC the team watches Winter take credit for the whole operation before Tony arrives. He shows them the ring; his dad had come to try and make amends. Tony admits that he screwed up with his dad. Then Abby shows up with Tony SR in tow. JR shows his dad the ring and they hug with “I love you, Dad.” And “I love you too, son.”
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