NCIS 10×13 Hit and Run Recap and Review
NCIS 10×13 Hit and Run Summary: A car accident involving a Marine is investigated and the probe causes Abby to recall some troubling memories from her very first case.
NCIS 10×13 Hit and Run Review: Everyone who loves NCIS has a special place in their heart for Abby Sciuto. Her eccentricities make Abby one of the most distinctive characters in television. She has a huge heart and is generous with her time and her love. Abby is also a genius in her field and enjoys her job as a forensic scientist. This Abby-centric episode promised to take the viewers back to the root of Abby’s history; her very first case. I have to say that it was a relief from the roller coaster ride that the tenth season of NCIS has provided. The season started in the aftermath of a bomb in the Navy yard and Ducky’s heart attack. We enjoyed the holidays with the NCIS family centered episodes and then in the New Year, we were faced with the deaths of Eli David and Jackie Vance. This episode, while it followed some emotional highs and lows, were back to normal for an NCIS episode. Brighton Sharbino was wonderful as a young Abby Sciuto, especially in the way that she called for her brother “Luca, Luca, Luca” with the same rapid fire delivery that the grown up Abby calls “Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs!” The best parts of the episode were those involving the team trying to deal with Abby’s problems; I have to give Tony the award for his performance dealing with Abby’s color coded evidence system, with Tim’s distress at having to deal with Major Maspec, in Abby’s Lab, playing a close second. Gibbs, in the end, is the one who can always bring Abby back from the edge, and he does, but of course as Abby would tell you, he’s perfect. In case you missed it, you can watch NCIS 10×13, Hit and Run on CBS. The play-by-play recap is below.
NCIS 10×13, Hit and Run starts with two men, senior citizens, driving along an empty road, arguing and ribbing each other. Suddenly Marty tells Lester to stop the car and then runs back down the tree lined highway to the scene of a horrible accident. The vehicle ran off the edge of the road and landed on rocks face down. I was surprised that it hadn’t flipped onto the hood as they so often do in film and TV. The driver is in Marine uniform, outside the vehicle, his head smashed on a rock.
As the NCIS team arrives at the scene, Tony and McGee talk briefly about the deputy director, and about what Vance and Ziva are going through. Ziva is already at work, and Gibbs calls the two men down the embankment. Ducky takes in the scene and finds a couple of disturbing developments. The blood spatter inside the car and the dead woman in the front seat don’t add up. Her air bag worked, while the driver’s did not. She has been hit in the left side of the head but there isn’t anything in the car that she could have hit her head on. The victims, Lance Corporal Chad Dunn and Lyla Cutwright look like a possible murder suicide case.
In the NCIS garage, Abby prepares to go over the car when she notices a pine tree air freshener through the spider web crack in the windshield. Tim calls her name as she slips into a trance. Abby remembers taking pictures of a cracked windshield when she was ten years old. Her brother Luca is with her as she tries to determine the cause of the accident. Before they leave, Abby discovers a teddy bear on the floor board of the truck, “Luca, Luca, Luca!” she yells as her brother walks away. She shows him the teddy bear and explains that the little girl could be missing her favorite teddy bear; she wants to return it, but the name on it is too small to read.
McGee hollers for Abby and she breaks out of her reverie; he says she looks like she’s seen a ghost but he’s told her they don’t exist. Abby says she was remembering her first case. “Dead Marine in a car wash?” Tim offers. “Not my first case at NCIS; my first case ever. “ When he tries to press her further, Abby says she can’t talk about it.
Up in the NCIS office, Ziva, Tony and McGee discuss Abby and wonder about the first case that could have her so upset. Gibbs enters “Update, Go!” he orders. The most the team has to offer is that before Lyla Cutwright was beaten and driven off the ridge by Chad Dunn, they hadn’t seen each other since the grade school. Their parents were at Quantico at the same time and the two met as children. Their dads were involved in a bar brawl ten years ago and that was the last they saw of each other.
Ducky says that Dunn died when he hit the rock, after the accident, but Lyla was dead before the car went over the ridge. He sent fragments from Lila’s wound to Abby, but she is acting strange, he warns Gibbs. Stranger than usual.
Gibbs meets Abby in the NCIS garage and she is acting strangely. She’s overcompensating, big time. She has the evidence organized by a color coding system. She assures Gibbs that the car was a mess, but she’s not. “#1 I’m okay. #2 there was no DNA under Cutwright’s fingernails, #3 the weapon was Chestnut.” As Abby starts to lay out more of the investigation to Gibbs, like the fact that the weapon is not among the debris from the car, she can’t remember if she’s on number four or five. The one thing she is sure of is that Lyla was facing towards the window when she was hit on the left temple, so her attacker was outside the car. She picks up an empty two liter from the floor board and has another flashback.
Abby is ten again and she cuts a two liter bottle with scissors as Luca asks what she’s doing. She assures her brother that if she told him it would ruin the surprise and surprises are the best. She asks for some of his water and tells him it should work as a lens, and bend the light. She can see the name, it’s Ricky Evans; she doesn’t know her, but somebody will. Gibbs brings Abby back to reality and tells her that he needs her A Game.
The Dunns and the Cutwrights come in for questioning and end up fighting again. Each father blames the other for his child’s death. Gibbs and Ziva split the “Hatfields and McCoys” while Gibbs sends Tony to the woods to look for a weapon made of Chestnut; a wooden weapon in the woods. Gibbs doesn’t learn anything from the Dunns except that Walter Dunn is overbearing and his wife is cowed. Ziva learns that Cutwright was in love with Meredith Dunn. He’s been writing to her for about a year. She was planning on leaving her husband this time.
Gibbs meets Abby in her lab and learns that Chad Dunn didn’t kill Lyla Cutwright. Her computer simulation shows that the killer hit Lyla, then as Chad was exiting the vehicle the killer went to the other side and smacked his head against the frame of the car. She found blood and hair on the door frame. The killer put Chad back into the driver’s seat, then ran it off the ridge while running along side. He used the weapon to press on the gas pedal. She found aluminum backed with paint on the gas pedal, the same as Lyla’s head trauma. Gibbs tells Abby that he sent Tony looking for a piece of chestnut. Abby says that she had the slides mixed up. When Gibbs questions her, Abby has an uncharacteristic outburst. “I made a mistake, I’m not perfect like you are.” Gibbs watches from the doorway as Abby has another flashback.
Young Abby finds Ricky Evans; today is her mom’s funeral. Ricky says a car hit their car and drove away. She can’t take the bear because her grandpa gave it to her and her dad doesn’t like her grandpa. Ricky only visits him when she’s with her mom; so now he can’t be her grandpa anymore. Gibbs takes a call from Tim; he has found the burn phone that the corporal had been calling.
The phone belongs to Dunn’s cousin, Brandon Singer. He owns some sort of energy alternative company. When Brandon sees the picture of Lyla, he says she is Chad’s girlfriend. He mistakenly thinks they have finally run off together. He says that Chad found the love letters between Cutwright and his mother; he went to confront the man at his dry cleaning shop but Lyla was there instead. The two had been seeing each other for about six months.
Tony comes in with what Ziva calls “A bushy tail” after his night in the fresh air. Tony wants to know where Gibbs is so he can thank him. Gibbs enters and says that Walter Dunn was home all night with his wife. Gibbs tells the rest of the NCIS team that Abby called in sick; she’s never called in sick. He sends Tony and Ziva to continue where Abby left off with her evidence and Tim to take swabs from Ducky to Abby’s Lab. McGee protests that Maspec is very loyal; he offers to cover so that Gibbs can go to the lab. Gibbs shakes his head and smiles “No, I’m not going back in there.”
Gibbs goes to the park to meet Meredith Dunn and asks about her son. He wants to make sure that her husband was really home at the time of the murder. She hasn’t got an ounce of love left for her husband, but she admits he was home with her.
Tony stresses out over checking the evidence off on Abby’s check list, in case he uses the wrong color. Tony finally confesses to Ziva that going over the evidence without Abby is like going to a puppet show without a puppeteer, just dead puppets on the side of the stage. Tony looks at Ziva and apologizes. “Why should you be sorry?” At his look, Ziva tells Tony “My father dies and all of a sudden you cannot talk to me about dead puppets. I’m fine, Tony.” Ziva notices a nice notebook in the evidence that has never been used. She finds a bank receipt with a withdrawal for $15,000. That should have been logged already.
Meanwhile Gibbs meets McGee in the Lab and learns that Major Maspec is acting funny. Tim thinks “he doesn’t like me.” Gibbs asks if “he” said anything. Tim explains that when Abby runs samples, Major Maspec sort of purrs, but when Tim put the samples in, he sort of growled. Tim remembers there’s an “Abby’s Lab for Dummies” and goes to get the book. Gibbs notices that McGee made the cover; Tim says she’s the only person who can call you a dummy and make you feel like you’ve won something at the same time. Gibbs smiles and lets Tim go off to find Abby and make sure she’s okay.
Tim finds Abby calling numbers for Bingo at a retirement home. She admits that she’s not actually sick, and Tim says he knows. He tells her that Gibbs and everyone else is worried about her; he is too. He says he wants to help, but she has to tell him how. Abby holds the worn fuzzy heart that used to be on the front of the teddy bear.
Young Abby approaches a barber shop as country music plays. When the shop owner comes out she asks if he’s Ricky’s grandpa. She wants him to go to her house and tell her dad that he’s sorry for whatever he did that made him mad. He says he loves Ricky and he loved her mom, but this is bigger what she can understand. Abby comes back to reality and asks if the bad always outweighs the good. She always wanted to help people so she filed the bad away so she could go back to being happy. People like the Cutwrights and Dunns just keep fighting and don’t care what the truth is, and Ricky never gets to see her grandpa again. “If the bad outweighs the good then I’m not enough and if I’m not enough, then why even try?” Tim is stunned as Abby walks away, beyond his reach.
In the office the NCIS team briefs Gibbs on the state of case. The money came from a trust fund belonging to Lyla that she received when she turned eighteen. The couple was planning to move together when Dunn was transferred. He tried to get a loan for an additional five grand. Gibbs and Tony talk to the banker and she says that he wanted the money for an investment. The paperwork didn’t add up. She doesn’t have a name, but the company had something to do with energy.
Gibbs and Ziva take a warrant to Singer’s house and tell him they’re going to search his house. Gibbs says that it looks like he had a Ponzi scheme going. He took $15,000 from his cousin and three months later, with no money to give, so you killed them. Brandon says that he told them he’d get them the money. He says that he would never hurt Chad, he was family. Gibbs shouts for DiNozzo. “Yeah Boss, did I miss my cue? I had a really good line too, like I found an aluminum friend in your dumpster that begs to differ.”
Abby sits down in the darkened NCIS office to write a letter to McGee, telling him she’s sorry. She has another flashback:
Ricky’s dad is yelling for her, the car is packed up and they’re ready to go. Abby watches as Ricky comes out of the house and finds the white floppy eared bunny she left her, in exchange for the teddy bear. Ricky hugs the rabbit to her chest and Abby hugs the bear, giving Ricky a nod of understanding. Gibbs enters and finds Abby sitting on the floor, in the dark, holding the worn heart. She tells him it’s from a bear that she loved so much it fell apart; this is all that’s left. She says that she is trying to find a way to deal with not being enough, enough good. Gibbs says that she’s not counting the “Hit and Runs, the good kind. You do something good today, but you’re not around to see the good it does in the future.” Gibbs asks her about the day they met, she gave him her fortune from her leftover Chinese food. She tells him that she wanted it to be about him. Gibbs hands her that fortune now. Abby has one more flashback, telling Luca that she couldn’t fix it. Ricky will never see her grandpa again. Luca says that she did good, she gave her the rabbit; she won’t forget that. Abby returns to reality and reads the fortune. “Today’s new friend is tomorrow’s family.”
So what did you think of NCIS 10×13, Hit and Run? Was it all the promos led you to believe it would be? Here’s a link to what Pauley Perrette had to say about filming this episode. @PauleyP Twitlonger
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