NCIS season 14 episode 20 review: Agent Gibbs’ team tracks ransomware funds to cryogenic freezing

RansomwareNCIS viewers on Tuesday night didn’t need to be left out in the cold to discover how one could be frozen to death in a creepy crime that started with opening an email. The popular CBS show had fans watching closely as two crimes revealed one sick criminal.

Originally looking like a computer crime, NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee is summoned to help a vice admiral with a computer problem. His laptop is infected with ransomware and if the demand isn’t paid for the key to stop the clock, everything on the laptop will be wiped. The admiral refuses. Ransom is never paid to enemies – both electronically and on the battlefield. While Agent McGee seems to reason with the admiral, the case takes a contagious turn as McGee’s technology, along with everyone else’s in the squad room, is infected too. Well, everyone except Agent Gibbs, as he doesn’t have a smartphone.

With no one willing to put up the ransom to shut off the ransomware, the team has 24 hours to find the computer that directs the ransomware before everyone’s personal information is wiped out. Armed with phones like Agent Gibbs (yep, you guessed it, flip phones) the team starts following the clues.

Looking to crack the case with a computer expert, the behavior of the guru causes suspicion and before the team can question him, he disappears. Using satellite radio, the team does retrace his last footsteps only to find him frozen in the trunk of a car, in a lake. How is this possible? Cryogenic freezing.

The suspected killer is somehow able to obtain large amounts of liquid nitrogen to use for his cryogenic freezing. Cleverly, the two situations are connected. The killer was looking for a way to pay for his research on freezing people to be thawed and live again after science was enhanced. So he turned to ransomware. Fast cash that couldn’t be traced back to the criminal’s computer. Sharp with computers and friends with the computer expert who turned up dead (and frozen), the killer ends up trying to fund his little project by extorting people to pay to have their data returned to normal using ransomware. This isn’t your typical crime, but it definitely had an interesting twist.

Agent Quinn focuses on family

There was one agent who didn’t play a big part helping the team. NCIS Special Agent Alexandra “Alex” Quinn. Focusing on her mother, Marie Quinn, viewers watched as the agent needed to address her mother’s forgetfulness. The personal look into Quinn’s life showcased how this agent dealt with a difficult situation. No doubt this situation will continue in future episodes.

We really enjoyed the frozen twist on NCIS. The look at how people finance criminal activity usually is focused on drugs or alcohol. Nobody would think of ransomware to fund cryogenic freezing. Well, except for NCIS and the story was brilliant. Episode grade. A-.

Return date

Head over here to see when NCIS will return to CBS.

This review was written by Jodi Jill and if you’re looking for more then be sure to head on over to the link here. Also, you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter! (Photo: CBS.)

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