We begin our NCIS season 15 review with this: We had high hopes for the premiere episode based on both the preseason hype and the way that the most-recent finale for the show ended. Gibbs and McGee found themselves trapped in South America, and they found themselves subjected to some terrible treatment. They were bloodied up, beaten, and apparently didn’t have access to razors, either. Also, these people were very much particular about knowing people’s birthdays. It was a way of breaking them — when McGee gave his away for the sake of a sandwich, it started to become clear that they captors were winning. At this point, they really had to hope for help sooner rather than later … or so we thought.
While our two heroes found themselves struggling to stay alive in their makeshift prison, the team back in DC did everything in their own to find a way to bring them back — even while Vance was grilled by his Department of Defense colleagues over his methods of investigation. When he finally was handed one of his first real leads in months, he didn’t want to share with the class. Instead, he put his best people on it to continue the mission.
Did Gibbs and McGee ultimately even need the help? In time you can argue that the answer there is yes, but kudos to them for still hatching a plan to catch their captors off guard. Was McGee’s sandwich snag a stunt? It did end up helping to disarm the crew enough so that they could work their way out of the compound. At the same time, Bishop, Reeves, and Torres were able to chase down enough leads on their end that they made contact about 45 minutes into the episode.
Here is the one issue that we had with the episode: We would’ve wanted to see more of the entire team working together to bring Gibbs and McGee back before the end of the hour. there were some entertaining moments that came at this point, including Vance suddenly getting full support from the Department of Defense the moment the audio recordings stopped. They wanted him to color outside the lines to get them two back, provided that they did so without causing a big stink in the process. They needed to narrow down the location, and Gibbs and McGee technically still had to work their way our of the compound entirely.
Of course, it’s no surprise that the two parties made it out of there eventually, though it took a violent shootout and then hopping aboard a chopper at the last second.
Our CarterMatt Verdict
This was probably the best NCIS premiere in several years, mostly in that there was a specific goal in mind and the team all worked together in unique ways to make it happen. Probably the strongest one since season 10. (We probably would’ve liked season 11 more if we weren’t sitting there thinking about Cote de Pablo leaving most of the time.) Sure, you can argue that Gibbs and McGee finding their way out of their prison was pretty improbable, but this is NCIS — at a certain point, you just have to roll with the implausibility of it all and give in to the entertainment. It was all worth it seeing Tim get back home and to his pregnant wife Delilah. (A great performance by Sean Murray in this moment.)
What we wonder after watching this is who Gibbs has to go home to. The person he saw after his return was Bishop, which was a nice moment; yet, is he going to be happy with his life and his routine the way that it is now?
What lies ahead on NCIS season 15 episode 2?
The show is bringing the action back to the field office! Head over here to see our full preview for what’s ahead right now. Also, sound off with your thoughts on this episode, and the Gibbs/McGee story, in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)