At the heart of NCIS season 15 episode 23 was a case that was very much different than almost any other — a disappearance that was hardly a disappearance at all.
This brings us to Gibbs’ old friend Phil, someone who was presumed dead after an accident that took place at sea. He ended up attending the funeral but soon after that, it was officially revealed that Phil wasn’t dead at all. He had instead made it to shore after his boat was attacked and was spending his time hiding out in a fallout shelter. It was a smart move for him to keep himself safe, but he also lost track of time and had made his wife and most of his friends and family panic. Hence, the eventual funeral.
For most of the episode, the team had the responsibility of trying to figure out what happened, which they had to treat in many ways as a public murder case to both protect Phil and also ensure that nobody caught along. For a good while, this also meant having to still pretend to Phil’s own wife that he wasn’t actually among the living. This case did have a deadly turn, but not necessarily when it came to Phil.
One other part of this case that was different was getting to see Kasie as the forensic scientist. Gibbs brought her to help in the wake of Abby’s exit — everyone still clearly missed her and Sloane was doing everything within her power to ensure that they were able to move forward. Gibbs seemed to think on some level that bringing Kasie on board would actually help with that.
The big twist
Was it possible that Phil — or his wife — actually was telling others that he was alive? That was one of the real questions once Gibbs started to narrow down the possible subjects in Sean. When he found one, it was surprisingly clear that this said subject already knew that he was alive.
As it turned out, Phil’s wife Marcie had a relationship with the suspect; beyond just that, Gibbs had photos of the affair. She had tipped him off that Phil was still alive and while she wasn’t necessarily guilty of trying to murder her husband, she may have helped someone who ended up being a murderer. Her responsibility was then trying to flip the script on Sean and ensure that he was brought to justice.
Overall, NCIS season 15 episode 23 proved itself to be a rather-excellent installment of the series from start to finish, even if we did miss Abby and it was clear something was different. This episode did a good job remembering her but, in the process, also remembering Reeves. To be specific Bishop wanted to get a photo of herself and Clay that Ducky was able to retrieve from her cell phone.
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