With that crazy cliffhanger from last season, the wait for the NCIS season 16 premiere has felt quite long. Sloane and Gibbs didn’t catch the man who tortured her all those years ago, but instead he’s managed to abduct Vance and is flying off to who knows where with him. Is Vance going to die? We won’t lie and say that we weren’t worried about him all summer, but at the same time he’s a highly skilled NCIS agent with a lot of experience under his belt, so we feel like he’s going to find a way out of this situation. Mostly we just love that Vance is getting the spotlight since he doesn’t always have the juiciest stories and this is a great one for him.
Within the first seven or so minutes of this episode, it was pretty clear that we were getting a very juicy story for this character. How else could you really describe what we ended up seeing here? Hakim had gotten a hold of Vance and, as we learned early on in the premiere, it looks as though they were using him to commit crimes. As a matter of fact, he was used in order to rob a bank! To make matters worse, he was then forced to record a video message with a warning. Hakim is using Vance against his will, and to make matters worse, his own family was put into danger.
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We do have to give some credit to Vance’s daughter, who did whatever she could in order to escape. She survived one attack, and as things started to get a little bit more dangerous, it also started to become all the more clear that Jack Sloane was going to stop at nothing in order to get some more information on Hakim’s whereabouts. That including torturing someone who she felt may know a thing or two about where Hakim and Director Vance could be. She went aggressive but, in the aftermath of that, she found her own life in jeopardy.
What made trying to find Vance so difficult was simply because everyone was forced into roles that they were not altogether used to. For Gibbs, he was trying to work as the Director in the wake of Vance’s absence. He had to work to do things that he was not altogether used to doing and that posed to be a rather difficult challenge for him. The agents were all slotted out of order, and everyone was so intent on trying to find a way to stop Vance that they didn’t notice that there were plants within the government. Vance and Gibbs in some ways fell right into the bad guys’ path, and eventually, Sloane joined Leon in their makeshift torture chamber while Hakim and his team caused things to go nuclear … literally.
In the end, the only person who was able to stop the metldown was Nick Torres, who managed to figure out by (literally) smashing a number of lava lamps that were essential to the plan. As for stopping Hakim, it turns out that Sloane allowed herself to be captured, knowing that she had a tracking device put on her that would allow Gibbs and company to find Hakim and take him out. He was arrested, and Sloane got her revenge in letting the government handle him the right way.
If you were looking for NCIS season 16 to start off with some sort of enormous surprise, you are probably fairly disappointed at the moment. Who expected a case where lava lamps would hold the key to survival? That’s probably the biggest surprise given that Vance is alive, Hakim is behind bars, and Sloane gets to have some peace. Everyone now gets to move forward.
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