NCIS season 16 episode 18 review: Torres’ big story + a new Big Bad

Wilmer Valderrama

Tonight, NCIS season 16 episode 18 picked up a number of old threads — think in terms of Leon Vance and what may be a concentrated effort all around him to cut him down to size. We know that there’s a traitor in his midst already, and we know that Defense Secretary Crawford seems to want some dirt on him.

Vance clearly thinks his relationship is going places (even though we haven’t seen much of her since the beginning of the season!), so much so that he’s even purchased a fancy new necklace for her! It’s kind of sad that Vance, a guy so used to being cautious about the people in his life, is being played like this. As it turned out, Leon is not an easy person to be outsmarted! He was careful enough to put a recording device in his necklace and with that, he was able to determine that his new girlfriend was not exactly what he had hoped for.

So why did the CIA do this to Leon in the first place? For starters, they want to make sure that he hadn’t been turned. Following that, he was looking for answers on a mysterious bank account with almost a quarter billion dollars in it. As it turns out, the account may belong to Wynn Crawford! Is he the new Big Bad?

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Then, there was also another important thread that was just kicking off tonight — the state of one Nick Torres, who was missing from work and who eventually found himself awake on a boat with no recollection of how he got there. All he remembered was going to the gym after work and that was it — he was potentially drugged, and the boat he was found on was apparently abandoned for months. Bishop found his shirt on the boat, and it had some blood-splatter on it.

To think, the blood-splatter was far from the worst of Nick’s problems. After scoping around the gym, he, Bishop, and Gibbs discovered that his motorcycle was hidden behind a dumpster — beyond just that, there was a dead body underneath it. Clearly, someone was out to either frame Nick or just send him up a wall in insanity.

The deeper that this case got, the more bizarre in turn it became. The boat that Nick was found on apparently sank years before, per the records that were out there. Beyond that, Nick was also the last person to see the deceased woman alive. None of this was looking good. Yet, we knew that Nick wasn’t guilty of anything and the question we were left to wonder is who set him up? It turned out that the deceased called up Torres’ trainer and paid him $10,000 just for him to be a little bit late to his appointment. Then, there was also the case of some missing diamonds — one that were a part of an old investigation that Torres worked on with the Coast Guard. This is when yet another problem surfaced — Nick may have entered the inventory and taken the diamonds. Or, at least someone copied his eyes via a high-resolution photo.

As it turns out, a woman working at the Coast Guard turned out to be responsible for what happened here, as she managed to use him in order to extract the diamonds and hid them in her boss’ shark tank.

The Ziva storyline returns

We didn’t think that we’d be seeing this tonight but, we got a mention of it as Ziva’s former landlord wants them to come and take some of her stuff. Gibbs claimed that he was going to get around to doing it, but he was clearly struggling with the idea. That’s why Gibbs is allowing Bishop to do it.

CarterMatt Verdict

Tonight’s episode delivered the goods! Not only did you get a chance to see a great Wilmer Valderrama performance, but there was also some great long-term storylines in here in between the Ziva mention and Wynn Crawford being responsible for a secret bank account. We were really happy to see this CIA story return since it felt like the forgotten story of the season. This thread kicked off last year and we’ve barely heard a murmur of it since, which was incredibly disappointing since we do love a good Vance story arc.

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