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Here’s the base idea of it all — in order to look into a murder suspect following the death of a streamer, Gibbs had to look for some external help. He had to find someone who was good enough at the game to go “undercover” online. That person ended up being Phineas, the very kid who Gibbs was tasked to look after by his mother Sarah. She warned Gibbs to not let him use any screens and yet, he gave Phineas the biggest screen possible when he realized that the kid could be his lifeline.
In the process of this, maybe Gibbs learned a thing or two about gaming culture — and how there can be monetary success in it. The bad news for Gibbs is that Phineas’ undercover mission proved futile in tracking down the real killer. Yet, in the end, we had a chance to see McGee find the real killer elsewhere. It took a little bit of work, and the real perp was ironically someone who claimed that had no real computer skills at all.
So what about Gibbs, Sarah, and Phineas? In the end, she came over and Gibbs admit that he broke the rules in “spectacular fashion,” to quote Sarah. The problem is that Phineas had so much fun with Gibbs that it led to the kid opening up about what he went through. She recognized that despite his misgivings, Gibbs was a good influence on the kid. He just has to find a way to follow a few more of the rules in the future.
We’ll admit this — “IRL” is probably the funniest episode of the entire season. There were so many good one-liners from Torres, McGee, and others tonight. The entire case was so over-the-top and outside of the NCIS team’s purview, but that doesn’t stop this from being a fun investigation to watch unfold.
Also, we are pretty well prepared to refer to McGee as an elf lord for as long as humanly possible. This is an episode we’ll remember for some time coming up!
What did you think about NCIS season 17 episode 9?
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.