NCIS season 17 episode 16 proved to be a heck of an interesting experiment for the show. You had flashbacks, actors playing different characters, and also a journey tracking the movements of a coin.
Was the story itself altogether weighty, or will it matter to some of these characters weeks down the road? We don’t think that we can answer that question with a yes, but we also don’t think that this was necessarily the intention of this episode. Instead, so much of the appeal of “Ephemera” came from watching actors like Wilmer Valderrama, Diona Reasonover, and Sean Murray play very different people. McGee looked super-ridiculous in his outfit, and there was also Wilmer sporting a rather fantastic mustache.
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What started as a suicide investigation early on in the episode eventually transferred over to a murder case after the discovery of Annie. She was a part of the story in the past, and the team found themselves working to determine what happened to her. She was poisoned slowly over the course of several days. It wasn’t a quick death, and as it turns out, the love letters that she was writing were the cause of her death. Or, to be specific, it was the stamps. It turns out her own brother was responsible for what happened.
Given that this was such an unusual case, didn’t it make some sense that it was resolved with a little something as simple as the brother’s snot?
After the murder was solved, the NCIS team was able to get back to the other matter at the heart of this episode — what happened to the mystery coin itself. As it turns out, it was Annie herself who stole the coin rather than Art, who was blamed for it for most of the episode. Annie had the intention of selling it so that the two could go on an adventure forever. He was sent away to serve, but after the fact, Art eventually found himself in possession of that coin again.
NCIS season 17 episode 16 was a fascinating case from a performance standpoint — after all, some of these actors were almost unrecognizable in their new roles. The mystery itself was fascinating, and it was nice to see a character like Ducky find a role in much of it.
What did you think about NCIS season 17 episode 16?
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.