Through every single episode on NCIS season 18 so far, we’ve wondered about that opening scene from the premiere with Gibbs and McGee. Why would Jethro shoot him? This is one of most trusted agents, and a beloved member of the team. Gibbs may go rogue here and there, but he doesn’t make a habit out of shooting some of his own people.
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Early on in episode 5 tonight (entitled “Head of the Snake”), Gibbs was tracking down … the Head of the Snake. You guessed it! The Merriweather case was an obsession, but unfortunately one that had grown cold. Three months had passed since episode 4 and he’d gotten almost nowhere. The DEA was just about to take it over when Gibbs heard from Fornell … only fitting that it came at the last minute, no? Feeling the pressure, Gibbs decided to finally clue in the rest of the team. This spawned a mission, one that put all hands on deck in different roles.
Ultimately, McGee was shot because he was put into one of those roles. He was forced to pose as Fornell at the airfield as a part of a meet with Merriweather. What he didn’t realize was that the plane he was heading to was about to explode. Gibbs effectively hurt McGee to save his life, strange as it is to say. We figured from the start that Gibbs was trying to protect him and yet, it was hard to imagine it playing out like this. He tried to warn McGee before firing the bullets — Tim just couldn’t hear him.
Despite all of the chaos tonight, Merriweather was still out there after the plane blew up. This whole explosion was retaliation against the people sloppy enough to let Fornell into their operation. (Earlier in the episode, we saw Tobias alongside “Beltway Burger manager” Chad.) Gibbs and the rest of the team were able to pick him up later, using his daughter’s social media as way to pin down their location. That’s good, given the idea of the episode ending without the bad guy behind bars was super-depressing, especially after all the buildup.
So is everything right in the NCIS world now? Kind of. Merriweather is done, but McGee’s got bullet wounds and Bishop had some bumps and bruises from when she was kidnapped earlier in the episode. (We do think McGee will survive — why would Delilah tell Gibbs that he “saved Tim’s life” otherwise?)
What did you think about the events of NCIS season 18 episode 5?
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.