Friday 8th May 9.00pm
The hit US drama based on the work of the Navy’s dedicated federal agency continues. This week’s instalment is the first half of an explosive season finale. The death of a special agent in LA leads NCIS Director Jenny Shepard on a dangerous sub- rosa mission to finish some classified business she began a decade ago in Europe.
Upon hearing that Special Agent William Decker has died from a suspected heart attack, NCIS Director Jenny Shepard heads to LA to attend his funeral – with Tony and Ziva in tow. All seems well until Shepard sees a Russian man approach an official and ask for a ‘Mr Oshimida’. Apparently recognising the name, the director snaps a few surreptitious photos of the Russian, before dismissing Tony and Ziva and heading off on her own. She drives to a motel to meet retired agent Mike Franks. “Did you ever work with Special Agent William Decker?” she asks. “Why, he in some kind of trouble?” asks Franks. “He’s dead – and I’m next,” replies Shepard.
Shepard explains that ten years ago, she, Gibbs and Decker spent time in Europe on a covert operation to infiltrate a Russian spy ring. The name ‘Oshimida’ was a code word to be used in the event that their cover was compromised. Only the three agents knew of the code word – and Decker would only have used it if he knew he were about to be killed. “Decker was trying to get me a message,” she says.
With Franks on board for an ‘outside-agency’ operation, Shepard breaks into Decker’s house and finds the agent’s girlfriend, Sasha Gordon, cowering inside a wardrobe. Sasha reveals that Decker told her to pass on a message to Director Shepard if anything should happen to him – that he kept an insurance policy in an old diner somewhere in the Mohave desert. Without disclosing her true identity, Shepard takes a key and a scribbled address from Sasha, before giving the girl her hire car and telling her to flee town. “So, when we find out who did this…” begins Franks when he and the director are alone. “It will be just the way you like it – no paperwork,” interrupts Shepard, ominously.
Back at HQ, Abby and McGee, working ‘on the down-low’ for the director, come up with a name for the man at the funeral – one Viggo Drantyev. Shepard phones and asks for background information, but there is very little available. Drantyev arrived from Russia a few days ago, but is otherwise untraceable. “Whoever this guy is, he must have friends in high places,” says Abby.
Meanwhile, Ziva cannot enjoy her day off in LA, much to Tony’s chagrin. Unable to shake the feeling that the director is in trouble, she does her own undercover work and traces Shepard’s hire car to a nearby beach. The agents head to the scene, only to find Sasha lying dead beside the car, apparently killed by a fall. “It’s probably just a coincidence,” says Tony, hopefully. “You don’t really believe that, do you?” asks Ziva. “No,” responds Tony. However, Tony is reluctant to get involved. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the director’s private wars, it’s that it’s best to stay away,” he says.
By this stage, Shepard and Franks have located the abandoned diner and set about finding Decker’s ‘insurance policy’ – something they assume to consist of names, photographs and operational blueprints. They come across some photos on the wall featuring what appears to be a code, but their attempts to decipher the message are interrupted by a call from Ziva informing them that Sasha is dead. “If Viggo got to her, we have to assume she talked,” says Franks. “He knows about us and Decker’s insurance policy.” While Shepard makes a note of the code and burns the photos, Franks gets ready to leave. “I guess he’s going to be on his way – if we leave now…” he begins. “You can go,” replies Shepard, sternly. “I’m staying – this ends here.”
Elsewhere this week, Gibbs is sent a mysterious package by FBI Director Tobias Fornell. Opening the envelope in secret, he finds it contains photographs pertaining to the murder of ‘La Grenouille’ (see episode 14, ‘Internal Affairs’). Could this case be somehow related to Shepard’s current situation? And will Gibbs realise that his director is in danger in time to help her?