NCIS Season 13 Episode 14 Review: Decompressed

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Poor Ducky. Eager to do his job, but stuck on the outside of a decompression chamber.

Yet he wasn't stymied for long, as he had the three suspects perform the autopsy for him.

The scummy lawyer was right though: any findings from the autopsy would have been inadmissible in court.

NCIS Season 13 Episode 14 featured an unorthodox investigation of a dead diver, killed by one of his partners because he stumbled upon their scam.

Namely, that the lawyer and one of the divers were running a unique drug delivery system.

Cheers for the writer who came up with this one!  Putting all of the suspects in plain sight but inaccessible for four days was genius!

Every good story involves a conflict that looks insurmountable. This one certainly had it: how do you solve a murder when you can't get to the body for four days?

And then why would you use three of your suspects to do it for you, each of whom had reason to pin the murder on each other? That had to have been a defense lawyer's dream.

The casting of this episode was well done, too. Tim Conlon played the smarmy lawyer (Jerry Grossman) to perfection. The more we saw of him, the more we hated him.

He did it so well, that when Gibbs sat there in the interrogation room at the end, calmly chowing down on what looked like cherry Jello, you could almost feel like cheering. We don't get to see Gibbs looking like the cat that caught the mouse too often.

The wife of the dead guy – Maria De La Rosa – was a piece of work too, wasn't she?

Maria: I would never leave my husband. I was raised Catholic, Agent Gibbs. My marriage was sacred.
Gibbs: You've got a funny way of showing it.

Her utter hypocrisy was breathtaking.

I don't recall Abby sneaking around and handing out Valentine's Day gifts and cards before, but that's certainly consistent with her character. The tradition was sweet, as was the one and only reference to Jake (in the card she gave Bishop):

[reading Valentine's Day card] Roses are red; they go in a bucket; Jake is a jerk; he can go suck it.


Speaking of Valentine, it's hard to tell if Tony is regretful over his split with Zoe, or if, as McGee suggests, he feels better off alone. This little quip from DiNozzo seemed cryptic:

McGee: Sometimes I think you prefer being alone.
Tony: We all have to live with our decisions, Tim.

There was so much to like about this episode, including the jittery screen reference to Max Headroom, Bishop and Tony exchanging Valentine's Day gifts, and Tony's unhappy sampling of Abby's tofu heart cakes.

Then of course there was McGee's poem to Delilah. I'm glad Tony never read it out loud, and that he stopped in his tracks and honestly appreciated McGee's romantic gesture to his girlfriend.

It's hard to say whether any of the evidence gathered would have stood up in court. "Fruit of the poisoned tree" would maybe have come into play here, thereby making all of the subsequent investigation worthless in court.

It doesn't matter, though. At the end of the day, the show was a lot of fun. So we'll just have to suspend disbelief and just appreciate it for what it is.

Final thoughts:

  • Bishop seems to mostly over her split with Jake. Her comment that "it's not so bad" is worth noting.
  • We can be thankful too that there is zero romantic chemistry between her and DiNozzo. For a moment there, it seemed like the writer was setting us up for something: both of them were doing nothing for Valentine's, and both of them recently got out of relationships. Yet at the end, they were merely brother and sister, giving thoughtful gifts to each other. That dynamic works so well for them.
  • Be sure to tune in next week for NCIS Season 13 Episode 15, entitled "React".  Or, if you can't wait, you can always catch up on any missed episodes when you watch NCIS online.

What are your thoughts on the case of the week? Did you suspect that lawyer from the start? Let us know in the comments below!

Decompressed Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (95 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter


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NCIS Season 13 Episode 14 Quotes

Maria: I would never leave my husband. I was raised Catholic, Agent Gibbs. My marriage was sacred.
Gibbs: You've got a funny way of showing it.

Gibbs: You know, there's a small percentage of people who can't eat anything processed red. Allergies. Gives them rashes, Meredith. Like that rash you have right there, Meredith. You must have touched something red recently, huh? Like a vial of red liquid cocaine? Found those inside the PPAs your divers positioned on the ocean floor. There's 200 of them. That's a whole lot of drug money.
Grossman: It's inadmissible garbage. Doesn't make any sense. Where would Meredith get narcotics like that?
Gibbs: She didn't. She had a partner, who's being arrested as we speak. In 2010, you represented the Suarez Cartel. Their signature product was liquid cocaine. Last month you had a meeting in Cartagena. We've been tracking your pre-positioned asset. Last night it was called to the surface and loaded onto a Columbian trailer. The DEA raided it.
Meredith: You dumb ass!
Grossman: Shut up, Merry.
Gibbs: No, Jerry. You shut up.