‘NCIS’: Gibbs’ Rules Come Into Play in ‘Hawai’i’ Crossover (RECAP) [NNT]
How fitting is it that NCIS: Hawai’i‘s first crossover features actors from another shared universe on TV? Sure, they never crossed paths during their time in the Arrowverse, but Katrina Law (Arrow) and Teddy Sears (The Flash) both have major parts to play as the action moves from NCIS to the island.
First, in “Starting Over” in D.C., Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) learns from Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) that a missing witness from an old ᴄᴀsᴇ might have turned up in Oahu. That leads to the first mention of a conference in Orlando where something happened to lead to rumors of “T’N’T.” So what happened? Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) heard they jumped off a balcony into the hotel pool. It wasn’t that high, Torres says, and they shared a few laughs, but the rumors were exaggerated.
Once they have confirmation that the witness, Kyle Jennings (David Bianchi), is actually on the island, Torres heads to Hawai’i to pick him up with Tennant. But once the agents do (arguing about their history), they come under ғɪʀᴇ . Jennings is ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ, their vehicle flips over multiple times, and then we pick up with the Hawai’i episode, where the majority of the crossover action takes place.
By the time the dust clears on the sʜᴏᴏᴛᴏᴜᴛ, the ɢᴜɴᴍᴇɴ are gone, as is Jennings’ body. “This is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been shot at,” Torres comments. Fortunately for him, he gets to spend a bit more time there as they bring in her team.
Marine Corporal Daniel Menlo ᴅɪᴇᴅ in a munitions blast five years ago in Afghanistan. Private contractor Fortress took responsibility, blaming it on improper grenade storage and specifically munitions specialist Greg Winslow (Sears). Torres investigated, but Greg had already been sent stateside and ᴅɪᴇᴅ in a single car accident shortly after. Jennings had been the only survivor of the ʙʟᴀsᴛ and went missing. Torres has been receiving anonymous tips for years about his location, with the latest leading to Hawai’i.
Ernie (Jason Antoon) is able to trace the vehicle that left tire tracks at the scene of the sʜᴏᴏᴛᴏᴜᴛ to a botanical garden. As they search the area, we get a Gibbs’ rule mention: 45, “Left a mess I gotta clean up.” (As we learned earlier this season on Hawai’i, Tennant has a connection to Torres’ former boss.) Then they find Greg. Turns out he’s alive.
Greg did fake his own ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ and has been following them, but he insists he didn’t ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ Jennings. Fortress did. The ᴇxᴘʟᴏsɪᴏɴ in Afghanistan was intentional and Jennings was responsible, he says, and when he was framed, he “ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ” himself before Fortress could. He’s the one who’s been sending Torres tips. “Torres is the Batman to my Robin, the Sherlock to my Watson,” Greg says. But why take Jennings’ ʙᴏᴅʏ? It must be evidence.
When the Hawai’i team turns to the original ᴄᴀsᴇ file, Lucy (Yasmine Al-Bustami) and Ernie find Knight (who made quips about heading to Hawai’i in the NCIS episode, a nod to Law’s time on Hawaii Five-0) waiting in his office. And Ernie is a major fan of the “legend of the REACT team, expert negotiator, total badass.” She’s also there to make sure Torres returns home without any ʙᴜʟʟᴇᴛ ᴡᴏᴜɴᴅs since “my team has ɢᴏɴᴇ through enough personnel changes.” (After all, in the past two seasons, Mark Harmon, Emily Wickersham, and Maria Bello all left NCIS.)
Another of Gibbs’ rules (40) comes up when Torres and Tennant talk to Greg at HQ. They’re looking into his story because, “as a colleague of ours likes to say, if it seems someone’s out to get you, they usually are.” So how’d Greg find Jennings all those times? He became friends with the contractor’s mother on social media. Speaking of Jennings, they find his ʙᴏᴅʏ too late: It’s already been incinerated at Honolulu’s Waste-to-Energy Facility.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
The ME finds high levels of aluminum powder on Jennings’ bones. His surgeon was going to operate to remove sʜʀᴀᴘɴᴇʟ from his back. That’s why Fortress ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ him: That was evidence. Furthermore, they then find proof that someone caused the ᴇxᴘʟᴏsɪᴏɴ, when Ernie recreates it: C4 set off the ᴇxᴘʟᴏsɪᴏɴ, not a faulty ɢʀᴇɴᴀᴅᴇ as was claimed. Jennings set up the ʙᴏᴍʙ. But why?
Digging into Fortress and its CEO Brent Spooner (Clark Freeman), as well as a trip to a training facility on the island under false pretenses to get a list of operators who worked in Afghanistan, eventually leads them to the answer. First, while Greg’s looking through that list and trying to ID those who were there with him, Ernie and Knight video-chat with Kasie Hines (NCIS‘ Diona Reasonover) back in D.C. After Ernie tries to “ᴅᴇᴍᴏʟɪᴛɪᴏɴ-splain” to her, Kasie informs him of just how much she’s learned about their ʙᴏᴍʙ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴛᴏɴᴀᴛᴏʀ. But when Knight then heads upstairs to talk to Greg to match the ᴅᴇᴛᴏɴᴀᴛᴏʀ to the Fortress operator, she and Tennant find he’s gone. Fortress got to him, with his lunch order and his sister’s address.
Torres gets the team in Hawai’i talking when he brings up the Orlando conference, calling it the elephant in the room, only for none of them to know what he’s talking about. Among the rumors: a series of dares (including base-jumping off Cinderella’s castle). Kai (Alex Tarrant) tries to get answers from Jesse (Noah Mills), since he’s known Tennant the longest. “I’ll tell you this, it involved a crashed wedding, stolen pontoon boat, and an adolescent alligator,” Jesse says. (Kai tries to get a reaction out of Tennant with “crashing a wedding” when they head to the training facility.) But when they’re under ғɪʀᴇ during Greg’s rescue, Jesse tries to get Tennant (who had worried when Knight said Torres told her “things”) to tell him what really happened in Orlando.
Then, when it’s time for Torres to say goodbye, he apologizes to Tennant for the T’N’T thing and notes he had fun. “What happened in Orlando,” she says, and he finishes, “will stay in Orlando.” So what exactly happened between them?! The only clue we have is something about getting trapped in a tower for a night.