‘NCIS’ Puts the Spotlight on Fatherhood With Sean Murray & Tim McGee (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for NCIS Season 19, Episode 19 “The Brat Pack.”]
It’s a family affair in the latest NCIS, with series star Sean Murray‘s daughter, Cay Ryan Murray, guest starring as Teagan, a teen Tim McGee bonds with during a case. In “The Brat Pack,” the team investigates after a series of break-ins at the Norfolk base end up being connected to the murder of an officer.
As the episode begins, McGee’s worried about his four-year-old daughter because Morgan’s insisting on wearing a princess dress to school every day. And then when the team brings in the teens who broke into a house to throw a party, McGee starts worrying, “Is that where this is headed? One day your daughter’s wearing a princess dress, won’t take it off, next day, she’s committing felony trespassing?”
But why are these break-ins NCIS’ case? The teens had to hack into the houses since the doors only unlock with QR codes that change every 20 minutes. The hacker can’t be Noah (Daniel DiMaggio), the one who was caught on camera breaking into a house earlier and tries to claim it’s not him even though he’s wearing the same sweatshirt. As his mom (Brea Bee) puts it, “You’re not even smart enough to take off the clothes you committed a crime in. You’ve been wearing the same hoodie for a week.” (Again, McGee worries: “My God, that is how it starts.”) Noah points them to Teagan.
McGee and Teagan bond over hacking and being military brats, and she insists that she’s the only one who knows the algorithm she used on the base. But then Jessica Knight (Katrina Law) informs McGee that there was another break-in the night before, while the kids were already in custody. While McGee wants to give Teagan the benefit of the doubt, Knight reminds him she’s not a victim. And then she becomes a suspect when the house of that latest break-in explodes — with the owner, a lieutenant, inside.
Teagan says she doesn’t know who the lieutenant is and gets defensive when he suggests she’s not being honest. Maybe he should listen to what his daughter wants, she says when he agrees there’s lot about kids he doesn’t get. Teagan admits she hacked the base serve to fit in after meeting Jayden, her boyfriend, on BratChat, a social media app for military kids. The investigation leads them to a teen selling the lieutenant’s robot butler — and he’s Noah’s half-brother. He reveals that the teens were going to party at the lieutenant’s house next, and Teagan sent the invite. So she lied to McGee… Plus, as they find out from Ernie (NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Jason Antoon), the shrapnel in the bomb came from an old artillery shell from WWI. Teagan’s mother is an IED tech who specializes in just that area — and the lieutenant was about to deploy her to Latvia, meaning Teagan would’ve had to move again. She has motive and opportunity. And she escaped out her bedroom window when McGee went to talk to her.
A conversation with Teagan’s mother reveals the teen never met Jayden in person, and Kasie figures out that someone’s been catfishing her. Metadata suggests he’s 40, not 15. They started talking three months ago, when the break-ins started. Recovering deleted messages between the two reveals that he talked her into hacking the server to break into houses and asked about her mom’s experience. He’s the one who killed the lieutenant. And now he’s going to meet Teagan to tie up loose ends.
McGee, the Teagan Whisperer, is the one to approach her when the agents track her down and to tell her what’s really going on. She doesn’t want to believe him, since that would mean the one person who ever got her isn’t real. “I get you,” McGee tells her. He convinces her to listen to him and brings her to the NCIS van, where Teagan volunteers to be bait so they can capture “Jayden.” They refuse (obviously), but Teagan does help, by turning on his phone and turning the ringer all the way up so they can hear the beeps from her texts. “Well done,” McGee tells her after Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and Alden Parker (Gary Cole) arrest him.
“Jayden” is really Jason Samuels. The lieutenant’s testimony sent him to prison for seven years after a hit-and-run. Teagan can’t believe she fell for it, but McGee tells her that if his daughter is anything like her when she grows up, he’ll be proud. And Teagan tells him his daughter’s lucky to have him as a dad because he’s a good listener. “That’s your future, McGee,” Knight says as they watch Teagan and her mother reunite.
Other moments worth noting:
- Torres comments that he dressed up as Zorro (yes, really!) all the time as a kid.
- Parker really did his research before taking over as team leader. After all, he knows that Gibbs (Mark Harmon) “had a rule against [coincidences],” he comments after the explosion. “But that rule 62? That man was ahead of his time.” McGee raises his eyebrow. “I do my homework,” Parker says. (Rule 62 is “Always give people space when they get off an elevator.”)
- Is it just us, or is Dr. Palmer (Brian Dietzen) jealous when it comes to Ernie asking about Knight? There was that date…
NCIS, Tuesdays, 8/7c, CBS