This week’s episode of “NCIS,” entitled “Detour” brought both Ducky and his assistant, Palmer, to the forefront. Both David McCallum (Ducky) and Brian Dietzen (Palmer) did a superb job.
The team was brought in to investigate the case of dead Naval officer Lt. Gordon Roth in Richmond, VA. Ducky and Palmer were transporting the body back to NCIS headquarters when one of the tires on their van had a blowout. While they were changing the tire, they were approached by a couple who abducted them at gunpoint and forced them to drive the body to an isolated cabin in the woods. Once there, Ducky and Palmer were told they were to perform an autopsy on the body. When Ducky resisted, one of the captors threatened Palmer’s life. He then consented to perform the autopsy. They were placed in leg irons and given tools to perform their duties.
Gibbs and his team didn’t realize anything was amiss, at first, until Gibbs went to Autopsy for Ducky’s report and they were nowhere to be found. It was only when Abby was unable to reach the duo and found the battery had been removed from Palmer’s cell phone that they got worried and shifted their focus to finding Ducky and Palmer. They used all resources, including footage from traffic security cameras near the scene of the accident. A SUV followed the ME van from the crime scene. The group issued a BOLO and continued to work.
Ducky realized that once the autopsy was complete the captors would most likely kill the pair. He and Palmer stalled their abductors long enough to come up with a plan to save themselves. Ducky came up with some ingenious ways to use the body, itself, to help them escape. Palmer worked to use hydrochloric acid to eat through the lock on the leg irons while Ducky reversed a hearing aid to spy on their abductors. The duo then worked to find a way to leave the cabin.
The abductors come in and demand the autopsy results. Ducky gives them the findings but insists he’s left out a key piece of evidence as an insurance policy. The female abductor threatens, again, to shoot Palmer but then notices Palmer keeps looking over at the stove top. She finds a key hidden in a pitcher and says they were too obvious. Palmer stammers out an explanation as they wait for the next step in their escape plan to happen. It doesn’t take long.
In true “MacGuyver” style, they ultimately created a bomb using a stove, a cigarette butt, gauze, and methane produced by the body. It killed one of their abductors and allowed them time to slip out of the cabin, unnoticed. They then took to the woods.
Gibbs and the team stepped up their investigation and found that “Lt. Roth” was actually an impostor. The man identifying himself as Roth assumed the identity once the real Roth was accepted into the Naval Academy. He slept with his CO in order to use her logon to retrieve information he could then sell to the Cubans. On the day of his death he was beaten and accidentally shot by his CO’s husband who found out about his wife’s affair with Roth. He knew the police would be called to to the scene. Rather than allow his team to be put into danger, Roth opted to kill himself. Gibbs figures out that Roth’s handlers have Ducky and Palmer.
They get a lead from the BOLO issued earlier. A ranger from Shenandoah National Park recognized it as a vehicle that had been staying there for two weeks. Gibbs and crew descend on the park.
Ducky and Palmer are still looking to escape when they hear gunshots nearby and Ducky turns his ankle on a rock. He insists that Palmer go on without him. This gives Palmer an idea. He uses Ducky as bait. When a captor shows and pulls a gun on Ducky, Palmer springs up and shoots the man several times. He’s horrified thinking he has killed someone. The man stands back up and prepares to shoot the duo when Gibbs and team arrive. Only the female captor is still left to arrest.
She turns up a short while later at a gym locker. She opens it and finds a jersey with Palmer’s name on the back. Gibbs and the team come in and arrest her.
What did you guys think of this episode? Ducky and Palmer came up with some interesting ideas when the going got tough. Were you satisfied by the episode? Would you like to see more of this in the future?
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