NCIS recap: McGee catches the feelings football

Who would've pegged Daddy McGee (Sean Murray) as an anti-small talk guy? Certainly not me! Then again, I never expected to see him schlepping around in a football jersey, but here we are. Toss me the feelings football, and let's get into it.

The episode opens with a body in a massive bunker full of barrels of government-subsidized cheese. His still-alive cohort managed to escape, and the team's confused about their intended goal until they realize that a neighboring bunker houses surplus weapons — a much more likely target for thieves.

Knight (Katrina Law) suggests increasing the security there ("Cheddar safe than sorry!"), and they set out to determine how the thieves bypassed the un-hackable vault security system.


Sonja Flemming/CBS Sean Murray as Special Agent Timothy McGee

Conveniently, the un-hackable code was written by a fellow father at McGee's children's school. Carter Landegraff's (Kash Abdulmalik) a chatty goof who irritates the pants off of McGee and runs Man Time Monday at the local juice bar, which is where the agents finds him.

Carter's such a sweet cinnamon roll man that he knows the impressively man-bunned juice bar employee by name and is thrilled that somebody finally showed up for the dad hang. But when his vehicle erupts into a fireball outside the shop, it's clear that Carter's definitely involved.

In interrogation, Carter admits that he lent a friend his laptop with the code on it. And that friend was gangster Kingston Reinhardt, who offered to help Carter when his cryptocurrency vanished overnight.

Sweet, sweet Carter's shocked to hear that good ol' Rhino might've double-crossed him. But Reinhardt died of a heart attack the same day the bomb went off, making him an unlikely suspect.

Knight sweet-talks her funeral home-owning friend (and pickleball partner) Dee into letting them examine the body in its coffin right before the visitation. Palmer (Brian Dietzen) discovers a needle mark that could account for Reinhardt's death. Yep, it's a murder.

When the big gangster family arrives for the visitation, the team recognizes Reinhardt's nephew as the man who escaped from the bunker. The nephew disavows knowledge of the car bomb but says Carter stole the crypto money from the school. Carter! You didn't!

A shame-faced Carter admits that he did, in fact, do it. He was the only volunteer on a two-year fund drive to raise $500,000 for a coding lab for the school, but when it pulled in a mere $250,000, he moved the funds to a crypto account hoping to double it. "I thought I was doing something good!"

The only other potential suspect who knew about the account was fellow dad Owen Belfort III, who wears a sweater knotted around his shoulders and lost $300,000 on his last real estate venture. "Anybody who dresses like that's got a good lawyer on speed dial," Parker warns.

They opt for the sneaky approach: McGee will go to Owen's fantasy football night for the school's dads so he can get close enough to access the GPS data on Owen's posture-correcting device. ("Posture-correcting devices are a thing???" I say out loud as I'm slumped over my laptop like a bog witch.)

This is how McGee, wearing thick-framed video-equipped glasses and a bright blue football jersey, ends up standing awkwardly in Owen's man cave, which is decorated in Washington Commanders burgundy and gold but with no actual branded items in sight.

McGee knows absolutely nothing about football and clearly thinks he's above the chatter of the dads in attendance. But Owen throws him for a loop by turning off the game and tossing around the feelings football to get the men to talk about how to be better fathers.

When it's McGee's turn, he starts to open up about something other than the job… until the job calls with results from Owen's posture data. It shows that Owen has a rock-solid alibi for the crime of late, so he's off the list.

While McGee's in the other room, he overhears the other dads speculating that "cop dad" thinks he's too good for them. I mean, he did have kind of a crappy attitude, is all I'm saying.

Having gotten a lesson about judging and being judged, McGee takes Parker's advice and chats with Carter some more. They warm up a bit, and eventually Carter reveals that he worked on his laptop in the juice bar all the time since none of the dads ever showed up for Man Time Monday.

This gets McGee thinking about the person who always is at the shop: Man Bun Employee. I knew that hairdo was too memorable to be random! As Carter chatters away about NCIS having a new suspect, Man Bun gathers his stuff, including a gun, and bolts out the back, but of course NCIS is waiting for him there.

His real name is Hans, he's wanted for the murder of police officers in Stockholm, and he stole Carter's money when he spied on his browsing activities in the shop. Reinholdt's involvement made him nervous, so Hans killed him.

It then falls on McGee to deliver Carter the news: The missing money was in Hans' account, but it's not $250,000 anymore. It's actually $527,000. And next time, he'll join poor lonely Carter as the fundraiser co-chair. They leave the juice shop together in search of coffee. Here's hoping this is the start of a beautiful friendship!

Stray shots

  • Did… did NCIS just lowkey endorse cryptocurrency as a solid investing opportunity?

  • "Nothing he could fondue." Gotta love Palmer joining Knight in her cheese puns and then hastily asserting that "no one's rubbing anything!" when it's suggested that they're rubbing off on one another.

  • The government cheese barrel graveyard is real, by the way!

  • Okay, which term do you prefer: dad bods, or father figures?

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