McGee’s children's school becomes the scene of a cheesy murder investigation!
It was art imitating life in Monday night’s “Daddy Issues” episode of NCIS when a case takes Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) into the lives of the fathers of the children of his children’s elementary school in the second episode of season 20. Murray has said that it reminded him of his days dropping his own kids off at school and it’s a fun episode with a completely different vibe.
It turns out that McGee is a bit of a snob—he doesn’t want to talk to the fathers about his cases—and he’s still a bit socially inept in the episode when he admits he doesn’t do “small talk,” so he avoids the men who have invited him to some male-bonding functions.
But when a dead body is found inside a top-secret storage bunker, the trail leads back to Carter Landegraff (Kash Abdulmalik), who it turns out is not only one of the best coders that McGee or Kasie (Diona Reasonover) have ever seen, but who is also the traffic volunteer for pickup and drop-off at McGee’s kids’ elementary school.
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Let’s pause a moment here because this corpse died in one of the coolest deaths the show has had. It turns out that the storage bunker was full of barrels of aging cheese—the government subsidizing the farmers—and the man who died was lactose intolerant. So, when the thief became trapped inside, with the nonstop inhaling of lactose, he went into anaphylactic shock. Who thinks of these things?
Back to the case. Because the code that Carter created was unhackable, McGee had to bring him in for questioning because it appeared that he had helped the criminals break into the vault. And it’s a good thing McGee did grab him, because if Carter had gotten into his own car, he would have been blown up when a bomb blew it to smithereens.
It turned out that Carter loaned his computer to a criminal type, and in addition to the theft of his code to break into the top-secret storage facility, he also had been robbed of $250,000 of school funds. As usual, the case took several twists and turns before it was discovered that the bad guy was really not so bad and he was killed as a result of trying to help Carter recover the money that was stolen from the elementary school building fund, and it was probably one of the fathers from the school who was guilty.
That sent McGee to a dad’s night at the home of suspect Owen Belfort III (Peter Porte), where he had to pretend to understand Fantasy Football and then even worse, talk about his feelings to the other dads. McGee turned off his surveillance equipment for that part, so we don’t really know what went down with the other dads, but McGee did overhear one of them say that he thought he was too good for them, which took him aback and changed his attitude a bit.
He was reminded not to jump to conclusions because he knows what it's like to be misjudged.
When it turned out that Owen had a watertight alibi for the crimes, McGee decided he needed to learn how to do small talk and approached Carter once again. But even though Carter could tell it was just for the case and not a real effort to be his friend, he did talk to McGee, and that led to solving the case.
In the end, it turned out that Carter had been hacked using the wifi at his favorite juice shop by Sam (Erik Heger), the manager, who was a wanted criminal in Europe and was hiding out in the U.S. As a result, McGee was able to recover the stolen school funds.
But he also made a real friend. McGee and Carter had a true bonding moment at the end. It started at the juice shop, but McGee instead— possibly in an homage to the amount of coffee that he drank with Gibbs (Mark Harmon)—invited Carter out for coffee, saying, “Coffee is a special thing.” It’s always nice to make a new friend and see another side of one of our favorite NCIS characters.
That said, it would have been even better to actually see McGee with his two kids or even with wife Delilah (Margo Harshman) on an episode that was tied into his family life.
NCIS airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.