'NCIS': Leon Vance's past comes calling

rockycarroll_ncis_290.jpgLast week we got a Gibbs-centric episode on " NCIS," and as we've already had a lot of Tony and Ziva this season, tonight either had to revolve around McGee, Abby, or Vance. Vance won, but McGee met a woman.

Our dead guy this week was one Dr. Elan Cirreux. As soon as Vance heard what had taken place over the radio, he hightailed it to the scene of the crime. He knew who had done it, but he also knew a lot more that he wasn't telling.

I hate it when people do that sort of thing - why be cryptic when the people you work with/for are trying to help solve a crime that you're also trying to solve? Vance copped to the name of the killer, Lee Wuan Kai, a North Korean assassin, pretty quickly, but he was still holding out on his history with her and where he knew her from. It turned out that his history with her wasn't all that germane, but that was for Gibbs (the investigator) to decide, not Vance who was too personally involved.

Gibbs - as we knew had to happen - went and sat down with Vance to discuss exactly how Vance knew Kai, and Vance - as we knew he would - explained the whole story. Back in the day, Kai had the opportunity to kill Vance and didn't take it, even though she did kill Vance's partner. Vance was clearly haunted by his having lived and his partner having died, it was something he didn't understand and therefore couldn't quite accept. That made sense, I think we could all understand it, and so did Gibbs. It just should have been Vance would went to Gibbs and not vice versa.

Vance was right about Kai being Cirreux's killer, even with Cirreux having other enemies (like the nice lady that shot at McGee and Tony) Vance's opinion never wavered. I'm not sure if the point of that was for us to see that Vance was obsessed with Kai at the expense of everything else, that Vance knew Kai well enough to see her every time she gave the smallest hint of being close, or both. Whatever the case, for a man who saw Kai in every shadow, to see her in the daylight outside his home with wife standing right there was not going to lessen his obsession. Kai may have been obsessed with Vance too, but she was actually in town killing the folks that turned her into a such a great assassin, including Cirreux.

For me, the show kind of fell down there. How did it take the team so long to figure out that Cirreux was in the North Korean Assassin Trainee class picture? Surely they should have picked up on that the first time they saw the old photo. As for the North Koreans, they were disavowing any knowledge of Kai's activities. It had a whole Impossible Missions Force thing to it, except that they were being honest, Kai was waging her own personal war.

It all ended, as it had to, with Vance. He didn't end up killing Kai (that fell to Vance's wife), but Kai wanted him to do it. Good for Vance not pulling the trigger. I do feel bad for Mrs. Vance however, she's going to have a tough time recovering from that. I'm not sure she had a choice - Kai did have a gun on Vance - but that doesn't necessarily make it easier, even with Kai having scared Mrs. Vance earlier in the episode. Hopefully we see the results of the shooting in later weeks.

Odds and ends:

  • McGee and Amanda (who wasn't named Amanda). I was so rooting for that to be real, but it seemed to progress all too quickly tonight. Plus, something had to be wrong when she showed up at his work. I'm sorry that she was evil, her cover story sounded just perfect for McGee.
  • Out of curiosity, how did Amanda know so quickly that Gibbs' team was going to get pulled into the Kai investigation?
  • Tony and Ziva had another bathroom meeting tonight. Definite tension there, especially when she discussed how she would "get him," which either meant Kai's possible target or Agent Dunham or maybe even Tony. I definitely want Ziva to get him.
  • "Kai-jacked." Not a good one. I'm glad Tony regretted it as soon as he said it.

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