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10.10 You Better Watch Out - RECAP
Original Airdate: 18th December, 2012 @ 8:00 p.m. US East Coast
Recap Author: callerbear
A taxi pulls comes to a stop along a row of houses on Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Lt. Cmdr. Megan Huffner is welcomed home by her cheerful neighbor, but appears to be disappointed at the way her own home is dark and without Christmas decorations. Once inside, she is shocked to find her husband dead in his easy chair.
Roll the opening credits.
The team processes the scene at the commander's home. Her husband was supposed to meet her at the airport, but didn't show. She has just returned from a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf. She had last spoken to her husband at Thanksgiving. "Where does your husband work?" Gibbs asks. "Work?" she echoes, "He was an unemployed Navy husband, Agent Gibbs." The husband has been dead long enough that his body has begun to decompose badly enough to even bother Jimmy Palmer. Ducky guesses it's been three to four weeks, which roughly coincides with the unopened mail piled just inside the door. There are no visible wounds.
Back in the squadroom, the team is reviewing the little they know of Huffner (he's been unemployed for over a year) when Tony's phone interrupts. His father's plane has been delayed, distracting Tony from their impromptu conference. Tony explains that his father is coming to Washington to spend Christmas together. He's nervous about the prospect, because these meetings always end in an argument.
In Forensics, Abby has assembled an elaborate scene in miniature: a small town, complete with a church, houses, streetlights, a gazebo, cars and people. She has a computer program counting down the moments to Christmas: only 3 days, 14 hours, 27 minutes and 3 seconds to go. Jimmy has brought down the contents of the victim's pockets. As Abby looks through the items, Jimmy makes tiny adjustments in her display: turning a set of carolers a few degrees and moving a small dog closer to people, They are both surprised at the $100 bill found in the victim's wallet: Although clearly a US bill, it looks surprisingly different from the standard bills.
Gibbs and DiNozzo meet with Assistant Director of Operations Donald Linder of the government Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Linder identifies the bill as a genuine "New Benjamin", designed to replace existing one hundred dollar bills. The new bills have several security features that make them much more difficult to counterfeit. "Where did NCIS get this?" Linder asks. Gibbs tells him they found it on a dead body. "Something is very wrong here," Linder says, "This new currency hasn't been put into circulation yet. None of it has ever left our control or been outside a Treasury building." Phoof!
Linder describes the security features incorporated into the bill, and tells them about the production problems that have delayed distribution. Over $100 billion of the new notes were printed, but up to 30% of the bills were flawed. Tony's phone again interrupts the conversation -- his father is calling from the airport, wanting Tony to come pick him up (Tony refuses since he's in the middle of an investigation). Linder checks the bill's serial number: It was from an early batch of bills that were shredded 18 months earlier, along with millions of dollars of other damaged bills. Secret Service Special Agent Ashley Winter joins the conversation. An assertive agent, she wants to keep the bill, but Gibbs disagrees.
Back in the squadroom, the team has been unable to connect Noel Huffner to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or to anyone that works there. Abby arrives with Anthony DiNozzo, Sr. Everyone is pleased to see him except Tony, who is particularly distressed at Senior's suggestion that he'll stay with Tony. (We learn that no-one on the team has ever seen Tony's apartment.) The team finally persuades Tony to let Senior stay with him. He looks like he regrets giving in.
Gibbs visits Autopsy. Huffner's neck was broken -- definitely a homicide. He also had a badly damaged liver, and was probably a heavy drinker.
Tony open the door to his apartment. It's gorgeous: we immediately see a fireplace and baby grand piano by a window, He has a box by the door to hold his sidearm, and a goldfish named Kate. Bookshelves built into the walls. Although sparingly decorated, it's very tasteful and immaculately clean. An incredible kitchen with granite countertops and an island. The refrigerator is virtually empty -- Tony "doesn't keep a lot of food in the house." Tony shows his father to the bedroom, which surprisingly has a just single-person bed.
"That's your bed? Not much room for play," Senior notes.
"Well when I come home, Dad, I sleep. Alone."
"Dad, this is my sanctuary, OK? If I'm going to see a lady, I will stay at her place. That way I can leave when I want, and nobody overstays their welcome."
Senior raises his eyebrows.
"What?" Tony asks.
"You're missing so many things. Intimacy, commitment..."
Tony changes the subject. "You know, I'll see if we can get a reservation at the Rooftop Grill."
In Forensics, Abby is lifting fingerprints from her family's heirloom Christmas ornaments. She's trying to identify as many of her family's fingerprints as she can. She has already identified Great Uncle Cooper and Aunt Trixie. To get the matches, she's using her own records: she starting fingerprinting relatives at reunions when she was eleven years old. She has also found a second fingerprint on Huffner's $100 bill. The second print has been matched to Justin Cannady, who was fired from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing a year ago. Huffner was working with an inside man! Phoof.
The next morning, McGee and Ziva arrive at the squadroom to find Tony lying on the floor in pain. He slept on the couch and has kinks and muscle pains in his back and neck. He rolls on the floor and tries to stretch out the muscles. Cannady was not at home, and Special Agent Winter has had the Secret Service lock down his home. Neighbors have not seen Cannady in weeks. Tony has found that Cannady is in serious financial trouble: his unemployment has run out, his car was repossessed and he's two months behind on rent.
Gibbs and Agent Winter arrive. Cannady was fired for poor performance: tardiness and being drunk on the job. He lost two fingers in an accident operating a shredding machine. The Secret Service wasn't able to find anything in Cannady's house. Agent Winter would like to search Huffner's home, but Gibbs just chuckles. "No, that's not going to happen, Agent Winter. It's on a Navy base. You handled Cannady's apartment. Now Special Agents DiNozzo and McGee were just leaving."
In the conference room, Commander Huffner is frustrated: she isn't yet allowed back into her home, and her husband forged her name to borrowed as much money as he could money against her credit cards. She doesn't recognize Justin Cannady, nor did she know about her husband's liver condition. She wasn't surprised: he could always be found drinking at Gillespie's Saloon.
In the Huffner house, Tony and McGee haven't found anything downstairs or upstairs, but still have the living room to search. Tony's back is still bothering him -- he asks McGee to crack his back for him. Anthony Senior calls Tony -- he's preparing a "traditional DiNozzo Christmas dinner." Tony doesn't think that's a good idea, and asks his dad to hold off on the preparation until they can talk.
McGee: "You should appreciate your father. I never had family traditions." (He uses a probe to test the depth of soil around a small potted tree.)
Tony: "Well, we haven't had them for years. Traditions kind of died with my grandfather. Senior was kind of an absentee parent, you know. Long-standing customs kind of disappeared. Along with a certain family signet ring. It was always passed on to the next generation on the Christmas of the son's 21st birthday. I never got it. Senior claimed it was stolen: 'I was mugged, Junior', but I think he pawned it during the bad times.
McGee has found something interesting with his probe. Working together, he and Tony lift the small tree out of its pot. It comes up easily, and the surrounding soil is contained within a shallow plastic bag. Under the soil is is a false bottom to the pot. They lift the false bottom, and discover a large plastic bag filled with bundles of the new $100 bills.
Gibbs and Ziva knock on the door of Gillespie's Saloon. There's no answer, so they go around to the back. Gibbs admires the owner's restored '53 Ford pickup truck, then they join the owner inside. He agrees that Noel Huffner was a regular patron. He recognizes Cannady's picture immediately: Cannady and Huffner spend most evenings sitting down at one end of the bar, "just like Cliff and Norm". He hasn't seen Justin in a while, either.
Tony opens the door to his apartment and is surprised to see that Senior has rearranged things. He moved the piano so that he could put up a Christmas tree in front of the window. The kitchen is a mess from Senior's cooking -- he baked snickerdoodle cookies. The disruption almost takes Tony's breath away. "I knew you staying here was a mistake. Look, this is my apartment, OK, this is my -space-." "Junior, chill. Get the Christmas spirit."
There's a knock on the door. A woman call's Tony's name, and Senior offers to get the door. "No, no, no no... look, you can't let her know that we're here!" Tony urgently whispers. (Outside, she's still calling for Tony, saying that she's seen his car outside so she knows he's there.) "Ignore her!" Tony urges. "Who is she?" Senior asks. "She's the bloodhound from across the hall." Senior peeks out through the peephole and sees an attractive older woman. "Ohh, ohhh" Senior is delighted. Just then, Tony gets a text message indicating that a body has been found in Rock Creek Park. "Have you closed the deal on that?" Senior asks. He watches her return to her apartment. Tony has to leave.
It's now dark and still raining. The body is at the bottom of a small gulley, and has been there long enough to begin decomposing and hatch maggots. There's no ID, but the body is missing the same two fingers as Cannady. Ducky estimates the body has been there about the same amount of time as Neal Huffner has been dead. Agent Winter arrives. Gibbs artfully distracts her while Ducky and Palmer quickly load the body into the van. Ziva and Tony realize that with Cannady dead, they're looking for another killer. Phoof!
In the squadroom, they review the case so far. Noel Huffner had $400,000 of the new uncirculated Benjamins in his house. All of the serial numbers show they came from a batch that was supposed to have been shredded on May 2, 2011. Justin Cannady was working at that time as a shredder at the BEP. "So the questions are, how much more might have been stolen, and how did they get it out of such a heavily secured building?" They suspect Huffner borrowed $10,000 on his wife's credit cards to buy the $400,000 from his bar-mate, Cannady. "That may all be true," Ziva says, "But why are they both dead?"
Abby has an answer to one of the questions. The shrink-wrapped currency hidden in Huffner's house was covered with tiny fibers of shredded paper. It looks like the stolen money was simply dropped into the bins of shredded bills, and left the building as part of the trash.
Agent Winter storms into Autopsy. Ducky gives her the run-around and makes excuses while Palmer surreptitiously telephones Gibbs. He soon arrives and takes Ducky off the hook. They tell Winter that they have a positive identification of Cannady. His neck was broken in the same way as Huffner's. Gibbs wants to talk to Linder, the assistant director at BEP.
Linder says that it's very unlikely that any currency was removed from the vaults. "I've got $400,000 of your new bills at NCIS that says you're wrong." Linder insists that all bills removed from the vault are shredded, compacted into bales and disposed of. On May 2nd, the bales would have been sent to the Adams County Landfill in Virginia.
In the squadroom, Senior arrives to deliver presents to the team: tins filled with snickerdoodles. Ziva is glad that Senior and Junior will be spending time together; Senior isn't sure Tony feels the same way. Senior thinks that maybe he's trying to make up for too many missed Christmases at one time.
McGee and DiNozzo arrive at the landfill. The operator of a giant bulldozer climbs down from his unit to meet them. As he approaches, he squints in surprise. "Timmy?" "Stewie?" McGee answers. They were good friends at MIT. "Last I heard, you were teaching Computational Evolutionary Biology", McGee says. His friend says that he became burnt out in that busines, but found a new life calling in pushing trash. Stewart turns to DiNozzo and points at McGee. "This was one crazy dude in college. Really knew how to have a good time. Did he tell you he was the school mascot? A beaver. He was Tim the Beaver our senior year."
McGee isn't pleased to have this facet of his past revealed, especially to Tony. He returns to business: "Listen, Stewart, we're trying to track down a batch of shredded currency that came from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on May 2, 2011." Stewart thinks briefly. "May 2 2-0-1-1, uh that'd be in G sector, and by now about 30 feet under." He has more for them, though. "We had a break-in that night. Police came to investigate, shared a laugh, what would anyone steal from the dump?" Tony is curious how Stewie happens to remember exactly what happened on that specific night. "Everyone remembers where they were that night, don't you? That was the night the Navy Seal team took out Bin Laden."
Tony finally returns to his apartment. There's a fire burning in the fireplace; soft Christmas music playing, candles lit and lights softened. "Dad?" he calls; Senior answers from the bedroom. "Wow!", Tony says, "This looks fantastic! I didn't even know it could look like this, candles and everything. You know, you were right! This was a good idea. Thank you. Hey, listen, you want to grab some dinner?" Tony opens the door to the bedroom and is horrified at what he sees. He slams the door closed as Senior says he'll be right out.
Tony walks away, shocked and dismayed. Senior comes out of the bedroom dressed in a bathrobe. "Didn't expect you back so soon."
"Didn't mean for you to see that."
"Oh, oh, it's forever etched into my retinas!"
The bedroom door opens, and Tony's neighbor from across the hall comes out. "Hi Tony." She turns to Senior. "Call me later," she tells him, and kisses his cheek before leaving.
"I'll have to burn the bed now," Tony tries to joke.
"Aw, come on, Junior. Don't make a big deal out of this."
"Well, you nearly pulled it off. It was almost like old times! Have to go just a little too far."
"What can I say? I'm me. I'm not going to change."
"I know. I know you're not going to change. And I don't know why I was smiling, because there's nothing funny about this. Dad, this is my home. I told you, my rules, OK? And you broke them. It was a mistake, having you here for Christmas."
Senior looks at him, seriously. "You want me to leave." Tony looks squarely back at him. Phoof!
In the squadroom, Ziva is worried about Tony and Senior. Tony didn't tell them what happened, saying only that "it was complicated." Gibbs arrives and McGee tells him about the break-in that night at the landfill. "Boss, do you remember that night? May 2nd, 2011?" "No," Gibbs quickly answers. When McGee tells him the significance of the date, we see him think quickly for a moment. "So we raid Abbottabad and we kill the most wanted man in the world. Gotta think Homeland put the DC area on high alert and increased surveillance." He calls Agent Winter, since the Secret Service is now part of Homeland Security.
The next morning, the rain has turned to snow. Senior has packed his bag to leave. Tony offers a ride to the airport, but Senior declines. "Sorry things didn't work out," Senior says. "Me too," Tony agrees, but remains stone-faced. Senior turns away and walks out of the apartment. Tony closes the door behind him.
In Abby's lab, the team watches as Abby and McGee work on the satellite imagery. DiNozzo arrives and tells them that his father is on his way to the airport, returning to New York. Abby is disappointed that he'll miss the Christmas Eve party (the now-traditional showing of It's a Wonderful Life). McGee is able to zoom in on the expected spot in the image. It clearly shows two people next to a pickup truck. The body styling clearly looks like an old model. "Because of the angle, I can't get the license plate." McGee says. "Aw, I don't need it." Gibbs as he leaves the lab.
Cut to Gillespie's Saloon, with the old pickup sitting out front. The team, including Special Agent Winter, arrive with search warrants for the bar and Gillespie's home for uncirculated US Treasury notes. They show him the photo of his truck at the landfill. They suggest that he and Cannady were the two figures at the landfill, that Cannady sold part of his share to Huffner without telling Gillespie, and that Gillespie then killed both Cannady and Huffner. As these questions keep coming, Gillespie nervously watches Ziva searching the premises. Gibbs notices Gillespie's Marine tattoo, which means he had access to the base at Pax River. They'll get the surveillance video. He finally confesses that the money is in a safe in the closet of his office. The heist was Gillespie's idea, but he needed Cannady to pull it off. Gibbs nods at Agent Winter, who handcuffs Gillespie and takes him away.
McGee points out that they still have time to make the screening at MTAC. Tony's not really in the mood, but Tim talks him into stopping by his apartment to pick up the DVD.
Tony rushes into his apartment and grabs the DVD. As he turns to leave, he notices a Santa hat that Senior has left behind. He looks at it thoughtfully, then puts the hat onto the frame with the only photo he has of his mother. He turns the Christmas tree lights on, then notices a small gift-wrapped box under the tree. He opens it. It's the DiNozzo family signet ring.
That night, Secret Service Agent Winter holds a press conference to announce their recovery of several million dollars of stolen uncirculated currency and their solving of the two murders as well. McGee and Ziva can't believe that she didn't mention NCIS at all. It doesn't bother Gibbs: "It's Christmas, Ziva. Let it go. Our gift to her."
Tony finally arrives with the DVD. He shows them the family ring. "That's why he was here," Tony says, "He wanted to make amends. And I blew it." There's a buzz at the MTAC door -- Abby wants to be let in. Gibbs lets her in, then says "Got something for you, DiNozzo." Senior follows Abby into MTAC. "Thanks, Gibbs. Merry Christmas, everyone."
"Hey, Dad." Tony says with a small smile. He holds up the ring. "Thanks." There's a pause, then Tony continues. "Merry Christmas." He hugs his father and whispers "Love you" into his ear. "I love you, son," Senior whispers back. The rest of the team smile and blink back tears. Phoof!
Roll the closing credits.
Latest page update: made by Sorgiña
, Jul 9 2013, 10:16 PM EDT
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