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Sins of the Father Recap
◄ Return to 9.10 Sins of the Father
NCIS: Sins of the Father
Air Date: November 22, 2011
Recap Author: callerbear
Air Date: November 22, 2011
Recap Author: callerbear
Early morning in an industrial park. A Rolls Royce is illegally parked in an open area near a canal. DC Metro police carefully approach it, and notice someone is in the driver's seat. While one officer rousts the apparently drunken driver, the other officer notices a coattail caught in the trunk lid. She opens the trunk, gapes for a moment, then backs away and draws her firearm. "Body!" she alerts her partner. He backs away from the driver, drawing his firearm as well. As the groggy driver slowly raises his hands, we see that it's Anthony DiNozzo, Senior.
Roll the opening credits.
In the squadroom, Ziva enters with a cheery smile. It's her favorite time of year, and she enjoyed walking to work. Tony grins, and tells her that he has something that will wipe the smile off her face: She has to review boxes filled with old NCIS case files and enter them into the computer. Tony is still angry from the night before -- he was supposed to have dinner with his father the night before, but his father didn't show up. Gibbs enters -- they've got a dead naval officer.
When the NCIS team arrives at the scene, Senior is glad to see them. Gibbs pushes Tony back outside the marked-off crime area, telling him that since his father is a suspect, Tony can't be allowed to comprise the crime scene. McGee is charged to take Senior back to NCIS headquarters. "McGee, what's going on? The cops won't tell me anything!" Senior says. He refers to the arresting office -- "Will you tell Officer Krupke that I don't have to wear these (handcuffs)?" McGee shakes his head. "Sorry, Mr. DiNozzo, but you do."
Back in the squadroom, Tony is distracted. Gibbs walks in, and tells him that Director Vance wants to transfer the case to the FBI because the suspect is an agent's father. Senior is in interrogation, being "babysat" by Agent Dorneget. Gibbs reviews the background of the victim with Ziva and Tim, waving Tony back to his desk. Dean Massey, the dead officer, had been fighter pilot that made a fortune in real estate after leaving the service, although he remained in the reserves so that he could continue flying supersonic aircraft. Tony tries to tell everyone that his father has obviously been framed for murder, but Gibbs clearly wants Tony to stay off of the case. "While we handle the investigation," Gibbs tells him, "You take care of the cold cases" and hands Tony the two boxes of old material.
The Interrogation room is being guarded by young Probationary Agent Dorneget. Mr. DiNozzo is still a bit groggy. He asks after his son, but Gibbs tells him that Tony is "sitting this one out." Senior didn't know that there was a body in the trunk, but he did know the victim: They were working a real-estate deal together, developing a high-end residential golf-course community. Senior's part of the deal was to introduce Massey to a Saudi Arabian prince that was willing to supply the final portion of the financing, in exchange for a healthy 'finder's fee'. However, Massey had just told Senior on the day before that he didn't intend to pay the finders fee based on some 'loophole' in the agreement. "How did you leave it with him?" Gibbs asks. Senior looks him in the eye. "I threatened to kill him!" Phoof.
Back to Interrogation. Senior tells Gibbs about his meeting with Massey on the day before. After leaving the meeting, Senior says that he went back to his hotel room and had a drink or two, and then apparently went somewhere else to continue drinking because he was very hung over in the morning. He really can't remember any details after leaving Massey's office until the officers woke him up in the Rolls Royce.
In Autopsy, Ducky carefully removes a sliver of glass from the wound in Massey's head. Massey was killed elsewhere, between midnight and 2AM, then loaded into the trunk. Abby will analyze the glass and other trace evidence from Massey's uniform. The standard drug tests had been administered to Mr. DiNozzo -- at 8:30 AM, his blood alcohol level was .03 -- which means that at 2AM, it would have been .15. Senior would have been quite drunken at the time Massey was killed. His claims of memory loss are reasonable given his age and the amount of alcohol he had consumed.
In the hallway outside of Interrogation, Tony approaches Agent Dorneget with a slice of birthday cake. "I just need two minutes with my dad," says Tony. "No way," Dorneget tells him, "Special Agent Gibbs told me not to let anyone, especially you." Tony pressures Dorneget, threatening to tell Gibbs about Dorneget's "little antic at the Halloween party last month down in the copy room with Susan Grady". (She was dressed as a nun, and Dorneget was dressed as Gibbs!) Dorneget nervously yields and Tony storms into Interrogation. He challenges his father to tell him that he had nothing to do with Massey's murder, but Senior can't -- he can't remember, and he was pissed at Massey. "He screwed me out of millions of dollars!" Senior had rented the Rolls Royce: "You'd don't pull up to close a hundred-million dollar deal in a taxicab!" Tony tells Senior not to talk to anyone, especially Gibbs, and leaves.
In the squadroom, Lt. Commander Mosner of JAG approaches Ziva, looking for Gibbs. She tells the team that Massey had approached her the evening before, dressed in his naval uniform, and told her that he had information pertinent to a case that Mosner is prosecuting. Massey made an appointment to meet with her in the morning and give a statement, but never arrived. Over McGee's objection, Tony presses Mosner for more details. Massey had been flying in formation with another aircraft piloted by Lt. Gregory Dennis. Dennis' plane had crashed, killing Dennis' radio officer. Dennis claimed that there was an electrical malfunction, but Massey claimed (to Mosner) that Dennis was lying.
Cut to Director Vance's office, where Vance is telling Gibbs that for the sake of appearances, they should transfer the case to the FBI. Gibbs agrees, but just then Tony enters and relates Mosner's story, indicating that could provide reasonable doubt of Senior's involvement. Vance considers for a moment, then sets a deadline of 24 hours before he calls the FBI. As he and Gibbs leave, Tony thanks the director. But Vance stops him with a very unambigious statement: "Under no circumstances, Agent DiNozzo, do you go anywhere near this investigation or your father. If need be, I'd suggest you take a couple of personal days." Gibbs takes Mosner to the conference room and sends McGee and Ziva off to Massey's office, leaving Tony at his desk with the boxes of cold case files.
At Massey's office, the agents are shown into a conference room by Morgan Hunt, Massey's lawyer. Hunt tells them that most of the office staff are in shock and sent home early -- Hunt stayed to plan a memorial for Massey. Hunt knows Mr. DiNozzo, and tells them that although Senior did bring in a major piece of the financing, the contract had a deadline of one year, which was missed. "Under a strict reading of the contract with DiNozzo, we did not have to pay the finder's fee." Hunt said that was Massey's decision -- that when it came to business, Massey was ruthless. Hunt has one of the assistants, Linda Idleton, play back a video recording of the end of the meeting with Massey and DiNozzo. Senior is so angry at being cut out without any payment that he attacks Massey. When pulled apart, DiNozzo storms out of the meeting room. McGee and Ziva look at each other. Phoof!
In the squadroom, Ziva is just leaving to interview Massey's ex-wife when Senior walks in. He compliments her extravagantly, encourages Tony to "sweep her off her feet" and does his best to charm others in the area. Gibbs tells him that he's being transferred to the Federal Detention Center for the night, but Senior doesn't care for the sound of that. He and Tony look at pictures of the facility on the Internet, and Tony tries to get Gibbs to agree to any other alternative. Meanwhile, Lt. Dennis has been shown to Interrogation. Dennis claims to have been driving home from his parents' home in Georgia, but won't say anything else until he consults his lawyer.
Ziva interviews Massey's ex-wife. They have been divorced for four years and had no children, so she had no reason to stay in touch with Massey. But she had a good divorce lawyer, so she is financially secure for the rest of her life. She has no future claim on Massey's estate, and no idea who would inherit Massey's money. She refers Ziva back to Massey's lawyer, Morgan Hunt.
In the NCIS garage, Abby invites McGee to join her sitting in the Rolls Royce as they appreciate the car's interior. The navigation system wasn't turned on, so it has no clues. But the odometer reading shows that the car was driven more than 100 miles, far more than Senior said it had been driven. She also tells McGee that she found red wine stains on Massey's clothes, and that the glass sliver found in his wound was hand-blown and stretched. It looks like Massey was bludgeoned with a bottle of vintage wine.
In Massey's office, Hunt shows Ziva a copy of Massey's will. The proceeds are being donated to several Navy charities -- hospitals, veterans organizations, scholarship programs, etc. "The Navy was his life", Hunt says.
In the NCIS break room, Tony presses McGee for information on the case but McGee refuses, leading Tony to snatch the case file from McGee's hand. They wrestle and McGee finally recovers the files. As the two of them walk into the squadroom, they see Senior being fitted with an ankle bracelet for monitoring. Gibbs has arranged for Senior to spend the night at Gibbs' home instead of the federal detention center. Phoof.
At Gibbs' home, Senior comes down to the kitchen in the middle of the night. Gibbs awakens (he's been sleeping on the couch, telling Senior "I always rack here"), and they chat. Senior says that he was so loaded the night before that he can't remember anything, and that is unusual because he could always hold his liquor. He asks Gibbs why Gibbs would stick his neck out for him to let him stay; Gibbs says "I didn't do it for you, I did it for your son. He deserves better." Senior agrees, and says that he had thought this would be the "final, big deal" that would allow him to be the person he'd always pretended to be, and to leave some 'real money' for Tony. "You don't get it," Gibbs, says, "Tony never wanted your money. He wants a father."
In Autopsy the next morning, Ducky prepares to examine Senior and do a "full panel" of blood and urine tests. In the squadroom, Lt Mosner arrives and tells the team that Lt. Dennis is now willing to confess that his crash was caused by pilot error (he was 'hotdogging'), but swears he had nothing to do with Massey's death. McGee reports that Massey's Porsche has been found on a back road in the golf course development; Gibbs sends Tim and Ziva to check it out, while he heads to the conference room with Mosner. "Things keep getting worse for the old man", muses Tony, left alone in the squadroom. He heads down to Autopsy and tries to bribe Abby with a Caf-Pow. but she doesn't tell him anything at all. He specifically asks if the bottle of wine was a Bordeaux, but she turns him around and pushes him out of the lab.
At the site of the land development, Tim prepare casts of tire tracks. Ziva finds a broken wine bottle with bloodstains on the grass nearby.
In the NCIS break room, Agent Dorneget (who has been escorting Senior whenever they are at NCIS) and Senior are chatting. Tony approaches and asks Senior if he had brought the family bottle of wine to DC. He did. It's a 1968 Chateau Le Claire, purchased the year that Tony was born, and Senior has been saving it for a special occasion. The last time Senior remembers seeing the bottle of wine, it was in the Rolls Royce. He was planning to celebrate the closing of the deal with Tony at the restaurant. Senior had planned to take Tony to Halligan's Pub for a drink, followed by a steak at the Adams House. He can't remember if he ever did go to either place.
In the forensics lab, Vance is reviewing evidence with Gibbs and Abby. They've confirmed that the DiNozzo family bottle of wine was the murder weapon, and that the tire tracks at the scene were made by the Rolls Royce. Reluctantly, Abby also reveals that she was able to get a single thumbprint from the bottle -- it was Senior's. "We've got motive, means and opportunity. It's time to book him." Vance decides. Phoof.
Senior is escorted into the squadroom to wait for the FBI. Tony is missing; no-one knows where he's at, and he's not answering his phone.
Cut to a bar (apparently Halligan's), where the bartender is preparing to open. He recognizes Tony's name. "Look at you, you've got to be Anthony's kid!" Senior is one of the bartender's favorite customers. The bartender is a little concerned about Senior: "Usually he can hold his liquor, but the other night he had a couple of drinks and he got wasted. I was going to call a cab, but this this lady that he picked up offered to drive him back to his hotel and his car..." Tony perks up, and the two of them go off to review the video surveillance tapes.
Meanwhile, Senior has been handcuffed and is being led through the squadroom by the FBI. Abby rushes in with papers in her hand -- the lab tests show that Senior had been drugged with flunitrazepam ("roofie"), a date-rape drug. His fingerprints had only been found on the barrel of the bottle, not on the neck (where you would grip it as a weapon) -- that part of the bottle had been wiped clean. Just then, Tony calls McGee -- he's sending a photo of the woman that left the bar with Senior. McGee recognizes her -- she works at Massey's company. Senior smiles and says "Take off the cuffs!" Gibbs looks over at the FBI escort. "You heard him!" Senior is released.
At Massey's office, the team (plus Senior) confront Linda Idleton. In the conference room, she tells Gibbs that Morgan Hunt instructed her to drug Senior and drive him out to the golf course. Just after Senior's meeting with Massey, Massey had fired Hunt saying that he'd found a better lawyer. Hunt asked Linda, his lover, to erase the evidence of that confrontation, but she kept a copy. Hunt sees Ziva and Idleton and starts to run, but is caught by Senior and Gibbs.
In Vance's office, Gibbs explains that Hunt's motivation was financial -- as executor of Massey's will, he would have been paid over a million dollars each year. "So how are we going to handle our predicament?" Vance asks. "What predicament?" Gibbs asks. "Agent DiNozzo disobeyed direct orders from both of us. He stuck his nose in the case. What are you going to do?" Gibbs doesn't hesitate. "Ignore it", he says. Vance turns away, "That's what I figured."
At Gibbs' house, Tony walks in the front door. Gibbs is at the table reviewing papers. Tony is frustrated and annoyed -- his father did it again, checking out of the hotel and leaving town without calling or talking with him. "He makes me crazy!" Tony shakes his head, and admits that he can't stay mad. "I should be really pissed off with him, but I really thought I was going to lose him there for a second. As crazy as he makes me, I do love the guy. Pathetic thing is I've never been able to tell him." "Consider it done, Junior!" An apron-clad Senior walks out of the kitchen. He explains that he can no longer afford the hotel, and Gibbs offered him a room. "Thursday is Thanksgiving", he says, "And I wanted to be with you." He turns back to the turkey he's preparing and pulls out the giblets. "Do something with this, Junior". Tony look at Gibbs; Gibbs calmly looks back and offers "Want an apron"? Phoof.
Roll the closing credits.
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