NCIS Season 21 Episode 9 Review: Prime Cut


Is it time for NCIS: Dallas?

Probably not, based on the events of NCIS Season 21 Episode 9.

It was a bad week for the franchise, with NCIS: Hawaii being canceled, without warning, after its third season.

And right after Sam Hanna of NCIS: Los Angeles fame came on board for an indefinite stay.

It appears his visit will be for only one season. That’s a pity since this new lineup was only beginning to hit its stride.

Apparently, the franchise is sticking with sure things. Beyond a second season of NCIS: Sydney, what else is coming is very NCIS-centric: NCIS: Origins, aka the Young Jethro Gibbs Chronicles, and the unnamed adventures of Tony and Ziva.

Besides, Jo, the innkeeper/small-town sheriff, didn’t strike me as a character around which to build a spinoff.

Maybe this episode was, to some degree, poking fun at Yellowstone. Then again, maybe not.

In any event, it got a couple of agents out of the office further than Maryland or Virginia.

Sure, it was a stretch to do so. However, with the nearest NCIS office in San Diego, it made sense to send Nick and Jessica to Texas rather than bring in agents unfamiliar with the case.

The most intriguing element came early when a Marine captain who had been missing and assumed dead for two years turned up murdered across the country in D.C.

Determining how Tom Riley was declared dead on two different occasions was the initial mystery. However, that second time took, as he was dismembered as well.

Thanks to facial rec, it didn’t take long to reveal Riley had been living for the past couple of years — under an assumed name in Texas.

Since McGee was caught up in yet another ho-hum subplot, Nick and Jessica were lucky enough to be assigned the Texas investigation.

Jessica Knight wanted to fulfill her Texas fantasies, which explained why she had to wear that cowboy hat.

But shockingly, Nick was the one who was right at home around horses. It was enlightening to discover that he had grown up playing with horses back in Colombia.

And how he calmed that wild horse foreshadowed the chase scene to come.

It’s too bad that Sheriff Jo didn’t get a chance to do more. She had the best line when explaining how people must wear many hats in a small town.

Once it was revealed that Riley had worked as a ranchhand for the local cattle king, didn’t the Bannons quickly become suspects, although it would have been more interesting if there had been multiple siblings to consider?

Instead, there was just blowhard patriarch Carl and his lawyer son/lawyer Jackson to be examined. And Dallas had conditioned us all to think the worst of those affluent Texas families.

An enjoyable twist was Jessica’s determining that Jackson and the murdered Tom had been lovers, something that wouldn’t go over well in such a red state.

It was also fascinating how the character of the murder victim evolved. Tom was painted as a drunk who was likely responsible for the helicopter crash that killed three of his fellow Marines.

He was thought to be doing something skeevy up until the point when his pastor explained that the boxes he was seen moving were donations and that he had found Christ and kicked his addiction.

The pastor was also the only person who knew why Riley had traveled to D.C. He had found something illegal on the Bannon ranch and had to leave the state to see law enforcement that wasn’t under the family’s thumb.

What was best about this outing was that while Nick and Jessica got to do their work in front of a colorful backdrop, the team back in D.C. did the heavy lifting, figuring out the illegal activity.

It was Kasie who took a couple of scant clues Jimmy found on Riley’s body and pieced together that the murder scene was a meat-processing plant, a local one that the Bannons owned.

Finding several meth-addled workers, including the plant manager who attacked Palmer and McGee, they determined that meth was being smuggled inside beef carcasses (that’s certainly a different type of drug mule).

The reveal of the mastermind was weak. Since it wasn’t either of the Bannons, all that was left was the female ranchhand, who was supposedly Riley’s friend.

At least we got a chase scene where Nick used his previously unknown riding skill to chase her down.

Now, let’s discuss Tim‘s weekly weak storyline. This time, Delilah wanted a kitchen remodel, with obviously no clue how much that would cost. It would be more than a professor and a federal agent could afford.

Fortunately, Delilah had a coworker with a sister who could get them a free remodel thanks to a reality TV show.

It turned out that Tim and Delilah were too sweet for the cutthroat world of reality TV and got turned down as contestants. No big surprise there.

Luckily, Delilah came around, not wanting to remove all the nicks and marks their kids inflicted on the kitchen as they grew.

What did you think of the case of the week?

How soon had you identified the mastermind?

Wouldn’t watching Tim try the renovations have been more involving?

Comment below.

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

Originally Posted Here

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