NCIS Season 14 Episode 17 Review: What Lies Above

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Alright, raise your hand if you ever thought the case of the triple homicide in DiNozzo's old apartment would ever actually be a major plot point in an episode?

Well, in NCIS Season 14 Episode 17, it was! And that's not even mentioning the fourth surprise corpse under the floorboards!

Who Broke In? - NCIS

First off, let's set aside the fact that there is no way that McGee and his team would be investigating a shooting that he's involved in, as that sort of thing has happened in past episodes already. (With McGee, no less!)

And let's also ignore that the break-in at his apartment would definitely fall under the jurisdiction of the local police force, not NCIS, because there wouldn't be an episode otherwise.

The story itself wasn't very complex, but it did make for a fun sort of popcorn episode (mostly at McGee's expense).

It's unfortunate that furriers and taxidermists are almost always portrayed on television as creepy and/or deranged, if not downright insane. They leaned pretty hard on that trope with the unhinged villain Paul.

He was definitely unsettling, in a please-let-me-take-a-shower sort of way, but reminded me more of a less-stylish Cruella de Vil than anything else.

At least his original dismemberment crime ended up having a logical motive (skewed logic, but logic nonetheless).

McGee [about his apartment's former tenant]: Did you know that when they found him, he was completely soaked in blood from head to toe? Cops could barely tell that he was human. They said that he looked more like Satan.
Quinn: ...Well, if you ever *do* tell Delilah, you should probably leave that out.

The team engaged in a running discussion of the merits of lying (or "omitting") things to their loved ones. McGee definitely skated on thin ice with Delilah in this episode, too.

Should he have told her the whole truth from right off the bat? In regards to the break-in, I'm going to go with "yes."

She lives there, too, and McGee is her fiance. She should have a right to know things that affect his physical and emotional well-being, since those will, in turn, affect hers.

The whole matter was mostly treated comically, though it did shade into some sort of ominous-sounding noodle incident involving Quinn and her family.

I really hope we actually learn something more about Quinn's past at some point. 

For the record, I found it somewhat irksome that the episode summary (which are usually released days, if not weeks, in advance) spelled out that the burglary was not about Delilah's Rosebud, at all.

It's hard to invest emotionally in something after that.

Meanwhile, the B-story featured Vance romancing Congresswoman Flemming. Frankly, I'm of mixed feelings regarding this plot.

On the one hand, it's nice to see Vance moving on emotionally after the tragic murder of his wife. On the other hand, I really wish he had more to do than this.

Flemming also seemed to take his "dancing with the devil" remark waaaaay too personally for a career politician; it made her come across as strangely thin-skinned or blatantly manipulative.

She had spent most of the episode attempting to convince Vance to make the leap from the Director's chair to politics. This presented an interesting situation to me.

It's always been pretty clear from Vance's first appearance that he's really good at politics. What wasn't so obvious right away was how much he actually hates it.

Vance would probably have a meltdown within a year if he tried to become a professional politician. And, frankly, he's much more useful running interference for Gibbs at NCIS.

I do hope, however, that they aren't trying to sneak in a way to write out Rocky Carroll!

A few final thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you, my friends:

  • I think I'm with Quinn: I don't think I'd be that cool with my father's ashes just tucked away under my bed.
  • This was hardly the first episode to feature a MacGuffin swallowed by a murder victim. The unfortunate NCIS Agent Pacci swallowed a camera memory card in NCIS Season 1 Episode 19.
  • Did you buy that there was a body hidden under the floorboards for fifteen years, and no one knew about it?
  • Check out our NCIS quotes page for some of the good lines from this episode!

If you missed this episode, be sure to watch NCIS online to catch up! Meanwhile, NCIS Season 14 Episode 18, "M.I.A.," is scheduled to air on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 8/7c on CBS!

So, what did you think of "What Lies Above"?

Should McGee have just told Delilah the whole truth from the beginning? Are omissions just as bad as lies? Should Vance move into politics?

Let us know in the comments section below!

What Lies Above Review

Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
  • 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (80 Votes)
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NCIS Season 14 Episode 17 Quotes

There’s gotta be an expiration on the creepy factor! Besides, it’s not like it’s haunted!


Wow, duplicitous backstabbers on Capitol Hill? Who’da thunk it?