NCIS Season 18 Episode 14 Review: Unseen Improvements

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This episode examined the road not taken by Gibbs.

Phineas, on the run, went to the only other place he felt safe, on NCIS Season 18 Episode 14.

That's right; it was a reunion between Gibbs and his inquisitive young former neighbor, Phineas. But it wasn't under the best of circumstances.

Phineas and Gibbs -- Tall - NCIS Season 18 Episode 14

Phineas was almost the surrogate son that Gibbs so wanted. But Gibbs killed Phineas's mother, the terrorist Sahar who was hunting Ziva.

So Gibbs did the noble thing and stepped aside so that Phineas could go to live with his aunt and uncle, George and Micki Kaydar, on NCIS Season 17 Episode 11.

Former Neighbor Returns - NCIS

The Kaydars were put in witness protection so that Phineas's uncle, Hassan Sayegh, wouldn't be able to find him.

That concept was good while it lasted, which turned out to be until this episode.

For those who wondered whatever happened to Phineas, well, here was your answer.

How Hassan's pursuit of Phineas led to the death of a Naval officer was a bit contrived. Hassan needed Tubman's special-access laptop to get into the NCIS database and find the Kaydars.

This begs a few questions. First, why weren't the Kaydars relocated to Iowa or Idaho rather than somewhere in the suburbs within walking distance of Gibbs' house?

Welcoming Visitor - NCIS Season 18 Episode 14

Second, as many times as that NCIS database has been hacked on past episodes, did Hassan really need a special laptop to gain access?

Third, Hassan was able to get three henchmen with criminal records into the country and a doctor for his sick son, but he opted to hire an inept armed robber from Thugs-R-Us to steal the laptop?

But without the dead Naval officer, NCIS, then Gibbs would never have gotten involved. So it was necessary to overlook such painful incongruities.

At last, there was a reason for Gibbs to pick up his gun again (and to need his missing shield).

Just because Gibbs did the right thing, it didn't mean that he no longer loved Phineas, which he proved to Phineas in this episode.

Preparing a Meal - NCIS Season 18 Episode 14

And with the Kaydars injured and out of action, Phineas went back to the only other place he felt safe.

Spotlighted was the best part of the Phineas episodes: His overflowing sense of curiosity.

He peppered the taciturn Gibbs with question after question. He asked the questions that no one at NCIS dared to, such as Gibbs' feelings about Jack.

He asked the big question we've all been pondering: How is Gibbs going to get that boat out of his basement? (One of Hassan's henchmen wondered the same thing before Gibbs knocked him out.)

Phineas also displayed his powers of observation, noting all the changes made to Casa Gibbs during his forced vacation.

Leading Laptop Search - NCIS Season 18 Episode 14

Most importantly, he made Gibbs do that at which he is most uncomfortable: open up. Gibbs also helped Phineas address his feelings of loneliness and abandonment so that by the end, Phineas was psychologically in a more comfortable space.

Fortunately, McGee and the rest of Gibbs' team were busy tracking Hassan even after they solved Tubman's murder. They didn't give Gibbs much of a head's up, but it was all that he needed.

It was surprising that Hassan had a legitimate reason for hunting Phineas, that he wasn't just seeking vengeance for Sahar's death.

Hassan went about securing Phineas's bone marrow in a brutish manner, likely because he knows no other way. Once he learned what was going on, Phineas opted to help out the cousin he had never met.

It's a shame that Gibbs parted ways with Lucy, but again, he did it for the right reason. Phineas and Lucy bonded, and he knew Lucy would be going to a good home.

Phineas's Uncle - NCIS Season 18 Episode 14

This means that Gibbs will have to find a way back to NCIS, if for no other reason than some companionship.

Ducky and Kasie tried to connect with him, although such an effort appeared to have been made under duress in Kasie's case. Their hearts were in the right place, but they would have been better off sending a stone tablet and chisel. At least he didn't throw it in the fire after considering it.

Was anyone else annoyed by how what seemed to be an elevation of the Torres-Bishop relationship was handled?

For both of them, denial isn't a river in Egypt. While the state of Gibbs and Jack was a mystery in the office, no one had such doubts about those two.

Stolen Laptop - NCIS Season 18 Episode 14

In his role as staff facilitator, Palmer attempted to get them to admit to what was obvious. But instead, they seemed oblivious.

Kasie had no such desire but got stuck in the role of being Bishop's gal pal. Say what you want about Abby (it was a messy divorce), but she kept everything out in the open.

Kasie did bring up to Palmer spotting the changes in Bishop over the past year. That hearkens back to Odette's offer to train Bishop during NCIS Season 17, a storyline that seemed to have disappeared.

What a complete copout to have Torres and Bishop have "the talk" offscreen in a closed elevator. It's not cute anymore.

Seeking Laptop - NCIS Season 18 Episode 14

To revisit Phineas's storyline, watch NCIS online.

Did you enjoy Phineas's visit?

What did you think of Gibbs giving Lucy to Phineas?

Is it time for Torres and Bishop to come into the open?

Comment below.

Unseen Improvements Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

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

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NCIS Season 18 Episode 14 Quotes

McGee: What do you think?
Torres: I think Vance is going to be delighted.

Oh, no! Don't stop. It really is delightful.

Palmer [to Torres and Bishop]