By Paulette Cohn, ,
Published March 27, 2016
The "After Hours" episode of "NCIS" takes us out of the office and into the home lives of our very special agents when a seemingly cut-and-dried case follows them home, and interrupts their evenings.
It begins when the NCIS team heads out to the scene of a shooting on Lone Pine Road. Navy Petty Officer Second Class James Muldoon tells the team that he was on his way home when he saw a man holding a knife to a woman's throat and stopped to help. At first, he tried to scare the man off with a warning shot, but then the man came at him, so he shot and killed him.
The woman, Amy Harrison, tells them the same story, saying she didn't know either man, but the sailor is a hero as far as she is concerned.
The murder weapon is a Smith & Wesson, which Muldoon claimed was his grandfather's that he kept in his glove box. When Abby checks it out, it is dirty, but the only prints on it are Muldoon's. There is gunshot residue on his clothes, and the murder victim's prints are the only ones on the knife. He was Mitchell Grafton, 39, who had a record as a sex offender.
Muldoon, on the other hand, looks like a Boy Scout, and has lots of ribbons to prove it, including several for marksmanship. It looks like an open-and-shut case and Gibbs lets everyone go home.
Delilah and McGee are in the kitchen, following their download dinner rule: Each gets a certain amount of time to talk about their jobs before they have to stop. Just before McGee's time is up, Delilah points out an inconsistency in Muldoon's story: the store he said he was coming from is in the wrong direction.
McGee plays with his food as he thinks about the case. He designs the crime scene using mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, carrots and broccoli. He and Delilah have a fight because he can't let work go. McGee is still thinking about it at bedtime. Delilah says she doesn't want work to be the basis for their relationship in case the time comes when they can't talk about their work, like what happened to Bishop and Jake. McGee checks his phone and sees a text that the body was moved. Now, Delilah is interested.
DiNozzo gets his apartment spruced up for a date. He chills wine, checks the fireplace, and then heads out to take Leah to dinner. When they get back to his apartment, they talk about him being a special agent and she asks where he keeps his gun, which makes DiNozzo realize that a marksman wouldn't maintain his weapon as poorly as the Smith & Wesson. More to the point, why would it take Muldoon three shots to hit the target if he were an expert? DiNozzo starts talking about the case and bores Leah so much that she leaves.
Bishop goes to see Ducky and Jimmy Palmer before heading home. Ducky tells her the cause of death was a bullet wound. But there were a couple of surprises: the body was moved and the time of death was an hour before Muldoon called the shooting in.
Bishop goes to see Gibbs with the news, but he has already figured it out. He shows her the crime scene photos. There was blood splatter on the knife handle and the sheath but none on the blade. The crime scene was staged.
Bishop and Gibbs go to the diner. She initially tells Gibbs she is enjoying the quiet in her new apartment, but she admits it is a lie. Then she pulls out her laptop, looks up Amy Harrison and discovers she spent 8 months in juvenile detention in 2005, but the records are sealed.
Bishop and Gibbs return to the crime scene and discover that McGee and Delilah are there. DiNozzo shows up, too, just as Abby pops out of Harrison's car, which is still waiting to be towed. She tells them the car has wi-fi and Abby discovered that Harrison texted Muldoon after Grafton was killed. In fact, she had been texting him for the last three months.
Back at NCIS, Gibbs and DiNozzo take another shot at Muldoon. They ask him if he wants to revise his statement.
"We have a dead guy you didn't kill," Gibbs says. "We know you are lying."
Muldoon invokes his Article 31 rights and" asks for an attorney.
Abby, working in her lab in her pajamas, also has news. Muldoon's prints were on the gun, but the bullets had Harrison's DNA.
The team plus Delilah review the case, but they don't have a motive. Gibbs tells McGee to unseal Harrison's juvie record. They take Harrison in and tell her they know Grafton was a guard at the juvie dentition center at the same time she was there.
Harrison comes clean. She was busted for a bag of pot in her school locker, and since she wouldn't rat out the guys she got it from, she did eight months. When she got out, she had her record sealed and never thought of it again until she stopped for gas in Falls Church and saw Grafton. It was like getting punched in the stomach. She had flashbacks to him raping her.
She admits followed him, but was in a fog, so is unclear on what happened. She remembers he came toward her and she heard a gun going off. She didn't know what to do, so she called Muldoon and begged him to cover for her.
Gibbs tells Muldoon that Harrison has a case for self-defense; and he won't be pursuing obstruction of justice charges.
The team is all in the elevator looking forward to some sleep when Gibbs gets a call. Another case?