NCIS recap: Parker takes important baby steps in an action-packed hour

NCIS recap: Parker takes important baby steps in an action-packed hour
·5 min read

A slippery bit of piracy leads to an action-packed episode for NCIS's second outing of 2022, "All Hands." Let's recap!

When two members of a black-ops team with a dead sailor in their boat intercept a civilian research vessel, Parker takes the team — which Vance notes he's still not calling his team — and hops on a helicopter to investigate.

Along for the ride is paper doll Paulina, which Knight is taking selfies with as a class project for her niece. That shot with an airborne helicopter pilot should impress even the most jaded kid, right?

“All Hands” – NCIS
“All Hands” – NCIS

Cliff Lipson/CBS Katrina Law on 'NCIS'

But on board the Stargazer (yep, like the vessel from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which prompts delightful conversations in the big orange room), the team immediately comes under fire from the alleged black-ops members, and BOY HOWDY, I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.

One of the pilots is killed, while the other takes a bullet to the chest. The team quickly runs low on ammo and sneaks below deck with the wounded pilot. Hey, this is Jimmy's second live patient in a row! The pilot tries to hand the helicopter keys to Parker so they can leave him and escape, but nobody will hear of it.

Knight and Torres set out to find the missing crew and locate a security guard who heard the hijackers discussing a high-value target. But all three get captured, and the men try to beat the location of the rest of the team out of them.

Honestly, it's upsetting to watch them drag an unconscious Torres out of the room, and Knight's fake fear gets them to admit that all they want are the helicopter keys. When she gloats about how well she played them, she gets a hit to the face — and then one of the men rips up Paper Pauline. THAT MONSTER.

Parker, meanwhile, rigs a buoy to extend his cell phone antenna past the hijackers' cell phone jammers. He's able to send a few emojis, then he crawls through the ship's vents and finds a locked-up Torres and Knight. (Geez, the hijackers went so much easier on Knight than on Torres. His poor face!)

The battered duo report that the men seem interested in the helicopter, and Parker assures them that his plan's coming together in baby steps before crawling off through the vent.

Torres picks the door lock with one of Pauline's pipe cleaner legs, but by the time they make it topside, the helicopter taking off, with Parker nowhere in sight.

The team on land has been working furiously too. Vance takes McGee to the Elevator of Schemes and Secrets to suggest that he work with the NCIS cyber team, a.k.a. the tech trolls, to figure out what that black-ops team was up to.

McGee says he and the tech trolls are as in sync as the Borg, but when he gets to the sub-basement, it's more like the Romulans vs. the Federation, amirite? Kasie clues him in that they're harboring a grudge after he ghosted them during last year's robotics challenge, although in McGee's defense, last year was rough. We were all doing the best we could.

Things get tense when it becomes clear that there was no special-ops mission, and it's Bandium to the rescue as Parker's emojis come through. McGee interprets the sun, wine, and boat combo to mean that the sun's on the port side of the ship.

This allows Kasie to locate the missing Stargazer using a weather satellite, which shows the helicopter taking off with an extra heat signature in the rear storage compartment.

Yep, Parker's a stowaway on the $40 million helicopter. The private-military-contractors-turned-thieves acted like a black-ops team specifically to lure a helicopter to the Stargazer — which is actually kind of clever if you can ignore the murder and various other crimes.

They land in a storage facility full of stolen military equipment, and Parker takes shelter in a Humvee while the thieves wait for their buyer to contact them.

From inside the vehicle, Parker signals the team by using an MP3 player from the helicopter to play the original Star Trek theme over the international distress frequency. McGee, who's eaten crow to get the tech trolls to help him access NSA monitors, realizes it's Parker, who mentioned earlier that he's an OG Star Trek fan.

Everyone scrambles, but before they get there Parker has one more baby-steps plan up his sleeve: He swipes a grenade and pulls the pin, confronting the head thief with a home-brew dead man's switch. Thankfully the cavalry arrives before anybody has to call his bluff.

Back on the elevator, Vance tries to dress down Parker for taking too many chances, but Parker says it's what he had to do to keep his team safe. His team, which later poses for a group photo with a taped-up Pauline. Baby steps!

Stray shots

  • If you're keeping track, the international Parker pastries are back, this time from Germany.

  • I was so charmed to learn that Vance is a DS9 guy and would've been thrilled with another full hour of the team talking Trek.

  • Pro tip: Do not let Jessica "kids love dead bodies, have you not seen Stand By Me?" Knight babysit for you.

  • When did McGee have time to assemble that apology robotic arm for the tech trolls? Or does he just keep a supply lying around?

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