CBS’ NCIS marked 300 episodes — a remarkable feat in today’s TV age — with an episode that was a bit quiet but nonetheless powerful.
Setting the stage for the emotionally moving hour was the murder of two vacationing Americans in Iraq via a next-gen long-distance sniper rifle — the same weapon believed destroyed, yet actually captured, during an ambush on a group of Special Ops snipers months earlier.
The sole survivor of said ambush, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Aaron Davis (Private Practice‘s Taye Diggs), is suffering from PTSS at Walter Reed when Gibbs seeks him out to possibly shed insight on the weapon’s thief. Davis, though, cannot and will not think back to that traumatic experience, wherein he was left for dead, immobile and unprotected, for 30 minutes in hostile territory. Rather, he curtly shows Gibbs the door.
Eventually, in part due to Gibbs’ nudging — at the bequest of Dr. Confalone, who aimed to “kill two birds with one stone” by having the troubled Marines talk to each other — but also because of the daughter he’d kept at arm’s length, Davis lets down his defenses and recalls enough intel to help point Gibbs’ team in the right direction, finding a camera that recorded the ambush and this identifying the sniper. It was then a massive waiting game, outside a Virginia air strip, wondering whom the sniper would try to shoot out of the sky and when. Dealing with his own ghosts (as well as insomnia), Gibbs embedded himself deep in the brush and spied/gunned down the shooter just moments before he might cause an international incident by killing a Saudi oil baron.
In the aftermath of the successful op, Davis joined up with the MusiCorps rehab program at Walter Reed, delivering a soulful rendition of “Hallelujah” over the closing montage, where we learn that McGee is ready to put a ring on it with Delilah, and even more significantly, Gibbs is able to retire his busted couch-for-a-bed and finally return to the bedroom he long ago shared with