NCIS “16 Years” Review (Season 13, Episode 7)

16 Years

What would you do if your child was serving time in prison for a crime he or she didn’t commit?

That was the case that the NCIS team ended up investigating in last night’s episode. Their latest murder victim was Runyan Hayes, a retired Naval officer whose son Michael was convicted of the 1999 murder of his Division Officer. The elder Hayes believed his son was innocent of the crime, and even set out to prove his son’s innocence by enlisting the help of a local group of criminologist.

Oddly enough that group – which had the interesting moniker of the Sherlock Consortium of Investigation – included amongst its member the one and only Donald “Ducky” Mallard, which forced the beloved medical examiner to recuse himself from the case. But that didn’t keep Ducky from giving Gibbs access to the group, which consisted of an eclectic menagerie of characters.

Jessica Walter played mystery novelist Judith McKnight; Richard Riehle was Walter, an ex-cop from New Hampshire and Todd Louiso was Lyle, a mystery man who owned the grand home where the Sherlockians would hold their meetings. This unique group of investigators gave Gibbs a run for his money (with Judith being a bit too amorous for Gibbs’ taste). They also had a way of figuring out the same clues as the NCIS team discovered them, except they ended up getting themselves into a bit of pickle at the prison when they attempted to pretend to be the parents of incarcerated Michael Hayes.

It should also be noted that it was priceless to see Gibbs dealing with all three of them in his home especially Judith, who was laying all of her moves on the table, but Gibbs just wasn’t having any of it.

One crucial piece of evidence that the Sherlockians discovered was that a DNA test that was used during Michael’s trial 16 years earlier was very faulty; and sadly that test was performed by Abby – she didn’t take the news well at all and started doubting all of her the past cases where that test was used. Thankfully, Abby was able to redeem herself (at least in her eyes because no one else sought to put blame on her), by proving that tree sap that was found on Tony and McGee’s shoes (acquired while they were searching the woods where the elder Hayes’ body was found) matched sap found on the true culprit’s shoes. So a DNA test – on of all things a tree – not only redeemed Abby (again in her eyes) but also helped to get Michael Hayes released from his false imprisonment, reuniting him with his daughter.

Oh, and the culprit behind it all was Michael’s best friend, who not only killed the Division Officer, who Michael had been convicted of killing, but also Michael’s father who finally figured it all out. And, to make things even worse Jason had been acting as Michael’s daughter’s guardian. How could he do that to his best friend? That is just so very, very wrong. While it took 16 years to get Michael out of prison, his daughter was right there to greet him and Michael, himself, set Abby’s fears aside: he didn’t blame her for his going to prison; in fact, he thanked her for being the one to get him out.

What are your thoughts on last night’s episode? Please comment below.

The next new episode of the 13th season of ‘NCIS’ will air on CBS on Monday, November 10 at 8/7c.

Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Michael Weatherly as Tony DiNozzo
Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto
Sean Murray as Tim McGee
Emily Wickersham as Ellie Bishop
Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer
Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance
David McCallum as Dr. Donald Mallard

Guest stars:
Richard Riehle as Walter
Matthew John Armstrong as Michael Hayes
Todd Louiso as Lyle
Chris Gartin as Jason
Jessica Walters as Judith