NCIS “Decompressed” Review (Season 13, Episode 14)


“It’s a Valentine’s Day Massacre”.

Well, that’s an over-exaggeration of the circumstances on last night’s episode of NCIS, but it was certainly an interesting case for Gibbs and his team to say the least.

As seen in the opening scene, four divers are inside a compression chamber when one of the four goes – well – ballistic, attempting to strike out at the other three. Soon enough, though, emergency procedures are enacted, but the result is fatal. The man falls over dead, but what caused it?

Since they are inside a Navy ship called the Brandywine and inside a decompression chamber that requires four days to decompress properly without killing the other three divers, Ducky is forced to conduct an unorthodox autopsy: a remote autopsy with the three divers taking trace evidence in his steed.

Once that evidence is in the hands of Abby, she figures out that the victim had red liquid cocaine in his body but the cause of his death was asphyxiation. His breathing apparatus – that was used during the emergency procedure – was tampered with. But the big question is: who did it? It was clearly one of the other three divers since no one could get into the decompression chamber.

Worse yet, the divers weren’t working on a deep underwater oil rig – which was supposedly their mission. The pipeline the divers were to be working on was actually six miles away from the Brandywine’s position. So what were they doing? And given that the victim had cocaine in his system, just how illegal of a mission are these divers on?

It took a while for the team to figure out just what happened inside that decompression chamber between talking to the businessman who is funding the supposed classified mission, to the victim’s wife (who was ironically – or not – having an affair with one of the other men inside the chamber) and dealing with an aggressive attorney who warned not only the divers but also all the people on board the Brandywine to keep their mouths shut (convenient that they all signed a non-disclosure agreement, huh?). But, in the end (like always), Gibbs and his team figured out what was happening – a PPA (pre-positioned asset) – a deep underwater storage unit if you will that is used to house a mini arsenal – was being used to house hundreds of vials of red liquid cocaine for a drug cartel and the culprits were… dun, dun, dun… the attorney and the female diver.

NOTE: By the way, did anyone recognize the three divers? Maya Stojan who played Meredith Ragen was IT specialist Tory Ellis on Castle and turncoat Kara on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D; Greg Serano was Medina on Power, Pablo on Wildfire and the gay pool boy in a little movie called Legally Blonde and Henderson Wade was Halle Berry’s grown half-alien/half-human son on Extant.

Elsewhere in the episode, Abby was dressed up in the beginning of the episode like a goth Little Red Riding Hood stealthily (sort of) distributing her annual Valentine’s Day cards to the team and providing a much-needed pick-me-up to Ellie. Leave to Abby to find a unique way to celebrate what is considered to many to be the “most romantic day of the year”.

What are your thoughts on last night’s episode? Did you figure out the culprit(s) behind the death before it was revealed? What did you think of the ending scene between Tony and Ellie with their Valentine’s Day gifts to each other? Please share your comments below.

The next new episode of the 13th season of ‘NCIS’ on CBS in two weeks on Tuesday, February 16 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:

Maya Stojan as Meredith Ragen
Greg Serano as Jalen Washington
Henderson Wade as Sam Harper
Tim Conlon as Jerry Grossman
Brett Rice as Captain RJ Hammond
John DeMita as Admiral Jorge Morales
Aaron Hendry as Bob Mugford
Keston John as Mark Dominquez
Dahlia Salem as Maria De La Rosa
Matthew Brenher as Mattias Groller
David Paladino as Diego De La Rosa