NCIS “Return to Sender” Review (Season 13, Episode 21)

Return to Sender

The latest case to be investigated by Gibbs and the team on last night’s NCIS should have been a fairly simple one, searching for two British prison escapees especially when both the NCIS team were working alongside the FBI led by the one and only Special Agent T.C. Fornell. But that was as far from the truth as possible given the direction the episode quickly took.

The escapees – a murderer named Cassio Chavez and a disgraced former MI6 agent named Jacob Scott who sold nuclear intel after the tragedy of 9-11 – were smuggled on an international shipment of coffins from England to the USA. But when the recipients of those coffins, the family who ran a small funeral home, discovered not only the remnants of castaways inside the shipment container but also a dead body. The victim was a guard at the English prison from which the men escaped.

I have to admit that the last thing I suspected was that the guard – Sandra Billingsley – and one of the escaped prisoners – Chavez – were involved; but involved they were. And, of course, once that revelation was made it became obvious that fellow escapee Jacob Scott set the whole thing up. Did anyone else figure that out before Gibbs and Fornell?

The one incident I didn’t see coming, however, until the reveal was made was that Jacob Scott was gunning (literally) for Tom Morrow, the man who made the call to have Scott’s wife killed – a wife that no one seemed to know about until nearly the last minute. Good job of giving us an unexpected twist!

What is worse, though, than an unexpected twist in any story? When the episode you are watching ends with the words “to be continued” when you weren’t aware that it was going to be a two-part story. And what is even more disappointing, a new episode won’t be on next week. SIGH!

Let’s also take some time to talk about the B-story in last night’s episode. McGee is looking into getting a new apartment with Delilah but every place they have looked into is way too expensive. Through the course of his side investigation in how Tony could afford his apartment, he learned something that – until now – was never revealed before. A triple murder occurred at Tony’s apartment many years prior and he was able to get it a major discount because of that tragic history. I’m not entirely sure why they used this as the B-story, but perhaps when Michael Weatherly is officially gone and Tony is no longer a part of the team maybe – just maybe – his apartment will go to McGee and Delilah?? I’m just guessing, but still…

What did you think of the first part of this episode? Did you suspect that the prison guard was involved with one of the escapees? Did you have any idea what Jacob Scott’s primary goal was in coming to the States? Please share your thoughts on this episode in our comments section below.

The next new episode of the 13th season of ‘NCIS’ is expected to air on CBS on Tuesday, May 3 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:
Alan Dale as Tom Morrow
Vince Nappo as Jacob Scott
Dan Hildebrand as Cassio Chavez
Kate Vernon as Tom Morrow’s Wife
Andy Beckwith as Chester Grimm
Joe Spano as Senior FBI Agent T.C. Fornell
Douglas Olsson as Funeral Home Owner
Tiffany Ariany as Daughter of Funeral Home Owner