NCIS “Dead Letter” Review (Season 13, Episode 23)

Dead Letter

There was so much happening in last night’s penultimate episode of NCIS that it was almost hard to wrap your head around it all, don’t you think?

Fans of the long-running procedural have been dealing with several “To Be Continued” episodes with the main storyline focusing on escaped British ex-spy Jacob Scott, who was accused of selling information to a Russian right after the horrible events of 9-11.

The NCIS team as well as the FBI – led by Special Agent T.C. Fornell – have been working hard to track down this rather elusive criminal especially given the body count that keeps increasing with each episode.

First it was former NCIS Director Tom Morrow, then it was the at-close range take down of former MI6 Chief Jessica Terdei and Fornell at the end of last week’s episode. And then in last night’s episode former FBI agent Kevin Dressler. But before the body count could increase, Jacob Smith walked right into the NCIS building to turn himself in with the unbelievable claim that he was framed.

As it turned out, Jacob Smith really was framed – and by the most unlikely and rather unexpected assailant: Trent Kort. Yep, the very guy who has been a thorn in the side of Gibbs and his team since season four!! We learned in the last scene of last night’s episode that Kort not only recently got fired by the CIA (what exactly did he do to get fired?!), but he was also the person behind Jacob’s wife being killed back in 2002. Needless to say, he was the one selling secrets to the Russians – not Jacob Smith – and he has gotten away with that crime since then.

Worse yet, during the investigation into what Jacob Smith was planning next (before they figured out he wasn’t the culprit), the team discovered that he was looking for – wait for it – Ziva David. It would seem that Jacob believed that her late father Eli David, the former head of the Mossad, had files that proved his innocence. And it would seem that Kort learned about the supposed files; and given the final scene – Eli David’s remote farmhouse, where Ziva was believed to be living, was engulfed in flames – it would seem that Kort has gone after one of their own.

How will this latest revelation play out in the season finale next week? Given it is Michael Weatherly’s last episode, I am sure the episode will go out at full speed, requiring lots of tissues for the die-hard fans and hopefully closure to this lingering case that has lasted the course of the last four episodes.

What are your thoughts on the “to be continued” episodes that just didn’t seem to have any ending? Did you expect Jacob Scott to work into the NCIS headquarters, turning himself in and claiming he was framed? Did you expect the real culprit to be Trent Kort? What do you think will happen with Fornell, who was shot three times in the chest? How do you think things will play out for Tony DiNozzo’s last day with NCIS? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below.

The season finale of the 13th season of ‘NCIS’ will air on CBS on Tuesday, May 17 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:
Sarah Clarke as FBI Special Agent Tess Monroe
Duane Henry as MI6 Officer Clayton Reeves
Juliette Angelo as Emily Fornell
Dave Dayan Fisher as Trent Kort
Vince Nappo as Jacob Scott
Damian O’Hare as Alec Kane
Mia Barron as Doctor at Hospital
Adria Tennor as Angela Dressler
Taja V. Simpson as Massage Spa Owner
Joe Spano as Senior FBI Agent T.C. Fornell