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NCIS recap: Protect the clarinet section

Meet the Anchor Ensemble, the Navy’s most elite band. They play state dinners and diplomatic events throughout South America, and this week as their bus travels down the highway, their highly enjoyable off-the-cuff version of “Sing, Sing, Sing” is interrupted when clarinetist John Warren abruptly runs down the aisle and throws himself out the back…

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NCIS recap: Protect the clarinet section

Meet the Anchor Ensemble, the Navy’s most elite band. They play state dinners and diplomatic events throughout South America, and this week as their bus travels down the highway, their highly enjoyable off-the-cuff version of “Sing, Sing, Sing” is interrupted when clarinetist John Warren abruptly runs down the aisle and throws himself out the back of the bus.
John’s body crashed through the windshield of the follow vehicle driven by the Ensemble’s civilian equipment manager Hugo Grava. I say “body” because when NCIS arrives, Palmer notices the lack of blood on the scene and John’s cyanotic fingernail beds and suggests that he was dead before he hit the vehicle. And look, all the deaths on NCIS carry some level of tragedy, but as an earnest junior high-through-college clarinet player myself, I felt this one keenly. Protect the clarinet section!

The Ensemble’s conductor, Navy Senior Chief Musician Neil Farzad, blames himself for not realizing that John’s depression was back, while hottie piccolo player Luke Undervoy blows Torres’s mind by explaining that it takes five auditions and a stint in boot camp to join the Ensemble. However, before the investigation’s fully underway, Gibbs gets a text, tells McGee to take point for the next few days, and leaves without a word.

Or he tries to, anyway. But Sloane inserts her arm into the closing elevator door like a Terminator and forces him to tell her where he’s heading. “It’s sturgeon season” doesn’t work, so he confides that Fornell called to say Emily left rehab. Gibbs being Gibbs, he’s off to help. Sloane, in turn, receives an unexpected text from the daughter she gave up for adoption 28 years earlier, asking her to meet for coffee. She’s terrified, but Gibbs encourages her to go. And that, weirdly, is the last we see if Gibbs until the final moments of the episode.

In the morgue, Kasie announces that John was poisoned with toxic golden dart frog secretions from the Columbian rain forest, which caused a serotonin spike when it interacted with his antidepressant. The poison came from the reed on his clarinet, but the reed size (3.5 as opposed to his preferred super-soft 2) belongs to fellow clarinetist Hannah McLean. So while Kasie processes the rest of the instruments looking for additional golden dart frog poison, Bishop and Torres talk to Hannah and piccolo Luke. Luke explains that on the day of his death, John broke a reed, so Luke tossed him one of Hannah’s, which means that Hannah’s the real target.

She’s not sure who would want to kill her. She’d only been with the close-knit Ensemble for a year and the group was recently reassigned from South America to Europe. She wonders if it’s the Ensemble’s superfan stalker. They call him Nugget Creeper because he wears a hat from Ned’s Nuggets, which makes him easy to identify in security footage of their most recent concert.

He’s Andrew Hopper, and while Bishop and Torres wait for him outside the restaurant, they wonder why Gibbs left behind his cell phone, wallet, and badge in his desk when he left for his mysterious errand. When they finally have a chat with Hopper, they find a hood, zip ties, and stalker photos of Hannah in his car, but he insists that he’s trying to save her from a Skull and Bones-style secret military band society that recently “disappeared” three other members.

McGee checks into it and finds that the Deadhead-turned-Juggalo-turned-Anchorhead is correct about the three missing former members. Hannah’s not impressed by the rumors of a secret killer band society that they heard about from the Nugget Creeper, but when conductor Farzad calls to invite her to something special that he has planned, the team shows up instead. They’re surprised to find select Ensemble members holding a ceremony to honor Naval musicians killed while serving their country over the past year, including John.

As the Ensemble members and alumni play the Naval Hymn, a.k.a. the song that gets me every time, Farzad explains that the tradition started when an entire Navy band was killed at Pearl Harbor. Oh, and the three missing band members all have their whereabouts accounted for, which means listening to the conspiracy theories of the Nugget Creeper got them nowhere.

Thankfully, former trombonist Kasie saves the day when she’s inspired to order a new instrument for herself and realizes that the case is lighter than the one she processed for the Ensemble. All told, she discovers the Ensemble’s instruments are about 100-pounds heavier than they should be. And who in the group has connections to smugglers who might take advantage of groups with luggage that frequently crosses international borders? Civilian manager Hugo Grava, that’s who.

Torres literally sniffs out the smuggled goods in the cases, recognizing the scent of rhodium from the catalytic converter on his dad’s ’76 Mustang. Grava had been swapping out the Ensemble’s case linings with rhodium, the chief component in catalytic converters, which is also used in nuclear reactors and jewelry and is worth twice its weight in gold. Case closed!
The grateful Ensemble invites the whole team to their concert that weekend, and Gibbs arrives back in town just in time to join Sloane, who tells him that Faith wanted Sloane’s medical history records. She worries that Faith must be sick, while Gibbs reminds her that Faith didn’t settle for requesting the information via email.  As the band launches into “Sing, Sing, Sing” as an ode to John, Sloane receives a friendly thank-you text from Faith, and we’re left to wonder what on earth Gibbs got up to that left him with a bruise to the eyebrow.

Stray shots

Let it be noted that Torres judges how much something weighs by curling it. Glad to see him keeping it on brand.
Gotta be honest, I’m deeply suspicious of the whole Ensemble. Unless none of them ever picked up their own instrument cases (unlikely!) they absolutely would’ve noticed an extra ten pounds here and there. I also don’t understand why they had all their instruments out on the bus, but it’s churlish to complain when the music was so delightful… until the hideous death, of course.
We’re left with some unresolved mysteries this week. Did something keep Mark Harmon away from the set for this episode? What does it mean that Emily Fornell is fine “for now?” Will we ever see Torres’ piccolo? And did the Ensemble’s drummer give anybody else strong Megan Rapinoe vibes? Let me know in the comments!

Related:

NCIS recap: Ziva? Yep, still basically a ninja
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NCIS: Cote de Pablo on tonight’s big return and how long she’ll stick around

Episode Recaps

Previous

b-

S17 E8 Recap

NCIS recap: Protect the clarinet section

By Sara Netzley

b

S17 E7 Recap

NCIS recap: And you thought YOUR last date was awkward

By Sara Netzley

b+

S17 E6 Recap

NCIS recap: A case hits home for Kasie

By Sara Netzley

b+

S17 E5 Recap

NCIS recap: Fridge guns and house crows

By Sara Netzley

b-

S17 E4 Recap

NCIS recap: You never heard of a six-footed horse?

By Sara Netzley

b+

S17 E2 Recap

NCIS recap: Ziva? Yep, still basically a ninja

By Sara Netzley

b+

S17 E1 Recap

NCIS season premiere recap: Ziva fights for her family

By Sara Netzley

a-

S16 E24 Recap

NCIS recap: A shocking return increases the mystery about Ziva

By Sara Netzley

a-

S16 E23 Recap

NCIS recap: Gunny’s back, and he’s awfully talkative

By Sara Netzley

b+

c+

S16 E21 Recap

NCIS recap: I scream, you scream, we all scream for justice

By Sara Netzley

c+

S16 E20 Recap

NCIS recap: Peeling back another layer of the Gibbs onion

By Sara Netzley

b

S16 E19 Recap

NCIS recap: Gibbs’ heart is a deep ocean of secrets

By Sara Netzley

b+

S16 E18 Recap

NCIS recap: Torres tangles with a Mona Lisa

By Sara Netzley

b+

S16 E17 Recap

NCIS recap: Gibbs and Bishop avert nuclear war

By Sara Netzley

b+

S16 E16 Recap

NCIS recap: Palmer’s got father-in-law troubles

By Sara Netzley

c-

S16 E15 Recap

NCIS recap: Torres makes a mediocre mentor

By Sara Netzley

b+

S16 E14 Recap

NCIS recap: McGee goes back to high school

By Sara Netzley

a-

S16 E13 Recap

NCIS recap: Have you picked your jaw off the floor yet after that major Ziva shocker?

By Sara Netzley

b-

S16 E12 Recap

NCIS recap: Gibbs confronts a long-absent father figure

By Sara Netzley

b

S16 E11 Recap

NCIS recap: The secretary of defense WILL take your badge and gun

By Sara Netzley

b-

S16 E10 Recap

NCIS recap: Santa unwraps some team secrets

By Sara Netzley

c+

S16 E9 Recap

NCIS recap: Where you lead, I will follow

By Sara Netzley

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type

TV Show

seasons

16

Rating

TV-14

Genre

Action,
Crime

Premiere

09/23/03

Status

In Season

Performers

Mark Harmon

Network

CBS

Complete Coverage

NCIS

Available For Streaming On

Fubo TV

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false,callbackObj,containerEl,currentVideoCollection = [],currentVideoCollectionId = ”,isLivePlayer = false,mediaMetadataCallbacks,mobilePinnedView = null,moveToNextTimeout,mutePlayerEnabled = false,nextVideoId = ”,nextVideoUrl = ”,turnOnFlashMessaging = false,videoPinner,videoEndSlateImpl;if (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === false) {autoStartVideo = true;if (autoStartVideo === true) {if (turnOnFlashMessaging === true) {autoStartVideo = false;containerEl = jQuery(document.getElementById(configObj.markupId));CNN.VideoPlayer.showFlashSlate(containerEl);} else {CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = true;}}}configObj.autostart = CNN.Features.enableAutoplayBlock ? false : autoStartVideo;CNN.VideoPlayer.setPlayerProperties(configObj.markupId, autoStartVideo, isLivePlayer, isVideoReplayClicked, mutePlayerEnabled);CNN.VideoPlayer.setFirstVideoInCollection(currentVideoCollection, configObj.markupId);videoEndSlateImpl = new CNN.VideoEndSlate(‘large-media_0’);function findNextVideo(currentVideoId) {var i,vidObj;if (currentVideoId && jQuery.isArray(currentVideoCollection) && currentVideoCollection.length > 0) {for (i = 0; i 0) {videoEndSlateImpl.showEndSlateForContainer();if (mobilePinnedView) {mobilePinnedView.disable();}}}}callbackObj = {onPlayerReady: function (containerId) {var playerInstance,containerClassId = ‘#’ + containerId;CNN.VideoPlayer.handleInitialExpandableVideoState(containerId);CNN.VideoPlayer.handleAdOnCVPVisibilityChange(containerId, CNN.pageVis.isDocumentVisible());if (CNN.Features.enableMobileWebFloatingPlayer &&Modernizr &&(Modernizr.phone || Modernizr.mobile || Modernizr.tablet) &&CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibraryName(containerId) === ‘fave’ &&jQuery(containerClassId).parents(‘.js-pg-rail-tall__head’).length > 0 &&CNN.contentModel.pageType === ‘article’) {playerInstance = FAVE.player.getInstance(containerId);mobilePinnedView = new CNN.MobilePinnedView({element: jQuery(containerClassId),enabled: false,transition: CNN.MobileWebFloatingPlayer.transition,onPin: function () {playerInstance.hideUI();},onUnpin: function () {playerInstance.showUI();},onPlayerClick: function () {if (mobilePinnedView) {playerInstance.enterFullscreen();playerInstance.showUI();}},onDismiss: function() {CNN.Videx.mobile.pinnedPlayer.disable();playerInstance.pause();}});/* Storing pinned view on CNN.Videx.mobile.pinnedPlayer So that all players can see the single pinned player */CNN.Videx = CNN.Videx || {};CNN.Videx.mobile = CNN.Videx.mobile || {};CNN.Videx.mobile.pinnedPlayer = mobilePinnedView;}if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (jQuery(containerClassId).parents(‘.js-pg-rail-tall__head’).length) {videoPinner = new CNN.VideoPinner(containerClassId);videoPinner.init();} else {CNN.VideoPlayer.hideThumbnail(containerId);}}},onContentEntryLoad: function(containerId, playerId, contentid, isQueue) {CNN.VideoPlayer.showSpinner(containerId);},onContentPause: function (containerId, playerId, videoId, paused) {if (mobilePinnedView) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleMobilePinnedPlayerStates(containerId, paused);}},onContentMetadata: function (containerId, playerId, metadata, contentId, duration, width, height) {var endSlateLen = jQuery(document.getElementById(containerId)).parent().find(‘.js-video__end-slate’).eq(0).length;CNN.VideoSourceUtils.updateSource(containerId, metadata);if (endSlateLen > 0) {videoEndSlateImpl.fetchAndShowRecommendedVideos(metadata);}},onAdPlay: function (containerId, cvpId, token, mode, id, duration, blockId, adType) {/* Dismissing the pinnedPlayer if another video players plays an Ad */CNN.VideoPlayer.dismissMobilePinnedPlayer(containerId);clearTimeout(moveToNextTimeout);CNN.VideoPlayer.hideSpinner(containerId);if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(true);videoPinner.animateDown();}}},onAdPause: function (containerId, playerId, token, mode, id, duration, blockId, adType, instance, isAdPause) {if (mobilePinnedView) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleMobilePinnedPlayerStates(containerId, isAdPause);}},onTrackingFullscreen: function (containerId, PlayerId, dataObj) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleFullscreenChange(containerId, dataObj);if (mobilePinnedView &&typeof dataObj === ‘object’ &&FAVE.Utils.os === ‘iOS’ && !dataObj.fullscreen) {jQuery(document).scrollTop(mobilePinnedView.getScrollPosition());playerInstance.hideUI();}},onContentPlay: function (containerId, cvpId, event) {var playerInstance,prevVideoId;if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘restoreEpicAds’);}clearTimeout(moveToNextTimeout);CNN.VideoPlayer.hideSpinner(containerId);if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(true);videoPinner.animateDown();}}},onContentReplayRequest: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(true);var $endSlate = jQuery(document.getElementById(containerId)).parent().find(‘.js-video__end-slate’).eq(0);if ($endSlate.length > 0) {$endSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–active’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’);}}}},onContentBegin: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (mobilePinnedView) {mobilePinnedView.enable();}/* Dismissing the pinnedPlayer if another video players plays a video. */CNN.VideoPlayer.dismissMobilePinnedPlayer(containerId);CNN.VideoPlayer.mutePlayer(containerId);if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘removeEpicAds’);}CNN.VideoPlayer.hideSpinner(containerId);clearTimeout(moveToNextTimeout);CNN.VideoSourceUtils.clearSource(containerId);jQuery(document).triggerVideoContentStarted();},onContentComplete: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘restoreFreewheel’);}navigateToNextVideo(contentId, containerId);},onContentEnd: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(false);}}},onCVPVisibilityChange: function (containerId, cvpId, visible) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleAdOnCVPVisibilityChange(containerId, visible);}};if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length 0) {configObj.adsection = window.ssid;}CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibrary(configObj, callbackObj, isLivePlayer);});CNN.INJECTOR.scriptComplete(‘videodemanddust’);

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Bill Murray’s brother Ed, who inspired ‘Caddyshack,’ dies

News of the elder Murray’s death came in the form of a statement on the William Murray Golf Instagram account.”It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of the legend Ed Murray,” the statement read. “Named after the family patriarch, it was Ed who introduced the Murray family to this wonderful game…

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Bill Murray’s brother Ed, who inspired ‘Caddyshack,’ dies

News of the elder Murray’s death came in the form of a statement on the William Murray Golf Instagram account.”It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of the legend Ed Murray,” the statement read. “Named after the family patriarch, it was Ed who introduced the Murray family to this wonderful game of golf — by way of caddying at Indian Hills Country Club — at the age of 10, no less. (They don’t make ’em like that anymore.)”The statement went on to read that Murray “was the recipient of the Evans Scholarship back in 1963, while attending Northwestern University — a scholarship awarded to golf caddies — a family storyline which served as inspiration for the Danny Noonan character in ‘Caddyshack’ when Brian Doyle-Murray co-wrote that iconic screenplay.””Ed and all five Murray brothers are members of the Caddie Hall of Fame, as well — something all the boys take pride in, as this game helped shape their lives,” the statement said. “It was an honor for all of us to get to know Ed and to spend time with him over the past half decade as we’ve built this brand with the Murray family — and his loss is a hole that will never be filled.”No age or cause of death was given. Bill Murray played Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack” while Michael O’Keefe starred as Noonan in the 1980 sports comedy. CNN has reached out to an attorney for Bill Murray for comment.

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