It was finally time for another Torres-centric episode.

NCIS Season 18 Episode 12 showed that Nick comes by his lone-wolf attitude honestly. It's hereditary.

Torres again met the father he hadn't seen for decades, and it mostly wasn't pretty.

The opening scene when Miguel checked out on his family did a lot to establish why Torres has resisted making close connections to anyone. In his mind, his father had abandoned him.

That was why Nick never even considered Miguel when the hair DNA found near the dead Marine was a familial match to him. Instead, he got to catch up with his extended family whether he wanted to or not, finding no suspect.

Just like Torres, Miguel spent decades undercover. Still, for a longtime operative, didn't he get found fairly easily by NCIS? 

Nick had to be the more shocked of the pair since he thought Miguel was dead while Miguel had kept track of his family through the years.

So should Torres have been cut out of the investigation once Miguel was considered a suspect?

Probably not, since the team is shorthanded with Gibbs on suspension. But McGee was wise to bench Nick, at least for Miguel's initial interrogation.

Besides, it was Torres who was certain that Miguel was lying and also was the one who found evidence that he was much more than a tourist.

That forced Walsh, Miguel's CIA handler, to come out of hiding and let NCIS know about the investigation of which Miguel has been part.

That also enabled Vance to hijack that investigation with the joint understanding that Miguel would remain a part of it, forcing him and Nick to work together.

Everyone viewed Nick suspiciously when he came to NCIS after spending a long stint undercover. As Bishop sagely pointed out, Nick was treating Miguel the same way. 

At least Miguel finally talked with Torres so that Nick could understand that Miguel had a somewhat good reason for staying away from the family to protect them. He had always kept track of them and anonymously helped them out financially.

Still, if Miguel could track them, he should have been able to communicate with them. "I got busy and lost touch" was a pretty weak-ass excuse to give Nick.

It would have been nice if Bishop and Miguel could have talked more about Torres when they went to the bank. But that was a pretty quick scene.

Naturally, the climactic scene featured the Torres men playing "Quien es mas macho" as they went to the isolated cabin in the woods to track down the suspect ex-Marine and the missing bank manager.

And not surprisingly, the CIA agent was the actual villain of the piece, who Nick took out by throwing a knife.

Poor Torres thought briefly that he'd found his father only to lose him again, but, of course, Miguel knew enough to wear a Kevlar vest.

It was also evident that Nick shouldn't have let down his guard because Miguel stood him up and disappeared again. So instead, Torres had a meal with his surrogate dad, Gibbs.

It was a great exchange when Torres said, "I don't want to talk about it," only to have Gibbs respond, "Then you've come to the right place." They were content to just gnaw on grilled steak, with Lucy likely getting a bite as well.

Speaking of Gibbs, it appeared that his home confinement might soon be coming to an end.

If Gibbs' suspension was meant to be a test of what Mark Harmon part-time on NCIS might look like, let's mark it down as a quiet failure.

Though Sean Murray has been there a long time, McGee remains just the youngster who has been there the longest. That still doesn't lend him command presence. Vance still has to be the adult in the room.

It's not McGee's fault. Viewers just have long memories and recall all the many probie years.

McGee was rightfully concerned that Gibbs didn't display the proper enthusiasm for his team's regaining its status within headquarters and his likely return to the scene. Gibbs appeared content to remain a grumpy old retired man.

At least in front of McGee. But it was also evident that time drags during retirement, especially for someone such as Gibbs, who is accustomed to action.

Working on his never-completed boat, taking care of those repairs and chores he'd never had time for, even playing with his new dog Lucy got old fast.

Gibbs went back to the diner with the hope of running into Marcie again, showing an unnatural amount of interest in her work. She quickly sized him up as bored in retirement.

But Marcie followed up, bringing him her current project to read (it must be a nice change of pace to have interested readers). That was in part to further size up Gibbs, on whom she doesn't yet have a handle.

This marked the third of the four episodes on which Pam Dawber is scheduled to appear. If the real Mrs. Mark Harmon is meant to become the next Leroy Jethro Gibbs, things have to pick up quickly.

To follow Gibbs' difficult year, watch NCIS online.

How did you like Miguel?

What did you think of the case of the week?

Are you ready for Gibbs' return? Comment below.



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