When little kids run through cornfields at the start of a procedural drama, as they did on tonight's "NCIS," it never ends well. Without fail, the innocence of youth is shattered by a dead body. In the case of tonight's episode, it was a dead body dressed as a scarecrow. Those kids will never be able to enjoy a nice corn on the cob again.
The scarecrow in question was marine Lance Corporal Trevor Lazatta, he guarded an intelligence testing center which was pretty much an evil arcade for kids. Basically, the kids' non-linear thinking, we were told, made them sort of experts on the right ways to approach various problems - like how to kill the most enemies while losing the least number of friendlies. It was, quite literally, a bunch of war games.
I have to say that I certainly hope that our government isn't using kids in such a way. It's not like the kids didn't know that they were helping figure out the best strategies to make the enemy - whomever that might be - dead. That was about one step away from our doing what the bad guys did a couple of episodes back, training child assassins and was sure to require tons of therapy for the kids later.
"Veronica Mars" fans will note that one of our suspects tonight, Eddie, who was a member of the gang Lazatta had been in, starred on that show as Eli 'Weevil' Navarro. While it was great to see him on TV again, he didn't strike me as the killer - he was too obvious a choice and had nothing to do with the war games center. We really didn't even need the dead corporal's missing hand being used to access kiddie-land to let us know Weevil/Eddie didn't do it. Having tried to call Trevor six times right around the time of Trevor's death, Eddie would have to have been a moron to be the murderer.
Angela, one of the kiddie-land geniuses wasn't a good choice for killer either. She knew more than she was letting on, but that didn't make her a killer. Hiding military secrets in collages was very cool - and probably highly illegal. She claimed though it wasn't, that the kiddie-land bosses knew what she was doing,. I might be able to buy that, but surely there ought to be more camera coverage in the place if kids can just hang military secrets on their wall.
Now, once we found out that Angela's mom had recently come into some extra money, it seemed as though Gibbs and company had actually started moving down the right track. Oh, mommy wasn't the killer or anything, but "follow the money" is a pretty basic rule, isn't it?
I guess it ought not be too surprising that the money led back to war games and state secrets Krista Dalton, who worked at kiddie-land, had a sister who worked for a Defense contractor who turned up dead. How is it possible that until seeing her sister's dead body, Krista didn't work out that she'd done something highly illegal selling battle scenarios to an alleged video game manufacturer? But, it wasn't the video games that did the killing, was it? No, it was Krista's sister's jealous boyfriend who did it all, and stole the collages because the poem revealed him, right?
Ah, the last minute, almost entirely out of nowhere solution... if only they'd read us the full collage poem that would have been much better established.
The climactic scene though tonight was great - Angela giving the probability of Ziva's taking out the killer. It almost made me think that training kids on the best ways to kill wasn't wrong.
* Why did Ducky wait so long to give out his Thanksgiving dinner invitations?
* I know there were no "Magic Eye" images in Angela's pics, but they did look similar, didn't they?
* Where does Gibbs go on Thanksgiving?