TV Recap: NCIS (Episode 1702) – What We Do For Family …

“Into the Light” (Episode 1702)
October 1, 2019

Tonight’s episode of NCIS completes the season premiere arc.  NCIS has always loved its two-parters. Last week, we came “Out of the Darkness” and now we are coming “Into the Light.” More specifically, Ziva came out of the darkness and into the light. Speaking of our favorite Israeli, the Ziva love letter, begun last week, continues with tonight’s episode.  Catch up on the action from last week with our recap, which you can find here.

All caught up? Great! Now, let’s dive into tonight’s episode of NCISBEWARE OF SPOILERS!!!

Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS

We open in a sheriff’s office in some podunk town. You can tell that’s the vibe because there’s no one there and the sheriffs are bored. Arguing over who has to stay awake that shift-level bored.  Ziva and Gibbs break up the monotony by busting in with Sahar in tow.  They commandeer the  sheriff’s”holding cell” which is a chair in a room with handcuffs hooked to the radiator.  Well, at least Ziva didn’t shoot Gibbs at the end of last week! Ziva is still in favor of shooting Sahar and though he stands in front of her, Gibbs has had enough and tells her he doesn’t care anymore.

Opening Credits.

NCIS Communications Room. There is a bit about Vance catching up his higher ups on whether Sahar’s threat is real and McGee and Nick lie to the Director … again. This time about Ellie’s whereabouts.

Back at the Sheriff’s Station, Ziva loses her cool with Sahar’s coded messages and smashes some priceless sheriff tchotchkes. She heads out for  some fresh air and runs smack into Bishop. Wanna talk?

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS


Bishop and Ziva talk outside about life being a series of bad times and also, Bishop has some a lot of questions for the mysterious Ziva. A helicopter appears and Gibbs emerges with Sahar time to go, Bishop. I guess those questions will have to wait. Gibbs does not invite Ziva along. Before she leaves, Ziva deduces that Bishop showed up without telling Gibbs she was coming. This seems to earn Ellie some hard won Ziva Respect.

Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS

Meanwhile, back in DC, Sahar’s threat about dead politicians appears to be materializing. There is a thwarted suicide bomber at a Senate event. Luckily, Chief Martin Freydano (William O’Leary), of the Capitol Police, was on the scene and shot the bomber dead before he could detonate.  McGee pulls Bishop aside to rip her a new one for going rogue but she’s more concerned with telling Tim that he should prepare himself that Ziva may not be the same person he used to know.

Gibbs’ Basement. Ziva returns to the bombed ruins of Gibbs’ basement. She relives the memory of shooting Ari and sits down to take an anxiety pill (we saw these little yellow guys last week). Her self-medication is interrupted by the appearance of Ducky, who was waiting in the dark like a creeper. They have a sweet reunion but then she cuts to the quick when she repeats to Ducky the same disappointment she expressed to Gibbs last week. Incredulity that Gibbs could have believed her dead. She tells Ducky that she left Gibbs a trail to her, that only he could have seen. But he never came looking.


NCIS HQ. Gibbs hands off the interrogation of Sahar to Sloane. Sloane tries this lame female bonding thing. What is up with Sloane lately? I know they are trying to make something happen with her and Gibbs, so they’re trying to keep her relevant, but these last two episodes have seems like they’re misusing her. I digress. Sahar changes her Senator story and says maybe the target is a Congressman or a girlfriend? Who can say?  Which is when Nick tells Gibbs there’s been another attack.


The Director’s Office. We come back from break with Vance, Gibbs and McGee. The Director wants to know the status Ziva’s headspace and more importantly, why Gibbs “punted” on the Sahar interrogation. Gibbs refutes this versions, “I don’t punt.” Anyway, Vance says that the Capitol Police have activated the “Iron Citadel” provision of the PATRIOT Act, thereby granting NCIS more support during this time of crisis. What does Gibbs need?

Autopsy.  We learn from Jimmy that the two bombers are both part of a white supremacist group (both dead men had a matching tattoo featuring “100%” on an American Flag). Jimmy makes the case that it’s odd that white supremacists would be working with Sahar, she of the middle Eastern descent … strange bedfellows and all that I guess. Jimmy tells Gibbs that Ziva should have a look at the dead men to see if she recognizes them. [Ed. Note: Jimmy is also super aggressive in trying to see Ziva. Slow your role, dingus. God, I hate Jimmy Palmer.]


The Diner. It’s the Ziva/McGee reunion you’ve been waiting for! It doesn’t begin great when Ziva slams Tim’s head down onto the luncheon counter after he taps her on the shoulder. Ziva is still awesome. They sit down and talk. She doesn’t recognize the dead men and mentions that Ari had deeper terrorist contacts than she realized. McGee is really more interested in the personal talk. He shows her pictures of the twins and then he convinces her to come home (to the big orange room).

NCIS HQ. That night, Ziva enters the bullpen and sits at her old desk. She “sees” Tony (a very young Tony) sitting across from her. As all of the longtime fans collectively say “Awwwww”.The sweet memory is interrupted by Bishop and then Torres. As Bishop and Nick head to Kasie’s lab, we hear Nick say thinks that he is more badass than Ziva is. Oh, Nick, when will you ever learn.


Kasie tells the duo that the suicide bombs were disabled, they were never going to go off. Those attacks were fakes. Whaaaaa?!?!?


We come back from break with Tim and Bishop bringing Gibbs an update on the bombmaker, Dwight Colton. He’s a known person of interest and already on the FBI’s watch list. Through some Gibbsian “smacking a screen fixes any interference” tech voodoo, we learn that Ziva bugged the bullpen — she’s probably already on her way to Colton’s place to kill him. Sloane is also in the scene but she only wants to bust Gibbs’ balls about avoiding Sahar and risking letting Ziva down again.

Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS

Back to the white supremacists. Bishop and Torres are staking out Colton’s white supremacist hangout. Ziva pops into the car and advises them to avoid going in that building to serve their arrest warrant. It being a trap and all that. Ziva improvises a plan to get the supremacists to come outside. The plan just involves Nick so Bishop gets to watch from the car. The plan? Ziva goads Torres into a fight (although at first Torres says he won’t because she’s a girl or whatever) which brings all the racists hatemongers outside to watch. That’s it, that’s the plan. And it works!


NCIS Interrogation. They all get arrested and the leader addresses Jimmy’s racism concern from earlier. He mentions that working with Sahar is more of an “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” situation and she’ll burn right along with the “government thugs” when things are all said and done. Gibbs drops some knowledge about the vests being disabled, they were never going to blow. Gibbs wants to know who helped them get the suicide bombs through security. Remember the hero from earlier, Officer Freydano? Yeah, he’s a bad guy.

Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS

Freydano’s House. McGee and Ziva are there to interview the bad cop but he’s already skipped town.  Gibbs runs into the old friends as they’re walking and talking.  And we get another Ziva/Gibbs confrontation. Ziva is hurt that Gibbs believed she was dead. She left him a trail that only he could see (as she told Ducky earlier) and he never followed it. Gibbs said that he couldn’t because if she really was dead, then he might not be able to handle it. But Ziva counters that she even went to Paraguay to track down Gibbs and McGee (end of Season 14/beginning of Season 15), but got there one hour after they were rescued and made sure that no one was left to come after them (that’s how she got a scar). Her point was that she would do anything for Gibbs, but apparently he won’t do anything for her. Sad.

Kasie’s Lab.  Kasie calls Ducky down to her lab because there seems to be communications between Ducky and Sahar (through calls with Freydano), but then Ducky tells Kasie that he gave Ziva his phone. This leads Kasie down a bad path of suspecting Ziva. But only because she doesn’t know Ziva.


NCIS HQ.  We come back from break and the agents are in the bullpen trying to figure out what’s happening. Also, Ziva is now off the grid. When Gibbs learns that Freydano was apprehended by authorities, he orders him brought in for questioning.

NCIS Interrogation. Freydano says that Ziva is helping Sahar rebuild her organization. Unwillingly of course. Through flashbacks, Freydano reveals the plot points we didn’t get to see tonight. Back at the Sheriff’s Station, when the ladies were alone, Ziva “agreed” to help Sahar unfreeze her terrorist group’s assets. Ziva did this via breaking into Vance’s office the night she went to NCIS HQ.

Sheriff’s Office. We’re back in the Sheriff’s Office from the cold open.  Ziva has handcuffed the two yokels to the radiator. There guys! She is meeting Sahar here. If you were asking yourself, why would Ziva agree to help this terrorist? You’re about to find out. The bargain was that, in exchange for unfreezing the terrorist group assets, Sahar would leave Ziva and her family alone. Of course Sahar tries to backstab Ziva but it doesn’t work because Gibbs & Co come busting in guns raised. Everyone is under arrest.


Sahar is indifferent to being arrested since the money has already been transferred. Remember, Ziva is no traitor though so she explains to Sahar (and us) that when she unfroze the assets she also contacted Interpol to alert them. So, whenever Sahar’s minions try to access the money, they will get picked up.

** If you’re wondering why Sahar chose Ziva of all people? Sahar was the leader of a splinter group in Syria that was working with Ari (Ziva’s half-brother). When Ziva killed Ari, the US Treasury froze the terrorist groups’s assets and the group fell apart. Using Ari’s half sister, and the cause of their decline, to reinstate their fortune was a power move on Sahar’s part, to solidify her authority and street cred among her thugs.**

Sahar hasn’t actually been arrested yet and everyone is still holding their guns on everyone.  She tells her goons to enact Plan C. They turn and shoot Sahar and in reaction, Gibbs & Co. shoot Sahar’s men. All the bad guys are dead.

The Wrap Up.  At Ziva’s office, Ziva tells Gibbs that she heard the rest of Sahar’s men have been picked up and her group is finished. Gibbs and Ziva have another chat. No real progress is made, honestly. She’s still not letting him off the hook for not trying to find her. He admits to making a mistake.  Gibbs asks Ziva what’s next? She says she has one more thing to do before she can put this beyond her but doesn’t say what that is? She just says she has to do it alone.

Gibbs’ phone rings. It’s Tony calling Gibbs back (Gibbs called him but didn’t say anything). Gibbs says Tony should hear from Ziva that she’s alive (but maybe he already knows? Theories abound!), and Ziva says cryptically “and he will.” The episode ends with the sound of the phone still ringing.

And Scene.



This episode was set up to make us think that Ziva is really a terrorist. But no matter what the evidence looks like or what Kasie thinks (FWIW, my impression of Kasie took a big hit here), Ziva is NOT A BAD GUY. And the true believers (anyone who watched the show until Season 14) knew she was never working for the bad guys. Learn your NCIS history, Kasie!

Well, we will be Ziva-less for a while now, but NCIS showrunners have confirmed that she is slated to be in 4 episodes this season. The next two are possibly going to air in early winter. If there is anymore news, I promise to let you know. But take comfort in the fact that #ZivaLives and she remains on the right side! I will take less comfort in the fact that it looks like they are going to throw Gibbs and Sloane together. Ugh. I’d rather see him get out of some random redhead’s car then have them end up together. Know what I mean?

NCIS airs Tuesday nights on CBS at 8pm (ET/PT).   


Thank you for reading along! Leave a comment below for discussion. Follow us on social media for up to the minute updates on NCIS, including recaps and lots of other pop culture news you need to know on Twitter @popcultureview and Instagram @pop_culture_review. You can follow me on Twitter @lep314. 

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