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'NCIS' 'Alleged' recap: Doing the right thing

'NCIS' season 11 episode 21 "Alleged"
'NCIS' season 11 episode 21 "Alleged"
Sonja Flemming/CBS, used with permission

The Tuesday, April 15 episode of "NCIS," 11x21, "Alleged," on CBS deals with a very important issue: sexual assault. With a case like that, you need the personal storyline for the agents to be much lighter, and it is with Tony and McGee's juice cleanse. If you're looking for comedic moments on this show, pair those two up and you're more than likely to get at least one or two.

At first, the team suspects they could be working one case with two parts, a rape and a murder. A guy learns the hard way (but not in the worst way, just in the way that should make him think twice next time and keep someone from getting seriously hurt) that he shouldn't be on his phone and drive at the same time when he drives over a dead body. The victim is Ensign Tate, and before they get him back to the morgue, they know he was in a fight. His commanding officer, Wexler, insists everyone loved him, but they're clearly missing something when they find his roommate, Ensign Burke, and his first words are "I didn't do it" – and he doesn't know Tate is dead.

Tate and Burke had been at a bar, but Burke had left earlier than his friend, and the bartender reports that Tate got into a fight with another guy over a girl. He had to throw them out. Ducky declares blunt force trauma to his skull as the cause of death, so they begin trying to track down the guy he was fighting with as their possible suspect, but first, they get a surprising lead: Tate had been talking to someone in NCIS' family and sexual violence unit. As NCIS Special Agent Cabot explains, he had reported an assault on behalf of a friend who's denying it ever happened, and Holly continues to deny the assault when they bring her in.

Holly had been out partying with her fellow junior officers one night, and while she can usually handle margaritas, she felt like she'd had an entire bottle halfway through her second. She had left early, and the next morning, she felt beaten up when she awoke. She hit the showers and pretended it never happened, but Tate questioned her when he noticed her behavior had changed.

Abby doesn't get off to the best start with Holly, bursting into the room, but after Abby takes a moment to check on her and tell her that nothing makes her sadder or madder than the thought of what she went through and offers her a hug before leaving, Holly changes her mind. Abby doesn't usually get to interact with those involved in a case because of the nature of her job, but how Abby interacts with Holly in this episode is one of the best parts of it.

When Holly changes her mind, she admits that she had a rape kit done, but she hadn't been able to bring herself to go any further. It's in storage, and that means they can get it. She's going to give a statement.

Meanwhile, Tony and Bishop follow up with the bartender trying to track down the guy Tate fought with, and they luck out that he returns to the bar. He tries to run, but he takes himself down when he runs right into a dumpster in the alley. He's just an ex-con, and his fight with Tate had nothing to do with Holly, at least not directly; Tate had just stepped in when he was acting like a creep with a girl, doing the right thing like he had done for Holly by turning to NCIS.

Instead, once Ducky reports that Tate's death wasn't instantaneous and he could've walked a bit and Palmer tells Tony and Bishop that there were trace elements of vegetable oil in the asphalt from his head wound, they put the pieces together. When the bartender threw the two guys out for fighting, he accidentally threw Tate into the dumpster at the exact angle that led to the injury.

Abby gets the preliminary results on Holly's rape kit, and while it's negative for any DNA, ketamine was in her system. A search of the ship comes up empty, and interviewing her fellow junior officers doesn't lead to any answers in Holly's assault. This has left Holly unsure if she can go back on that ship or any ship, worried people will look at her differently and whisper behind her back. "Don't quit," Gibbs advises her.

McGee does come up with a big piece of the puzzle when he finds that ketamine was found in Lieutenant Monica King's system when she was treated for a separated shoulder. She left the navy after, but they are able to reach her, and her story is similar to Holly's: She went out for drinks, felt it on her second glass, left early and everything else is sketchy. When she told her commanding officer, he said there was nothing he could do without a name. It just so happens that that guy is Wexler, and everything he says in interrogation – he doesn't recognize any of the female subordinates he's accused of assaulting, suggest he's a rapist and it will ruin his career – just makes the hit Cabot uses to take him down all the more satisfying.

As for Holly, at the end of the episode, she's off to join her fellow officers in a memorial for Tate. She's ready for whatever talk is coming about what happened. And we can't put an end to the recap of the case without mentioning Liz Holtan's unbelievable performance as Holly. In a tough, very important episode, she did what she needed to and more with this role.

On the lighter side, Tony and McGee have teamed up to give a juice cleanse a go, and their cleanse consists of a water-lemon-cayenne-pepper-maple-syrup drink and one salad a day. Tony wanted to kickstart the new year with a healthier new Tony, and it's just easier to do it with a buddy. We pick up with them on day 2, and McGee declares he's feeling fantastic. He seems to be enjoying his salad, declaring the vegetables tasty, and all around doing just fine with it. Tony, on the other hand, is the complete opposite, especially with Bishop eating what she is around him and ordering chili cheese fries at the bar. It doesn't help that a guy thinks Bishop is his daughter.

But looks can be deceiving. McGee has been cheating since the very beginning, and he can't pay Tony off with pepperoni. He can, however, pay him off with a nice steak, creamed spinach, and French fries, and Bishop being Bishop, she wants in. She'll probably use the meal to remember something later, with her food association and what not.

"NCIS" season 11 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of episode 21 "Alleged"?

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