The Tuesday, May 6 episode of "NCIS," 11x23, "The Admiral's Daughter," is a prime example of not only why this show is still on, but also why it deserves to be in its 11th season. Tony is tasked with bringing an Admiral's daughter home from France (hence the episode title), only to find himself in a semi-familiar situation.
The episode begins 36 hours from the start of Tony's assignment to head overseas, and what follows is something right out of the movies, perfect for Tony. However, it also lands him in a spot he's been in before – framed for murder – and somehow "NCIS" manages to find a way to do that differently even though the show has done it before with him. Really, let's frame someone else for murder next time, alright? Leave Tony alone. Despite being overseas, the team (well, specifically Gibbs at the moment it matters the most) still has his back, and a phone app of all things ends up being one of the most important tools the team has for this case.
Meanwhile, Ducky discovering the wonders of cell phone apps is a beautiful thing, leading to Palmer having to explain that yes, there is such thing as installing too many apps. Ducky and Palmer scenes are always so entertaining. But the best use of a certain app comes at the very end, delivering some very special news to Palmer. Now let's get to the recap:
"Am I being Punk'd?" That's what McGee wants to know when he hears that Tony is the one being sent to France for a seminar on internet security, not knowing his real job is to pick up an Admiral's daughter out partying with a daughter of an arms dealer. Really, it just gets worse for McGee when Tony calls to gloat from Marseilles and McGee finds out that using a trick coin doesn't mean he's not going into the septic tank that holds their dead body. McGee probably wishes that someone would jump out yelling he's been Punk'd, but it doesn't happen.
However, Tony's gloating is soon over when he arrives at the local NCIS field office, only to find dead bodies inside. The local police arrive right after him, and next thing he knows, he's in cuffs and Gibbs is getting a call. The Admiral's daughter, Amanda, crawled out the back, and she's Inspector Cheblis' person of interest. The Inspector chooses the worst time to flirt with Tony, but she does make sure to take his gun to test it before he leaves. Back home, Vance offers to let Gibbs call the Admiral, but Gibbs "would rather get in that septic tank."
Tony tracks Amanda down in a club thanks to all the tweets she sends out about where she goes – another point for technology in this episode (more on that in a bit) – and explains the situation to her. She tells a friend to have Amir call her if she sees him because it's important, but once they're outside in the alley, Inspector Cheblis finds them and wants to bring Amanda in for questioning. That's when the Inspector reveals she's dirty and shoots a local policeman with Tony's gun. With that, Tony and Amanda are on the run. Sorry, Tony. You're not being Punk'd either.
Making a connection While the dead body of the week shows signs of torture, records show that Zak Martin was an office worker, but when McGee and Bishop check out his office (and so rudely interrupt his secretary's text conversation about a goldfish?), it's covered in dust. It's just a front. That's because Zach Martin is an alias. His real name is Zakaria Hassan, and he went to school with Amanda.
Over in France, Tony has enough of Amanda's whining about being hungry and stops at a food truck, only for that to be when the news begins running his picture as someone wanted for murder. Tony has to tie up and gag the food truck worker, and with few options, Amanda is the one who comes up with their mode of transportation to Rota, Spain: a party bus. Once on board, Tony comes up with another way to contact his team – Symbolese, a phone app everyone is obsessed with for some reason – just as they see the news report that he's wanted for murder. (No, none of this is a coincidence. Rule 39, Bishop.)
Tony establishes contact with Palmer with an on-point drawing of "Autopsy Gremlin," followed by messages that reveal he's heading to Rota. The only problem is a fire on the party bus, and with that, Tony and Amanda leave her friends behind, even as she tries to convince him to return to Marseilles. While they're on the run, things get complicated back home when files reveal that Hassan was a spy, and one of the messages came from one of their own. The Admiral is brought into interrogation, but he denies sending the email.
Like "Three Days of the Condor" Amanda tries to slip Tony once they sit down in a bar, but that's when he finds out the truth. She's a spy (DCS) and Amir works for her. Hassan recruited her in college, and the party girl image is her cover. She turned Amir, and he risked his life copying files for her. The Iranians tracked the files and killed Hassan. Tony calls Gibbs to update him and set a trap for Inspector Cheblis, and it works. They find Amir, but even though one of Amanda's friends turned out to be on Cheblis' side, Gibbs comes through with a team of highly trained marksmen. Tony and Amanda fly home, and Amanda and her father have a lot to talk about now that he knows the truth about her life.
One more message As the episode ends, Palmer receives one more picture message on Symbolese, but Tony has to explain it to him. Breena's pregnant!
"NCIS" season 11 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of episode 23 "The Admiral's Daughter"?