NCIS Review: Where's Toby?

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Was airing back-to-back episodes a good or a bad idea?

Wrapping up Fornell's undercover mission to pursue the opiate kingpin on NCIS Season 18 Episode 4 and NCIS Season 18 Episode 5 was worthwhile.

However, with a sporadic production schedule because of California's high Covid rates, was burning off two episodes in one night advisable?

Not a Vacation -- Tall - NCIS Season 18 Episode 4

Not really. If the episodes had been spaced out with one a week, maybe we wouldn't be looking at a rerun coming up on Feb. 2.

And we'll likely be subjected to more reruns than usual down the road because of production delays.

Working Vacation - NCIS Season 18 Episode 4

But I guess old habits die hard. Let's keep pretending the cupboard is overstocked.

Another good thing about these two episodes is that we got back-to-back Delilah under two very different circumstances.

Unfortunately, on a series in which regular characters such as Jack are woefully underdeveloped because of a large cast, it isn't surprising there isn't much time given to recurring characters such as Delilah.

At least the McGees' Bahamian adventure reminded viewers of what Tim and Delilah used to be before they came an old married couple and worn-out parents.

What married couple/parents couldn't relate to what they were going through on their first vacation in too long?

Tropical Undercover - NCIS Season 18 Episode 4

If they weren't talking about the kids or work, what else was there to talk about? Maybe home improvements, but the kids have to get more self-reliant before parents would have the energy to tackle those.

It was great that a murder investigation came along to liven up things because those two had forgotten how to have fun.

Before that, Delilah was slowly getting drunk and channeling Peggy Lee: Is that all there is?

With two bodies attached to a supposedly dead-end project and a third member missing, it was clear early that something hinky was going on.

And, sure, it was awfully convenient that NCIS's investigation led back to the island on which McGee was vacationing.

Calming Her Nerves - NCIS Season 18 Episode 4

If McGee was supposed to be on vacation, why was he still carrying his NCIS badge? Would that qualify as a self-fulfilling prophecy?

But hey, it gave Tim and Delilah something stimulating to do away from the poolside. Delilah used to be a badass intelligence analyst, which gave her a chance to use her investigative skills again.

It was fun to see them in the field again and showed why they work well together.

The funniest moment came when the moped-rental clerk recognized McGee from his book jacket and gave them the info they needed about the mystery woman after Delilah failed so spectacularly with her attempt.

Once they got trapped by the storm in Sierra's house, it was obvious that things were coming to a head on the island, not back in DC.

No Escaping Death - NCIS Season 18 Episode 4

Being rescued by Clarence, the server, who just happened to be Gibbs' Marine buddy, came out of nowhere, though.

As for the opiate investigation, that came to a much-needed end.

What was Fornell thinking, going undercover with next to no backup, since he refused to answer many of Gibbs' calls?

He couldn't just fire off periodic texts from a burner phone so that Gibbs wouldn't worry? The last thing Gibbs needed was to be distracted from his ongoing cases, as he often was during this storyline.

Understandably, Tobias wanted to track down the drug ring responsible for getting Emily hooked on opiates.

Bloody Turn - NCIS Season 18 Episode 4

But he had to realize that he had no badge and was conducting a totally off-the-books investigation. How did he expect to bring Merriweather to justice all by himself?

The last thing a recovering addict needs is to have her father disappear for long stretches of time. Worrying about him couldn't have helped her sobriety, even if he was doing this for her.

Of course, Gibbs' involvement with the investigation was mainly to save Tobias from himself, as there was zero Navy connection to this case.

Until Fornell gathered and passed on enough evidence that allowed Gibbs to make such a connection, finding sailors peddling the drugs.

Investigative Climax - NCIS Season 18 Episode 5

Many of the mishaps the team encountered could have been avoided if Tobias had kept them in the loop. Torres wouldn't have had to impersonate an exterminator, and Bishop wouldn't have been abducted if they weren't running a parallel investigation without his help.

We finally find out why Gibbs was shooting McGee on NCIS Season 18 Episode 1. to keep him from running into an explosion.

Merriweather appeared to be a step ahead at all times, discovering Fornell's affiliation and warning Chad he was being watched.

So why did he turn around and do something as stupid as attending his daughter's 21st birthday party, rather than fleeing and collecting some of that offshore money he had stashed?

Dangerous Implications -- Tall - NCIS Season 18 Episode 5

It must have been arrogance that no one could crack his identity.

There's still the small matter of whether the evidence collected by a private citizen under pretenses could be used against him. But hopefully, NCIS had enough to put away Merriweather for good.

Now Tobias needs to go back to being a private eye and a present father to Emily. And he needs an age-appropriate haircut.

In other words, it's time for him to make way for other recurring characters that have been created over 18 seasons.

Difficult Case - NCIS Season 18 Episode 5

To revisit the opiate storyline, watch NCIS online.

How did you enjoy Delilah's appearances?

Did Fornell's storyline go on too long?

How long will McGee be out of action?

Comment below.

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Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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NCIS Season 18 Episode 4 Quotes

You do know you're in The Bahamas, right?

Clarence [to McGee]

Torres: What do I have to do to get a vacation in The Bahamas?
Jack: Have twins?