What crimes won’t we forgive when they’re done for good reasons by and for the people we love? Vance and the team explore this topic tonight when a hit and run reveals a much older run job.
The body of Scott Jenkins, a Marine and a marathoner known for running late at night, is found in a water-filled ditch. Broken headlight glass in the road nearby indicates he may have been hit by a car that fled on that foggy night.
Abby IDs the make, model, and color of the car from the reassembled glass and paint scrapes at the scene, and they quickly track the unique blue Maserati to John Kendall, who lives near the hit-and-run site.
When Torres and Bishop arrive, they find Kendall passed out drunk on his couch, a BBQ chicken pizza burned to a crisp in his oven, and a Maserati with a damaged front end in his garage. Kendall already has three DUI arrests, and blood splatter on the car grill matches the dead man’s. But Kendall swears that he cabbed it to and from the bar, where he knocked back a dozen drinks the night before. Abby confirms that his car’s equipped with a blow box that keeps it from starting if the operator’s had alcohol, and the interior’s wiped clean of all prints.
Thankfully, a new clue emerges when they find a silver cheerleading bracelet resting on the monogrammed floor mats, bearing the mascot of a local high school and the initials GLB. This leads McGee to the home of 15-year-old Genevieve Bell.
Her parents answer McGee’s knock and are upset to hear about their daughter’s possible involvement with a hit and run. Christopher (Jamie Kaler) and Jill (Gabrielle Carteris — hi, Andrea Zuckerman!) explain that Genevieve slept over at friend Maya Guzman’s house the night before. Both girls are at volleyball practice, so Christopher suggests McGee meet them there to talk to Genevieve.
But when McGee arrives at the school, he learns that Genevieve just left practice with her parents, and by the time he arrives back at the Bell home, he discovers that they’ve bolted, leaving most of their possessions behind, including their cell phones and cut-up credits cards. Not only that, but they punctured his tire on their way out of town so he can’t pursue them, which is impressive thoroughness!
The team pulls Maya into the conference room for a friendly chat, but her lawyer father keeps her from answering any questions, and he ends the proceedings when the words “vehicular manslaughter” pop up in conjunction with Genevieve’s bracelet and their neighbor Kendall’s car.
Genevieve and Maya aren’t the only teens giving their parents fits this week; Vance is astounded to learn that his 17-year-old daughter Kayla was arrested for shoplifting a purse.
When he arrives at the police station to pick her up, she emerges looking extraordinarily contrite and tells Vance that she made a mistake. He corrects her: It was a bad choice, and it’s one that he blames on her friend Mandy. To be fair, the glimpses of Mandy that we see are of a stone-faced, tied-to-her-phone brat, so you get why he’d jump to that conclusion.
Vance worries to Gibbs that if his wife were still alive, Kayla wouldn’t be a latchkey kid who found other influences because her dad was always gone. Gibbs suggests that Vance go home to be with his daughter. But their time together ends in a shouting match when Vance gets on her for larceny and skipping school and she points out that as a minor, her sentence will be lighter and it won’t go on her permanent record.
When Mandy comes around the house looking for Kayla, Vance tells her to bounce…forever. But Mandy hotly informs him that Kayla believes in her, far more than Mandy’s dad ever did. Mandy never thought she was cut out for higher education, but Kayla’s doing everything she can to make sure Mandy makes it to college. Aww!
Sloane encourages Vance to consider what it’s like to make the worst mistake of your life when your dad’s the head of NCIS. Vance says he doesn’t want to pull any strings for Kayla with local law enforcement. Sloane reminds him that he pulled strings for her, but Vance says that was “life or death.” Ooooh, NCIS is doing a fantastic job of doling out juuuuust enough details about Sloane’s mysterious past to keep us guessing this season. (Next page: Blue eyes, brown eyes)