“NCIS” Season 12 Episode 14 “Cadence” aired last Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. In this episode, the NCIS team investigated the death of a marine that traced back to NCIS Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) alma mater. Meanwhile, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and NSA Attorney Jake Malloy (Jamie Bamber) bonded over dinner, to everyone’s surprise. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began with someone dragging a body in a tarpaulin into the forest. Afterwards, the body was dumped out onto the forest floor. The next morning, the body was found by an early morning hiker, who immediately contacted the state troopers.
That same morning, NCIS Special Agent Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and her husband NSA Attorney Jake Malloy (Jamie Bamber) appeared in their workout clothes. They had been taking a lot of couple’s classes, however, they discovered that they didn’t really like the classes they were taking. Because of that, Ellie and Jake invited NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), NCIS Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and NCIS Special Agent Timothy “Tim” McGee (Sean Murray) to dinner so that Jake would get to know Ellie’s workmates better. To their surprise, Gibbs had already agreed to go. They were then told to get their gear as they had to get to a dead marine that had been found in the forest.
At the scene, Medical Examiner Dr. Donald “Duckie” Mallard (David McCallum) informed them that the victim had multiple wounds in his front torso. He discovered that he had probably been dragged there or was dumped there since there was no blood around him, and on his back. Gibbs then found a traile of blood which meant that he could have been dragged from where the blood trail started. Duckie then discovered that the victim, Private John Wallace was wearing a class ring with the motto of Remington Military Academy. It is the very same school that Tony attended during his final senior year. They also discovered that he had been holding a photograph in one of his hands, but was too blood stained to make out who the picture was off.
Tony and Ellie followed the blood trail into the forest. Ellie commented that Military Academy didn’t seem to be his style at all. He then told her that he had been sent there as a last resort. He had managed to go through six different boarding schools in four years. They then discovered that the trail led to an access road, and took pictures of the tire tracks to send to Forensic Specialist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette). They also found some ashes near some blue tarpaulin. It only meant that whoever had dragged the body there had tried to destroy the evidence by burning it up.
At the morgue, Duckie told Gibbs that Wallace had been stabbed in the upper torso of his body had been stabbed twenty times with a blade that was jagged, and left a peculiar mark. He had died however as he had been sliced in the neck. However, Duckie found it strange that a marine like him didn’t put up a fight against his killer. It means that he had been killed by someone that he knew.
Upstairs, Ellie informed Gibbs that Wallace had graduated at the top of his class. He joined the Marine Corps a few days after graduating from Remington, where he was top in his class as well while he trained. He was also a scholarship student. He was all set to deploy with his unit in a couple of days. But after receiving a phone call from the academy, he had suddenly gone missing.
Because of the phone call, Gibbs instructed Ellie and Tony, who did not really want to go back to his alma mater, to go to Remington. Gibbs then reminded Tony that it was a six-hour drive to Remington. It would give him plenty of time to prepare himself psychologically for his own little homecoming.
Meanwhile, at the laboratory, McGee helped Abby clean out blood from the photograph. He let it slip that they were going to dinner with Jake and Ellie. He thought that Abby would be upset about not being invited, but it turned out that she and Burt did a lot of couple’s things with Ellie and Jake. As soon as they got the photograph cleaned, they sent the picture, which was of a girl, to Tony and Ellie. Ellie then teasingly asked Tony if he was nervous to return, as it seemed like he was, but he just brushed it off.
He then remembered that he had been picked up at a train station by a man named Coach Gerald Tanner (Steve Harris), who escorted him to his dorm and room. The seventeen-year-old Tony (Tanner Stine) tried to be flippant. He told him that he could take care of himself. Tanner reminded him to address him as Tanner, and that he would know be known as Cadet DiNozzo.
On campus, they were greeted by Coach Gerald Tanner, whom Tony fondly referred to as “coach,” even if he was the provost of Remington. He then told Ellie that Tony “made him proud” and that Tony had been a Dean’s Lister, much to Ellie’s surprise. They then asked about the girl in the photo, whom Tanner identified as Christine Sanders. He told them that she had been found dead in her room ten days ago. It looked like she had overdosed, which was a shame as she was a Dean’s Lister, and was about to become the first female valedictorian in the history of the academy. Because of this, and because Wallace had been Christine’s Commanding Officer, they started to believe that the two deaths were related. Also, they were informed that the school had one rule since the school became co-ed- dating “amongst the ranks” was not allowed.
Back in the laboratory, Abby had no luck in trying to figure out what kind of knife had stabbed Wallace. Instead, thanks to Gibbs’ suggestion, Abby was able to remotely activate Wallace’s cellphone, which they discovered was in the house of one Frederick Cantor in Virginia. Before Gibbs left for Cantor’s, McGee discovered, and informed Ellie and Tony that the one who had called up Wallace the night that Christine had died was Senior Cadet Lucas Craig.
Back in Remington, Tony explained to Ellie that Lucas was the highest ranking student in Remington, as he was the Senior Cadet. Ellie then discovered that Tony had once been a flag bearer, and found a picture of a teenaged Tony. She took a picture of to show McGee when they got back. While they waited for Lucas to be free to talk to them, Tony remembered the first drills that he ever had in Remington. He had asked their drill leader to help his roommate, Travis Phelps. He was nicknamed “Piggy,” as he was flushed and couldn’t breathe. However, his drill leader got mad at him for speaking out of turn and got several demerits for it.
Afterwards, they discovered that Wallace and Christine had been secretly dating. They had continued seeing each other after he had graduated, and that Lucas had informed Wallace about Christine’s death as he felt that he had a right to know. After their short interview with Lucas, Lucas told Tony that they looked up to graduates like him, and saluted him. Afterwards, Tony noticed that a man by the pickup truck nearby had been looking at him and Ellie, but when they looked at the pick-up truck after Lucas had gone. On the way back home, Tony told Ellie not to tell anyone that he had been a good student there and that he was respected. However, Ellie couldn’t understand why Tony would not want anyone to know that because even though it was in the past, it was still very much part of him. But after Tony threatened to tell McGee about the song he had her singing in the shower, she agreed to keep quiet about it. Their conversation was then interrupted by a phone call from a man who informed them that he knew what really happened to Christine. He told them to turn back around to meet him at a parking lot at a hardware store near the school. However, this meant that they would not be able to go to their planned dinner.
Meanwhile, Gibbs learned that Cantor had Wallace’s phone as he was his mentor. Wallace had come to him for advice after Christine had died. Gibbs then learned that Cantor, now a carpenter, had a scholarship fund, in which he gave scholarships to kids such as Wallace.
At the diner, McGee, upon learning that the dinner wasn’t going to push through, immediately left the diner. Gibbs and Jake then bonded as Gibbs asked Jake about everything he knew about Palestinian and Russian relations.
At the parking lot, they were greeted by the man who had been watching them, who turned out to be Piggy, or Travis Phelps (Brendan Patrick Connor). Inside his house, Travis told them that Christine had been driven to kill herself because of Honor Corps. At this, Tony remembered that soon after his encounter with the drill leader, he had been surrounded in the dark, in the basketball court by a group of students with grey arm bands. This was the Honor Corps, a group of students who policed the students in the school, and punished students for breaking rules. Tony almost became a victim, but was protected from it after Tanner put him on the basketball team, as basketball players weren’t touched. However, according to Travis, Honor Corps did horrible things to him, and the new Honor Corps had punished Christine every night for one entire month before she died. He also told them that he had told Wallace the same thing. It looked like that Wallace knew who exactly was to blame.
Back at the office, McGee and Ellie were surprised that Jake’s phone was on Gibbs desk, as Ellie couldn’t seem to contact him at all. Afterwards, Gibbs informed his team that that winter break, Ellie had filed a police report against Lucas who had stalked her in a mall, and in her bedroom. It turned out that he was also Honor Corps, and had been rejected by Christine. However, Lucas told them that during their confrontation, they had been stopped by Tanner.
They then brought in Tanner after Abby discovered that his car tire tracks matched the ones on the scene. After they found traces of blood in his trunk, even if he didn’t know how it got there. Before Tony interrogated him, he remembered how Tanner had discovered Tony trying to hotwire his car. It was because he was going to try and run away from the school as he felt that he didn’t belong. However, Tanner reassured him that he did belong, and that he would look after him. Inside, Tony revealed that he felt betrayed by Tanner. It was especially since Honor Corps, which he swore to eliminate was still around. Tanner informed him that he had been trying to warn Wallace from not going public about the Honor Corps. He then revealed that he never really used his car, and that everyone knew where he kept his spare keys- the sun visor.
Abby then discovered Wallace’s prints all over the car, and discovered paraffin wax, which was used by carpenters. It led Gibbs to realize that Cantor, Wallace’s mentor had killed him, and that the stab wounds were caused by a saw. It turned out that Wallace had asked him for help in order to expose the Honor Corps in Remington. Cantor knew that this would hurt the school, so he killed him, and used Tanner’s car to dump the body.
Afterwards, Ellie gave Tony a blown up picture of him as a flag bearer. It reminded him that even if he had a “tricky relationship” with the past. This was a reminder of a good moment in the past that helped him become the man that he was today. Also, before Tanner left the NCIS office, he informed Tony that he was resigning as provost. He knew that he had let them, the students, all down. Tony then pinned the picture to his corkboard, and decided to meet up with Travis just to catch up on things.
And that was all for the recap of “NCIS” Season 12 Episode 14 “Cadence.” For more news, updates and recap on “NCIS” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “NCIS” every Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m on CBS.